Wednesday, 25 September 2013



Shock over car buried with bodies
Shock over car buried with bodies
•A car being dug out of a riverside bush in Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State...last weekend. The driver of the car and two occupants —Managing Director of Police Microfinance Bank Alhaji Hassan Gidado and the Manager of the bank’s Abuja branch, Mr. Tunde Banwo — were killed by people suspected to be members of the Ombatse group and buried with their car.

Shock over car buried with bodies

Residents of Nasarawa State were still in shock yesterday over the discovery of the bodies of two bankers and their driver.
They were allegedly ambushed by suspected Ombatse boys, who took them to the bush, killed them, set them ablaze with their car and buried them with the car by the riverside.
The incident happened at Tudun Adabu in Obi Local Government.
The Police Command has arrested 14 suspects in connection with the murder.
The deceased bankers are Alhaji Hassan Gidado, who was the managing director of the Police Microfinance Bank, and Mr. Tunde Banwo.
The police, at a news conference on Monday, said after the the bodies were exhumed, they were deposited at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital in Lafia.
It was gathered that the two top bankers, who lived in Abuja, were in Lafia for the wedding of a child of the police commissioner-in-charge of Cooperative.
Police Commissioner Umar Shehu said the suspected killers would soon be taken to court. He assured residents that measures had been taken to curb the activities of the outlawed Ombatse group.

EFCC appeals ruling in UBEC’s N787m contract case
EFCC appeals ruling in UBEC’s N787m contract case

EFCC appeals ruling in UBEC’s N787m contract case

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has appealed a Federal High Court, Abuja’s ruling, freeing five people and two companies, charged with N78million fraud. The alledge fruad in related to contract awarded by the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC) between 2004 and 2005.
The contract was for the supply of 109,400 plastic chairs and tables for public schools.
Those freed include former UBEC’s Executive Secretary Prof Bridget Omotunde Sokan, Molkat Manasseh Mutfwang, Dr. Andrew Ekpunobi and Michael Aule (directors in UBEC).
Also freed is Alexander John Cozman (a foreign contractor) and two of his companies – Intermarkets USA LSC and Intermarkets Nigeria Limited.
They were arraigned in 2009 by the EFCC on a 64-count charge.
Justice Adamu Bello, in the September 19 ruling on a no-case submission by the accused, held that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against the on to warrant their being called upon to enter defence.
In a notice of appeal filed on Monday by EFCC’s lawyer, Wahab Shittu, the commission raised two grounds of appeal, urging the appellate court to order the freed accused to enter their defence before the lower court.
The EFCC urged the court to allow its appeal and set aside the lower court’s order.
In its first ground of appeal, the EFCC argued that the judge erred in law by upholding and granting the respondents (the accused’) application for a no-case submission “in spite of the evidential materials, oral and documentary placed before the lower court at the close of the prosecution’s case.”
It argued that “there are sufficient materials before the lower court entitling the 1st to 7th respondents to offer explanations and enter defence before the lower court.
“The evidence adduced by the prosecution against the 1st to 7th respondents was neither discredited as a result of cross-examination nor manifestly unreliable as erroneously held by the trial court.
“The lower court did not advert its mind to the fact that at the stage of no-case submission, questions do not arise as to whether the court believed the evidence tendered.”
The commission’s second ground of appeal is that the lower court erred in law on the purport and meaning of jurisprudence of prima facie in reaching a decision that the accused had no case to answer.
It argued that it was “a settled law that prima facie case is the minimal incriminating evidence that must be apparent to the court when the prosecution closes its case in a criminal case.”
The appellant argued that the trial court failed to consider most of its evidence that were sufficient to make the court hold in favour of the prosecution.
EFCC’s Head, Media and Publicity Unit, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement yesterday confirmed the appeal.
He quoted Shittu as arguing that “the lower court did not give weight to the legally admissible evidence (report) from the Auditor-General of the Federation, marked exhibit 6, indicting the accused neither did it weigh in other reports from the State Security Services, (SSS) marked exhibit 10 and the investigative report of EFCC also marked exhibit 59.”

  2015: Jonathan justifies second term ambition
2015: Jonathan justifies second term ambition
President Jonathan

2015: Jonathan justifies second term ambition

President Goodluck Jonathan gave yesterday in New York perhaps the clearest indication yet that he will run in 2015.
Dr. Jonathan, who has not declared his interest in the yet-to-open but rancourous race, is faced with a group of seven governors elected on the platform of his party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)- challenging his yet unannounced bid to seek a second term.
At lunch with some Nigerian professionals in New York, United States, as a sideline of his visit to address the United Nations (UN), General Assembly, he said it was not illegal for a president or governor to spend two terms.
Jonathan said: “Already, we have a constitution that makes provision for maximum of eight years for anyone who wants to become a president or a governor. There is no president or governor that all citizens vote for but at the end of the election, if somebody emerges, you must allow the person to work.
“If you love your country, you would want your country to work. That does not mean that you will not vote against the person if you don’t like the way he works, but you must allow him to work.”
Apparently replying critics of his administration, Dr. Jonathan went philosophical. He said: “No matter how you feel about the political situation, consider the interest of your country first before yourself. If you are struggling to enter a house, you must not put dynamite to destroy the house. By the time you get there, there will be no house for you to stay.”
“So, first and foremost, we must collectively build our country. Don’t bother about who is there now because power is transient, very very temporary,” he added.
The President also urged the political class to drop do-or-die approach in politics and allow him to concentrate on his core mandate of governance.
He said Nigerians hold the power to vote out anybody they are not comfortable with.
According to him, political leaders must be mindful of what they say or do in order not to undermine Nigeria’s sovereignty.
The President also spoke on his fight against corruption and the ongoing university teachers’ strike which is nearing three months.
On corruption, he said: “So many people are saying we are not doing well in fighting corruption and before you say that, there must be a parameter for judging us. What are the yardsticks they are using to judge us?
“Before the advent of this government, the Federal Government was spending a whopping N25 billion on fertiliser with only 11 per cent reaching the farmers. But since the coming on board of his administration, government now spends between N5 to N6 billion on fertiliser and we are getting 80 per cent reach.”
“If we wanted to continue to steal money or look for money for election, we could have continued,” Jonathan said
Giving kudos to his team, the President said his administration had made significant progress in reviving rail transportation, aviation, road and other infrastructure.
He said the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had politicised the teachers’ strike.
Jonathan, a former university teacher, said: “We’ve gone very far with the ASUU strike. We believe ASUU has some kind of politics that crawled into the strike, but we are still discussing with them. If things were normal, by now they would have called off the strike,” he said.
He added: “We are doing a lot in terms of improving infrastructure and every other thing in our universities. In fact, this is the very first time a government has set up a team to go around all our universities to examine the infrastructure and a report has been written, which was presented to the National Economic Council and all the governors, and we are working.”
With the President were Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga, Dr. Doyin Okupe and Dr. Reuben Abati, among others.

