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Scores injured as explosion rocks Abia’s Catholic Church

By News desk

Scores of worshippers were injured on Tuesday when an explosion rocked the Diocesan Headquarters of Umuahia Catholic Archdiocese, popularly Mater Dei Catholic Church on Azikiwe road in Umuahia, Abia State.

It was gathered the explosion, which occurred in the church premises at about 2:45pm, caused pandemonium in the area as residents who were taken by surprise scampered for safety.

It was gathered that the cathedral revealed the explosion was caused by an old abandoned petrol tank, which had been buried and long forgotten.

The church gardener, after his routine cleanup was said to have unknowingly set fire on heap of refuse collected while cleaning the compound directly where the tank was buried

The heat from the fire was said to have triggered the explosion, which affected roofs of houses around the cathedral.

No life was said to however been affected during the incident.

Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, disclosed that personnel of the Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD) of the State Command have been deployed to the scene of the incident.

“A cleaner in the church, after sweeping the compound set fire on the debris and the debris spread to a disused underground fuel tank and exploded, bringing down part of a nearby fence and shattering a vehicle parked in the next compound.

“As I speak to you, the Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD) of the Police; the Bomb Disposal Unit has been moved to the place to make all assurance that there is nothing much more than the facts that we know now.

“By tomorrow, when they come out with their scientific report, I will also update members of the public,” he added.

Buhari cautions Atiku, Ezekwesili, others against violence ahead 2019 election

By News desk

President Muhammadu Buhari has implored all stakeholders to work towards successful and peaceful conduct of the 2019 elections as the world is focused on Nigeria.

Buhari made the call in Abuja on Tuesday at the signing of peace accord by the presidential candidates of all the political parties ahead of the 2019 elections under the aegis of National Peace Committee (NPC).

According to him, the world is watching to see how Nigeria would uphold and strengthen its democracy by the conduct of the 2019 polls.

He said that the conduct of elections had been consistently marred by violence caused by the behaviour of the most sections of the political class and their supporters.

The president however said there were encouraging signs that the political class would embrace the responsibilities expected of it.

“We are here to commit ourselves as key actors in the political process, party leaders and presidential candidates to a peaceful and credible conduct of the election.

“Today, we witness the formal and official signing of the peace accord by the presidential candidates of the parties contesting the next elections.

“We the candidates pledge to accord the highest tenets of conduct and encourage our teeming supporters to do the same.

“I wish to call on the INEC and all the security agencies to put the nation first in their conduct; the world is watching us and the task of building our country, institutionalizing trust in our political system and institutions is fundamental to the growth and development of our country.’’

He said the essence of the gathering was to perform a very important part of the quest for a peaceful political process and to instill trust to various contestants.

According to him, given the central role good governance plays in the nation state, no society can develop without trust.

He said without the trust of the citizens on their government, there could not be a peaceful and progressive society.

“To gather this trust, there must be norms, rules those whose role is to offer guidance; some of them might cultural, moral or religious.

“However, for our society to function well, culture of rules and regulations must be enshrined and accepted by both the government and the people.

This is why there are constitutions, legislations and courts to mediate and regulate the conduct of citizens; the building of trust in our society is a collective duty and responsibility of all citizens.

“Today, our primary concern is to sign into norms, laws, guidelines that will guide the conduct of our national elections at all levels.

“It is generally acceptable that democracy is the best form of government for any society; it is nonetheless, not a perfect system. In spite of its imperfections, democracy has come to stay in the world.’’

The president reminded that since 1999, Nigerians had enjoyed almost 20years of interrupted democracy.

He said that since the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, democracy had spread to all over the world, including most unlikely places.

Buhari said that with all its shortcoming, democracy was still the best form government for most developing nations.

The President explained that elections were a large part of the process of democracy; methods of choosing leaders had become the most difficult for the people to manage for many reasons.

“We have not had a long tradition of democracy and so many changes in the system have made it difficult for us to imbibe the principles of democracy such as tolerance, sacrifice and commitment to processes,’’ he said.

He thanked NPC under the leadership of former Head of State, Retired Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar for the sacrifices and good work it had done for the peace and progress of Nigeria.

Abubakar, in his address, explained that accord was crucial to ensuring peace during campaigns and elections, saying, election would not hold unless there was peace and harmony in the country.

Earlier, former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd), said that the number of political parties in Nigeria had grown to 91, adding that it was healthy for the country’s democracy.

