Sunday, May 1, 2016

SARAKI's TRIAL: Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) disowns JKN Waku


Senator Joseph Waku

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has  denied sending a representative to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to observe the ongoing trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki.
The forum said this wile reacting to Senator JKN Waku’s statement to the effect that he was mandated by the ACF to be an observer at the on-going Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) trial of Senator Saraki.

A statement signed by the Secretary General of the ACF, Col. JP Ubah, said at no time was a decision in that regard taken.
“The ACF wishes to state categorically that at no time did the ACF meet in any of its organs (the NWC, NEC, BOT) to discuss the issue of  Senator Saraki’s ongoing trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal. 
“Hence the ACF did not send anybody to the CCT trial either as an observer or in any capacity. Therefore, the ACF totally dissociates itself from the statements credited to Senator JKN Waku. He is on his own. The ACF is non partisan, and it is not in its tradition to take sides or interfere with judicial processes,” he said.

Source: Daily Trust

Tiwa Savage’s decision on her marriage final – Friends

Singer, Tiwa Savage, has forclosed any form of reconciliation with her husband, Tunji Balogun, aka Tee Billz.

A close friend of the singer who spoke on condition of anonymity told SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday that she was not ready to back down on her decision to end her marriage to her former manager.

The Love Me crooner, in an interview which she granted online news medium,Pulse, on Friday, had stated that her marriage was over.

“It has been over for a while and I have been covering it up. What happened was God-sent and he made it easier for me to walk away with what he did on social media.”

The friend also confirmed that Tee Billz had been staying with artiste, Bankole Wellington, aka Banky W, at his home since his alleged attempt at committing suicide.

The friend said, “As it stands now, Tiwa is not reneging on her earlier stance that her marriage to Tee Billz is over. Tee Billz is still at Banky W’s home.”

Another close friend who didn’t want her name in print said, “She is not going back. Too much has happened.”

On Thursday, the drama started when a series of posts surfaced on Tee Billz Instagram account, accusing Savage of infidelity and Savage’s mother of witchcraft, among other allegations.

Tee Billz had later deleted the posts, saying that his account was hacked.

However, in a revealing interview on Friday, Savage confirmed that she had been having marital problems and was glad to have found an escape route.

Savage is billed to perform at an event today – Johny Walker Progress with Joy.

The source also hinted that the singer’s mum, who had returned to the United Kingdom not too long ago, was expected back in Nigeria anytime from now.

Savage was said to be in company with close friends at her Lekki Phase 1 home.

Source: The Punch

No one can stop us from grazing in the south — Fulani herdsmen



Herdsmen from different parts of Nigeria have stated that nobody can stop them from grazing their cattle in any part of the country, especially in the south. They described such restriction as unconstitutional.

The nomads, who spoke to SUNDAY PUNCH under the auspices of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, dismissed the ultimatums given by different groups for the herdsmen to vacate the southern part of the country.

This is despite the fact that groups, including foremost Yoruba farmers’ pressure group and ethnic militia, Agbekoya Farmers Association of Nigeria in the South-West; the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (South-East); the Independent Peoples of Biafra (South-East); and some ex-Niger Delta militants in the South-South, stated their readiness to defend their territories should herdsmen attack their communities again.

Suspected Fulani herdsmen, who grazed their cattle from the northern part of the country to the southern part, had been accused of killing, raping and robbing members of their host communities.

The Enugu incident, where several lives were lost, was the most recent.

But the herdsmen, in separate interviews with The PUNCH on Saturday, noted that it was wrong for people to restrict their movement as the constitution guaranteed their movement into any part of the country.

The Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Plateau State, Mr. Nuru Abdullahi, said nobody could deprive Fulani herdsmen of their constitutional right of free movement.

Abdullahi said, “Why would they ask them not to go to the southern part of the country? It is their constitutional right to move freely as guaranteed by the laws of the land. What the various governments and security agencies should do is to prevent attacks and counter-attacks and such things that breed violence like cattle rustling and trespassing into farmlands.

“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees freedom of movement for every citizen of the country; this includes the right to live, work and carry out any legitimate activity in any part of the country. If and when you breach this freedom, then, the law should deal with you. So, asking anybody not to go to any part of the country is unconstitutional.”

Also, the Chairman, MCBAN, North-West Zone, Mr. Ardo Ahmadu Suleiman, warned against criminalising all Fulani herdsmen over the attacks.

He said, “We are law abiding citizens of Nigeria. The constitution forbids anybody or group from banning anybody’s movement from one part of the country to another. We have been staying peacefully with tribes across the country for ages. Therefore, for anyone to say he wants to ban Fulani from entering their land is uncalled for.”

However, several socio-cultural and militia groups in the southern part of the country on Saturday stated their readiness to reject the invasion of their communities by Fulani herdsmen.

Agbekoya gave the Federal Government a 14-day ultimatum to stop the incessant attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen on farmers in Yorubaland even as it vowed to retaliate any attack on its members.

The position of the group was made known by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olatunji Bandele, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Saturday.

According to Bandele, if the Federal Government fails to act decisively within the stipulated time, the Agbekoya will have to defend its people with whatever means at its disposal.

Bandele said the association held an emergency meeting last Thursday where it discussed the incessant onslaught by Fulani herdsmen against Yoruba farmers, especially in the Oke Ogun area of Oyo State.

