Monday, April 27, 2015

Ringleaders of infamous 'Bali Nine' drug traffickers face firing squad within 72 hours

Coffins laid out on 'Death Island' as two Australians face execution - but refuse to sign their own death warrants.


Death row: The two Australian ringleaders of the so-called Bali Nine face execution on Wednesday

Two Australians convicted of drug trafficking in Indonesia are set to be shot by firing squad on Wednesday.

Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, ringleaders of the infamous Bali Nine, will be executed just after the stroke of midnight (5pm GMT) on April 29.

The date became official when a funeral director in the nearest port to Nusakambangan - known as Death Island - was told to inscribe the names of those to be killed and the date of their deaths.

London-born Sukumaran and Chan were convicted in 2006 as the masterminds behind a plot to smuggle more than 18lb (8.3kg) of heroin out of Bali - they had appeals for clemency rejected in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Last rites: Funeral director Suhendro Putro prepares coffins in Cilacap, the closest port to Death Island, Indonesia

The pair refused to sign their execution warrants when given notice of their deaths during official proceedings on Saturday, saying they believed it would be unjust to kill them.

Under Indonesian law, those on death row must be given 72 hours' warning before they are killed.

Sukumaran and Chan, along with seven other foreigners and one Indonesian man, face the firing squad later this week.

Images from Death Island show a self portrait, painted by Sukumaran in his cell, called 72hrs Just Started and showing the convict shot through the heart.

Art Therapy: Australian death row prisoner Myuran Sukumaran is keen to spend his last days painting as much as possible

When refusing to sign the death papers, Sukumaran told officials he believed he had been rehabilitated and that he had been doing positive work in prison.

"When he received the 72 hours notice he remained dignified and peaceful.

"He spoke with courtesy and clarity to a hushed room explaining why he felt to proceed to execution was unjust," the pair's lawyer Julian McMahon told the News Corp website.

Mr McMahon said Chan also refused to sign the papers, explaining that he had been rehabilitated in the ten years he had spent in prison.

"I have helped other inmates as much as I can and I still do and that’s not me talking, you will hear that from a lot of people, the ones I have helped," Chan said.

The pair were also asked to outline their last requests, with Chan asking for extra time in church to pray with his family and Sukumaran asking to be able to paint as much as possible before his death.

Plea for clemency: Michael Chan, brother of Andrew, calls for mercy - saying it is not too late to stop his sibling's execution

Sukumaran's mother Raji and sister Brintha visited him on Sunday, making the heart-breaking journey with Chan's mother Helen, brother Michael and fiancee Feby Herewila and other friends.

The other convicts to be executed simultaneously with the two Australians are Frenchman Serge Areski Atlaoui, London-born Ghanaian Martin Anderson, Brazilian national Rodrigo Gularte, Nigerians Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Okwudili Ayotanze and Raheem Agbaje Salami, Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso of the Philippines and Indonesian Zainal Abidin bin Mgs Mahmud Badarudin

Utomo Karim, lawyer for Salami, said: "Each convict on death row was called in one by one, for between 30 minutes to one hour, it varied.

"My client was notified of the day of the execution, it will be (just after midnight on) Tuesday night."

Mr Karim added that the others were also told the countdown to their execution had started.

Sad Journey: Andrew Chan's mum Helen (second right), boards a wooden boat to visit her condemned son

"My client has receive

Source: Mirror Online ( UK)

Rapper under attack: Gunmen open fire at Lil' Wayne's tour bus

RAPPER Lil Wayne was under fire this weekend – literally.

UNDER ATTACK: Suspects shot at Lil' Wayne's bus moments after he left a club [INSTAGRAM]

The US star's tour bus was shot at during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Lil' Wayne – real name Dwayne Michael Carter – was travelling in Atlanta, Georgia, after a performance in Compound on Saturday night.

It's thought that the guns were fired at the bus soon after 3.30am local time, just minutes after he left the club.

Apparently Weezy, 32, and two other executives from his label Young Money were onboard at the time of the shooting, but thankfully nobody was injured.

SHOTS: gunmen hit Lil' Wayne's tour bus on Sunday morning [INSTAGRAM]

Following the shooting, the bus was driven to a nearby hotel where one of the rapper's entourage called the police, report TMZ.

The site also reveals that the witnesses didn't see the suspects, but it's thought they were driving two white vehicles – a sports car and an SUV.

The incident comes just five weeks after the Lollipop chart-topper's home was subject to a 'swatting' hoax.

Police forces created a perimeter around his Miami mansion after an anonymous caller falsely confessed to shooting four people.

After officers meticulously searching Lil' Wayne's home the all-clear was given.

Source:UK Daily Star

When shorts get X-rated: Rihanna scorches in see-through hot pants & teeny bikini

BAJAN beauty Rihanna has proved she's just as hot on the beach as she is on the stage. Phew.

WOW: Rihanna shows off her faboulous figure [SPLASH]

The B*tch Better Have My Money star has showed off her stunning toned figure in one of the smallest bikinis we've ever seen.

Not wanting a single inch of flesh to go untouched by the beaming Honolulu sun,Rihanna slipped a pair of completely see-through shorts over her skimpy tie-side bottoms.

Although we can't quite see the point in a garment which leaves everything exposed – that never seems to have bother Rihanna.

SIZZLING: The singer is holidaying in Hawaii [SPLASH]

BIKINI DREAM: Rihanna soaks up the sun in Honolulu [SPLASH]

The 27-year-old singer is enjoying an indulgent getaway after she served as a bridesmaid at the nuptials of her assistant, Jennifer Morales.

Swapping the conservative gown for her truly teeny two-piece, RiRi protected her red locks from the sun with a pink silk scarf.

