Trial of Okey Nwosu Stalled At The Instance Of Defendants

Owerri, Court, NBAThe trial of a former Managing Director of the defunct Finbank Plc, Mr. Okey Nwosu and three others charged with a N10.9bn fraud could not go on today at the Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja.

The defendants who were supposed to open their defence, told the court that they had been experiencing some difficulty in bringing their witnesses to court and also with obtaining access to documents vital to their defence.

Counsel to the former bank MD told the court that he had filed a subpoena to summon witnesses and obtain documents. He urged the court to grant a short adjournment to enable his client adequately prepare for his defence. The other defence lawyers also made similar requests.

The EFCC prosecutor, Mr Adebisi Adeniyi, however opposed the request for an adjournment, insisting that it was another ploy to frustrate the expeditious trial of the case contrary to the directive of the Supreme Court.

He urged the court not to grant the application but to instead allow the defence witness present in court to begin his testimony.

After listening to all the parties, Justice Lateefa Okunnu ruled that although the defendants had enough time to have applied for witness summons but failed to do so, she would, in the interest of justice, bend backwards to accommodate them.

She then adjourned the case till February 14, 15 and 16; March 29 and 30; and April 3, 5, 7, 10, 11 and 13, 2017.‎

Standing trial alongside Mr Okey Nwosu are three former directors of the defunct Finbank – Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi and Agnes Ebubedike.

The defendants were arraigned in 2013 before Justice Lateefa Okunnu, but the Court of Appeal on November 21, 2013 quashed the charges pressed against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and set them free.

The EFCC, however, appealed to the Supreme Court, and in 2016 the court upheld the appeal and ordered Mr Nwosu and the others to return to the High Court for their trial.

Foreign Exchange Inflows Fall In 2016

Nigeria's External Reserves Rise FurtherThe total Foreign Exchange inflows into Nigeria falls at 46.86% in 2016, the lowest value since the series started in 2007, a new set of data released on Wednesday by the statistics office.

The report shows that Nigeria receives capital importation totaling 5.12 billion Dollars in 2016 lower than 9.64 billion Dollars inflow in 2015.

The decline cuts across direct, portfolio and other investments into Africa’s largest economy in 2016 when the economy went into a recession and the value of the local currency became lower than 40%.

The report says that the total portfolio investment was down by 69.81% but the Foreign Direct Investments was 27.83% between 2015 and 2016.

Meanwhile, other investments portfolio increased by a mere 3.48% in 2016 was due to increase in loans.

High Cost Of Food: F.G Sets Up Task Force To Revamp The Economy

Nigeria market Food StuffThe Federal Government on Wednesday set up a task force to address the challenges facing the nations troubled economy.

This decision was taken during the Federal Executive Council meeting, held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The task force has been given the mandate to reduce food prices in the county.

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed said the committee will report their findings to the council within the next one week.


New Tax Policy

The Federal Executive Council approved a new tax policy, which will address low level of taxation in the country.

Briefing journalists after the council meeting, Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun questioned the Value Added Tax (VAT) on luxury items which is, at five per cent in Nigeria while that of neighbouring countries is as high as 20 per cent.

According to her, the Ministry will work with the National Assembly to effect the changes in the new policy and make Nigerians to buy into it.

Rail Transportation

Following the impending closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, the Council says it will acquire two first class coaches and another six regular coaches, to boost the rail transportation on the Abuja-Kaduna gauge railway.

The Federal Executives Council also approved Joint Briefing Offices at the various airports across the country and three Aerodromes in Bonny, Escravos and Eket.


Somalia’s Al-Shabaab Kills Dozens of Kenyan Troops In Raid

somalia islamistsAl Shabaab said its fighters killed dozens of Kenyan troops when the Islamist group attacked a remote military base in Somalia on Friday, while Kenya’s army said nine soldiers died and 70 militants were killed.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Paul Njuguna said that al Shabaab’s fighters had attempted to attack their base in the southern town of Kulbiyow, near the Kenyan border, but were repulsed.

