NJC Emergency Meeting Ends Again Without Resolution

njcFor a second day running, the emergency meeting of the National Judicial Council (NJC) in Nigeria, convened to take position on the arrest of some judges by security operatives, has ended without any resolution.

After the meeting ended without a position taken on Tuesday, it was rescheduled to continue on Wednesday.

All the members gathered again on Wednesday and talks began.

After hours of meeting, it was said to have ended inconclusive again.

Members had reconvened in the morning at the three arms zone area of the Supreme Court Complex in Abuja.

Before the meeting began, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, who is also the chairman of the council, had described the arrest of judges as saddening and regrettable.

He, however, gave the assurance that the NJC, the apex body of the judiciary saddled with the responsibility of disciplining erring judicial officers, will respond to the issue appropriately.

The National Judicial Council (NJC) was scheduled an emergency meeting days after the judges were arrested by some operatives of the Nigeria Police Force and the department of State Services.

Journalists, who had gathered early enough on Tuesday to cover the meeting were denied access into the meeting hall.

Abdullahi-Garba
Spokesman for the Department of State Services, Abdullahi Garba

After the arrest of the judges whipped up diverse comments from lawyers and even the Nigerian Bar Association, the DSS released a statement, giving reasons for its arrest of some judges.

In the statement, a spokesman for the DSS, Abdullahi Garba, said that the service had in the past few days, embarked on raids of residents of some Judges of the Supreme, Appeal and High Courts.

Mr Garba says the operations are based on allegations of corruptions and other acts of professional misconduct by a few of the suspected Judges.

Buhari To Meet German Chancellor, President On Security Issues

Muhammadu-Buhari-on-north-east-StarvationThe President, Muhammadu Buhari will embark on an official visit to the Federal Republic of Germany from October 13- 15, 2016.

While in Berlin, the President will confer with Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel on issues of shared interests between Nigeria and Germany, including further cooperation on security, the humanitarian situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and rehabilitation of the North-East, as well as trade and economic relations between both countries.

Thereafter, the President, who will be accompanied by Governors Kashim Shettima of Borno State and Rochas Okorocha of Imo respectively and representatives of the National Assembly, will meet with Federal President Joachim Gauck.

In furtherance of the administration’s objective to attract more foreign investment and create economic opportunities in the country, President Buhari will participate in a Business Forum in Berlin with leading German companies already active in Nigeria and other prospective investors.

Before returning to Abuja, the President is expected to meet with representatives of the Nigerian community in Germany.

President Buhari is committed to deepening relations with Germany and building on the very cordial relations both countries enjoy in several areas of bilateral cooperation including the fight against terrorism, economic relations, rebuilding of the North east, support for IDPs, vocational training, energy partnership and cultural relations.

Shortly after his inauguration on May 29, 2015, President Buhari, on the invitation of Chancellor Merkel, attended the G7 summit in Elmau, Germany – the trip was his first to a non-African country after his assumption of office.

From February 8- 12 2016, President Gauck, accompanied by a delegation of German business community, was on an official visit to Nigeria, where they had fruitful discussions on trade and investments with representatives of government and the private sector in Abuja and Lagos.

German Leader Asks Ethiopia To Open Up Politics After Unrest

germanGerman Chancellor, Angela Merkel, urged Ethiopia on Tuesday to open up its politics and ensure police do not use heavy-handed tactics against protesters, after more than a year of unrest that rights groups say has led to about 500 deaths.

Merkel, who spoke at a news conference with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, arrived in Ethiopia after a fresh flare-up near the capital of the clashes that have cast a shadow over a nation with one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.

The violence prompted the government to declare a nationwide state of emergency on Sunday. It says the death toll cited by rights groups is exaggerated and blames the wave of violence on “armed gangs” backed by foreigners.

Western states, which are among the biggest donors to what is still a poor nation, want their companies to win deals in Ethiopia but have become increasingly concerned by the government’s authoritarian approach to development.

“I made the case that you should have open talks with people who have problems,” Merkel told Hailemariam, adding that police should respond proportionately to protests.

Last week, protesters ransacked or burned about a dozen mostly foreign-owned factories, flower farms and other sites, accusing the government of building on seized land and stifling opposition.

Opponents blamed police for provoking a stampede at a festival in Oromiya that killed at least 55 people on Oct. 2.

“In a democracy there always needs to be an opposition that has a voice – in the best case in parliament,” Merkel said, during the visit which a German diplomat said included a meeting with members of civil society groups and opposition politicians.