Not quite finished living it up in Hawaii, she was later pictured partying on a deep sea fishing boat with pals.

Holidays look to be less relaxing and more revelling for the Good Girl Gone Bad...

ALL ABOARD: Rihanna parties onboard a boat with pals [SPLASH]

Source:UK Daily Star

UK male nurse jailed for 18 years for raping unconscious female patients at NHS hospital

A NURSE who filmed himself raping two unconscious female patients while working at a NHS hospital has been jailed.

JAILED: Sick sexual predator Andrew Hutchinson has been caged for 18 years [PA/PH]

Andrew Hutchinson, 29, has been sentenced to 18 years behind bars for the sickening sexual attacks he carried out at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital.

Predator Hutchinson raped and molested vulnerable patients while they lay on their beds after being taken to hospital after drinking too much on nights out.

He also used a special camera to look up the skirt of a visitor and filmed young girls getting changed at a swimming pool.

The disgusting crimes came to light after he was arrested for voyeurism in 2013 for the swimming pool recordings.

Police then raided his home and uncovered footage of sex attacks on his computer and phone.

Oxford Crown Court heard how hundred of pictures were found of women and that it had been impossible to trace many of them.

Hutchinson, of Garford, near Abingdon, admitted 27 charges of rape, sexual assault, voyeurism, outraging public decency, making indecent images of children, theft of medical equipment and theft/possession of controlled class B drug ketamine at a hearing in March.

“When they were unconscious requiring your help and your assistance as their nurse, you raped them and you filmed it”

Judge Ian Pringle QC

Several of his victims were in court to see him sent to prison, and some wept as his crimes were described, including the effect they had on them.

Judge Ian Pringle QC ordered that smartly-dressed Hutchinson, who sat with his head bowed throughout the hearing, should serve an extended licence period of seven years after he is freed from prison.

Describing his crimes as "despicable", the judge told him: "When they were unconscious requiring your help and your assistance as their nurse, you raped them and you filmed it.

"It is impossible to conceive of a greater breach of trust in our society than that."

Source:UK Daily Star

Nigerians to pay N150 for fue

The new lease of life promised Nigerians by the incoming Mohammadu Buhari administration may start on a rough note as feelers from the 2015 Appropriation Act passed by the National Assembly last week indicate that no appropriation was made for fuel subsidy in the budget.
Going by current landing cost including margins of N128.96 for refined petroleum product which is later subsidized by the Federal Government with N39.00,an average Nigerian may now be forced to cough out between N150-N200 for a litre of fuel since the administration can no longer spend money not appropriated for
With this development owners of exotic automobiles, especially those driving turbo charged engines;V6 and V8 engines respectively, will have to cough out more to enjoy the luxury of driving such vehicles.
In the same vein,  commuters  would also be compelled to pay more for their trips as commercial bus drivers, taxis and cabs are expected to hike transport fares in the impending regime.
Currently, a litre of petrol is sold for N87 a litre.For a Sport Utility Vehicle(SUV) with capacity for 70 litres at N6,090,which can last  for one week, depending on the distance  covered .This amounts to N24,360 in a month.
But under the new price regime, when  subsidy is finally removed,a litre of petrol may go for as high as N150 and this amounts to N10,500 for a 70 litre capacity for an SUV,when multipled over four weeks,that amounts to N42,000,in a country where the minimum wage is N18,000.

The House of Representatives had last week Thursday, approved N4.493 trillion as 2015 budget after raising the initial figure by  N135.4 billion from the N4,357,960 trillion proposed by the executive in November 2014.
However, no provision was made in the approved 2015 Appropriation Act for fuel subsidy instead a lean N21 billion was provided for the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).
Reacting to the development, the Executive Secretary of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Obafemi Olawore, said allocation of zero resources for fuel subsidy in 2015 would pose a big challenge for Nigerians, wondering who would pay for the differentials in what was imported for 2015.
‘‘This is why we are trying to get the N256.2 billion subsidy debt owed us sorted out before a new administration takes over in May 29,’’he said.
Indeed, Olawore had in a letter to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minster of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, dated 13th April 2015, lamented that the delay in subsidy payment has reduced the ability of marketers to operate because their financial and non-financial obligation is heavily impaired.
He regreted that the inability of its members to meet other relevant obligations like payment of transporters due to cash flow constraints from long overdue payments, adding that if the matter was not promptly addressed in the very immediate future his members may be forced to streamline overhead costs to remain in business.
Giving a breakdown of the N356.2 subsidy debt,Olawore explained that outstanding debt on forex and interest amounts to N215,868,237,459 while payment for Batch T of 2014 stood at N21,920,240,980.23 and Batch U 2014 at another N8,607,109,593.82 with Batch A 2015 amounting to N6,873,232,365.66 and Batch B 2015 at N2,911,139,639.70.
However, the MOMAN scribe said another N100 billion was equally outstanding, which the Federal Government gave as post-dated Sovereign Debt Note (SDN) due to mature by end of April as part of the 356.2 billion debt.
Olawore added that the SDN should not be a post dated financial instrument, it should be able to stand in as a form of payment which has not been honoured by the respective financial institutions.
Also reacting,the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Budget and Research,  Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele said the absence of a provision for fuel subsidy in the 2015 Appropriation Act is a booby trap for the incoming administration of the President-elect, Maj. Gen.Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
Bamidele, in a statement on Thursday, said Buhari and the All Progressives Congress should understand the full implications of this and take immediate steps to let Nigerians know where they stand on the
“The truth and reality of the situation is that the outgoing PDP administration has, through the 2015 budget, removed oil subsidy and it must be made to accept responsibility for it rather than for the incoming APC administration to bask in the euphoria of having won an election without realising the booby trap into which they and the Nigerian people are walking into,” he said.
The lawmaker, said apart from the reduced amount of N21 billion provided in the Act for the Subsidy Reinvestment Programme, no other provision was made in the budget for subsidised welfare services.
Bamidele warned that the absence of the provision for continued fuel subsidy portends grave implications for the Buhari administration.
The statement read, “To me, this is definitely a booby trap for the incoming administration. Those who were suggesting within the APC that the incoming administration might withdraw fuel subsidy must be educated that they would be sending Nigerians a wrong signal capable of creating the impression that the APC either deceived Nigerians to get their votes or had reneged on its electoral promise as a progressive party.
“This is a serious development and a defining moment that calls for the attention of all well-meaning Nigerians at home and abroad. This is the first time in the last 16 years of our civilian rule that a new political party will be taking over to form a government and if care is not taken, this matter is capable of making the incoming government morally dead on arrival.
“For the record and for posterity purposes, I am opposed to this sudden removal of fuel subsidy and I implore Nigerian patriots to be aware,” he said

