Compensation Stalls Zungeru Power Project

ZungeruProblems arising from the compensation of locals have stalled the 700 mega watts hydro power project in Zungeru, Niger State.

The Project Coordinator, Abiy Getattun, revealed this when he led his team on a visit to the Emir of Minna,  Umar Farouq Bahago.

He stated that because of the problems with the locals, who are demanding for full compensation, the Project could not go ahead as planned.

On his part, the Emir of Minna. Umar Farouq Bahago, promised to intervene in the issue so that the Project, which is going to be of great benefit to the country, can go ahead.

Zungeru was the capital of the British protectorate of Northern Nigeria from 1902 until 1916.

It is the site of the Niger State Polytechnic and is located on the Kaduna River.

Customs Concerned About Sophistication Of Smuggling Activities

CustomsThe Ogun State Area Customs Command has expressed concerns over the sophistication of smuggling activities at the border communities in Ogun State, South-West Nigeria.

The Ogun State Area Commander of Customs, Mr Haruna Mamudu, expressed his concerns at Idi Iroko area of the state, while parading some of the seizures which included rice, different brands of vehicles and other prohibited goods running into millions of naira intercepted by the command around the border posts.

He said that smugglers have continued to raise the bar of their nefarious activities to the detriment of the nation’s economy.

While seeking more collaboration with sister security agencies in the fight against importation of prohibited materials, the Area Commander gave an assurance that efforts were being intensified to check the influx of illegal firearms into the country, especially as the 2015 general elections get close by.

The command also said that it recorded 1,482 seizures with duty paid value of over 1.5 billion naira from December 2013 through November 2014.

Armed Forces Working Hard To Improve Security In North-east – Jonathan

Armed_Forces_In-NigeriaPresident Goodluck Jonathan says Nigeria’s Armed Forces and security agencies will sustain and intensify ongoing operations against insurgents in the north-east to achieve significantly improved security there ahead of the 2015 general elections.

At a meeting with the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Uriel Palti, President Jonathan said Nigeria would also continue to work with neighbouring countries for the effective implementation of the regional security arrangements which were recently concluded to enhance multilateral cooperation against extremism, terrorism, insurgency and other cross-border crimes.

The President told the Israeli Ambassador that the Federal Government was actively and progressively enhancing the ability of Nigeria’s Armed Forces and security agencies to deal decisively with terrorists and insurgents.

President Jonathan added that the positive effects of steps taken by his administration in this regard would become increasingly apparent very soon.

The Israeli ambassador conveyed the condolences of the Israeli Prime Minister, Mr Benjamin Netanyahu, to President Jonathan and the people of Nigeria on the loss of lives in recent terrorist attacks and thanked President Jonathan for his recent visits to Israel.

Ogwuche’s Demand: Attorney-General To Brief Court On Detention Legality

Court_JusticeThe Federal High Court in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, has invited the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Adoke, to address it on the legality of section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act.

At the briefing which will hold on December 18, the Attorney-General will explain to the court the section 27 of the Act which allows for prolonged detention of a suspect in relation to section 35[4] of the Nigerian Constitution which stipulates that a suspect must be arraigned within two months of detention.

The invitation of the court is a fallout of arguments between the alleged mastermind of the Nyanya bomb blast, Mr Aminu Ogwuche and the Department of State Services (DSS) on the legality or otherwise of section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act.

While the Department of State Services argues that it has not breached the constitution, having obtained an Order of the Court to detain Mr Ogwuche, pending the conclusion of its investigation Mr Ogwuche has asked the court to declare his detention null and void as it relates with section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act.

He claimed that the Act contravenes section 35[4] of the Nigerian Constitution.

The DSS also had requested that the application by Mr Ogwuche on the breach of his Fundamental Human Rights should be dismissed in its entirety for being frivolous, lacking in merit and an abused of court orders.

The terror suspect, Mr Ogwuche, had on Thursday demanded for 100 million Naira from the Department of State Services (DSS) as damages for unlawful detention.

Ogwuche also demanded a public apology in two national dailies.

In a lawsuit filed for enforcement of his fundamental human rights, Ogwuche through his lawyer, Mr Ahmed Raji, told the court that his continued detention by the State Security Service was illegal and unconstitutional and asked the court to order his release or his trial.

At the proceedings, Ogwuche’s lawyer urged the court to discountenance section 27 of the Terrorism Act which the DSS was relying on to detain his client.

He argued that the said section was inferior to the constitution which stipulated a time frame within which an accused person should be arraigned.