A spokesman for al Shabaab, which often launches attacks on troops of the African Union’s AMISOM force, said its fighters killed at least 66 Kenyans at the base. The group had said earlier it lost fighters but did not give numbers.

Njuguna said the attack was launched around dawn on Friday, when al Shabaab fighters used a vehicle packed with explosives to try to blast their way into the camp of the Kenya Defence Forces.

Al Shabaab gave a similar account of how the attack was launched. Its military operation spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters fighters rammed two suicide car bombs into the base and seized it. “We are pursuing the Kenyan soldiers who ran away into the woods,” he said.

Al Shabaab, whose assessment of casualties often differs markedly from official versions, typically rams the entrance to a target site with a car or truck bomb so fighters can storm in.

The Islamist group has been fighting for years to impose its strict interpretation of Islam on Somalia.

It once ruled much of Somalia and wants to topple the Western-backed government in Mogadishu and drive out the peacekeeping force made up of soldiers from Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda, Ethiopia and other African countries.

African Union and Somali troops have pushed its fighters from major urban strongholds and ports, including the capital Mogadishu in 2011, but they have often struggled to defend smaller, more remote areas from attacks.

In January 2016, al Shabaab said it had killed more than 100 Kenyan soldiers in El Adde, a Somali camp near the border with Kenya. The military did not give details of casualties in that attack, but Kenyan media reports suggested a toll of that magnitude.


Osun Police Holds Peace Meeting With Farmers And Herdsmen

Police Inspector Allegedly Kills Man Two Days To His WeddingThe Osun State Police Command has frowned at the use of underage children for cattle rearing business by Fulani herdsmen in the state.

This was made known during a peace meeting organised by the state command of the Nigeria police to iron out issues of disagreement raging between some farmers and herdsmen in the state.

At the meeting, the police said it discovered that asides lack of communications, the use of underage children who can’t handle cattle has led to consequent clash with farmers.

The Commissioner of Police, Fimihan Adeoye ‎who trying to make peace between the farmers and the herdsmen, noted the use of underage children to  rear cattle as one of the key causes of cattle tramping upon farms of indigenous people in the state.

He said the police will soon take legal actions on the use of underage children by the Fulani herdsmen in enforcement of the Child Rights Act which protects the children.

While the meeting was ongoing, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Osun State command, paraded three suspected Fulani men believed to be terrorising farmers and residents of Ikoyi in Isokan Local government Area of the state.

Addressing newsmen, the state commandant, Ayodele Phillips said the men were apprehended in possession of several guns, pellets, charms and many other dangerous weapons in the bush.

He called on the public to be open and give relevant information to security agencies when necessary.

Meanwhile, the NSCDC boss says thorough investigation will be carried out to ascertain claims of the men and apprehend the other two, who are presently at large, if found guilty will be brought to book.

Group Condemns Politicians’ Monetisation Of Elections

Rivers RerunA Civil Society Organization, Centre for Social Justice, has criticized politicians and political parties who participated in the 2016 Edo and Ondo State Governorship Elections for allegedly manipulating voters through monetary inducement.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, Spokesman for the group, Mr Kingsley Nnajiaka said that the unwholesome practice of politicians ‎paying for votes in Edo and Ondo was an unhealthy development for the nation’s democracy and political process.

The Centre called for a review of the maximum spending limit by political candidates.

It added that empirical evidence demonstrated that the ceiling of 200 million Naira stipulated by the Electoral Act as maximum spending limit by politicians was unrealistic as all the politicians exceeded the spending limit.

Pensioners Open ‘Internally Displaced Pensioners’ Camp In Osun

retirees-at-the-idp-camp-1Retirees in Osun State have opened what they described as Internally Displaced Pensioners’ camp in the state.

The retirees led by the Chairman of Forum of 2011/2012 Retirees of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Mr Omoniyi Ilesanmi on Monday set up the camp close to the newly built Freedom Park in Osogbo, the state capital.

Over 200 retirees were present at the camp while armed policemen and other security agents watched them closely.