Source: The Sun (Nigeria)

Impunity, lack of Internal democracy caused PDP’s loss –Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State

More light is being thrown into the real reasons why the ruling Peoples Democratic Party lost at the centre and in several states of the federation.

The Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan, has been speaking about what he feels were the root causes of the party losing its prominence at the centre.

Governor Uduaghan on Channels Television’s political program, Politics Today, said the party fell apart because of neglect by some members of the party.

According to the outgoing Delta State Governor, some persons within the party believed that the Governors’ Forum was becoming too powerful and the then Chairman of the party did not help matters as he was acting like a “CEO” writing queries to Governors.

The crisis generated by this, as well as the impunity in the party caused the departure of some of the governors.

He said that the PDP was the greater loser in the crisis that rocked the Governors’ Forum as it led to their 2015 election losses.

“The party did not recover from the loss of those five governors,” he said.

He added that performance was not an issue for the party and they did not lose because they failed to perform.

Governor Uduaghan also blamed the lack of fairness during the party’s primaries as another major factor that led to their losses during the just concluded elections.

He explained that the stifling of internal democracy which denied members of the party their rights to vie for elective positions led to the emergence of unpopular candidates who flew the flag of the PDP at different levels across the country.

Uduaghan, who admitted to being aggrieved at some point due to his failure to secure the PDP’s senatorial ticket, said he remained in the party because he did not believe in decamping, rather he was of the opinion that the party needs to be rebuilt and he has a role to play in the process.

He also expressed his expectations of the incoming government of General Buhari but advised that the APC-led Federal Government must apply a style of leadership that would unite all Nigerians irrespective of the voting pattern during the 2015 polls.

Source:Channel  TV

FEW HOURS TO FACE FIRING SQUARD: Families of convicted drug smugglers ask Indonesia for clemency

The families of foreign prisoners on death row for drug offences in Indonesia have appealed to the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, to show mercy, days before their relatives are due to face a firing squad.
On Saturday, Indonesia gave 72 hours' notice to four Nigerians, two Australians, a Brazilian, a Ghanaian, a Filipino and an Indonesian national on death row that they are to be executed, possibly as soon as Tuesday.
The attorney general's office said notices that they would face a firing squad were delivered to the 10 inmates on the prison island of Nusakambangan, despite last-minute appeals for clemency from the governments of several of the prisoners' countries.
A temporary reprieve had been granted to the French citizen, Serge Atlaoui, a French embassy official said on Saturday.
Atlaoui's execution was delayed over an outstanding legal complaint over the procedure followed in his request for clemency.
However, the Indonesian attorney general, Tony Spontana, said the Supreme Court was expected to rule on the matter on Monday.
Mental illness
The Brazilian family of Rodrigo Gularte pleaded for the cancellation of his execution on Sunday, saying he has been diagnosed with a mental illness by a local hospital.
Gularte was sentenced to death in 2005 after being arrested for attempting to smuggle 6kg of cocaine into Indonesia.
"On behalf of the family, we are asking Indonesian President Jokowi to see truly and wisely the facts and beg the president to cancel the executions," said the family's Indonesian lawyer, Ricky Gunawan, accompanied by Gularte's cousin Angelita Muxfeldt.
"We know the president has the right to cancel executions. We hope that Rodrigo will be treated at a mental hospital, just as the local hospital in Cilacap has recommended."

Indonesia's president says drugs are destroying his country's future generations
Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two Australians arrested as ringleaders of the "Bali Nine" drug-smuggling group, were among those given notice of their executions, lawyers said.
The brothers of the two men appealed to Indonesia's president to show mercy.

"My brother and Andrew [Chan] and seven other people, we ask the president to please use his powers to show mercy, to show the same mercy that I know that he has asked for, for Indonesian citizens," Chintu Sukumaran, the brother of Myuran Sukumaran said.
Michael Chan said that somewhere in the legal system in Indonesia, "there has got to be mercy".
"The president needs to show that now. He's the only one that can stop it and it's not too late to do so. So I ask the president please show mercy," Michael Chan said.
The Indonesian president's determination to deal harshly with drug crimes has won him popular support at home.
The southeast Asian country resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year gap and six prisoners have gone before a firing squad so far this year.
However, Widodo's tough stance has prompted international criticism, sparking a plea for clemency from the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and straining relations with several countries, particularly its neighbour Australia.
The French president, Francois Hollande, was to met with his Australian counterpart, Tony Abbott on Monday, and has previously said France would work with Australia to halt the executions.
Source: Agencies