  Help fix Nigeria, Jonathan urges Obama
Help fix Nigeria, Jonathan urges Obama
•President Goodluck Jonathan discussing with US President Barack Obama during their bilateral meeting in New York…yesterday

Help fix Nigeria, Jonathan urges Obama

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday urged United States President Barack Obama to help to “fix Nigeria.”
“For you to fix the world, you must fix Africa. For you to fix Africa, you must fix Nigeria,” Dr. Jonathan told his American counterpart.
Both leaders met at the Lyndon B. Johnson suite in the Waldorf-Astoria. It was Obama’s first stop in his swing through town for the United Nations General Assembly.
Noting his trip to Africa at the beginning of the summer, Obama said he saw common interests in helping Nigeria improve its rural electrification, empowering young people through the Young African Leaders programme, improving internal security in a way consistent with human rights and “making sure” Nigeria’s elections in 2015 continue to improve the country’s democratic process.
And he said the attack at a Nairobi mall over the weekend “underscores” the level to which all countries are connected and their need to work together.
“We stand with them against this terrible outrage that’s occurred, we will provide them with whatever law enforcement help that is necessary,” Obama said. “The United States will continue to work with the entire continent of Africa and around the world to make sure that we are dismantling these networks of destruction.”
“I feel the pain of President Kenyatta … terror anywhere is terror on all of us,” Jonathan said.
Obama was joined by Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power and deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors.
In a statement on the meeting between the two Presidents, Dr. Jonathan’s spokesman Reuben Abati said:
“President Goodluck Jonathan Monday in New York called for a stronger global consensus and determination to end the scourge of terrorism as quickly as possible.
“Speaking at talks with President Barrack Obama of the United States ahead of the opening of the 68th session of the United Nations tomorrow, President Jonathan said that unless the international community unites and deploys its enormous resources to eradicate terrorism, it will continue to be embarrassed by terrorist outrages such as the heinous attack on defenceless shoppers in Nairobi at the weekend which both leaders strongly condemned.
“President Jonathan expressed his appreciation of the support and assistance Nigeria has been receiving from the United States for its fight against domestic terrorism. He added, however, that Nigeria will welcome even more bilateral collaboration in this regard.
“The President said his administration also looked forward to the further strengthening of Nigeria’s relations with the United States in the areas of trade and economic development.
“He reassured President Jonathan of his commitment to the continuous strengthening of Nigeria’s electoral processes and the country’s democratic institutions.
President Jonathan also applauded President Obama’s Power Africa and Youth Leadership Initiatives, saying that both initiatives would complement aspects of his administration’s agenda for national transformation.
“President Obama had while welcoming President Jonathan to their meeting at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, described Nigeria as a critical partner of the United States in Africa.
“He assured President Jonathan that the United States will continue to cooperate with Nigeria in all possible areas, including the war against domestic and global terrorism.
“President Jonathan was accompanied to the talks by the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs) Prof. Viola Onwuliri, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Prof. Adebowale Adefuye, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison Madueke, and the Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo.

  CBN worried over high dollar demands
CBN worried over high dollar demands

CBN worried over high dollar demands

There is a surge in demand for dollars, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said yesterday.
This, according to CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, is linked to political activities ahead of the 2015 elections.
Sanusi spoke after the bank’s twice monthly Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, which retained the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 12 per cent for the 12th time in a row. The CBN said the naira and inflation had stabilised.
Sanusi said there had been “strong foreign exchange demand pressures, which are not necessarily linked to an increase in the import of goods”.
Elections are scheduled for 2015 and politicians often spend massively on patronage to secure seats or pay off rivals. At least, some of it is acquired illicitly through corruption or links to criminal rackets, like oil theft or kidnapping.
“This non-import-related demand was linked to the build-up of political activities in the country,” Sanusi said, adding that it was leading to a “dollarisation of the economy by the political class.”
“There is something absolutely wrong with bureaux de changes buying hundreds of millions of dollars and not being able to account for them… We think these monies are part of a money laundering exercise and we will have to deal with it,” the governor was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Measures to be announced soon could include imposing restrictions on dollar cash withdrawals, he said.
The bank has come under pressure in the past to cut rates from businesses who say that would stimulate lending. It has resisted, however, arguing that it is only by staying the course, despite such pressure, that the economy has stabilised.
Sanusi said the Monetary Policy Committee voted 11-1 in favour of holding rates where they were. He said the MPC had noted “with satisfaction the stability in the financial system and currency markets”.
He attributed this to a shock tightening at the previous MPC meeting, when the bank slapped a 50 per cent cash reserve requirement on public sector deposits, up from 12 per cent before, in a bid to support the naira.
That was retained, as was a corridor of 200 basis points around the base rate for borrowing or lending from the bank.
He said a stable naira had been “underscored by the policy of intervention to improve supply … and the very tight monetary conditions maintained since the last MPC meeting”.
He also said those conditions had had an impact on inflation, which fell to another five-year low in August.
The naira has been under regular selling pressure from fleeing hot money and strong dollar demand since June, but has gradually recovered due to frequent Central Bank forex sales.
That has not been without its costs. Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves declined 2.34 percent month-on-month to $45.95 billion by Sept. 20, their lowest in seven and a half months, the latest Central Bank data shows.
Sanusi acknowledged the fall in reserves but reiterated that the bank would resist pressure to devalue the naira, something it last had to do in November 2011.
“I do not see any benefit in devaluing the currency at this point in time. It will not improve our export earnings, it will not reduce imports that are fundamentally inelastic,” like fuel or food, he said. “We will use the reserves. We will not unless we are forced to allow the naira to weaken.”
He said most of the decisions taken at the meeting were informed by developments in the domestic and global economic environments, particularly to the need to sustain macroeconomic stability in the economy.
In the course of the MPC meeting, “the Committee noted the continued dependence of the banking sector on monetised oil revenues for its liquidity and stressed the need to keep pushing banks into altering their business model to reduce vulnerability”.
Sanusi restated the CBN’s commitment to ensure exchange rate stability by adopting appropriate monetary policies that will protect the currency from the forex market manipulations but that he cautioned that “this agenda would not be pursued at all cost”.
He explained: “If we need to tighten money and use some of our reserves to support the economy, we will; no CBN Governor will say he will support currency at all cost. But we want to be very clear that there is no country that allows its currency to just be determined by market. We are not looking for a stronger currency, neither are we looking at a weaker one. People want to pay fees and investors want to know that they will have returns for their investments. We will use reserves, we will use interest rates, we have gone through the difficult months; hopefully the next few months will not be difficult. We will not allow the naira to be weakened and we are committed to that.”
The CBN governor was also asked to shed light on the health of Duscount Houses in Nigeria and he responded by saying that the Bank has already taken steps to investigate the operations of Discount Houses, with exception of Express Discount House which had its licence revoked recently, Kakawa and Associated Discount Houses were sound. So, there is no cause for worry with the Discount Houses.
Sanusi said: “There are no major issues with discount houses. We have taken a comprehensive view, we revoked the licence of Express and we have seen that the other two are in good form. We discovered in the case of Express Discount House; there appeared to be a case of fraud. We have examiners in there to determine the extent of fraud and will pay all unsecured depositors in the course of this week. No depositor will lose money and we will come out with appropriate statements soon.”
He said the apex bank would curb the exercise of bureau de change operators who engage in foreign exchange abuses.

Monday, 23 September 2013

‘N850b saved in downstream oil sector’
• Petroleunm Minister, Mrs Alison-Madueke

‘N850b saved in downstream oil sector’