The Attorney-General’s briefing will help further clear the air on the issues around the section 27 of the Terrorism Prevention Act and Ogwuche’s demand.

 

Union Vows To Resist Attempt To Move Minimum Wage To Concurrent List

Bobboi-Bala-KaigamaThe National President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigam has declared that the Association will resist any attempt by the Senate to remove minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list.

Represented by the chairman of the association in Borno state, Comrade Babayo at the first quadrennial delegate conference of the Yobe state chapter of the Association in Damaturu the state capital, the president said “the union laments on the current National issue of the Senate to remove minimum wage from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list which the labour cycle and well-meaning Nigerians have vowed to resist any attempt by the upper legislative to take such action.”

He also called on the Yobe state government to passionately consider the upward review of salary structure of its civil servants which was wrongly and haphazardly done during the minimum wage negotiations.

He praised the state chapter of the association for the peaceful conduct of their election stressing that the national body will give it the necessary cooperation in its strive to improving the conditions of service of its members.

The state chairman of the association Dr. Festus Dang-wam, who was represented by his deputy Comrade Mohammed Sani pledged to ensure that members benefit from certain rights and privileges hitherto not enjoyed.

He listed such to include; 10,000 housing scheme for civil servants in Abuja, liaise with the Federal Mortgage Bank to access loans for its members, improve members strength through advocacy and improved welfare provision, established a viable cooperative society to assist members developed saving culture as well as provision of loan to interested members wishing to set up businesses among others.

The chairman while calling on members to team up towards the expected high productivity in the civil service also urged government to partner with the union towards achieving the desired goals.

Senate In Closed Door Meeting With Service Chiefs

national assenbly_nigerianeyeDespite the expiration of emergency rule in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states, the Senate has gone into a closed door meeting with service chiefs to discuss the extension of emergency rule in the three north eastern states.

The service chiefs present at the meeting are the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Kenneth Minimah and the Director General of the Department of State Security, Mr Ita Ekpenyong.

The Senate has been considering President Jonathan’s request for a further extension of emergency rule in the three north eastern states.

The service chiefs were to brief the Senate last week Thursday but were unable to do so because of the security crises in the National Assembly.

The Inspector General of Police is also expected to appear before the Senate at plenary to explain why the police invaded the National Assembly last week Thursday, using tear gas on Senators and Members of the House of Representatives.

PDP Governorship Aspirants Accuse Incumbents of Imposing Unpopular Candidates

PDP STAKEHOLDERS MEET20 People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirants from the North-West zone have protested what they described as an attempt by the outgoing governors of the party in four states in the zone to impose unpopular persons on the electorate as candidates of the party, saying such moves would not augur well for the party in the forthcoming elections.

The aggrieved aspirants in Kaduna accused the incumbent governors of hijacking the party’s recent congress and last Saturday’s screening exercise in order to impose their anointed candidates specifically in Jigawa, Katsina, Kaduna and Kebbi states.

A former Senator from Katsina state, Ibrahim Idah, who addressed the press on behalf of 19 other aspirants, which include the former deputy governor of Kebbi state, Ibrahim Aliyu, former Minister of Aviation, Hassan Hyat, from Kaduna State and Abba Anas Adamu, from Jigawa state, said they viewed the move by the governors as a calculated attempt to frustrate and deliberately compromise the success of the forthcoming 2015 general election.

While insisting that candidates of the party must emerge through a transparent primary, they however called on the national leadership of the party to urgently wade into the matter by providing a level playing ground for all aspirants in order not to give an unfortunate but avoidable advantage to the opposition.

Voter Registration: Oshiomhole Urges INEC To Check Influx Of Mercenaries

Gov OshiomoleThe Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole has asked the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to investigate what he called the importation of mercenaries into the state to partake in the ongoing continuous voter registration exercise.

Governor Oshiomhole said this during a visit to one of the registration centres in  Iyamo, Estako West Local Government Area of Edo state.

Governor Oshiomhole also reiterated the need for residents of the state to go out and register, insisting that “that is the only way they will be eligible to vote for candidates of their choice in next year’s elections”.

The former NLC President had disagreed with former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the same faith presidential ticket for political parties during an exclusive interview with Channels Television and urged Nigerian politicians to stop using primordial sentiments as cover up.

He kicked against the criticism that greeted a supposed Muslim/Muslim presidential ticket by the All Progressives Congress (APC), insisting that “Nigeria is not defined by religion”.