He stated that if the situation was not brought under control, the group  would “close down all markets in the South West; make sure that Fulani herdsmen do not enter any village in Yoruba land with their cows. And if they dare enter, they are doing it at their own risk.

“We have alerted Agbekoya South West warriors across Yorubaland to be battle ready in case the Fulani herdsmen do not heed our warning because this thing has continued for the past four to five years now.”

Bandele added, “We have other security measures that we are taking but keeping to ourselves. If the Fulani herdsmen failed to heed our warning and they dare enter Yorubaland, they will be doing so at their own risk. We are waiting for the Federal Government to take decisive action.”

 The deadline, he added, started to read from last Thursday.

 Asked if the group was now arming its members against the reported sophisticated fire arms of the suspected herdsmen, Bandele said, “We are not bothered with whether they carry arms or not, we will deal with the Fulani herdsmen hands down. We have done it before. The Agbekoya fought a 14-month war with the military. That was in 1968/69. We have instructed our warriors. Anywhere they kill farmers again, we will move in.”

Asked what the association would do per chance any part of Yoruba land was attacked, he said, “We will retaliate.”

The leader of MASSOB, Mr. Uchenna Madu, lamented that Igbo people had been “talking and talking” while they watched their people being killed. He stated that it was time for “action” to end killings by herdsmen.

Madu said, “The Fulani herdsmen are cowards. After the recent attacks, they ran away. If they mean business, let them wait for Ndi’gbo and we will engage them man-to-man.

“It will be demeaning to ask us if we have the capability to confront them.”

IPOB, another Igbo secessionist group which dismissed security agencies as failing to secure the people, alleged that Boko Haram had been disguising as herdsmen to attack parts of the country.

The Publicity Secretary of IPOB, Mr. Emma Powerful, stated that the group would not be at the forefront of reprisals against criminal herdsmen in the region but would encourage those under attack to defend and retaliate in self defence.

He said, “The world is watching IPOB; the plan was for us to retaliate the attacks by Fulani herdsmen but we will not do so. Rather, we will ask those who are under attack to defend themselves or get killed.

“The international rule is that you have the right to self defence if your life is under threat; security agencies know that. Face whatever or whoever is going to kill you or you die.”

Another Yoruba group, Oodua Peoples Congress, said although the Yoruba were perceived as accommodating, the group would not sit by and pretend as if all was well.

The National Coordinator of the OPC, Mr. Gani Adams, told The PUNCH in a telephone interview that the attacks by Fulani herdsmen in the region had gone out of hand.

Adams said, “Nowadays, it is becoming too rampant in the South-West. Now, nobody is provoking the Fulani herdsmen; they are the ones taking laws into their hands, killing and maiming innocent people in their (victims’) communities.

“These Fulani herdsmen may even be Boko Haram in disguise. If government is looking at this as if they are an influential tribe or race in Nigeria and that they can’t tackle it, it may become a very serious security treat.

“We the Yoruba think that we are highly accommodating and that if a stranger who is living in our community has committed an offence, the law should take its own course. But I know for sure that the South-East will not allow their people to be maimed.”

The Chairman of MCBAN in Bauchi State, Abdullahi Abubakar, told SUNDAY PUNCH that the association was planning to hold an emergency executive meeting on Monday or Tuesday to discuss the issues affecting herdsmen.

Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Nigerian Students have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to come out boldly and tackle the problem.

The Chairman of CAN in the 19 Northern States, Rev. Yakubu Pam, said the President needed to be courageous in tackling his own people and condemning their terrible activities.

Source: The Punch

EFCC probes four judges frustrating probe of high profile fraud

Four high court judges in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are currently under the radar of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly frustrating the probe of high-profile corruption cases.

The judges are said to have developed a penchant for going soft with suspects who approach their courts to stop their trial for corruption by EFCC.

Their courts, The Nation gathered yesterday, have thus become an attraction for suspects who want to frustrate their trials.

The anti- graft agency is already mulling the idea of a tribunal to try suspects with overwhelming evidence of corruption cases against them.

A well placed source in EFCC said the agency’s suspicion was aroused by spurious injunctions’ persistently coming from the judges.

“In the past few weeks, we have discovered that almost every day, there was one judgment or the other against us. We have been subjected to arrangee injunctions,” a well placed source said.

“Some judges in the FCT have been bought over by some high-profile suspects on trial for corruption. From our findings, four judges are involved.

“We are trying to reach out to the Chief Judge of FCT, Justice Ishaq Bello on our observations and the ethics of the Bench. What these big suspects do is that they always try to compromise these four judges. Thereafter, they bring applications to their courts under the enforcement of fundamental human rights to get reprieve and frustrate investigation by EFCC.

“Even before we interrogate these suspects, the judges would have issued orders for their release.”

The source said that although there are designated judges handling corruption-related matters “maybe we will come up with a tribunal to fast-track the trial of all these suspects who have looted our treasury.”

The source however said that “the judges at the Federal High Court have improved on their treatment of corruption cases.”

The EFCC recently lodged a formal complaint of alleged misconduct against Justice M. N. Yunusa  (Federal High Court) with the National Judicial Council  (NJC).

He was alleged to have been bribed with N225,000 by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Rickey Tarfa.

It was not immediately clear if these four judges might be referred to the NJC.

A petition against a judge passes through four stages in NJC as follows:

Receipt of a petition by CJN.Sending the petition to the Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee (PCAC) to determine the merit or otherwise of the issues.Genuine complaint goes to NJC PlenaryNJC raises Fact-Finding Committee to hear from the petitioner(s) and the defendants and their lawyers.