The Federal Government saved N850 billion last year in the downstream sector of the oil and gas sub-sector, Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke said at the weekend.
The savings, according to a statement by the ministry, include N467.20 billion obtained from the N32 per litre mark-up in petrol pump price of January 2012 and the N142.30 billion savings from the N20 million litres per day reductions in national consumption of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS).
The Minister said: “Inspite of these savings, we have also been able to maintain stability of products supply, while putting in place, stringent regulatory conditions which would make it difficult for dubious marketers to short-change the system”.
She added that “the Federal Government has done extremely well in halting fuel subsidy scams in the country, and as such, our efforts at transparency and accountability are beginning to yield positive results.”
According to her what motivated the paradigm shift in the reforms is the decision of the government to address the pervasive malpractices in the oil and gas sector.
She listed the reform initiatives to include: capacity-building for the Departments and Agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, restoring credibility in the process of products supply and distribution, conduct of a prequalification exercise for traders/suppliers initiated in the form of technical audit of suppliers of PMS into the Nigerian market.
Other measures include the conduct of monthly and mid-quarter Import Performance Review Meetings with stakeholders and resolution of marketers’ complaints through effective mediation, thereby stemming the erosion of marketer’s confidence in fuel importation regime with its attendant payment uncertainties occasioned by budget approval delays, among others, and in the process, ensuring seamless product supply to Nigerians.
Said the minister: “Over N50billion of private investment was realised in the downstream sub–sector supply and distribution infrastructure in 2012, employing thousands of Nigerians and contributing to our economic growth. Such a staggering net-flow of investment has also led to the rolling out of private mega-filling stations across the country renewed investment in modern vessels and IT-driven depots all along the coastal areas of the country from Lagos to Calabar’.
The Minister said, the Pipeline and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has completed the repair of the Port-Harcourt -Aba, Warri-Benin and Jos-Gombe pipeline networks to ensure pumping of products to the depots in those areas. But has also commenced the process of upgrading some of its rehabilitated depots from analogue to digital loading meters.
The digital upgrade has been completed in Warri, Aba and Calabar Depots while work is ongoing for similar upgrade in the eighteen other depots across the country.
Some of the rehabilitated depots such as Gombe, Makurdi and Minna, the minister noted, had been out of service for over 10 years, until they were rehabilitated to ensure uninterrupted supply of fuel and to boost employment.
Mrs. Alison-Madueke said the government had promoted and popularised gas, a major future product in Nigeria, resulting in the drastic increase of the nation’s LPG consumption to 250,000mf, from 100,000mf in 2011.
“The need to get the gas sector to drive growth in all sectors of the economy especially the agricultural sector, necessitated the excision of some key areas of the Gas Master Plan from the PIB for accelerated implementation under the Gas Revolution Agenda. She added that the programme had begun to yield dividends with plans for the establishment of a number of new fertilizer plants at advanced stage. The landmark pioneering efforts of NIPCO in Benin for LPG and CNG; the Oando and Technoil popularisation of small gas cylinders for low income earners are all good examples.

              G-7 governors to boycott Oct. 7 meeting with President
G-7 governors to boycott Oct. 7 meeting with President

G-7 governors to boycott Oct. 7 meeting with President

PEACE seems so far from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Group of Seven (G-7) governors and the Baraje-led faction may boycott the October 7 meeting with President Goddluck Jonathan and his supporters.
Both parties agreed to meet on October 7 at the last session on September 16.
The meeting also agreed that both parties must avoid making inflammatory statements.
The communiqué of the meeting was read by Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu with whom were President Jonathan and the other governors .
But yesterday a source close to the G-7 governors said they could have honoured the meeting in deference to the President but for his close aides’ continuous umbrage against members of the New PDP, thereby giving the impression that the President and the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur-led faction are prepared for a fight to the finish in the “battle for the soul of the party”.
The source said it would be insulting for PDP National Chairman Bamanga Tukur, who was never recognised as leader of the party to give directive to Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi who is a strong voice in the party from its inception.
He cautioned against any situation that may push members of the new PDP to declare support for the All Progressives Peoples Congress (APC) noting that doing so may lead to complete annihilation of the party in the country.
He said: “For now, nothing has changed. We had initially agreed to honour the October 7 meeting with the President out of courtesy. But it’s obvious that some power drunk persons have not been able to caution their aides against making inflammatory statements that may jeopardise the peace effort.
“As things stand today, we are collective in our decision to boycott the October 7 Aso Rock meeting. What are we going to discuss when some of the close aides of the President have said that they are ready for fight to the finish? I think they are toying with this matter and they will soon realise that this is no longer a joke.
“Maybe, by next year, when it dawns on them that the President cannot win the election with all the battles going on, they may come to the table. But that will be too late. I pray they don’t push us to join the APC or any other party. If that happens, then we can say a goodbye to the PDP as a ruling party in Nigeria.
“When people say we don’t have the majority, I always laugh. How could anyone say that when we already have a majority in the House of Representatives? We already have more than 200 on our side and I know others are waiting to join. Even in the Senate, efforts are on to get a majority or, at least, two-thirds of the members on the side of the new PDP. Let’s see how Tukur and those backing him will sustain the tempo of the noise they are making.
“When people say Tukur has written a letter to Governor Amaechi to tender a letter of apology, I laugh. Who is Tukur to write to a governor for an apology? In the first place, is Tukur the recognised chairman of the party and what authority does he have to make such a questionable demand? It is all a lie. The Rivers governor has not seen any letter and if he sees any, I can tell you that he would ignore it. In fact, they should push any of the aggrieved governors to point of turning this into a personal battle. I doubt if they can bear the consequences of such a possibility.”
The Baraje-led New PDP urged the President to return diplomatic passports allegedly withdrawn from Senate President David Mark and House Speaker Aminu Tambuwal.
The party was reacting to reports that diplomatic passports of leaders and some members of the National Assembly may have been withdrawn on the directive of the Presidency.
In a statement issued by the faction’s National Publicity Secretary, Chukwuemeka Eze yesterday, the party attributed the action to a fallout of the warm reception given members of the PDP breakaway group when they visited the National Assembly last week.
The statement said: “The implication is that whenever they travel abroad, the 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives would no longer enjoy the special privileges the blue-coloured passport confers on its holder, meaning that they can be arrested like ordinary citizens.
“This directive, if eventually carried out, would only end up unnecessarily overheating the polity. Those encouraging the President in this direction are actually his true enemies as it is not wise to incur the wrath of these great Nigerians knowing the implications for him politically”.
The faction pleaded with Dr. Jonathan to consider the consequences of working against the legislators who have stood by him all these years and even introduced the ‘doctrine of necessity’ that brought him to power against the wish of the cabal that sought to exploit the illness of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, to rule by proxy.
The Baraje faction also called on Jonathan to reinstate his Special Adviser on National Assembly, Senator Joy Emodi, who was relieved of her appointment on Friday.
The faction alleged that Emodi was sacked because she voiced her objection to financial inducement of members of the National Assembly for the purpose of impeaching their leaders.
“If this is true, we hereby demand her immediate reinstatement. For Senator Emodi to be bold enough to tell Mr. President the implication of such a corrupt inducement of the lawmakers, should earn her commendation rather than a sack.
“ Instead of sacking such a forthright and patriotic Amazon, the President should sack those hawks around him planning to ridicule him by encouraging him to embark on acts capable of making him very unpopular amongst his supporters and followers”, the statement added.
Rather, Baraje called for the sack of Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, for abandoning work on the remodeling of the Port Harcourt International Airport.
The faction alleged that the minister’s action was informed by the ongoing political friction between the President and the Rivers State Governor.
“We plead with you, Mr. President, not to embark upon any further act or impunity that will endanger the peace and unity of our troubled nation”, the faction said.
Fashola urges youths to be self-reliant
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN)

Fashola urges youths to be self-reliant

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola at the weekend said Lagosians spend over N36 billion on parties annually.
Fashola spoke at the fourth edition of the Lagos Ignite Enterprise and Employability project, a youth empowerment programme organised by the government and the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC).
He said the figure was arrived at after a thorough study of the Lagos party life in five local government areas, including Agege, Mushin, Ifako-Ijaiye and Ikeja.
Fashola said the government discovered that about N3 billion was spent on 1,555 parties in the councils annually.
Urging youths to tap into the investment opportunities by providing goods and services for such occasions, he said: “We did a study between last October and November in Agege, Mushin, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ikeja and another local government. We studied Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, three days every week for four weeks, which was 12 nights.
“In 12 nights, 1,555 parties were held in those local governments. About N1.2 billion was spent on drinks, food and other engagements during such parties. When we disaggregated them, we saw how much went to DJ, MC, food and drinks.”
The governor said clothes worn at such parties, popularly called Aso-ebi, cost, at least, N1.2 billion monthly, saying the market is huge and should be tapped into.
Urging youths to look beyond white collar jobs, Fashola explained the huge opportunities in refuse collection and provision of rest rooms at events.
He said: “Some people have become very smart. They saw the money in refuse. They are PSP operators today and they employ people, own trucks and get loans from banks from carting away refuse. Some of us say refuse is dirty but they will tell you another story. The way we choose to manage our refuse is a cultural problem and that is what Europeans have done differently.
“The market is still very big and if you can envision it, you can do it. The possibilities in the Nigerian market have not been fully exploited. It is for you to decide whether you want to get your hands dirty like the late Otunba Gadaffi of DMT toilets or you want to sit in your house and tell yourself that well, you have just finished school and you do not want to rumple your tie, so you are looking for a job. The solution to unemployment in Nigeria is in three simple words: “Made in Nigeria”.”
Fashola urges youths to be self-reliant
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN)