Kogi Election: Police Warn Politicians Ahead Of Supreme Court Judgment

Rivers policeThe Kogi State Police Command has warned that it would deal decisively, in accordance of the law, with anyone caught taking laws into his hands, as the Supreme Court delivers its judgment on the Kogi State governorship election on Tuesday.

The State Police Commissioner, Abdullahi Chafi, gave the warning while addressing newsmen at his office on the forthcoming Supreme Court judgement which is to authenticate whether or not Mr Yahaya Bello won the votes to be governor of the state.

The CP further stressed that intelligent report reaching the command revealed that some miscreants were planning to create crisis before, during and after the Supreme Court judgement.

While warning parents to caution their wards, political party heads and their supporters, he said that his command was fully ready to deal with whoever disobeys the law.

He also placed a ban on any kind of public celebration by anybody or groups after the court judgement.

Mr James Falake was the deputy governorship aspirant to late Abubakar Audu who died before the conclusion of the governorship election that was to see him elected as governor.

Yahaya Bello was then presented by the party, All Progressives Congress (APC) as replacement for Audu, a decision Mr Faleke challenged, arguing that he should have stepped into the position, having together with the late Audu gone through the election process.

He approached the Supreme Court after being dissatisfied with the judgement of the election tribunal and Appeal Court which both upheld Yahaya’s eligibility.

Chinese Firm To Establish Eight Million Dollars Corn Mill In Cross River

Cross River, Ben AyadeA Chinese conglomerate has expressed its determination to set up a feed mill and maize farm in Cross River state, worth eight million Dollars.

The move by the investor is expected to boost Governor Ben Ayade efforts to diversify the economy of the state.

The Chairman of Wuhan Longfecund Agriculture Development Company Ltd, Wuhan in China, Yongsheng Cao, disclosed this when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Ben Ayade at the government house in Calabar.

Speaking through an interpreter Cao said, he is optimistic that, setting up the feed mill and maize farm in Cross River State will thrive as the state and China share same topography.

Giving a nod to the immediate start of the farm, Governor Ben Ayade said, Cross River State is expanding their horizon in Agriculture and taking a leap into agricultural phase to ensure a leading direction.

The governor affirmed that, parts of Akamkpa, Uyanga, Obubra and Yala were suitable areas for maize farming based on soil studies earlier conducted.

Ayade reasoned that the partnership between Cross River State government and the maize centre in China will provide the state with a first class knowledge, first class technology, first class farming and first class mill as all sweet corns used in our salads were imported.

Six Killed In Abakaliki Attempted Jail Break, Prisons Boss Says

Dave-Umahi-and-Ja-afaru-AhmedThe Nigerian Prisons service has confirmed that six inmates were killed and 10 wounded during Thursday’s attempted jail break by inmates at the Abakaliki Prisons in Ebonyi State.

The Comptroller General of the Nigerian Prisons Service, Ja’afaru Ahmed, gave the figure in Abakaliki the Ebonyi State’s capital when he visited the prisons on an on the spot assessment of the unfortunate incident.

The Comptroller General, who also visited the Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, at the Government House said he had set up a three-man committee to investigate the true cause of the incident.

He said that the investigation would enable the government know the proper steps to take to prevent further occurrence.

After a one-hour closed-door meeting with the Governor, the duo came out to address reporters.

The Comptroller General confirmed the number of inmates that died during the unfortunate incidence while disclosing that he has set up a three-man committee to look into the actual cause of the incidence.

He further urged the criminal justice system of Nigeria to look into prison decongestion, as many of the inmates had been awaiting trial for a long time.

This situation, according to him, has increased the number of inmates that were originally designed for accommodation in the prisons.

In his response, the Ebonyi State Governor, who had earlier visited the Abakaliki Prisons, commended the leadership of the Nigerian Prisons for their quick response and expressed displeasure over the infrastructural state of the Abakaliki Prisons which made him declare a state of emergency on the prisons.

He said even though the state government would help solve some of its infrastructure challenges, the Federal Government would need to move in immediately and address the challenges of infrastructure and welfare in the Abakaliki Prisons for both inmates and prisons’ officials.

Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State Police Command has asked all citizens of the state to remain calm and law abiding and go about their normal duties, as all measures were in place to ensure that there was no breakdown of law and order in the state.

In the meantime, security has been beefed up in the prisons and its environs and one of the major doors damaged by the inmates has being repaired.