XENOPHOBIC ATTACK:South Africa condemns Nigeria's décision to withdraw envoys

The recent xenophobic violence in South Africa against migrant workers has sparked a new diplomatic rift with Nigeria, with the South African government condemning Nigeria's decision to withdraw its envoys from Pretoria.
On Sunday, the South African government released a statement calling Nigeria's move "an unfortunate and regrettable step" and said the government and a wide range of civic organisations had been "decisive and unequivocal" in condemning the attacks on foreign nationals in the country.
The statement by South Africa's Department of International Cooperation, however, goes on to deride the Nigerian government over its inability to rein in the Boko Haram insurgency in the north of its country. It also points out that South Africa did not blame the Nigerian government for mishandling the aftermath of the collapse of a church building in 2014, which left 84 South Africans dead.
Nigeria's acting high commissioner in South Africa, Ambassador Martin Cobham, and the consul-general, Ambassador Uche Ajulu-Okeke were called home on Saturday to brief the Nigerian parliament about the welfare of Nigerian citizens in South Africa following the anti-immigrant violence in Durban and Johannesburg.
Tolu Ogunlesi, West Africa editor of the Africa Report magazine, criticised the tenor of the South African government's statement.
Ogunlesi said it was not logical to compare the Nigerian Church disaster in 2014 to the xenophobic attacks and referring to the church disaster was misplaced in a diplomatic context. The Nigerian government has been criticised for mishandling the response to the collapse, with bodies repatriated some nine months after the incident.
"The statement sounded like the thoughts of someone, rather than a diplomatic response," he said.
Many South Africans however, including prominent South African analyst, Eusebius McKaiser, have described South Africa's response as justified.
“This response from South Africa - via Clayson Monyela [deputy director-general of the Department of International Relations and Co-Operation] - is fully justified in my view," McKaiser wrote on Facebook on Sunday night.
"However it certainly helps neither South Africa nor Nigeria - and definitely not the continent, geopolitically - for diplomatic relations between us to deteriorate," he added.
Nigeria 'opportunistic'
While some have described Nigeria's decision to recall its envoy as "opportunistic", others say the action has only come after public pressure. 
"The government did not say anything even in the face of protests almost on a daily basis especially in Abuja and Lagos," Deji Badmus, a freelance journalist based in Lagos, said.
Badmus told Al Jazeera that the government decided to act following the decision of the parliament and a meeting of the Nigerian senate.
"I don't think it would have been proper for the Nigerian government to say nothing, do nothing, when, foreigners, not just Nigerians are being attacked in South Africa," Badmus said.
Jackie Cilliers, executive director of the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria, however feels that Nigeria's diplomatic withdrawal is not indicative of a continent-wide indictment of the South African government's failure to stop anti-immigrant violence.
"I don't think Nigeria's action is a statement on behalf of the rest of the continent," he said, adding that the "reality is Africa is multi-polar and there is no singular country that can speak for the entire continent".
Rift between leaders
Few believe Nigeria's decision to recall its envoys speaks for anyone other than themselves.
Nigeria and South Africa haven't enjoyed close relations in the past decade, especially under the leadership of presidents Jacob Zuma and Goodluck Jonathan. Analysts see this rift as part of the larger story of worsening relations between the two countries.
"It has become an all-out contest for influence in Africa between South Africa and Nigeria," Cilliers said.
Leaders from Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have publicly condemned the attacks, with both Malawi and Zimbabwe sending buses to repatriate citizens following the violence.
Few doubt however, that the violence has been a blow to South Africa's image.
"I think African states have reacted quite strongly to the xenophobic violence in South Africa this time," Cilliers said.
Zuma's administration has come under much criticism for the violence. But not everyone agrees the South African government's response has been poor. Cilliers, for one, describes the government's response as "admirable".

Tolu Ogunlesi said the latest developments between the two countries was only a manifestation of the quality of leadership in both.
"President Goodluck Jonathan has been a dismal leader and Zuma has also not lived up to his responsibility," he said from Lagos.
"They both don't inspire confidence within their countries and outside." 
At least seven people in South Africa have been killed in the attacks against migrants since March 20, when South Africa's Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini spoke out against foreign workers.
Source: Al Jazeera