Fashola urges youths to be self-reliant

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola at the weekend said Lagosians spend over N36 billion on parties annually.
Fashola spoke at the fourth edition of the Lagos Ignite Enterprise and Employability project, a youth empowerment programme organised by the government and the Afterschool Graduate Development Centre (AGDC).
He said the figure was arrived at after a thorough study of the Lagos party life in five local government areas, including Agege, Mushin, Ifako-Ijaiye and Ikeja.
Fashola said the government discovered that about N3 billion was spent on 1,555 parties in the councils annually.
Urging youths to tap into the investment opportunities by providing goods and services for such occasions, he said: “We did a study between last October and November in Agege, Mushin, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ikeja and another local government. We studied Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, three days every week for four weeks, which was 12 nights.
“In 12 nights, 1,555 parties were held in those local governments. About N1.2 billion was spent on drinks, food and other engagements during such parties. When we disaggregated them, we saw how much went to DJ, MC, food and drinks.”
The governor said clothes worn at such parties, popularly called Aso-ebi, cost, at least, N1.2 billion monthly, saying the market is huge and should be tapped into.
Urging youths to look beyond white collar jobs, Fashola explained the huge opportunities in refuse collection and provision of rest rooms at events.
He said: “Some people have become very smart. They saw the money in refuse. They are PSP operators today and they employ people, own trucks and get loans from banks from carting away refuse. Some of us say refuse is dirty but they will tell you another story. The way we choose to manage our refuse is a cultural problem and that is what Europeans have done differently.
“The market is still very big and if you can envision it, you can do it. The possibilities in the Nigerian market have not been fully exploited. It is for you to decide whether you want to get your hands dirty like the late Otunba Gadaffi of DMT toilets or you want to sit in your house and tell yourself that well, you have just finished school and you do not want to rumple your tie, so you are looking for a job. The solution to unemployment in Nigeria is in three simple words: “Made in Nigeria”.”
Governor hides Jonathan’s one term pact document

Governor hides Jonathan’s one term pact document

Opponents of President Goodluck Jonathan’s yet unannounced bid for another term may have lost a vital weapon of their case.
The one term agreement document the President allegedly signed with the 23 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors is missing.
It was learnt that the agreement was kept with a Southsouth governor, who is now claiming ignorance of where it is kept.
Some governors, especially the aggrieved PDP G-7 governors, have urged the President to stick to the one term pact he allegedly signed in 2011. Dr. Jonathan denies he ever agreed to do just one term.
Leading the agitation for compliance with one term agreement is Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu.
At the peace talks on PDP crisis in the Presidential Villa, the President pointedly accused Aliyu of stoking the fire ravaging the party.
Neither those for Jonathan nor those against him have the one term agreement paper, The Nation has learnt.
It was learnt that when the agreement was signed, most of the governors were not eager to have a copy.
But the paper was allegedly given to a Southsouth governor to keep as a reminder to Jonathan that his zone was in custody of the pact.
It was gathered that since the row over another term broke out, the governor has refused to release the paper.
The governor denies being in custody of the paper.
The said governor is fully behind the second term project with confidence since the pact is in his care.
A top source said: “No doubt, there was an agreement but it was not circulated to all the then 23 PDP governors. But a copy was kept with a Southsouth governor for strategic reasons.
“When the issue came up recently among some PDP governors, no one could produce a copy.
“I think the Presidency was aware of where the pact was kept and that is why it has been confidently denying any pact.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “If the pact cannot be produced and the court does not allow the New PDP to exist, the Kawu Baraje faction of PDP may either team up with the All Progressives Congress or Accord Party as the last option.
“But the G-7 governors and New PDP may form a coalition with the APC to ease out Jonathan in 2015.
“People of like minds are already putting heads together on how to effect change in 2015.”
A Northern governor confirmed last night that the “agreement is with a Southsouth governor”.
The Niger State governor had on Liberty Radio in Kaduna early this year alleged that Jonathan entered into a one-term pact with PDP governors
He said: “I recall that at the time he was going to declare for the 2011 election, all the PDP governors were brought together to ensure that we were all in the same frame of mind.
“And I recall that some of us said given the circumstances of the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua and given the PDP zoning arrangement, it was expected that the North was to produce the President for a given number of years.
“I recall that at that discussion, it was agreed that Jonathan would serve only one term of four years and we all signed the agreement. Even when Jonathan went to Kampala, in Uganda, he also said he was going to serve a single term. “I think we are all gentlemen enough; so when the time comes, we will all come together and see what is the right thing to do.”
The Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak, had insisted that there was no time Jonathan entered into a single-term pact.
He said, “Rather than insisting on an agreement that does not exist – since anybody can contest for the highest office in the land, those who are so interested should declare their interest and contest.”

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Salami: I leave with my head high
Justice Salami