Gowon said democracy could only thrive through persuasion and not by the use of force.

Senate steps down Buhari’s request on EFCC, ICPC nominees

By Newsdesk

The Senate has stepped down till further notice President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to confirm nominees for appointment as members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Senate decision on Tuesday followed a complaint by some lawmakers that the nominees were not spread across the six geopolitical zones – a situation they described as a violation of the Federal Character Principle.

Lawmakers from the South-South and South East were particularly upset that no nominee for the EFCC is from the region.

The argument for and against the confirmation of the nominees deteriorated to a rowdy session causing the Senate to go into an emergency closed-door meeting.

Following the argument that ensued, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, announced that the confirmation of the nominees for both agencies be stepped down till further notice.

Adamawa Governor signs three laws on citizen protection

By Newsdesk

Governor of Adamawa State, Mohammed Jibrilla, has signed three new laws aimed at protecting the rights of citizens of the state.

Jibrila stated that the laws, the Penal Code Law, the Administration of Criminal Justice Law, were targeted at addressing needs of the common man in the state.

The governor, signed the three laws on Tuesday while declaring open the 2018 Law Week in Yola, argued that the laws would ensures that citizens were not detained arbitrarily.

According to him, with these laws, citizens will be given a fair hearing, while the third, is the Proceeds of Criminal Law.

He assured members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) that his government will continue to support the Judiciary in ensuring that justice is served.

My identity has been cloned-Soyinka

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
Barely a week after President Muhammadu Buhari cleared doubt over his identity, Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has raised alarm over cloning of Nigerians with credible identity by some of its citizens abroad, engaging in several business activities with the identity.
Meanwhile, Committee for Defence of Human Rights, CDHR, has condemned the arrest of six members of African Action Congress, AAC,  by Nigerian Police, Lagos command over alleged vandalism of campaign posters in the state.
The Nobel laureate spoke yesterday at the 70th anniversary of Human Rights and worldwide reading for freedom of the press in memory of Jamal Khashoggi at the Freedom Park in Lagos.
Soyinka, who lamented that he was presently a victim of stolen identity, stressed that case of stolen identity must not be treated as fake new, saying, this is beyond fake news.
He noted that it became concern for him as many now believed that the businesses operated by those who stole his identity were truly operated by him.
Soyinka stated that the visit of Buhari to Poland was coincidence because the country appeared to be the home of Nigerians who engaged in stealing personalities identity and engage in business online with it.
“Recently, we have a situation in Nigeria. And that is issue of cloning President Muhammadu Buhari. We have people who have taken that issue seriously. These were people that one can never believe to accept such considering their level of intelligence.
“And when Buhari went to Poland, I said what a coincidence because I hope while he was there, he will be able to sort-out his identity and there will be a report on the return of his identity.
“Poland appears to be the centre for Nigerians settlers with stolen identity,” he added.
The Nobel laureate hinted that his discovery of Poland as the location of his stolen identity prompted him to visit the country and demanded that the businesses operated online including facebook, with his identity be pulled down.
“But he (operator of the business) refused, claiming that he has authority to do that. And in my name, this fellow sells and buys things which I don’t even use.”
Soyinka argued that even facebook appeared powerless to take down the page because it was already verified.
While issuing a one-week ultimatum to the operators to bring down the page and other activities operated in his name, he argued that freedom of expression must not be fought without adequate consideration for identity.
“If we must fight for freedom of expression, we must fight for the correct attribution of expression.
“If the doctrine of freedom of expression was to be reversed, there will be certainly a number of issues to be addressed because expression on social media has taken a quantum leave in the last few years that cannot be imagined.
“The principle are there but one item isn’t clear and that is the issue of identity. I will have to suggest that everyone should not have his identity stolen. And it is real issue for humanity and integrity of communication.”
.CDHR on six arrested AAC members
Speaking on behalf of CDHR at their Human Rights day in Ijaiye axis, the State coordinator, Alex Omotehinse, argued that the six suspects were arrested unjustly.
Omotehinse argued that the arrest was aimed at silencing the opposition in Lagos by the law enforcement agency, saying, it’d they were found pasting President Muhammadu Buhari or any All Progressives Congress, APC posters, the police will have looked the other way.

Anti-graft war is for soul of Africa – Buhari

By news desk

President Muhammadu Buhari has launched the training for Anti-Corruption Agencies in the African Union where he told participants that the fight against corruption is a battle for the souls of the countries and it is one that must be won.