Ex-militants, OPC begin N9.3b pipeline jobs today

Barring any last-minute change,  former militants and self determination groups will today begin the execution of the N9.3b waterways and oil pipelines contracts.
A memo from the Presidency directed the ex-militants, led by Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo), Mujaheedin Asari-Dokubo and Chief Bipobiri Ajube (aka Gen. Shoot-At-Sight) to take over Nigerian waterways and oil pipeline protection from the police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) as from March 16.
But the contract execution was said to have been delayed because it was uncertain whether the incoming administration would revoke it.
It was learnt that some of the ex-militants did not have enough arms to man the pipelines and needed more time to get well-equipped for the job.
The Federal Government, it was learnt, is set to make a two-month payment out of the   N9.3billion contract sum to the beneficiaries through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The exact amount to be paid could not be ascertained last night.
The security agencies will hand over to the militants today, a source said last night.
The contract was signed on March 16. The companies are owned by some former Niger Delta militants and prominent citizens, including founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) Dr. Frederick Fasehun who confirmed that his company was being considered for the multi-billion naira contract.
The OPC National co-ordinator, Otunba Gani Adams, also confirmed to have been awarded the contract, saying it would provide jobs for his “boys”.
Seven companies have been allocated “regions” or operational areas as follows: Egbe Security River One (Bayelsa);  Gallery Security (Mosinmi-Ore); Close Body Protection (Edo State);  Adex Energy Security(Rivers) ; Donyx Global Concept(Lagos and Ogun);  Oil Facilities Surveillance – (Delta) and New Age Global Security (Mosinmi-Ibadan).
The Federal Government was said to have appointed one Engr. Molokwu from the NNPCV Energy and Technical Department as the coordinator.
It was learnt that in 2009, a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Ufot Ekaette, presented a memo to the Federal Executive Council for the award of the N1.8billion Kurutie Shoreline Protection and Reclamation contract.
A company, KFT Kpudoh, allegedly owned by Tompolo and another called Phoenica Nigeria Limited, bid for the said contract.
Based on the advice of the Bureau of Public Procurement, after a thorough technical audit, the Shoreline Protection and Reclamation Contract was awarded to Phoenica Nigeria Limited by FEC.
But the award of the contract to Phoenica fetched Ekaette death threats. The government later reviewed the contract.
A source in Warri, Delta State, said the contract for pipelines in Delta State would be executed by Oil Field Surveillance Limited, the same company, which had previously handled it. It is owned by Tompolo.
Nigeria has been battling with huge revenue due to vandalism of oil and gas pipeline.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin, recently announced that Nigeria had been losing an estimated 100,000 barrels of crude oil valued at N1.18 billion daily to oil thieves. This amounts to an annual loss of N433.62 billion.
Pipeline vandalism is said to have led to shortage of gas for firing power plants.
The electricity market, which has 5,500MW installed capacity now generates an average of 3,575.85MW following paucity of gas as vandals who always strike whenever the sector is about to hit 4,500MW”.
Adams was quoted as saying that President Goodluck Jonathan deserves praise for approving a contract for the OPC to protect pipelines across the South-West.
Wide criticisms trailed the president’s approval of the contracts. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief   Niyi Akintola, described the plan as an act of corruption which  has no  precedent anywhere in the world.“Why must we encourage the establishment and operation of ex-militants in securing our oil pipelines? What is the responsibility of the Police and the Navy if the ex-militants are to be saddled with the responsibility?” he asked.
Lagos lawyer Festus Keyamo blasted the Federal Government for conceiving the idea in the first place, saying: “It is irresponsible of the Federal Government to give up part of its security to individuals. The money that would be given to such people should be used to equip the Police and the Navy. If this is done, they will perform better.”
Retired Police Commissioner Abubarkar Tsav blamed the plan on the desperation of President Jonathan to win the election at all costs.
Second Republic lawmaker Dr Junaid Mohammed said: “You can’t hire out the functions of the government to an individual no matter how connected they are…”

Source:The Nation

UNILAG to employ first class graduates

The University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, plans to employ some of the 125 first class students, who will graduate tomorrow and Wednesday.

Its Vice Chancellor, Prof Rahamon Bello, said two of the best in each programme would be employed as graduate assistants.

Bello, who said this at a pre-convocation briefing to announce the 2013/2014 convocation held in the university’s Senate Chambers, said their employment was ratified by the Governing Council.

“The top two first class graduates in each programme will be absorbed for employment as graduate assistants. This was approved by Council last Thursday.

Those serving as youth corps members will be the first to benefit.

“We cannot employ all of them but they and the 103 PhD graduates we have produced can serve younger universities,” he said.

Giving an update on the best PhD graduate of last session and the youngest ever to be produced by the university, the Vice Chancellor said 25-year old Dr Hallowed Oluwadara Olaoluwa, who is now a Lecturer II, will leave for Harvard University for a post doctoral fellowship in September.

This year, 10,600 graduates will be awarded undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, diplomas as well as certificates.

With a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.96, Korede Akinpelu of the Chemical Engineering Department will lead the 5,836 undergraduates to receive their first degrees.

Emmanuel Akpan, whose thesis on “Processing and Characterisation of Selected Biodegradable fibre – PLA Composites”, was adjudged the best doctoral thesis, would lead the 4,764 postgraduate students to be awarded Doctor of Philosophy Degrees (PhDs), Masters degrees, and postgraduate diplomas (PGD).

Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Deacon Gamaliel Onosode, and Lt-General Theophilus Danjuma will be awarded honorary doctorate degrees on the same day.

Onosode will be conferred with a Doctor of Letters degree, Pastor Adeboye and Danjuma will be awarded Doctor of Science degrees.

Three retired professors-Profs Olayide Abass,  Francis Fajemirokun, and  Soga Sofola- will also be honoured with the emeritus professor awards.

A convocation lecture titled: “Taking Advantage of a Depressing Nigerian Economy to Accelerate Socio-Economic Development” will be delivered by Prof Peter Okebukola, former executive secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC).

The lecture, to be chaired by Mr Hakeem Belo-Osagie, will hold at the main auditorium of the university.

Source:The Nation

Jubilation in Imo as Rochas Okorocha dedicates victory to masses

Imo State capital Owerri yesterday erupted in wild jubilation as supporters of the All Progressives Congress(APC) took to the streets to celebrate Governor Rochas Okorocha’s reelection.

Movement was disrupted as broom waving youths and women marched through major streets, dancing and exchanging banters.

Okorocha attended a thanksgiving service at the Government House Chapel where he dedicated his victory to the masses who he said were neglected by successive administrations.

He described the masses as the main victors in the election.

“I have asked God to bless me so that I can bless others; I asked him to honour me so that I can honour others, give me leadership position so that I can impact on my people. This victory is for them.

“I am in this business of governance so that the state and the nation can be better.

“I have redeemed my campaign promises. Now my people can enjoy free education.  Kidnapping is now a thing of the past, now it is time for job, industry, employment and the first beneficiaries would be my 25,000 youths waiting for employment. One thousand others will go to Turkey for industrial training.”

He urged his opponents not to see him as an enemy and urged them to join hands with him to build the state.

Okorocha said: “I suffered a lot of campaign of calumny and hate speeches from my opponents but one thing they would never say is that I did not work. Now I am the governor of APC, APGA and PDP, so I call on them to join hands with me to build this state”

But his main opponent and House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, rejected the result.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate chided INEC for declaring Okorocha the winner.