The pensioners were spreading mats for their members while some who could not sit on chairs were attended to by medical personnel.

Mr Ilesanmi said hundreds of pensioners in the state had died due to hunger because their pensions were not paid by the state government.

He claimed that the state government was owing pensioners nine months arrears because the state has been paying them half pensions since July 2015.

“We retirees are tired of all that is happening to us. We left service since 2011/2012 ‎and up till now the government is yet to give us our entitlements.

“Even the half pension we get is nothing to write home about. We are appealing to the government even as we have been doing for long.

“We need help and that is why we are opening this Internally Displaced Pensioners camp to assist ourselves.

“Many of our people are dying daily and the number is increasing. All we are demanding for is our right and what should come to us,” he stated.

A retired judge of Osun State High Court, Justice Olamide Oloyede advised the pensioners to take good care of their health.

She also urged the pensioners not to be afraid to stand for the truth at all times.

“I’ve told the pensioners the truth about how the enlightenment campaign will continue.

“I have told them, this is their right and you need to fight for your right under the constitution.

“I don’t make decisions for people but when you have been enlightened and you know your legitimate right, you have to take your own decisions,” she said.

U.S Election: Global Markets Go On A Frenzy

forexGlobal markets on Monday go on a frenzy as the U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation gave its second Clean Bill of Health to Democratic presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton.

The Asian markets ends on a general positive note, while the European equities were rallying in early trade.

Ahead of wall street open, the Nasdaq futures index was up 1.7 percent, but as the markets open, the world’s number one stock index, the down jumps 1.47 percent or some 250 basis points

At the currencies market, the U.S Dollar was up 1.40 on the British pound while gold, a safe haven decline some 17 Dollars as fears tapers over Hillary Clinton’s much talked-about email scandal.

Nigeria Needs To Invest More In Electricity To Grow Economy, Energy Experts Say

electricity supply in nigeriaEnergy experts are calling on government to invest heavily in the energy sector in other to grow the nation’s economy that is in recession.

The call was made at a conference in Abuja, the nation’s capital, held  to mark the 2016 World Energy Day. Talks at the conference were focused on the theme, “Sustainable and Affordable Energy and the Challenges for Nigeria”.

The experts attributed the poor economic development in most African countries, including Nigeria, to the lack of efficient electricity supply.

National Energy Policies Implementation

Apart from asking the government to invest in the sector, they also want full implementation of existing national energy policies.

They believe that the policies would make access to energy sustainable and affordable.

Energy experts believe small businesses will spring up to boost the economy if electricity supply improves

The President of the International Association for Energy Economics, Mr Wumi Iledare, told the gathering that ‘a nation connected to light is a nation that is economically buoyant’.

“A lot of people could have easily become a barber, if they could just have light to open a barber or hair dressing shop.

“In the United States, small businesses dominate the economy,” Mr Iledare pointed out.

Access to affordable energy, including fuel and electricity, remains a major priority to many Nigerians.

It also informs the reasons successive governments have invested huge sums of money to develop the sector in recent past.

The 2016 appropriation bill earmarked over 400 billion Naira to the Ministry of Power Works and Housing, an allocation many say is an improvement over the past.

In spite of such investments in the past, access to efficient electricity supply in Nigeria still remains work in progress.

A representative from the Energy Commission of Nigeria who is the Director  of Nuclear Science and Technology, Malah Umar, argued that there was enough policies to make energy accessible in Nigeria.

He, however, decried the lack of political will to implement those policies.

Meanwhile, the Acting General Manager, Resource and Development at the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Yusuf Abdussalam,
explained some issues surrounding electricity affordability.

“The cost of electricity in Abuja could have been may be 31 to 32 Naira per kilowatt, but affordability has been built into the tariff system to see that those consuming less electricity can pay as low as 23 Naira per kilowatt while those that consume more will pay more,” Mr Abdussalam stated.

Nigeria’s electricity generation has continued to revolve around 3,000 and 5,000 megawatts even though experts say the country needs a minimum of 20, 000 megawatts of electricity to drive the economy.