He made the remarks in Abuja yesterday when he welcomed delegates to the Corruption Risk Assessment training for heads and senior officials of Anti-Corruption Agencies in the African Union.

The training, he said, was at the instance of Nigeria as part of the support for the war against corruption on the continent and it is being facilitated by the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN) the research and training arm of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

He said that the continent has suffered from the severe consequences of corruption since independence and said it was imperative that steps be taken to reverse the trend.

“When we assumed office in May 2015, the pervasive nature and devastating impact of corruption on the Nigerian nation had become dysfunctional. The momentum for our electoral victory could not be separated from the revolt of the people against glaring endemic corruption.

“During the past several months, we have been taking steps to institute integrity and transparency in the processes of government and holding those who have plundered our commonwealth to account for their actions.

“However, the costs of recovery and sanctions are also enormous. While commendable successes have been recorded, it has become manifest that corruption fights back. With enormous stolen resources elements have attempted to compromise law enforcing institutions and pervert the course of justice,’’ he said.

Therefore, he emphasised the necessity of building a system that would focus on preventing corruption that Nigeria would continue to implement policies aimed at building resilient systems that could withstand assault by corrupt officials.

“Our steps in this direction include the full implementation of both the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) the Open Government Partnership, various Executive Orders, strengthening the Anti-Corruption Agencies and permitting their full autonomy.

“It is in this context of building robust preventive systems that we must understand this initiative which aims to train leaders of anti-corruption agencies in the African Union by deploying Corruption Risk Assessment Methodology for corruption prevention in our countries.

“Corruption Risk Assessment seeks to identify corruption-prone processes and procedures in organisations and recommend appropriate remedial steps. The methodology places a premium on prevention as an effective complement to enforcement in the war against corruption.’’

In 2016, through support from the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, the said that the Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria acquired the capacity to conduct training on Corruption Risk Assessment and had since been conducting trainings.

“The training starting today is an opportunity to extend the benefits of this methodology to other African countries and by which it is clear that we have not taken our appointment as Anti-Corruption Champion for the continent for the year 2018 lightly.

“It is heart-warming that most of our countries have subscribed to not only the United Nations Convention against Corruption, UNCAC, but also the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC).

“This event offers a good opportunity to encourage the few countries which are yet to ratify the African Union Convention to expedite processes to do so. No efforts can be too much as we seek to rid our societies of the evil of corruption.’’

Woman dies, husband hospitalised after phone explodes

By News desk

A 45-year-old woman has died in Kenya after a mobile phone she was charging with solar power suddenly exploded in her bedroom.

The woman identified as Mary Akinyi died on the spot after sustaining serious injuries on her face and head when the phone that was being charged exploded.

Her husband, Patrick Yala, sustained severe injury and was rushed to Ndiru Health Centre for medication.

It was gathered that the accident in Kadiburo Village, Kagan, Rangwe sub county of the country occurred on Sunday night.

Though the phone model was unknown but there had been reports of mobile phones catching fire in the past and people have often been warned to keep away from their ears, the mobile gadgets when being charged.

According to Nathaniel Ochieng’, the deceased’s brother in law, the mobile phone exploded after lightning struck a solar panel on the roof.

“The mobile phone was charging in the bedroom where the couple was sleeping during a heavy downpour in the area.”

Ochieng’ hinted that electronic devices connected to solar power in the house were also destroyed.

“Efforts of family members to rescue Akinyi proved futile since she was already overwhelmed by the burns. It was an unprecedented incident in this area,” Ochieng’ said.

Dancun Ngicho, Medical officer in charge of Ndiru health centre, disclosed that Yala sustained a serious shock in the incident.

He said the patient was vomiting blood which put him in a critical condition.

Ngicho said Yala developed general body weakness and had some glass cuts on his face.

Gabon President suffers stroke, bedridden

President Ali Bongo of Gabon who has been in hospital since October has suffered a stroke.

Vice-President Pierre Claver Maganga Moussavou provided the first the first official details of his President’s illness.

The 59-year-old leader left hospital in Morocco earlier this month and is recovering at a private residence in the capital Rabat after weeks of silence about his condition.

Moussavou said President Bongo had suffered a cerebrovascular accident or CVA, commonly known as a stroke.

“Nobody should rejoice over the death or illness of another, those who have never known a CVA, pray to God that they never know one,” Mr Moussavou said in a speech in Franceville in the south of the country.