Ihedioha alleged that INEC staff conspired with the APC to rig the election.

Addressing a news conference in Owerri, Ihedioha said: “In spite of instances of identified electoral malpractices including the arrest of over 25 Imo State INEC staff who conspired with the opposition party to manipulate and change the results of the elections already declared in favour of PDP, incident of swapping of PDP votes in favour of APC, all of which eroded the validity and credibility of the exercise, INEC has gone ahead to declare the APC candidate as the winner.”

He said as a law abiding citizen, he had acknowledged the declaration of the results, adding that his party will deliberate on the details of the result and act appropriately.

Source:The Nation

Breaking news: Ondo Deputy governor impeached

Ondo State Deputy governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi was impeached Monday morning by the members of the state House of Assembly.
The motion for his impeachment was moved by the majority leader Ifedayo Akinsoyinu from Ondo West 11 and seconded by Olatunji Dauro from Owo 11‎.
In all, 22 of the 26 members of the Assembly supported his impeachment.
The Speaker Rt Hon Jumoke Akindele ruled that all government properties in his custody were ordered to be retrieved by the Permanent Secretary of the Deputy governor’s office by all lawful means‎


Sunday, April 26, 2015

APC warns against last-minute looting, hurried recruitment

The All Progressives Congress has decried the reported allegations of last-minute looting of the nation’s resources, hurried recruitment into the public service and rushed privatisation of key financial institutions by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

It warned on Sunday that such “egregious actions” would have serious repercussions.

In a statement in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said apart from the instances of such cases that had been reported by the local media, it had been inundated with calls and messages by concerned Nigerians, alerting it to the unscrupulous actions of some Jonathan’s administration officials.

APC said while the Jonathan administration remains in office till midnight of May 28, and governance in the country would not stop because a new President had been elected, it was incumbent upon the outgoing administration not to create more problems for the incoming government, or to “tie the new government’s hands” through suspicious actions.

The party explained that while it is true that the incoming Muhammadu Buhari administration would not get itself bogged down by an endless probe of the activities of the Jonathan administration, all actions taken since the result of the March 28 presidential election was announced, might come under the searchlight.

It added, ”For example, the National Council on Privatisation, which is headed by the Vice President, has just approved the financial bid opening for transaction advisers for the privatisation of the three Development Finance Institutions in the country – the Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry and Nigeria Commodity Exchange.

“The question is: What is the rationale for rushing this exercise with just weeks left for this administration?

”Also, there have been reports, yet to be refuted, of a planned, hurried recruitment into the Nigeria Immigration Service, after a previous attempt ended in a national tragedy and the fleecing of innocent job seekers by the mindless Federal Government officials. Apart from the fact that this last-minute recruitment is suspect, it is irregular.

”The Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board is only empowered to recruit, promote and discipline only senior officers (Levels 8 and above). The power to recruit, promote and discipline junior officers is vested in the different services, in this case, the Nigeria Immigration Service.

”Therefore, the recruitment exercise now being conducted by the Federal Civil Service, under the auspices of the Presidential Committee to Assist on Immigration Recruitment, usurps the functions of the Board as it relates to recruitment of Senior Officers (Level 08) and that of the Immigration Service as it relates to Junior Officers (levels 07 and below).”

It also called attention to a published report that the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed, plans to use the Federal Capital Development Authority to carry out a secret employment of no fewer than 500 workers before the end of April 2015.

It stated, ”We do not know if this report, as well as others, is true. But if indeed these rushed privatisations and hurried recruitment exercises – in the twilight of the Jonathan administration – are true, they raise serious questions concerning the reasons behind such actions. We are therefore compelled to call on President Jonathan to caution his administration officials, lest they engage in actions that can later embarrass his administration”


 I’ll probe Sanusi’s allegation of missing $20bn – Buhari

President-elect, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(retd.), on Sunday said his administration would take a second look at the claim by a former Governor of the Central Bank, now Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, that $20bn, that was supposed to be remitted by the NNPC to the federation account, could not be unaccounted.

Buhari said this while receiving a delegation of party supporters and newly elected officials on the platform of the All Progressives Congress from Adamawa State at his campaign office in Abuja.

The President-Elect, who spoke in the local Hausa language, expressed surprise that instead of probing the allegations by the former CBN governor, the authorities chose to fire him.

According to him, since Sanusi’s claim was documented, his administration will take a second look at the document when he assumes power on May 29th.

Buhari said, “On the issue of corruption, I heard that some people have started returning money. I will not believe it until I go and see for myself.

“You all know what the Emir of Kano talked about when he was the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He said $20 billion dollars, not naira, $20 billion dollars, was unaccounted for; they said it was a lie. Instead of investigating it, they sacked him. And God in his infinite mercy made him the Emir of Kano. In any case, that is what he wanted. And since this was documented, the new administration will take a look at it.”

This is against the background of a pronouncement by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has started refunding the unremitted $1.48bn into the federation account.  

While expressing gratitude to the visiting delegation, Buhari in response to several requests, said his administration would work in tandem with the manifesto of the APC.

He listed priority areas to include security of lives and property, the economy, job creation and the war against corruption.  


Taraba APC gov candidate 'Mama Taraba' rejects results, heads for Tribunal

The All Progressives Congress candidate in the just-concluded governorship election in Taraba State, Sen. Aisha Alhassan, has rejected the results of the poll as announced by INEC on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference in Jalingo, shortly after the announcement of the results, Alhassan described the entire elections process as a “daylight robbery” and said the party would challenge the results in the elections petitions tribunal.

“The combined governorship elections in Taraba were characterised by violence, massive rigging, ballot snatching and abuse of the card readers in substantial parts of the state by the PDP and their allies,” she said.