Trump Gains On Clinton, Poll Shows ‘Rigged’ Message Resonates

donald-trumpThe Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gained on his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton among American voters this week, cutting her lead nearly in half, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling released on Friday.

The polling data showed Trump’s argument that the Nov. 8 election is “rigged” against him has resonated with members of his party.

“Remember folks, it’s a rigged system,” Trump told a Pennsylvania rally on Friday. “That’s why you’ve got to get out and vote, you’ve got to watch. Because this system is totally rigged.”

Clinton led Trump 44 percent to 40 percent, according to the Oct. 14-20 Reuters/Ipsos poll, a 4-point lead. That compared with 44 percent for Clinton and 37 percent for Trump in the Oct. 7-13 poll released last week.

An average of national opinion polls by RealClearPolitics shows Clinton 6.2 percentage points ahead at 48.1 percent support to Trump’s 41.9 percent.

Trump is slated to give a speech Saturday in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, best known as the site of a decisive Civil War battle and cemetery, and the place where Republican President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous address.

Aides told reporters on Friday night that Trump would make his closing argument to voters in his speech, and preview what he would do in his first 100 days in the White House.

“I think this site is fitting in terms of understanding a positive vision for the Republican party,” an aide said.

Trump’s campaign was thrown into crisis after a 2005 video released this month showed him bragging about groping and kissing women. He has since faced accusations – which he has said are “absolutely false” – that he made improper sexual advances to women over decades.



Osun Police Commissioner Tasks Officers On Professionalism

Edo election, FUNAAB, vandalisation, Federal University of Agriculture AbeokutaOfficers and men of the Osun State Command of the Nigeria police have been charged to maintain professionalism and good conduct in the line of their duty, especially when faced with uncooperative members of the public.

The Osun State Commissioner of Police, Fimihan Adeoye gave the charge while addressing senior officers of the command at the headquarters in Osogbo, the state capital.

The command also paraded five-armed robbery suspects apprehended for stealing two vehicles and other valuables.

The state police boss told senior officers that its high time policing be done with human face in the state.

He says police brutality, corruption and breach of code of conduct will not be condoned in the force.

The Commissioner who disclosed that a total of nine vehicles have been recovered by men of the command since September, also paraded five suspects arrested at various points in the state for armed robbery.

In the meantime, the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone XI, Dan Bature at a 3-day training on human right and police citizens’ relations for officers of the special Anti-Robbery Squad, charged the officers against infringing on the fundamental rights of the people.

Represented by the Commissioner of Police, Fimihan Adeoye, the AIG maintained that the primary duty of the police is to build the confidence of the police in the people rather than scare them.

The three-day training is expected to re-enlighten ‎the role of the police and the proper Interaction with the people for effective policing.

Oyegun Is Incompetent – Timi Frank

timi-frankThe Deputy National Publicity Secretary, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, says the party is not speaking in one voice due to lack of unity and internal crisis.

He clearly stated that the party was not supporting President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption, as much as it should, due to an “incompetent leadership” that can stand and support the President’s idea on corruption.

“As at today, I can clearly tell you that because of the internal wrangling, the party is not doing enough.

“It is a very big problem. Until we put our acts together or have a competent national chairman that can put everybody together, then I can tell you as a party we should be able to support the president on the fight against corruption.

“As at today I can tell you clearly the party is not doing anything.”

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr. Frank insisted that the party was in crisis.

Factions in APC

Mr Frank declined giving details in clear basics about the factions but stated that there are aggrieved members in the party whose actions were affecting the unity and growth of the party.

He emphasised that the party was in crisis and had refused to let Nigerians know the situation of the party.

“Part of the issues affecting the party is the vacant positions in the seat of deputies. There are lots of acting deputies which have not been given a functional position.”

When asked who controls the APC? He said the “national chairman was not in control but being controlled by certain forces”.

“We cannot have a national chairman that is controlled by the people, rather a chairman that will bring the people together”

He urged the APC to work together in unity to ensure that President Buhari’s fight against corruption could be successful.