Salami: I leave with my head high

Court of Appeal President Ayo Isa Salami was yesterday full of praises to God for making him survive attempts to destroy his image.
Justice Salami, who retires on October 15, spoke in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, during the presentation of a book in his honour – a ceremony organised by the Ilorin branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
The book is titled: “Nigeria judiciary: Contemporary issues on administration of justice.”
Apparently touched by the outpouring of encomiums, Justice Salami said: “All these encomiums that you have attributed to me, I thank all for that. I know they came from the bottom of your heart. But, don’t let us forget that it is not my acts, but Allah that led me that way. Left to me, I might have failed, but Allah guided me and I acted the way he wanted me to act.
“Like any human being, I am subject to human foibles, but with Allah behind me I succeeded in avoiding the temptation. Because it was a temptation which l refused to cave into. I will not go into details today, but just to thank all of you for finding time to come and celebrate with us. I appreciate and love all of you members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin branch.
“To my colleagues at the bench, we thank God for your lives. They thought we were rebels, but God is vindicating us now. Clara Ogunbiyi is already in Supreme Court. Ariwoola is also there. Kekereekun, who was stigmatised is also in the Supreme Court and I pray that all of you will be abundantly rewarded and you will succeed and get to the pinnacle of the Nigerian judiciary. And the spirit you have now embraced will lead you there and when you are there disseminate the message because there is only one side to justice. The law applies to the fact and that is the decision of the court. Please, do justice according to your conscience.
“I am very grateful for the support you gave me during those days when we were writing answers to queries as if it was our work to be answering queries. You get one today, we would answer it. Nweze would leave for Ilorin, by the time he got to Ilorin, he had got another one, but we were able to answer them.
“You are all aware of the call log issue; none of them, not a single one, showed that I ever called Tinubu, Lai Mohammed – the ACN chieftains they were referring to.
We went to the tribunal with witnesses (experts) who were able to show the NJC that you could use my phone in my pocket to call somebody. The experts demonstrated it at NJC. You could use my phone which is in my pocket to send text messages to another person.
“All these call logs were fake, but we thank God we survived all the efforts to paint us black. A question was asked and I said Kastina-Alu called to ask me to dismiss Sokoto Appeal and he said ‘no’; he didn’t call for that; that he called to say that the judgment had leaked. He testified before the NJC and I did my own.
“The chairman of the panel said that the information about leakage was derived from the petition written against me. There was nothing of such in the petition against me. There was nothing to say against my defence. Is it not in the absence of any evidence to the contrary they should accept my own. They never did that, they said my own was unfounded. Did I go there for a tea party? So we just leave everything to God Almighty, who is the final arbiter. I assure you all that in spite of what happened, I am a very happy man. I have not for a moment regretted what I did. I am very happy for what I did and I’m proud of what I did. I thank God Almighty.”
Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Akin Olujimi (SAN), who was chairman at the event, berated the national body of lawyers; the NBA, for having not done ‘enough’ in fighting for the reinstatement of Salami .
Olujimi, counsel to Justice Salami in the legal battle over his suspension, berated his colleague silks and some of Justice Salami’s colleagues in the Court of Appeal, arguing that several of them who first stood by the embattled PCA abandoned him in the middle of the battle. He expressed the fear that it could have been due to financial inducement.
Said he: “I notice that the NBA Ilorin has made some resolutions on the matter and I note that the national body has also made some comments. But we are yet to see action from the NBA. I expect to see the national body actively involved in this action. The NBA is a very important body that you will rarely ignore. But at some point in time that body has not acted as it should.
“When the matter started, a few of our senior colleagues came out to say they are part of the struggle but after some time, they faded out. Money can be a bad thing; it can make you change. We know human rights activists all over the world and how they stand up to uphold what is right but here some of them have abandoned the cause of human rights. I am not saying this because I am his counsel; the truth is that the man did nothing wrong.
“The ruling party believes that once a matter is before the court, it must go their way and once you have a judge who is not working in their favour, they descend on him with fury. I know that Salami has not done anything wrong. It started in Sokoto where he discovered that a matter had been left unattended to for a long time and he decided to open the case, not knowing that it was kept in the cooler for certain reasons.
“I commend the Justices of the Court of Appeal who have identified with the truth in this struggle. It is Salami today; it could be any of you tomorrow. When you stand with the truth, no harm can come your way. It is unfortunate that it is happening to your colleague and one would have thought that the only way to tackle the impunity would have been for all to stand up for the truth, but some would not.
“Nigeria is in trouble; indeed. The judiciary used to be seen as the hope of the common man but today it has become the hope of all men. Politicians besiege the courts everyday for several causes. They can do just anything to get what they want and it is unfortunate that the judiciary has allowed politicians to penetrate the courts and bring the courts to disrepute.
“We talk of corruption in Nigeria today and we mention the court. We hear stories. When a judge takes money from a politician we hear, one way or the other because nothing can be secret for long. We know them and even if they do it in secret we know; because we hear. What I just want to say to them is that even if man does not know, God knows and one day you will stand before his judgment.
“The battle is still on and we expect that the wrong done to him would be corrected. The NJC has revoked his suspension and one would have expected them to recall him but they have failed in that regard. The matter of the discipline of a judge starts and ends with the NJC; that was where the former NJC got things wrong when it invited the President into the matter but now the new one has been able to identify that error; the President has nothing to do with the discipline of a judge.”
Former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin Professor Ishaq Oloyede, expressed deep concerns that given the insinuations about the judiciary at the event, Nigeria was sitting literally on a keg of gunpowder. If what has happened to Justice Salami is allowed to go unchecked, Nigerians should begin to find their ways out of the country, he said.

  Eight die in security agents, Boko Haram clash in Abuja
Eight die in security agents, Boko Haram clash in Abuja

Eight die in security agents, Boko Haram clash in Abuja

Eight people were feared dead and 16 injured in Friday’s early morning raid of suspected Boko Haram hideout in Gudu District of Abuja by security agents.
While the injured are being treated at Asokoro General Hospital, about 12 others were arrested by security agents.
The clash with the insurgents was directly behind the Apo Legislative Quarters, which houses some Senators and members of the House of Representatives.
The incident sent panic with some Senators and House members in Zone E part of the Legislative Quarters temporarily relocating their families.
The hideout was still being combed by soldiers and intelligence operatives
But independent investigation revealed that the uncompleted twin-duplex at Sabo Barkin Zuwo Street in Gudu was being occupied by about 200 migrant and menial workers, suspected to be members of Boko Haram.
Many commercial tri-cycles (aka Keke NAPEP) belonging to some f the victims/ suspects were seen littering the embattled street.
While neighbours claimed that the incident happened at about 12am, the State Security Service (SSS) said the raid on the hideout took place at about 12.30am.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Public Relations of the SSS, Marilyn Ogar, said: “In the early hours of 20th September, 2013, about 0030 hours, a combined security team went for an operation behind the Apo legislative quarters.
“The operation was sequel to information obtained from two (2) Boko Haram elements Kamal Abullahi and Mohammed Adamu, who had earlier been arrested for terrorist activities.
“They led the security team to uncompleted buildings where arms were purported to have been buried underground.
“No sooner had the team commenced digging for the arms, than they came under heavy gunfire attack by other Boko Haram elements within the area, which prompted immediate response from the security team.
“As a result, some persons were injured and twelve (12) others have been arrested in connection with the incident, and are making useful statements.
“Normalcy has returned to the area. Members of the public are advised to go about their normal businesses, as appropriate security measures have been emplaced to ensure the safety of citizens in the FCT.
“We want to reiterate the need for all Nigerians to be vigilant of their immediate environment and promptly report suspicious activities to security agencies. Our National security must remain the collective responsibility of all Nigerians.”
But a reliable source, who recorded the aftermath of the clash on video, gave different insights into the incident.
The source said: “We started hearing gunshots at about 12 am and most of us along the street and Zone E part of the Apo Legislative Quarters could not sleep throughout the night.
“I think the exchange of shots lasted for about one and a half hours. This morning when I visited the uncompleted duplex, I video-taped nine dead persons and I am aware that about 15 had been taken to Asokoro General Hospital for treatment.”
Responding to a question, the source said: “The security agencies may have had their facts, but the truth is that more than 200 migrant and menial workers had been living in the duplex in the last two years. They included homeless labourers and commercial tricycles drivers.
“These migrant workers mostly from Northern parts used to pay N200 per week to the security guard manning the duplex, who was not on duty when the security agents or gunmen as known to us came around.
“We did not suspect them to be Boko Haram members because many people in the neighborhood have had contact with them in one way or the other.”
Asked if there was any sign of a likely raid of the duplex, the source added: “Actually, we learnt that the duplex is allegedly owned by a top military officer who was uncomfortable with how the uncompleted building had been turned into a hostel overnight.

NECO records 69.57% credit pass in SSCE

NECO records 69.57% credit pass in SSCE

After three years of consecutive mass failure in its Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), the National Examinations Council (NECO) yesterday announced that 69.57 per cent of the candidates who wrote this year’s June/July SSCE had five credits and above.
Announcing the results of the school-based examination in Minna, the Niger State capital, NECO’s Registrar and the Chief Executive of the Council, Prof Promise Okpala said 681,507 candidates, representing 66.63 per cent, made credit pass and above in English language while 668,314 candidates, or 65.50 per cent, recorded same in Mathematics.
In Biology, 66.88 per cent of the candidates had credits and above; 66.68 per cent of the candidates who wrote Physics and 66.41 per cent in Chemistry candidates also made credit pass and above.
The NECO chief said of the 1,034,263 candidates who sat for the examination, which had 128 blind candidates, 998,624 of them, or 96.55 per cent, made five passes and above.
The elated NECO registrar also said a small percentage of candidates was involved in examination malpractice.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