She contended that results ascribed to Wukari, Donga, Takum, Sardauna, Zing, Yorro, Kurmi and some parts of Ussa, Karim-Lamido, Bali, Ardo-Kola and Lau local government areas were not acceptable as they did not reflect the true results of the election in Taraba.

Alhassan said all the complaints on the irregularities and abuse of the election guidelines were promptly reported to INEC, but that no action was taken.

NAN reports that the INEC Returning Officer for Taraba Prof. Kyari Mohammed, who declared the results on Sunday in Jalingo, said Ishaku scored 369,318 votes to emerge victorious.

He said Sen. Aisha Alhassan came second with 275,984 votes, while Chief David Kente of the Social Democratic Party, polled 29, 966 votes.


I’m ready to step into Gowon’s, Shonekan’s shoes, says Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan is keen on playing the role of a statesman once his tenure is over on May 29.
He said yesterday in Abuja that he is already warming up to join the likes of former military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon and Head of the defunct Interim National Government (ING),Chief  Ernest Shonekan, in serving the country and the international community in whatever capacity  he is assigned.
Jonathan who spoke during the fifth Presidential Prayer Breakfast at the State House, Abuja, also harped on the need for sacrifice at the different levels of governance with a view to turning around the nation’s fortune.
He said: “I will continue to do my best as I’m gradually joining Gowon and Shonekan to serve our country in different capacities.
“For the eight years I have been here as vice president and president, whenever we called upon them wherever they were in this world, they would try to come. I have seen that they are extremely patriotic and they believe in this country.”
Nigeria, according to him, would achieve its potential easily if all leaders could show that level of commitment and patriotism.
He added: “Everything about human life as an individual, a child, if you don’t make the required sacrifice you can’t get to where you want to go.
“If you don’t sacrifice your pleasure, of course you will know where you’ll end. As parents we know the kind of sacrifice we make for our children to go to school, to feed.
“To build a family you need sacrifice. So for those who have the privilege of leading at local, state and national, at all times we should be ready to make sacrifice for our nation to grow.
“Ministers must make the required sacrifice, our lawmakers because they look at all our laws, they can create crisis in the country if they are not ready to do things the right way.
“So all of us in leadership position must be ready to make sacrifice and with our prayers and with our commitment Nigeria will surely get to where it wants to go.”
He said Nigerians must not stop praying for the country to overcome its challenges.
“At times, you are forced to think that the nation is ending. Definitely this country will overcome these challenges. That is the reason for this prayer. Just like prayer helped Nehemiah to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, our constant prayers will help us rebuild this nation,” he said.
He thanked God for giving him the privilege to serve Nigeria as deputy governor, governor, vice president and president for over 16 years.
“That is a reasonable length of time and so I have to thank God, first because if God did not will it, it won’t have happened,” he said.
In a short exhortation entitled ‘Destiny and Decision’, Pastor Paul Enenche maintained that the choices we make in life determine our destiny.
Quoting Joshua 24:15, he said that Adam, Esau, Samson and Ruth in the Holy Bible had to make choices that affected their lives.
Also speaking, the Aso Villa Chaplain, Ven. Obioma Onwuzurumba, described the session as the last presidential prayer breakfast under President Jonathan and that the country owes God immense gratitude for averting bloodshed during the last elections.
He said:”We are aware of the fears in the land before, during and after the general elections, but the President’s decision has ensured peace.
“There were predictions that either the president or his wife would die in office. But we thank God they will walk out of office alive.”
At the service were Gen. Gowon who read a passage from Philippians 2: 1-11, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, Chief of Staff to the President, Gen. Jones Arogbofa (rtd) and members of the diplomatic corps.

Source:The Nation

Russian hackers read Obama's emails: report

The US president's communications were among those retrieved by Russian hackers last year [Getty Images]

Russian hackers who penetrated sensitive parts of the White House computer system last year read President Barack Obama's unclassified emails, the New York Times has reported.

"There is no evidence that the president's email account itself was hacked, White House officials said. Still, the fact that some of Mr Obama's communications were among those retrieved by hackers has been one of the most closely held findings of the inquiry," the paper reported on Saturday, quoting US officials.

A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on the report but the White House earlier this month confirmed the breach, saying it took place last year and that it did not affect classified information.

The New York Times said the breach had been "far more intrusive and worrisome than has been publicly acknowledged".

It said that although no classified networks had been compromised, officials conceded that the unclassified system still contained highly sensitive information such as email exchanges with diplomats, exchanges about personnel moves and legislation, presidential schedules and discussion about policy.

Officials did not disclose the number of Obama's emails that were read by the hackers nor the sensitivity of their content, the newspaper said.

It added that the president's email account itself was apparently not hacked.

The paper said that senior White House officials had known for months about the depth of the intrusion.

Source: Reuters

South Africa winds up relief camp for foreign nationals

Government-operated temporary shelters for foreign nationals displaced by xenophobic violence in Johannesburg have now been closed, officials have told Al Jazeera.

Zweli Dlamini, a spokesperson for the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, said late on Saturday that local leaders in affected communities had assured authorities that foreign nationals would be secure after a series of meetings between government, police officers and community leaders.

Personally, I think its just an attempt to come up with a temporary solution for an almost permanent problem

Bonnie Chinanikire, activist

"We only moved them when we were given assurance that their safety is guaranteed," Dlamini said.

"We started the reintegration process on Thursday and we only had about 128 people left in the camp after that, which we then cleared this morning."

At least eight people were killed in a wave of xenophobic violence that erupted on March 30 in Durban, the capital of eastern KwaZulu-Natal province.

The violence displaced thousands in the port city before spreading to areas in and around country's commercial hub, Johannesburg.