The NJC and the President are empowered to determine a judge’s fate in line with the process outlined by the  Part I, Paragraph I, Section 21(b) of the Third Schedule to the  1999 Constitution (as amended) and  Section 292(1)( a)(i)

Part I, Paragraph I, Section 21(b) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution reads: “For the avoidance of doubt, the said Third Schedule, Part I, Paragraph I, Section 21(b) of the Constitution provides that “the NJC shall have power to recommend to the President the removal from office of (the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Justices of the Supreme Court, the President and Justices of the Court of Appeal, and the Chief Judge and Judges of the Federal High Court) and to exercise disciplinary control over such officers”

Section 292(1)( a)(i) says: “A judicial officer shall not be removed from his office or appointment before his age of retirement, except in the following circumstances (a) in the case of the Chief Justice of Nigeria,  the President  of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge of the  High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and President, Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, by the President( of Nigeria), acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate, praying that he be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct.”

Source: The Nationn

ASUU shuts Bayelsa varsity over unpaid salary arrears



The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the Bayelsa State-owned Niger Delta University (NDU) has commenced a sit-at-home protest following the inability of the Governor Seriake Dickson-led administration to pay lecturers of the university five-month salary arrears.

The NATION reported that ASUU at the weekend directed its members to vacate the campus and to suspend all academic activities till further notice.

The ASUU Chairman in NDU, Stanley Ogoun, confirmed the development and said lecturers could no longer be discharging their duties without money to run their daily expenses.

He said: “We have started the sit-at-home action and this means suspension of all academic activities relating to teaching and examination of students”.

But the Bayelsa State Government appealed to ASUU and other workers in the state not to despair over the economic crisis facing the state insisting that clearing their backlog of salaries remained the first-line charge of Dickson.

The government in a statement co-signed by the two political advisers to the governor, Mr. Fyneman Wilson and Mr. Steven Diver, said the governor and his team were going through sleepless nights to pay the workers.

The statement said the governor had already set up a Financial Management Committee chaired by the deputy Governor, Mr. John Jonah, to review monthly financial obligations and satisfy the basic ones.

“To this effect, paying workers’ salaries always come first before other financial obligations. Steps are already being taken to ensure the payment of salaries within the shortest possible time.

“We are appealing to workers to exercise some patience because they will soon receive their pay. We also appreciate Bayelsans for displaying sense of maturity and understanding despite the difficult time they are going through,” the statement said.

The statement also highlighted the economic difficulties faced by the state adding that it was painful for a state which used to collect an average of N16bn monthly to settle for N2.9bn in January and N1.6bn in March.

According to the statement allocations of three months were not enough to pay over N4bn monthly salaries of the workers.

It said the verification committee set up by the government to clean the payrolls of public servants would ensure that genuine, honest and hard-working workers received their entitlements.

The statement said: “The Dickson’s administration is the one that values all workers in the state and committed to improving the welfare of workers including paying gratuities and pensions of retired workers.

“The governor has also taken steps to strengthen the Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR). He should be commended for looking inwards”.

It also clarified that the government received N1.285bn bailout fund for the eight local government areas instead of N12.85bn wrongly reported in the media.

“The Dickson-led administration in Bayelsa is focused. When this economic crisis started in the country, Bayelsa managed to stay afloat because of the governor’s prudence in the management of scarce resources.

“Following the submission of verification reports from the local government areas, the government will soon direct the various councils to start paying salaries of their workers,” the statement said.

Source: The Nation

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Justin Bieber debuts brand new hair do – leaving fans in tears

JUSTIN Bieber has sent his fans into a meltdown.

INSTAGRAMNEW DO: Justin Bieber showed off his new look

The Love Yourself singer has undergone another hair transformation.

From his classic shaggy helmet hair to an Elvis-like quiff, to even bleach blonde dreadlocks, the Biebs has definitely changed up his look a fair few times.

But now the 22-year-old has decided to shave it all off for a fresh new buzz cut.

INSTAGRAMWERKING IT: Biebs has a new buzz cut

Justin, who is currently on his Purpose tour, took to Instagram to showoff his new look.

And it didn’t take long for his legion of followers to erupt in shock.

The picture attracted over 90,000 comments and 1.2 million likes.

GETTYTRANSFORMATION: Justin had blonde dreadlocks

One heartbroken fan wrote: “I’m crying… omfg no I can’t handle,” while another added: “What the hell have you done?”.

Others suggested the singer may have gone to prison.

An Instagram follower wrote: “Is he in jail?” while another described Justin as “a sexy convict”.

Source: UK Daily Star

Bangladesh Hindu hacked to death in Tangail

A Hindu tailor has been hacked to death in a district of central Bangladesh, police say, the latest of a number of Islamist killings in the country.

Nikhil Joarder, who was in his early 50s, was attacked as he sat outside his shop in Tangail on Saturday afternoon.

Police said he had been arrested in 2012 for allegedly making derogatory comments about Islam, then released.

Islamic State claimed the attack although the authorities deny the group is active in the country.

A number of similar recent killings in Bangladesh have been claimed by various Islamist militant groups.

On Monday, Xulhaz Mannan, a leading gay rights activist and editor at the country's only LGBT magazine, was hacked to death along with another man in his Dhaka flat.