“What is the meaning of Muslim/Muslim Nigeria” he asked, insisting that Nigeria is not defined by religion.

He further noted that we have a lot of ‘idle people’ who want to use religion as an instrument to evade accountability, insisting that “that has been the problem of Africa.

“When leaders are bereft of ideas, they fall back on primordial sentiments in order to shield the,selves from accountability”, maintaining that “the problem of Nigeria is not religion”.

Mr Oshiomhole urged Nigerians to start to think of ways to better the country “where every young man can go to school and acquire quality education in a world that is knowledge driven; in a digital world”.

Arewa Forum Calls For Active Involvement of Retired Military Officers

AU-MilitaryDue to increasing bomb attacks by the Boko Haram militants in North East, Nigeria, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has called on the Federal Government to look into the possibilities of involving retired military officers and other security agencies across the country to bring the situation to an end.

The forum which decried the deteriorating security situation in the North East, where thousands of innocent lives have been wasted by terrorists, further expressed the need to bring in trained retired military and other security officers as it seems that the present crop of security forces alone are not capable of wining the war against the insurgents.

In a communique issued by its secretary General and Deputy Chairman Board of Trustees, Colonel John Ubah and Air Vice Marshal Mouktar Mohammed at the end of its joint meeting in Kaduna on Thursday, the forum reminded the Federal Government of its responsibilities, including ensuring the security of lives and property of the citizenry.

It called on government to find a lasting solution to the current security challenge before it got out of hand.

The Northern Socio- Political body also expressed displeasure over the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to revoke its earlier plan of creating additional 30,000 polling units nationwide.

The forum while insisting that INEC should go on with the creation of more polling units across the country in accordance with the provisions of the  Electoral Act, also called on the commission to ensure that no eligible voter is disenfranchised in the current distribution and review of the Permanent Voters Cards.

Abia: Court Adjourns Governor’s Son’s Case Against Popular Newspaper

EkitiAbia State High Court in Ohafia has adjourned  preliminary hearings on a suit filed by Chinedum Orji, son of Abia State Governor, against Sun Newspapers and Ebere Wabara to the 15th of December 2014.

Chinedum Orji had on the 8th of April, 2014 filed a suit against the publishing company and one Ebere Wabara, for libel, claiming the sum of N5 billion as damages for libel, as well as an unreserved apology to be published in the same newspaper and an order restraining the defendants and their agents from further writing, printing and publishing the said libelous matter or a similar one against his person.

The trial Judge, Justice Amanze Chikwendu ruling on the request by the counsel to the claimant for an adjournment, which unanimously was agreed by the defense counsel, obliged their request and adjourned the hearing of preliminary till December.

Addressing journalists after the court proceedings, counsel to the claimant, Livy Uzoukwu (SAN) and the defence counsel Charles Enwelunta took different stands on the matter on hand, especially concerning if the choice of words used by the writer and publishing company in describing the claimant were in order.

Meanwhile, the court threw away an application for the award of N200,000.00 presented by the defense counsel for cost accrued due to adjournment of the case because of inability of the claimant to respond which the former said was also due to inability of defense counsel to file an application when expected.

EFCC Arrests Suspected Fraudster Over $1Mln Scam

EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a suspected fraudster; Adekunle Balogun also known as Malan Salihu, over fraudulent dealings.

The EFCC alleged that the 44- year- old Ordinary National Diploma Certificate holder in Textile and Polymer Technology duped one Precious Chukwuma Emelue of 100, million Naira by luring him into believing that, he would assist him in retrieving a sum of $1,000,000.00 from a Pakistani Bank: Kan-Cern Limited.

The victim claimed to have met Mr Perry Kandoharty, who was said to be a Diplomat with the Pakistani High Commission in Lagos in year 2012 with the intention of providing land for a fishing pond in a so called fish factory in Nigeria.

Balogun was allegedly caught impersonating Mr Perry Kandoharty by IMF through a mail sent informing Emelue of a deposit of $1,000,000.00 into Kan-Cern Limited.

In the course of his dealings with Emelue, Balogun obtained instrumental payments from him to obtain certificates from authorities handling drugs, anti-terrorism and money laundering issues.

The suspect, who denied the accusation, was allegedly said to have impersonated the Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde and used his name to extort his victim.

Several items were recovered from his house during a search including documents bearing the names of the State Security Service, Central Bank of Nigeria and Insurance companies among others.

Balogun was picked up by operatives of the Commission in Lagos and would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.