EFCC arrests four suspects for alleged N2.05b fraud

EFCC arrests four suspects for alleged N2.05b fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) announced yesterday a major breakthrough in its anti-fraud battle.
Four suspects, including two bureau de change operators – Salihu Liman Mahmoud and Dan Asabe Ibrahim – have been arrested for alleged N2.05billion fraud.
The other suspects are two students of the University of Jos (UNIJOS) – Isaiah Friday and Azzaior Samuel.
According to the EFCC, the suspects invaded Union Bank’s database and manipulated it to steal N2.05billon.
The commission said it recovered N475.3million from the suspects.
Other items recovered include furniture worth N10 million from Mahmoud’s one-bedroom apartment in Yaba, Lagos Mainland; four vehicles; landed properties in Kano and Kaduna and a four-bedroom duplex worth N45 million in Lagos
According to a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the suspects specialise in breaking into computer data of banks.
It said their arrest followed a report by Union Bank of Nigeria, Plc.
The statement said: “The fraudsters, who specialise in breaking into the computer data base of financial institutions in order to carry out dry posting of funds, were arrested in Lagos and Jos.
“ Their arrest came on the heels of a petition which the Commission received from Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, Marina, Lagos sometime in January 2013, alleging that a criminal attack had been launched on its data base known as “Flexcube”, by unknown criminals.
“The criminals falsified the bank records and accounts and created unjustified huge opening balances in several accounts across the bank’s branches and subsequently transferred funds from those accounts to several accounts in other banks.
“The petition, which was signed by A.F Olufade, Head of Fraud Investigation at the bank, said cash withdrawals and electronic transfers totalling over N2.05billion was involved in the scam.”
The commission said one of the suspects, Isaiah Friday, who is a computer maintenance artisan, coordinated the scam.
The statement added: “Upon receiving the petition, the Commission’s Banks and Other Financial Institutions Fraud section swung into action.”
Investigations by the commission, however, revealed that Friday, who was carrying out computer system maintenance services for one of Union Bank branches in Jos on a part-time basis, paved the way for the fraudsters to penetrate the bank’s database. Friday was traced and arrested. His arrest led to the arrest of Azaaior Samuel.
“Investigations further revealed that Mahmoud, who is the mastermind of the fraud with others now at large, had approached Samuel if he knew anyone working with the Union Bank. Samuel gave Friday’s contact and Friday was contacted.
“They told him they needed access to the bank’s database in order to carry out some postings. They promised to give Friday N1, 500,000 if the deal succeeded. Friday obliged and on the day the crime was committed, Samuel disguised as a colleague of Friday who had accompanied him to work in order to gain access to the bank’s premises. They carried out the postings to six different company accounts domiciled in Union Bank’s Marina branch in Lagos.
“The accounts are: Gona Bureau De Change Limited, Jaxmine Bureau De Change Limited, Dan Kawu Bureau De Change Limited, Godswill Great Communications, ZHG Services Limited and A and B Console Limited.
“The postings were carried out and the syndicate thereafter went to the bank to draw all the funds. Friday was paid as promised and other syndicate members now at large shared the remaining balance.”
The EFCC said it had so far recovered N475,326,720 from the suspects, including $2,129,900 and N134,542,720.
The statement added: “Other items recovered include: furniture worth N10 million from Salihu Liman’s one-bedroom apartment in Yaba, Lagos, four vehicles, landed properties in Kano and Kaduna and a four-bedroom duplex worth N45 million in Lagos.
“Investigation into the scam
PDP crisis: Baraje faction’s treasurer forced to resign

PDP crisis: Baraje faction’s treasurer forced to resign

The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a strange twist last night when the National Treasurer of the Kawu Baraje faction, Mallam Tanko Isiaku Gomna, was forced to resign.
The incident was a replay of how a former National Chairman of PDP, Mr. Audu Ogbeh, was pressurised to resign in 2005.
It was learnt that Gomna was invited to the Presidential Villa in Abuja where he was asked to either resign or forfeit his company’s contracts with the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and the Federal Ministry of Works.
Gomna, a nominee of a former Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Danjuma Goje, sought for permission to consult but he was asked to make up his mind on the spot.
A source in Baraje’s faction said: “Our National Treasurer was summoned to the Villa in respect of an ongoing road project along Ogbomoso axis in Oyo State and others with the Federal Ministry of Works.
“On getting there, he was given the option of either resigning as the National Treasurer of Baraje’s faction or losing his plum contracts.”
Gomna reportedlly pleaded to be allowed to consult but he was asked to take a decision on the spot.
The source went on: “Feeling unsafe, Gomna resigned to avoid being harmed. Upon doing so, the forces at the Villa hurled him before TV cameras to announce his resignation.
“But upon coming out, he raised the alarm and called on Baraje’s faction to save his life.”
The Baraje faction, on September 8, constituted its National Working Committee (NWC).
The NWC members are: Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje (Chairman); Dr. Sam Sam Jaja (Deputy National Chairman); Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola (National Secretary) and Hon. Maode Umar Hiliya (Deputy National Secretary).
Others are: Mr. Timi Frank (National Youth Leader); Hon Binta Koje, National Woman Leader; Mallam Nasir Issa (National Organising Secretary); Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze(National Publicity Secretary); Hon. Wadada (National Financial Secretary)and Mallam Tanko Isiaku Gomna (National Treasurer).
In a statement he issued in Abuja, Gwamna said he resigned after a careful study of the unfolding events in the polity, and a deep reflection of the consequences of such impasse on the party.
“This decision was arrived at after a careful study of the unfolding events in the polity and a deep sober reflection of the consequences of the outcome of such impasse on our party,’’ he said.
According to him, as a lover of democracy, he is of the belief that the impasse will not augur well for the unity, peace, progress and prosperity of the party in particular, and the nation in general.
Gwamna, who pledged his loyalty to the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP, called on all party faithful to unite and ensure the amicable resolution of the impasse in the party.
“Our desire is for the PDP to continue to lead while others follow. As such, we must eschew all vices capable of unnecessarily heating up the polity,” he said, adding:
“I pledge my loyalty to the Bamanga Tukur leadership, while calling on all party faithful to do same.”
How Ibori hid cash, by UK prosecutor

How Ibori hid cash, by UK prosecutor

Former Delta State Governor James Ibori hid some of his assets in the oil firm Oando and money passed from the company’s accounts to Ibori’s Swiss accounts, a British prosecutor told a court yesterday.
Ibori, who governed Delta State from 1999 to 2007 and influenced national politics, was jailed for 13 years in Britain after pleading guilty in February 2012 to 10 counts of fraud and money-laundering worth 50 million pounds ($79 million).
One of the biggest embezzlement cases seen in Britain, the successful prosecution of Ibori was also a rare example of a senior Nigerian politician being held to account for the corruption that blights Africa’s most populous country.
A three-week confiscation hearing began at London’s Southwark Crown Court on Monday during which prosecutors will present evidence of Ibori’s assets and seek court orders to have them seized. Defence lawyers will dispute the prosecution case.
Prosecutor Sasha Wass told the court she would be presenting evidence that Ibori had “asserted ownership of a large part” of Oando, Nigeria’s biggest home-grown oil firm which is listed in Lagos, Johannesburg and Toronto.
“The Crown will assert that Oando is a company where James Ibori has hidden assets,” Wass said, giving no further details. She is expected to elaborate later in the proceedings.
Oando is not a party to the case, although British lawyer Andrew Baillie was in court representing the firm’s interests.
A spokesman for Oando in Lagos said that in 2004, the company had sold $2.7 million of its foreign exchange earnings for naira in three transactions over about seven months with a company that had turned out to be controlled by Ibori. Oando did not know at the time that Ibori was behind the company, he said.
The spokesman also said that at present, Ibori had an “insignificant” shareholding in Oando.
At the time of Ibori’s sentencing in April 2012, Judge Anthony Pitts said the 50 million pounds that he had admitted to stealing may be a “ludicrously low” fraction of his total booty, which could be more than 200 million pounds.
The confiscation hearing will shed further light on the scale of Ibori’s wealth and determine whether he emerges from jail impoverished or still in possession of a large enough fortune to regain a position of influence in Nigeria.
Wass said Nuhu Ribadu, a former head of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency EFCC, would testify later in the hearing. He alleges that in 2007, Ibori tried to stop EFCC investigations into his affairs by offering Ribadu a bribe of $15 million in cash.
Ibori, who is at Long Lartin maximum security prison in central England, could be released as early as 2016 because he spent two years in custody before his sentencing and because he will be eligible for parole halfway through his prison term.
He was not in court on Monday and his lawyer Ivan Krolick said Ibori did not wish to attend the confiscation hearing although he would come to court to give evidence if necessary.
In May, the Court of Appeal had rejected Ibori’s appeal against the length of his sentence.
During his sentencing hearing, the court heard Ibori had acquired six foreign properties worth 6.9 million pounds, a fleet of luxury cars including a Bentley and a Maybach 62, and that he had tried to buy a $20-million private jet. His three daughters were attending a private school in rural England.
British authorities hope Ibori’s case may stop corrupt Nigerian politicians looking to Britain, Nigeria’s former colonial ruler, as a place to spend money on houses, luxury goods or private education for their children.
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Saturday, 14 September 2013