A Bangladeshi militant group affiliated to al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Islam, said it was behind those killings.

Last year, four prominent secular bloggers were also killed with machetes.

The four bloggers had all appeared on a list of 84 "atheist bloggers" drawn up by Islamist groups in 2013 and widely circulated.

Source: BBC

President Muhammadu Buhari plans extradition of suspected looters who fled Nigeria



The diplomatic process that will ensure the extradition of suspected looters who have fled the country will dominate President Muhammadu Buhari’s discussions with his counterparts when 60 world leaders meet in the United Kingdom next month.

Saturday PUNCH learnt on Friday that the President would at the summit explore ways of bringing to the country politicians who were being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

It was gathered that the outcome of the summit would speed up the extradition of individuals, including a former Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro;  a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu; and a former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force, Abdulrasheed Maina.

Others are the ex-Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke; her son, Ugonna; and a former Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko, whose house was raided in Abuja in January by the EFCC.

Also included are a former Senior Political Adviser to ex-President and Coordinator of Goodluck Support Group, Prof.  Rufai Alkali, who coordinated the disbursement of N320m allegedly collected from the Central Bank of Nigeria during the 2015 elections and the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, who is being allegedly investigated over $1.1bn Malabu Oil deal.

While Obanikoro, who is believed to be in the United States, is wanted in connection with the alleged payment of N1.45bn to his companies, Muazu is reportedly wanted over disbursement of funds to PDP zonal chairmen. He was reported to be in Singapore.

Alison-Madueke and her son are being investigated for N2.3bn disbursed to some staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission through Fidelity Bank before the 2015 general elections.

While the former minister is in the UK, the whereabouts of her son is unknown.

Findings revealed that some of the pacts that would be signed by the world leaders at the summit would pave the way for the extradition of those who were being investigated.

A senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who confided inSaturday PUNCH, said at the sideline of the summit, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, would meet with law-enforcement agencies from 59 other countries.

The senior official said, “The Federal Government is determined to bring politicians, who are under investigations, but have fled the country. The summit will afford the EFCC and the Ministry of Justice the opportunity of discussing how those guys will be interrogated for the offences they have allegedly committed.”

Source: The Punch

Seven killed in Kenya building collapse, rescuers search for survivors

Kenyan security forces and emergency personnel look for survivors trapped under the rubble of a collapsed building in Nairobi late on April 29, 2016. At least seven people were killed when a six-storey building collapsed in the Kenyan capital amid torrential rainstorms, police said, as rescue teams shifted rubble in a desperate search for survivors. AFP

Torrential rainstorms in the Kenyan capital have left at least 14 people dead, police said Saturday, including at least seven crushed when a six-storey building collapsed, as rescue teams shifted rubble in a desperate search for survivors.

One survivor was pulled from the huge pile of debris shortly after dawn, Kenya Red Cross said, some 10 hours after the building collapsed Friday night and as skies cleared after a night of ferocious storms.

“We have lost seven people after the house collapsed last night,” Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome told AFP. “We have 121 others who have been rescued and taken to hospital.”

Kenya Red Cross, who along with police and other rescue services continued to search the piles of crumbled concrete rubble, said a total of 150 households had been affected.

Two neighbouring buildings in the densely-populated and poor Huruma neighbourhood were declared unsafe on Saturday and are being evacuated.

In other separate incidents, two people drowned when their vehicle was swept away by storm waters in the capital’s Industrial Area, another person died in floods, and four were killed when a wall collapsed, Koome added.

Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke, who visited the scene of the destroyed building on Saturday morning, said an investigation would look into why the two-year old building had collapsed.

“The building went down during the heavy rains, but we still want to establish if all the procedures were followed when it was constructed,” he said.

The building collapsed at around 9:30 pm (1830 GMT) Friday following some of the heaviest downpours since the start of the rainy season.

They have caused flooding and landslides in many areas of the city. Kenya Red Cross spokeswoman Arnolda Shiundu said the site had been “complete chaos” and teams were “still searching,” assisted by a crane.

“We don’t know how many people are under the rubble, but we fear there are still several of them,” she said.

Pictures broadcast by local media showed soldiers, policemen and civilians searching through the rubble of the collapsed buildings for survivors.

Nairobi has been in the middle of a building boom for some years but the quality of materials used and speed of construction have sometimes been called into question.

The growing middle class has triggered an explosion in demand for housing and a rise in real estate prices in the east African capital.

Source: AFP

Killings by Herdsmen: Northern governors defend Fulani



The  19 Northern Governors have taken a strong exception to the branding of perpetrators of crimes around the country as Fulani.

The Governors, rising from a meeting in Kaduna yesterday, said inasmuch as they condemned the recent attacks by suspected herdsmen in Enugu and other parts of the country, it was out of place by anyone to label all criminals as Fulani

Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) and Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, said it was an insult to consider criminals as Fulani.

He said: “We want to unequivocally condemn the recent killings in Enugu and other parts of the country. But we equally condemn the politicization or permit me, the ‘ethinicisation’ of the whole crisis,” the governor said.

“It goes beyond Fulani. If anything happens, they say Fulani herdsmen. To me, it is an insult.

“Kidnapping in this country originated in the Southeast, were they called Igbo kidnappers? We have a great national challenge and we want to call on all and sundry to come and let us solve our common challenges as a people, because the blood of paternity that binds us together supersedes whatever differences that might divide us.”