Johannesburg's Primrose camp, which opened on April 16, initially sheltered 400 to 500 people. Later almost 1,000 foreign nationals took refuge here.

Tension dissipated

In next-door Cleveland, a few hundred more people found respite in a community hall.

In the suburb of Mayfair in Johannesburg, Gift of the Givers, a nongovernmental organisation, is still running a camp that hosts more than 130 displaced people.

While tensions have largely dissipated in Johannesburg, an official at the Gift of the Givers camp said the number of displaced had doubled in the past three days.

Sam Bila, a 32-year-old Mozambican national living at the camp, said he was ready to return to Primrose. He said he lost his life savings of $700 when his house was looted during the violence.

"I haven't earned anything in days and I have to look after my family, so it is time to return," he said.

Earlier on Saturday, there was some confusion at the Primrose camp when the station commander of the town's police station told activists he had not been informed of the camp's closure.

Activists are concerned the issue has only been temporarily solved and fear further flare-ups [Azad Esaa/Al Jazeera]

Activists said it was a matter of concern that the police were unaware of the details of the reintegration processes despite the camp being directly opposite the local police station.

"Personally, I think its just an attempt to come up with a temporary solution for an almost permanent problem," said Bonnie Chinanikire, 29, who has been helping to provide food and clothing for victims for the past week at the camp.

Chinanikire also said that she was concerned that the camps were being closed as part of a public-relations exercise by the government to project "a return to normality" in advance of Freedom Day on April 27.

But Dlamini, the Ekurhuleni Municipality spokesperson, said there was no pressure to close the camps ahead of April 27.

"Remember we do not want to force the people back into those communities when they are not ready because that is actually very dangerous," she said.

In the first wave of reintegration involving inmates of the Primrose camp, the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality provided families with food and sanitation hampers on Thursday before transporting them to the areas affected by violence.

Up to 5,000 people remain in camps in Durban, where the violence initially began on March 30.

Source: Al Jazeera

HOPE DASHED : Senator Hope Uzodinma of PDP, relatives arrested for electoral fraud in Imo

Senator Hope Uzodinma of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been arrested for thumb-printing ballot papers at a private residence during the gubernatorial election rerun in Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State.
Arrested alongside Mr. Uzodinma were his uncle and elder sister.
However, while his uncle and sister were detained, Mr. Uzodimma was released on personal recognition.
A top police source involved in providing security in the area told PREMIUM TIMES that soon after his release, Mr. Uzodinma’s supporters in the area set bonfires on the road to prevent the police from taking his relations away.
The police had to call for reinforcement from the army and officials of the secret police, the State Security Service before the bonfires and hoodlums were cleared and his relations carted away to be detained in the state capital, Owerri.
Meanwhile, the rerun election in the local government was almost marred by pockets of violence and irregularities.
At Oru East Local Government Area, which has majority of the Polling Units where rerun election were held, some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were caught thumb-printing ballot papers in favour of one of the political parties.
Also arrested were fake INEC officials who posed as Returning Officers at the collation centre.
The Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mike Igini, who was among the INEC team deployed for the election, said the INEC officials were arrested at Umumma primary school Ward 10 Polling Unit 008, Polling Unit 003 and three others.
“Myself accompanied by the Assistant Inspector General of Police and Commissioner of Police have arrested poll officials in Oru East involved in mass thumb-printing and are now taken to owerri.
“Upon my suspicion, an imposter, who claimed to be lNEC staff without proof, acting as a presiding officer, l ordered his arrest and it was effected by the Police”.
At Ozuh-Omuma, an agent of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bernars Nwaokoro, was shot by thugs and the ballot box of his unit hijacked.
Also, one Rex Anunobi was kidnapped from his home but was rescued by a team of Policemen led by one of the visiting Assistant Inspector Generals of Police to the state

Source:Premium Times

Hope dashed as APC Gubernatorial hopeful, Mama Taraba is defeated in Taraba

Expectations by Nigerians that history would be made at this year’s general election with the country getting its first female governor ever has been effectively dashed.
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Taraba, Aisha Al-Hassan, who put up a strong showing in the well-fought race, has now reached the end of the road.
At the end of collation of votes for Saturday’s supplementary election in the state, Ms. Al-Hasan got 13,599 votes to trail the Peoples Democratic Party’s Darius Ishiaku, who garnered 53,120 votes.
When the votes earned by both candidates in both the April 11 and April 25 elections are added, Mr. Ishiaku’s cumulative ballots came to 360,318  to the APC’s candidate 275,985.
The Independent National Electoral Commission has officially declared the PDP candidate winner of the election.
The INEC returning  officer for the state, Muhammad  Kyari, declared Mr. Darius governor-elect, having scored the highest number of votes and winning a quarter of the votes in almost all the local government areas in the state.
The 2015 governorship in Taraba state enjoyed huge following across the country with several activists and young people backing the APC candidate to make history as the first female governor in the country’s history.
In fact, as results of the election from local government areas trickled into INEC office in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, on April 11, Ms. Al-Hasan, fondly known as Mama Taraba by supporters, at some point overtook her main challenger, Mr. Ishiaku.
This triggered nationwide celebration by people who thought Ms. Al-hasan was on her way to dislodging the PDP from the state in a historic win.
But as more votes arrived from remote local governments, it emerged that Ms. Al-Hasan was actually trailing her challenger.
At the end of INEC’s final collation that day, the election was declared inconclusive because the margin of Mr. Ishiaku’s  victory was lower than the number of registered voters in areas where elections either did not hold or were cancelled due to irregularities.
Yesterday’s supplementary election held in those areas, with Mr. Ishiaku getting the most votes.

Source:Premium Times