Moses Is The Best Signing For Liverpool

Victor Moses has been described as a momentous signing for Liverpool by no less a legend than Jamie Carragher.
photo Victor Moses has been described as a momentous signing for Liverpool by no less a legend than Jamie Carragher.
The former defender told Sky Sports: “Moses will be an important signing."
Moses moved on a season-long loan on transfer deadline day and the 22-year-old winger is expected to help the Reds mount a good challenge for the Premier League title.
“It’s an area that they have struggled in maybe at times this season, in the second half being able to get out on the counter attack.
“He will give them strength in the wide areas. We’ve seen other clubs scrambling around on deadline day so from Liverpool’s point of view it was a good thing they were done before the deadline.
“We’ll see if [any of the signings] feature on Monday night [against Swansea City] and see if they can stay top of the table,” Carragher added.
Moses played 42 times for Chelsea last season and scored 10 goals.

Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Gareth Bale will make his official Real Madrid debut in this weekend's Liga match against Villarreal.
photo Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Gareth Bale will make his official Real Madrid debut in this weekend's Liga match against Villarreal.
The Welshman who joined the Santiago Bernabeu side from Tottenham for a world-record €100 million transfer fee, is set for his first Madrid appearance since returning from international duty earlier this week.

The former Paris Saint-Germain coach says Bale will play some part of the game but did not disclose whether or not the 24-year-old would start.

"Bale will travel to Villarreal and will play, although I don't know if he'll start or come off the bench," Ancelotti said at a press conference.

"Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo are two excellent players and I have no doubt that they will improve the team together.

"What I like the most about Bale? His motivation and his desire to make an impact here at Madrid. He is very happy and humble."

"On Tuesday, Iker will play from the start, so everybody is calm," he added.

"It might be an option that Diego Lopez plays in La Liga and Casillas in the Copa del Rey

Eto'o Reveals His Relationship With Jose Mourinho

Chelsea new boy Samuel Eto'o has admitted that his relationship with Jose Mourinho was once tense, but that he is happy to be reunited with him at Stamford Bride.
photo Chelsea new boy Samuel Eto'o has admitted that his relationship with Jose Mourinho was once tense, but that he is happy to be reunited with him at Stamford Bride.
The Cameroonian star has been criticised for comments he made earlier in his career, suggesting he would "rather sell groundnuts" in his village than play for a "pathetic team like Chelsea", while Mourinho was in charge.
The 32-year-old has moved to clear up the comments, revealing he was referring to playing under a Mourinho-led side, not Chelsea, and he acknowledged that, after working with his current boss at Inter Milan, he got it wrong about the Portuguese.
"I was talking about Jose - not about Chelsea," Eto'o told The Sun. "Before meeting at Inter, we didn't know each other personally, so our relationship was tense. I even said one time that I'd never play for a club where Jose was coach.
"But God knows best. He wanted to show me that I was wrong and today Jose is a friend. Now he's my coach again.
"It's a real pleasure to team up with him once more and join a great team.
"Jose has a real clear idea. He talks straight and it's really important in this business. He's sincere and straightforward.
"When it comes to Jose, I can't pick out only one quality because he's as good on the pitch as off it and this is rare for a manager.
"He's one of the best. He got in touch. I realised there was an opportunity at Chelsea - and things moved very fast."

Saturday, 7 September 2013

 Tukur, PDP fail to stop Baraje’s camp in court
Tukur, PDP fail to stop Baraje’s camp in court
Baraje and Tukur

Tukur, PDP fail to stop Baraje’s camp in court

Justice Elvis Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja has rejected moves by the Bamanga Tukur-led faction of the troubled Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to restrain the Abubakar Baraje-led faction of the party.
The judge, in a ruling yesterday, refused an ex-parte application by the Tukur-faction, seeking to restrain senior members of the Baraje-faction from parading themselves as members of the party’s national executives, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The application had particularly sought to retrain former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; former Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; Baraje, a chieftain of the party, Sam Jaja, among others (named as respondents in the substantive suit) from acting as executive members of the party.
Also named as respondent is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
When the application, filed by applicant’s lawyer, Tochukwu Onwugbufor (SAN), was moved, Justice Chukwu declined to grant the applicant’s prayers, but instead, ordered that the respondents be put on notice.
The judge also ordered that the notice be served on the respondents through substituted means.
“Although I am not afraid of granting an ex-parte application, especially when it is obvious of causing anarchy, however, I owe a duty to maintain a balance.
” What I want to do is order that the respondents are put on notice,” the judge held.
Justice Chukwu also ordered parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of the substantive suit.
He consequently fixed September 12 for hearing of the substantive suit.

  Boko Haram kills 20 in Borno
Boko Haram kills 20 in Borno

Boko Haram kills 20 in Borno

The Boko Haram sect came back with fury yesterday, despite the serious efforts by the military to crush its insurgency.
Men suspected to be members of the sect, bearing sophisticated weapons, launched attacks in Borno State, killing no fewer than 20 people.
They attacked schools and hospitals, setting some houses on fire in Gajiram, headquarters of Nganzai Local Government and Bulabulin Ngawra village in Konduga Local Government Area of the beleaguered state.
Nganzai is about 73 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital. Bullabulin Ngawra is 45 kilometres away. The local governments share boundaries with the terrorists’ major camps in Marte and the Sambisa Forests, which the military said had been destroyed since June.
The terrorists reported to be about 40, were armed with Ak47 rifles. No fewer than 15 people were killed in the ambush on Gajiram. The vigilance youths also known as “civillian JTF” and military men later engaged them.
The terrorists also laid ambush to the Damboa-Maiduguri road, which was reopened two weeks ago, where they were believed to have shot dead five people.
“The Boko Haram sect members attacked Bullabulin Ngawra in the early hours of today (Thursday) and killed five people. I believe that they attacked us because of how our volunteers have succeeded in curtailing their atrocities in our area,” an eyewitness said.
Some Maiduguri residents told reporters: “We saw two Hilux patrol vehicles of the military conveying bodies and the injured heading towards University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH), but we could not ascertain whether they were victims of the latest attack in Nganzai or Bullabulin Ngawra”.
It was gathered that on Wednesday, the “Civilian JTF” and the military arrested 14 terror suspects with arms and ammunition in Bulunkutu ward, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) premises and Sulimanti ward of Maiduguri metropolis.
The suspects, according to sources in Maiduguri, sneaked into the hospital through the perimeter fence, before the youths sighted them with rifles and ammunition at about 10.35am on Wednesday.
“The suspects disguised as injured and sick persons with rifles hidden under their flowing gowns. They perforated the barbed wires; before entering the hospital premises to seek medical attention. The vigilance youths saw the suspects and arrested them on the spot, before handing them to us here.”
Some suspects were also arrested in Bulunkutu in Maiduguri when they were trying to collate information on the activities of the civilian JTF.
The military spokesman in Borno Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, said he was not aware of the incidents. He promised to get back to reporters after compiling his report.