He also condemned the Agatu killings and  charged the media to avoid sensationalism and harp on issues that bind the Nigerians together.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the NSGF Chairman said that Boko Haram insurgents who have been terrorising the Northeast in the last five years have been degraded.

He was however quick to note that, there are still pockets of bombings in the North-east which has been ravaged by the insurgency for more than five years.

The Governor also said that following their recent visit to the Islamic Development Bank, the bank has resolved to rebuild Northern Nigeria.

With this development, the Governor is calling for the rebuild of destroyed communities as well as total rehabilitation of affected persons who are currently seeking refuge at different camps across the country.

According to him, “in respect of the insurgency in the Northeast, I can confidently confirm that the insurgency has been irredeemably halted and the insurgents themselves completely subdued.

“What remains now are a few isolated pockets of suicide bombings which the recalcitrant remnants of the insurgents use as a last resort to attract attention and create unnecessary panic among the general population,” he stressed.

He then thanked President Buhari, gallant Military and other security agencies for fulfilling promise to bring the insurgency to a complete halt.

“This undoubtedly entails the reconstruction and rehabilitation of public institutions and structures such as Local Government Secretariats, Police Stations, Prisons, Hospitals and Clinics as well as schools, all of which were either partially or completely destroyed by the insurgents.” He said.

On the Islamic Development Bank’s plan, Governor Shetima said, “in our determined efforts to address these challenges in collaborative partnership with the Islamic Development Bank. You may recall that consequent upon a deliberate resolution of the Forum, I had the privilege to lead a top level delegation to the Headquarters of the Islamic Development Bank in Jedda Saudi Arabia, for special consultations with   the management of the Bank on  possible ways of attracting their   assistance in addressing some of the  core challenges we, as a region, are   facing.”

Source: The Nation

Friday, April 29, 2016

Oba of Benin dies



The Oba of Benin, Omo n’Oba Erediauwa Akpolokpolo I, is dead.

His death was announced few minutes ago by the Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe.

The late monarch has been battling an unknown illness since last year.

Source: The Nation

N23.3b bribe: Bank, INEC officials refund N408.7m


More arrests are on the way in the probe of the huge cash some oil companies pumped into the failed bid to change the 2015 presidential election results. Some of the cash has been recovered.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested some bankers. It plans to haul in some oil barons who contributed $115m (N23, 299,705,000billion) to bribe some Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials. The officials were to alter the results of the election in which President Muhammadu Buhari, the tehn candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) beat then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.

The owner of an oil company, Leno Olaitan Adesanya, yesterday reported at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja for interrogation.

He was however asked to go to the commission’s office in Lagos for questioning.

Two others, who have been summoned by the EFCC, were said to have gone underground and incommunicado.

The EFCC has recovered N408.7million from some of the beneficiaries of the slush funds.

Fidelity Bank refunded N49.7million, its profit from the disbursement of the N23.29billion provided by former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Some former and serving INEC officials in Oyo and Ogun states refunded N359millon.

More officials of INEC were said to have rushed to the EFCC to refund the bribe given to them.

The EFCC team has intensified its investigation into the scandal.

It was learnt that besides INEC officials in the 36 states, the EFCC has invited the owners of the oil firms which contributed $88.35million of the $115million sent to Fidelity Bank by the ex-Minister of Petroleum Resources.

One of the four oil firms implicated in the bribery saga has been linked to former Governor of Delta State, who is serving a jail term in the United Kingdom, James Ibori.

It was gathered that the oil companies were mandated by Mrs Alison-Madueke to part with $88.35million as their contribution to Dr. Jonathan’s campaign.

Some of the oil chiefs were shocked by the findings of the EFCC that their donations were deployed in bribing INEC officials,The Nation learnt.

An EFCC source, who spoke in confidence, said:”Our investigation into the N23.29billion bribe has reached a critical stage. Six teams are working round the clock in all the geopolitical zones.

“The top officials of Fidelity Bank in custody have made statements, including the list of all beneficiaries and bank details of payments made to them.

“We are likely to arrest more suspects, especially the oil chiefs who provided about $88.35million of the $115million lodged in Fidelity Bank for conversion to naira.

“One of the clues we are probing is the likelihood of these funds being laundered by the oil firms and their owners.

“If these clues are proven, they may eventually face trial for money laundering. We will surely interact with these oil magnates.

“Some oil companies are under surveillance for their covert operation in diverting taxes and revenue meant for the Federal Government to fund campaigns. You can now understand why some of them were given tax waivers.”

The source added: “One of the oil chiefs, Leno Olaitan Adesanya, reported at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja but he has been directed to go to the Lagos office.

“We are expecting him for grilling on Friday (today). We have invited other oil chiefs but two of them have gone underground. We will fish them out wherever they are.”

Fidelity Bank and some former and serving officials of INEC have refunded about N408.7million to the EFCC.

While the bank refunded N49.7million, some former and serving INEC officials in Oyo and Ogun states paid back  N359millon

A top EFCC source said: “While scrutinizing their records, we discovered that Fidelity Bank made a profit of N49.7million from the disbursement transactions made in all its branches nationwide. The management of the bank on Thursday refunded the profit while we are continuing investigation on other funds.