“I would not wish it on anyone, not even my worst enemy.”

A lack of official news after President Bongo fell ill at an economic forum in Saudi Arabia on October 24 sparked speculation the Gabonese leader was incapacitated or even dead.

The vice-president was part of a delegation of high-ranking officials who visited President Bongo on Tuesday in Morocco, where he flew at the end of November after a stay in hospital in Riyadh.
A presidential spokesman had initially talked briefly of severe fatigue when referring to President Bongo’s illness.

Official statements did not give details of his condition, though some sources had referred to a possible stroke.

The Bongo family has governed the oil-rich equatorial African nation for five decades and long maintained close ties with former colonial master France.

Diplomatic ties cooled after Ali Bongo was elected in 2009 following his father’s death and French authorities launched a corruption investigation into the family’s assets.

The President’s spokesperson, I’ve Ngouo had said the president was in the Saudi capital for a flagship economic forum when he fell ill.

“The doctors who assessed him said he is suffering from severe fatigue due to extremely high levels of activity in recent months,” he said.

Bongo is feeling better and has been told to rest, Ngouoni added, while calling for “vigilance” against “fake news” following false reports of his death.

Bongo was scheduled to appear Wednesday on a panel at the Future Investment Initiative forum, but was not seen during the discussion.

Great news IGers: Select who can view your stories


Yes! Now you can get really personal on your Instagram social media, with the Close friend feature introduced by the application.

You can handpick people from your followers who will view your stories by using this feature, and it will be hidden room your other followers and the public. Awesome right!

Instagram is helping you achieve your privacy need as the social media world keeps expanding every second. For someone that has the mom or dad, or that nosy aunt or a stalker on your list, you can successfully keep your activities awa from him/her.

Here’s all you have to do;

Make sure your app is the most recent version,

  • Go to your Profile page by tapping the profile icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.
  • Tap the three lines icon in the top right corner of your screen.
  • Tap Close Friends and then tap Add next to the names of people who you want to add to your Close Friends list. You can also tap Search to search for a friend.
  • Once you’ve finished adding people to your list, tap Done.

You can easily add more or remove from this list using similar process.


And just like regular Instagram Stories posts, your story will be available to view for only 24 hours for your Close Friends list.



Here’s how to share a story to your close friends:

  • Tap the camera icon on the top left corner.
  • Choose an image or video you intend to share.
  • Once you do that, you will see two icons at the down left side of your screen with “your story” and “close friends” text underneath.
  • Tap close friends and voila done

Once you’ve posted an Instagram story to your Close Friends list, your profile image will appear with a green circle around it, both on your Profile page (which only you can see) and in your Close Friends’ feed.

The green circle helps it stand out from the other pink circles that usually highlight an account has live Instagram Stories posts you haven’t seen yet. Others that are not on your list can’t see it.



By Mariam Haruna


Police arrests six Sahara Reporters publisher’s campaign members for vandalizing posters

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

As part of the effort to prevent breakdown of law and order, the Nigerian Police has arrested six members of African Action Congress (AAC) allegedly caught vandalizing campaign posters in Lagos State.

The suspects identified as Olagokun Odunayo, Kool-kloud Henry, Ugaju Joseph, Damilola Omidiji, Michael Kate and Banwo Olagokun, were arrested while removing other candidates poster and replaced them with theirs.

The following exhibits, according to Police, were recovered from the suspects : a poster bearing the picture of the presidential candidate of the AAC, Omoyele Sowore, brush, buckets containing gums and turn off posters of other political parties .

The arrest of the six came barely a week after Commissioner of Police, Edgar Imohimi, outlawed campaign poster vandalism in the state.

In a statement on Sunday, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO),Chike Oti, said that the suspects under the code name ‘Take It Back movement, added that their action further negates Lagos State Sinage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) laws that forbade advertisers from pasting posters at no other hour than during the day.

Oti stated that the commissioner has directed that the suspects be charged to court on Monday for malicious damage and conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace to serve as a deterrent to others.

Recall that an agreement was reached to the effect that no political party should undertake the defacing of campaign posters of other political parties nor the destruction of their billboards, at a meeting recently held at the Police Officers Mess, GRA, Ikeja, tagged Security and Stakeholders meeting involving the Independent National Electoral Commissioning (INEC), Chairmen of all political parties in the state and their flag bearers, chaired by Imohimi.