PDP crisis: Jonathan tells elders to shun Obasanjo
PDP crisis: Jonathan tells elders to shun Obasanjo

PDP crisis: Jonathan tells elders to shun Obasanjo

Even before it got off the drawing board, former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s plan to lead the peace moves in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has collapsed.
The meeting of elders to resolve the party’s crises was slated for today in Abuja.
It was “technically” called off last night at the Presidency’s prompting, The Nation learnt.
President Goodluck Jonathan, it was said, advised the elders to shun the meeting, following intelligence reports that Obasanjo was behind the crises.
The former President could not be reached last night.
Among the elders expected at the meeting are former chairmen and notable leaders.
A pre-meeting session of some governors at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge went on for hours last night.
It was not clear what was discussed, but the news about the Obasanjo mission may have been broken.
“All was well, until this evening when we learnt the President was opposed to Obasanjo presiding at the meeting,” a source said, adding: “He believes that Obasanjo is the architect of the crises; he shouldn’t be called to settle it and be seen as a peacemaker.”
The meeting slated for next Tuesday will hold. President Jonathan will preside.
Brickbats continued to fly yesterday amid shaky efforts to rescue the PDP.
A group loyal to President Jonathan also accused Obasanjo of being the architect of the crises. He should call his associates in the Kawu Baraje faction of the party to order, the Media Network for Transformation (MNT) said.
The group said Obasanjo could not continue to be the hand of Esau and the voice of Jacob at the same time.
In a statement in Abuja, signed by its Coordinator, Mr. Goodluck Ebelo, the MNT urged Obasanjo to either renounce his associates in the New PDP or be treated like those rated as rebels by the party.
The group said “no arbiter, who is the guiding light of the rebels can make peace”.
To the President’s camp, Obasanjo is the unseen hand pulling the string of crises in the ruling party. There is suspicion in the Presidency over his peace mission.
Some governors were meeting last night at the Rivers Governor’s Lodge in Abuja ahead of today’s meeting.
National Chairman Bamanga Tukur yesterday described members of the Kawu Baraje faction as “prodigal sons” who would be accepted back into the fold, if they retraced their steps.
But the Baraje faction told Tukur that his “time is up”.
The statement said: “We call on former President Olusegun Obasanjo to call his associates to order. Apart from being their sponsor, the rebel governors draw their inspiration from him.
“Apart from numerous clandestine meetings, former President Obasanjo started his public romance with the rebel flank when he became unavoidably absent at this year’s Democracy Day celebration in Abuja, but vigorously participated in the day’s activities in Dutse, Jigawa State. That was followed by the rebel governors’ visit to his Abeokuta home.
“Then came last Saturday, and Chief Obasanjo’s mischief literarily flew over the Eagle Square venue of the Special Convention. Unavoidably absent, again, he was to turn up the next day in church, at the Presidential Villa, made a few platitudinous remarks on the need for a peaceful resolution of the crisis and thereafter called a meeting . His meeting failed and will continue to fail.
“Obasanjo cannot continue to be hands of Esau and the voice of Jacob at the same time. No arbiter, who is the guiding light of the rebels, can make peace. Peace, in this matter, will continue to elude President Obasanjo because his activities are the very antithesis of the conditions precedent to peace.”
The group said it suspected that Obasanjo cannot resolve the crisis in the party with alleged partisan interest.
The statement added: “Unfortunately, his eight years in office provides no road map to resolving a political dispute. All that can be gleaned from the debris of his time in power are abuse of institutions of State in shutting down dissent, hounding political opponents into prison and forcing a party chairman to resign …. Little wonder that such baleful legacy dogs his attempt at making peace.
“President Obasanjo has to come out publicly to renounce his ties with the seven governors who are trying to impose their will on the remaining 29 states and the Federal Capital Territory or acknowledge them and be treated like them.”
President Jonathan is yet to speak on his political future, but MNT said he is free to run again. It said: “The governors are welcome to contest the PDP primaries, individually or present a candidate. That’s democracy. But for persons, who themselves, stood for elections for their second terms to demand that Mr. President cannot avail himself such amenity is not only rude but feudal.”
Obasanjo’s media aide Vitalis Ortese declined to comment on the statement credited to the group last night.
“I cannot speak on what a faceless group is saying”, he told our reporter on the telephone.

 Rivers political crisis: Amaechi, CP Mbu’s face-off deepens  

Rivers political crisis: Amaechi, CP Mbu’s face-off deepens

Rivers political crisis: Amaechi, CP Mbu’s face-off deepens

The face-off between Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, and the Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, deepened yesterday after the governor accused Mbu of putting up lame and unsatisfactory argument about Thursday’s sudden redeployment of his (governor’s) Escort Commander.
The governor, who spoke through his Commissioner for Information and Communications, Ibim Semenitari, described Mbu’s excuse as an after-thought.
However, the police commissioner, responding through the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Angela Agabe, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), insisted that the escort commander’s redeployment was ordered by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar.
The CP said he is simply a professional police officer and not a politician.
Amaechi and Mbu have been at loggerheads since February this year when the governor asked for the CP’s immediate redeployment, which he described as the only condition for peace in the Niger Delta state.
He accused Mbu of taking sides in the state’s political crisis.
On Thursday, Amaechi said that Mbu redeployed the escort commander because he refused his (Mbu’s) directive to furnish him with prior information on the governor’s movement.
The NGF chairman noted that the escort commander was not in charge of his protocol and would not have prior knowledge of his movement, especially in the prevailing circumstances regarding security in the state.
The governor pointed out that after redeploying the escort commander, Mbu also requested the Camp Commandant of Government House, Port Harcourt, to give him prior briefing of his daily movement, which he said in practice, would be difficult to comply with, unless the camp commandant gets prior knowledge of his movement. This the CP denied.
Irked by Mbu’s defence, Amaechi, through his information commissioner, said in Port Harcourt yesterday that the excuse now given by Mr. Mbu was not “the reason given, when both the Escort Commander and the Camp Commandant were invited to the Police Headquarters (in Port Harcourt).
“This excuse was also not offered when the governor personally called Mr. Mbu to complain about the removal of his escort commander.
“Matters of personal security of government functionaries and especially top officials like the governor of the state are discussed and agreed with these officials.
“Even if for the purpose of argument, it is indeed factual that the IGP ordered the redeployment of Governor Amaechi’s Escort Commander, wouldn’t the courteous thing be for the Commissioner of Police and the police high command to inform and explain this to Governor Amaechi?
“On matters of his personal security, a governor reserves the right to reject or accept security details, as he may be comfortable with. The Rivers State Government, therefore, is reluctant to accept what it considers a lame and unsatisfactory argument by the Rivers State Police Command.”
On September 2, the Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the Rivers State Governor, Debeware Semeikumo, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), was declared a deserter by Mbu, over the July 9 fracas in the state’s House of Assembly and also removed him (Semeikumo) as the ADC to Amaechi.
Semenitari described the CP’s action as another mischief, stating that the Rivers police command was aware that Semeikumo sustained injuries and had been away for better medical treatment.
The Rivers police commissioner maintained that the ADC to Rivers governor was declared a deserter, following his alleged failure to honour all lawful directives to see him and the IGP since July 10, 2013.
Mbu said: “The decision to declare Semeikumo a deserter followed Section 398 (1) of the Police Act and the Regulation Cap 359 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.
“The whereabouts of Semeikumo remain unknown to the police. IGP Abubakar has approved his declaration as a deserter.”


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