“Some former and serving INEC officials in Oyo and Ogun have paid back N359million to EFCC. What happened was that while N802m was voted for bribery of INEC officials and NGOs in Oyo State to change presidential poll results, about N629m was dished out in Ogun State,

“But some of these beneficiaries in Oyo and Ogun were suspicious of the sources of the funds. They cooperated and went to the designated Fidelity Bank branches and collected the cash. Instead of spending it, they sought the service of lawyers who advised them to open accounts to keep the cash in case there are issues in the future.

“When this matter came up, the lawyers assisted in locating the funds and the N359million was refunded.

“We are working on other beneficiaries to recover the slush funds.”

Source: The Nation

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Boob-flashing Mexican cop forced to quit over leaked selfies lands new job – as EROTIC DANCER

A SAUCY police officer busted for posing topless in a patrol car as she cuddled an assault rifle has been headhunted to become a raunchy dancer.

CEN/GETTY

CAREER CHANGE: Shamed police officer Nidia Garcia wants paying punters to cop a load of her

Stunning Nidia Garcia was suspended by furious police chiefs in Escobedo City, Mexico when her sexy selfies went viral.

But naughty Nidia has now quit the force after being snapped up by promoters for a bar chain called Men's Club.

She will strut her stuff in a series of steamy routines.

Since her red hot photos went viral she has been sought after by men’s magazines and modelling agencies.

CEN

RACY: Nidia is to make her mind up about whether to go topless in her routine

“I still haven't made up my mind if I will show my boobs – I'll decide that on the spur of the moment”

Cop turned erotic dancer Nidia Garcia


Since her red hot photos went viral she has been sought after by men’s magazines and modelling agencies.

Explaining her new job, Nidia said: "There will be an erotic dance with the clients and we will stage contests.

"What happens depends on what goes through my mind at the time.

"I still haven't made up my mind if I will show my boobs. I'll decide that on the spur of the moment."

CEN

EXHIBITIONIST: Nidia clearly found it difficult to concentrate on her job

Her new showbiz agent Mario Rodriguez confirmed: "Our first shows will be in Cancun, Merida and Playa del Carmen.

"The truth is we've got enough awareness to take her all around the country.

"We have a photoshoot set up and we'll also offer a dance show."

GETTY

PATROL: The cop used a police car for the saucy pic

Mexican nightlife expert Gerardo Herrera said: "Her boldness generated curiosity among men.

"We know she apologised on social media for posing naked, but this is something Nidia can capitalise on."

Nidia has always denied posting the saucy snaps on social media – but admitted it was her in the snaps.

She has apologised to her now-f

Source: UK Daily Star

Federal Government of Nigeria declares Monday public holiday

The Federal Government has declared Monday, May 2 as public holiday to commemorate the 2016 Workers’ Day Celebration.

Retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, Minister of Interior, made the declaration in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Bassey Akpanyung on Thursday in Abuja.

The minister congratulated Nigerian Workers for their resilience, hard work and commitment to the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari despite current challenges.

He enjoined them to continue to support the President in his desire to fight corruption, ensure security of lives and property and stabilise the economy through creation of jobs and diversification of the economy.

Dambazau further urged Nigerian Workers to re-dedicate themselves to the service of the nation and remain productive for the growth and development of the country.

The minister wished all Nigerian workers a joyful and peaceful celebration

Source: NAN

Liverpool’s defender,Mamadou Sakho suspended for 30 days

(FILES) This file photo taken on April 20, 2016 shows Liverpool’s French defender Mamadou Sakho (R) celebrating with Liverpool’s Croatian defender Dejan Lovren after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England.

Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho was on Thursday provisionally suspended for 30 days after failing a drugs test, European football’s governing body UEFA announced.

The France international reportedly tested positive for a fat burner after Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Manchester United in the Europa League on March 17.

“Disciplinary proceedings have been instigated against Liverpool FC player Mamadou Sakho, following the UEFA Europa League round of 16 second-leg match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC (1-1), played on 17 March,” UEFA confirmed in a statement.

It added: “The proceedings relate to a violation of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations, after the player failed a doping test at the above-mentioned match.

“The player did not request the analysis of the B sample. UEFA has now suspended the player provisionally for 30 days until a final decision is taken by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body.”

A date for the hearing has yet to be fixed.

Liverpool left Sakho out of their Premier League game against Newcastle last Saturday, clarifying that he will not be selected during his UEFA process.

The 26-year-old centre-back is said not to have known the composition of the weight-loss supplement and has informed the club he acted in good faith.

Sakho, who moved to Anfield for £18 million ($25 million) in 2013, is in danger of missing the finale to Liverpool’s Europa League challenge, with the team facing Villarreal in the semi-final first leg in Spain later Thursday.

His participation at the Euro 2016 finals in France is also in serious doubt, with Didier Deschamps set to announce his 23-man squad on May 12, more than two weeks before Sakho’s provisional ban expires.

Source: AFP

Bayelsa Speaker bows to pressure, swears in opposition lawmakers

Mr. Kombowei Benson

At last, the Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Kombowei Benson, on Thursday, bowed to pressure and swore in the three opposition lawmakers after about four months in limbo.

The three lawmakers inaugurated at the hallowed chamber of the House are Watson Belemote of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, representing Brass Constituency 2; Gibson Munalayefa of the Labour Party for Ogbia Constituency 2 and Gabriel Ogbara of African Democratic Congress for Ogbia Constituency 3.

Their swearing-in came after the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, declared them winners of their various constituencies about four months ago.

Prior to their inauguration on Thursday, the refusal of the Peoples Democratic Party-dominated Assembly under the leadership of Benson had generated public outrage.