Buhari Condemns Failed Turkey Coup, Congratulates Erdogan

Muhammadu Buhari, NigeriansPresident Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday condemned the abortive coup attempt in Turkey by a group of rebel army officers and men, which resulted in the reported death of more than 100 people.

Reacting to the tragic events in Ankara, Istanbul and other centres, President Buhari said he is “deeply saddened by reports of a violent attempt to dismantle constitutional authority and disrupt the democratically elected government of Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey.

“The removal of a democratic government by force is no longer acceptable. Violence can never solve any problem but only complicates them and sets back the progress of democratic societies.”

The President also noted that President Erdogan is one of Nigeria’s close international partners and sincere supporter in its current war against terrorism, adding that all should resist the “destabilization of democratic countries through coups d’état in the 21st century.”

According to the President, “democracy provides peaceful options of changing governments through the ballot box. The ballot box doesn’t require violence to remove any government perceived to have lost its popularity and public support. Despite its limitations, democracy is still better and more durable than a violent change of government.”

The President praises the courage and immediate response of ordinary citizens, who in face of guns and tanks defied the rebel soldiers and forced them to abandon their “mad quest for power”.

President Buhari called on the President of Turkey to pursue reconciliation and offered Nigeria’s support to the government and people of Turkey in their hour of trial.

Police Kill 6 Robbery Suspects In Kaduna, Recover Stolen Cows

policeThe Kaduna State Police Command says it has killed six suspected notorious armed robbers that have been terrorising residents since the beginning of the year.     

The command also paraded 15 suspects alleged to have been involved in criminal activities, ranging from armed robbery, gun running and car snatching.

Parading the suspects before reporters at the command’s headquarters on Friday, the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, said the suspects were arrested at different locations during a gun battle with policemen.

The suspects include a three-man robbery syndicate which specialises in using police and military uniforms to rob motorists on the highway.

Among these suspects was a dismissed police officer believed to have provided the uniforms for the criminals.

The parade of these suspected robbers is another breakthrough in crime prevention recorded by the Kaduna State Police Command since the beginning of this year.

While responding to reporters questions, the former police officer dismissed from the Police in Kano State in 2008 denied being a member of the gang. Although he accepted to know the other suspects, he also denied using police uniform to rob people.

Speaking on other arrests made by his men, the Police Commissioner disclosed  that the command’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad also smashed a robbery gang that terrorises motorists along Kaduna-Abuja road.

The Police said a member of the gang was killed during a fierce gun battle.

Mr Shehu said that during interrogations, some of the suspects confessed that they were members of gang of armed robbers that have been terrorising residents of Barnawa, Kakuri and Sabon-Tasha all within the state capital.

Items recovered from the suspects include Ak47 rifles, locally and English made pistols, live ammunition, one stolen Toyota Camry Vehicle, Phones, Army camouflage and Police uniforms and charms among others.

The police boss said the suspects were still under investigation and would be tried once investigations were concluded.

Mr Shehu also told reporters that over 293 stolen cows were also recovered from rustlers during a raid by men of the Operation Yaki Patrol Team at Gwagwada and other parts of the state.

Kaduna Police Arrest Trans-border Robbery Suspects

Police-NigeriaMen of the Yaki Operation Security Outfit and the Special Anti Robbery Squad of the Kaduna State Police Command have intercepted 33 bags of Marijuana and other hard substances of various kinds from drug traffickers within the state capital.     

The security operatives also intercepted an 11-man cross-border armed robbery gang that specialises in car snatching and gun running between Nigeria and Niger Republic.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Umar Shehu, while disclosing this to Channels Television on Monday, said that his men also arrested over 150 suspects who were being prosecuted in various courts in connection with drug and armed robbery related offences.

He stated that all the arrests were made from January 2016 till date, warning that there would not be any safe haven for criminals in Kaduna State.

The heaps of bags of marijuana and other hard substances that were seized from suspected drug traffickers within Kaduna metropolis were also paraded.

The owners were said to have mixed the marijuana with bags of fertilizers, apparently to deceive security agencies from identifying them.

However, luck ran out on them as they were arrested by the Police while attempting to transport the bags to where they would be sold.

The Police also arrested some car snatchers, gun runners and other criminals at different locations in Kaduna and Daura in Katsina State.

During the operation, guns and ammunitions of different kinds were recovered  from the suspects.

According to the Commissioner of Police, the arrest of the suspects at different locations in the state capital was made possible through a tip from patriotic members of the public.

Plea For Pardon

The Police boss also noted that the command has arrested some cattle rustlers and recovered so many stolen cattle at the notorious Kamuku forest in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The leader of the robbery gang owned up to the crime. He blamed his involvement in armed robbery on poverty.

He also narrates how they successfully robbed their victims over the years until nemesis caught up with them during their last operation.

Other suspects also accepted committing the offences for which they were arrested. They vow not to commit such crime again if they are pardoned.

The Kaduna Police boss, however, said that the suspects would be charged to court.

He urged Kaduna residents to be security conscious and report any suspicious movement of objects or persons to the nearest Police station or other security agencies in the state.

Suspected Militants Kill Three In Mortar Attack On U.N. Base In Mali

Al-Shabab-in-SomaliaSuspected Islamist militants attacked a U.N. base in the northern Mali town of Kidal with mortars and machine guns on Friday, killing three peacekeepers and wounding 30, United Nations and separatist sources said.

The attack is a fresh sign of instability in the desert region that is home to Islamist groups including al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb who have staged increasingly bold raids in recent months and have targeted the U.N. base several times.

“At about 7 a.m. (4 a.m. ET), the MINUSMA base in Kidal was the target of a complex attack which, according to provisional figures, caused the death of three blue helmets and around 30 wounded,” Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the Mali representative of the U.N. Secretary General, said in a statement.

Eight mortar shells were fired at the base and there was also gunfire, said Olivier Salgado, a spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission, whose acronym is MINUSMA.

The base is part of an attempt by the United Nations to end violence in Mali following a takeover of the north by Islamists in 2012. A year later a French-led intervention force pushed the militants out of key towns in the region.

The U.N. mission has not stopped the violence and Islamist militants have expanded their attacks in recent months into other parts of Mali and beyond.

These have included an attack on a hotel in Mali’s capital Bamako in November, in which 20 people died, and one on Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou in January, in which 30 were killed.

There is also a decades-long separatist struggle in northern Mali by ethnic Tuaregs.

WHO Sees Zika Link Proven In weeks As U.S. India, Lead Vaccine Race

zika whoThe World Health Organization (WHO) expects suspected links between the Zika virus and two neurological disorders, microcephaly in babies and Guillain-Barre syndrome, to be confirmed within weeks, a top official said on Friday.

A sharp increase in birth defects in Brazil has triggered a global health emergency over the mosquito-borne virus and spurred a race to develop a vaccine and better diagnostic tests.

“We have a few more weeks to be sure to demonstrate causality, but the link between Zika and Guillain-Barre is highly probable,” Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation, told a news briefing.

Kieny said U.S. government scientists and an Indian biotechnology company were currently frontrunners in vaccine development, although it would take at least 18 months to start large-scale clinical trials of candidate shots.

“Two vaccine candidates seem to be more advanced: a DNA vaccine from the U.S. National Institutes for Health and an inactivated product from Bharat Biotech in India,” she said.

The NIH is working on a DNA-based vaccine that uses the same approach as one being developed for West Nile virus. India’s Bharat said last week that its experimental vaccine would start pre-clinical trials in animals imminently.

Overall, around 15 groups are working on Zika vaccines, including France’s Sanofi (SASY.PA), as well as researchers in Brazil, who announced a new partnership with the University of Texas on Thursday.

The road to developing a preventative shot against the disease is strewn with hurdles, however, not least because the group viewed as most at risk are pregnant women.

Improved diagnostic tests are also viewed as critical to fighting the disease, which is now sweeping through the Americas, and Kieny said new test kits were being rapidly developed and could be available in weeks.

Researchers in Brazil are scrambling to determine whether Zika has caused a major rise in microcephaly, or abnormally small heads in newborns, with more than 4,000 suspected cases of the condition reported to date. Brazil has confirmed more than 400 of those cases as microcephaly and has identified the presence of Zika in 17 babies, but a link has yet to be proven.

Still, many scientists are convinced that the link is real and new evidence of Zika in the brain of an aborted fetus, reported on Wednesday, has added to the case.

Oshiomhole Seeks Support For His Administration’s Tax Policy

OshiomholeThe Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole has appealed to residents of the state to support his administration’s tax policies which according to him will have a positive impact on the development of the state

Governor Oshiomhole made this appeal while speaking at a symposium organised by Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Benin City, Edo State Capital

The Governor also added that his administration is laying down a solid financial foundation for successive administrations to carry out more developmental projects in the future