Human rights groups, the media, the general public and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice had expressed concern over the extreme rascality and impunity of the House to disobey appellate court’s judgement.

Speculation was also rife that the Speaker’s volte-face towards the inauguration of the affected lawmakers was at the behest of Governor Seriake Dickson.

But the Bayelsa State Government had in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Chief Jonathan Obueibite, dissociated Dickson from the alleged controversy.

“The Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson, has never interfered with the affairs of the state House of Assembly. The State Assembly is not subject to the unilateral control of the state executive,” Obuebite had said.

During the Thursday plenary, Benson announced the names of the three opposition legislators and asked them to come to the front to take their oath of allegiance.

He said the Independent National Electoral Commission having forwarded the names of the three persons to the House of Assembly, it was only constitutional and customary that they swore them in to enable them to take their proper place in hallowed chamber.

They were eventually sworn in about 12.30pm and thereafter, the Speaker directed the Assembly’s Sergeant-at-Arms to show them their seats.

Benson said that with the inauguration of the three lawmakers, the House was now complete for the business of lawmaking in the chamber.

He congratulated the newly sworn in members of the House and advised their constituents that nobody was out to victimise them.

He also dispelled insinuation that the Governor Dickson masterminded their not being sworn in the time they were supposed to be inaugurated, saying that the antagonism of the governor in the press was uncalled for.

The Speaker said, “In respect of today’s business, many issues and several writeups were raised. But the three members we are swearing in today have not made any enemies in this House. I, as a member of this great House, those who were there before them have no issues with any of them.

“But the record remains that this House is a lawmaking body and as we continue to make law for the betterment of the people of Bayelsa State, we have rules, guidelines and constitution that drive our activities.

“The leadership of this House has to discuss again and again and saw the need to bring you in because we felt the voice of the constitution is absent and the voice of good representation was not heard. That was how we made conclusion to bring you in.

“Therefore, the insinuation that the governor masterminded your not coming in or anything in the press was uncalled for.

“I want to specially congratulate you and believing that you are here for lawmaking and the constituents you represent should know that nobody was out there to victimise you. May God bless as you are welcome on board.”

With the swearing in of the three lawmakers, the number of opposition lawmakers has risen to five in a 24-member House.

The All Progressives Congress has one member,  the APGA has two members while the ADC two.

Source: The Punch

Tee Billz accuses Tiwa Savage of infidelity, considers suicide

Tiwa Savage

Tunji Balogun a.k.a Tee Billz, husband and former manager of popular Nigerian female artiste, Tiwa Savage, on Thursday accused his wife of infidelity and contemplated suicide.

In a flurry of Instagram posts, deleted about three hours after they were posted, Tee Billz said he sacrificed his life for Tiwa Savage, putting in work and my money to her success.

Yet Tiwa’s mother wants to turn him into what she turned Tiwa’s dad to, he claimed.

“I will rather die,” he said in the post.

“Ask her to confess what’s she’s done to me! All I did was look out for your success and forgetting who I am.”

He posted a throwback picture of Tiwa, “saying this was you when I met you with 100 percent insecurity. I remember when Wale called me about a girl that’s got talent and u told him I wasn’t interested!”

He also apologised to his children about some people not letting him be a great dad.

“I’m sorry Olabisi, Gaetano. Onah and jamil. All daddy wanted to do is be a good father and take care all of you but they won’t let me. I have been fighting this spiritual battle since I was a kid, my mother and father can testify. Went from family battle to mother-in-law battle. @tiwasavage ask your mother to confess what she’s done to me.”

Culled from The Punch

ALLEGED FALSE ASSETS DECLARATION:CCT dismisses Saraki’s motion seeking judge’s disqualification

Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki during his ongoing false asset declaration trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja

The Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja on Thursday dismissed an application asking its chairman, Danladi Umar, to disqualify himself and withdraw from the trial of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

The Federal Government is prosecuting Saraki before the Umar-led CCT on 13 counts of false asset declaration which he allegedly made between 2003 and 2011‎ when he served as Kwara State Governor.

Saraki, had in his motion argued by his lawyer, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, on Wednesday, asked Umar to disqualify himself on the grounds of likelihood of bias in the handling of the trial by Umar.

Oluyede argued that Umar would likely be subject to control by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on the basis that the anti-graft agency brought Saraki before the CCT for prosecution while it (EFCC) was still investigating the tribunal chairman for bribery.

But in the ruling of the two-man panel of the CCT on Thursday, Umar held that the application “lacked absolute merit‎”.

He upheld the opposition of the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), to the motion, to the effect that contrary to Oluyede’s claim, the EFCC had cleared him of the bribery allegation.

He added that EFCC was already prosecuting the suspect that was found to be culpable in the allegation.

‎He said the EFCC had by its letter dated March 5, 2015, through its then chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, to the ‎then Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke,  cleared him of the alleged crime.

He said the March 5, 2015 letter in which the EFCC indicated that the allegation against him was a mere suspicion and that it did not constitute sufficient evidence to prosecute him, superseded the earlier investigation report issued by the anti-graft agency‎ on June 24, 2014

In the June 24, 201‎4 report, Adoke had endorsed on it, directing that Umar and his co-accused be prosecuted.

But Umar ruled on Thursday that the EFCC was not answerable to the AGF in its investigation and prosecution of cases.

“The AGF cannot prosecute without sufficient evidence from investigative agencies,” Umar said.

He added that the incumbent AGF, Mr. Abubakar Malami, had said he (Umar) had been cleared while appearing before a House of Representatives’ committee which was petitioned with respect to the bribery allegation.

He recalled that Malami told the committee that he (the AGF) stood by the March 5, 2015‎ letter of EFCC to Adoke, indicating that there was no sufficient evidence to prosecute him (Umar).

He said, “The issue of having case to answer before the EFCC is over.

“The application lacks absolute merit and it is hereby dismissed in its entirety.”

The tribunal then directed the defence led on Thursday by Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), to continue the cross-examination of the first prosecution witness, Mr. Michael Wetkas.

Umar was accused of demanding N10m from an accused that was appearing before the CT sometimes in 2012.

It was alleged that Umar’s personal assistant collected N1.‎8m from the accused as part of the N10m bribe allegedly demanded by the CCT chairman.

But upon investigation of the petition sent to it with respect of the allegation, the EFCC retrieved the N1.8m‎ from the personal assistant and charged him to court.

The anti-graft agency however stated that the culpability of the tribunal chairman in the allegation remained a suspicion.

The EFCC said in its report of investigation that Umar claimed to have lost his phone which could have been analysed to ascertain if Umar had actually been making demands for the bribe from the accused person.

Source: The Punch

Two and a half yaear old boy mistakingly shoots mother dead in US

A toddler riding in the back of a car accidentally shot dead his mother with a gun that slid out from under the driver’s seat, US police said Wednesday.

The 26-year-old victim, Patrice Price, was pronounced dead at the scene following Tuesday’s incident in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the local sheriff’s office said.

The child, aged two and a half and identified by local media as a boy, fired the 40-caliber gun through the driver’s seat where his mother was at the wheel.

Local broadcaster WISN quoted the victim’s father as saying that she was a mother of three.

“This little girl right here meant everything in the world to me,” Andre Price told the station. “And I lost the other half of my heart.”

The weapon apparently belonged to the victim’s security guard boyfriend, with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper reporting that she was driving his car because hers had been stolen days earlier.

The sheriff’s office said that deputies found a security officer’s gun belt belonging to the boyfriend on the floor of the front passenger seat.

The firearm was recovered on the floor behind the driver’s seat. An investigation is under way.

Also in the vehicle was another of Price’s children, aged one, and the woman’s mother. Neither of the children was in a car seat.

Price’s mother told relatives that her daughter turned to her after a loud pop rang out and said: “Momma, don’t let me die,” WISN reported.

Following the shooting, fellow motorists stopped and pushed the car out of traffic before police arrived and performed CPR on Price while awaiting the arrival of emergency medical personnel.

Tuesday’s shooting comes on the heels of a similar accident, though not fatal, in Florida last month.

In that instance, a four-year-old boy accidentally shot his mother in the back while she was at the wheel, leaving the passionately pro-gun woman badly wounded.

Jamie Gilt, who had boasted online about her toddler’s shooting prowess, was cruising down a major thoroughfare with her son in the back when he shot her on March 8. The bullet went through the seat cushion.

The mother and boy were on their way to pick up a horse, said police, who rushed to Gilt’s aid after an officer checked to see why the vehicle had stopped.

The weapon was a .45-caliber handgun the boy found on the floor of the pickup truck Gilt was driving. Police said she legally owned the weapon.

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a group aimed at reducing US gun violence, there have been at least 77 shootings this year during which a child or adolescent aged 17 or under unintentionally fired a gun and killed or injured someone.

Firearms claim the lives of some 30,000 people in the United States each year.

Source: AFP

California cops in spotlight over racist messages


Police in Los Angeles and San Francisco have come under fire after authorities uncovered racist and homophobic text messages and emails in which minorities were referred to as “barbarians” and “wild animals.”

Three officers in San Francisco have already left the police department after the messages were discovered and a fourth is facing disciplinary measures, officials said.

On Tuesday, authorities released details of text messages exchanged between the three former officers in which they used the N-word to refer to black people, and described Arabs as “rag heads.”

The messages could affect at least 207 criminal cases, including three for murder, San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi told reporters.

He said the slurs were discovered as part of a separate probe over rape accusations against Jason Lai, one of the former officers.

In one of the text messages Lai compares black people to “barbarians” and a “pack of wild animals on the loose.”

“It is chilling how casually former officer Lai dehumanizes the citizens he was sworn to serve,” Adachi said. “He wished violence upon the very people he was being paid to protect and none of his colleagues turned him in.”

In Los Angeles, the county sheriff’s chief of staff, Tom Angel, has also come under the spotlight for emails he forwarded in 2012 and 2013 mocking Muslims, blacks, Latinos and women.

Angel at the time was a top police official in the city of Burbank, near Los Angeles.

According to the Los Angeles Times, which obtained a copy of the emails, one message forwarded by Angel on January 7, 2012, lists a series of terrorist attacks attributed to “devout Muslim male extremists” and says “Muslims, gotta love em can’t punish em …….?”

Officials at the sheriff’s office in Burbank could not be reached for comment but Angel told the Times he did not mean to embarrass or demean anyone and that it was unfortunate his work emails had not been kept private.

“Anybody in the workplace unfortunately forwards emails from time to time that they probably shouldn’t have forwarded,” Angel told the Times. “I apologize if I offended anybody, but the intent was not for the public to have seen these jokes.”

Source: AFP