Bayelsa traditional ruler warns politicians against crisis ignition

By NewsDesk,

The Bayelsa State traditional ruler, Graham Naingba , has alleged that politicians were benefiting from crisis in his  Amassoma community, with claimed that a set of people were exploiting opportunity to cause fresh tension before 2019 general elections.

Naingba warned politicians against igniting fresh crisis that could deepen the unfortunate crisis which recently engulfed Amassoma, a host community to the Niger Delta University in Wilberforce Island.

The monarch, in a statement issued on Saturday and signed by him, described the planned crisis as condemnable and reprehensible, directed caution at a popular Ijaw musician and lawyer against producing any music on the recent crisis involving the NDU and the Amassoma community.

He said any further fresh crisis could negate ongoing efforts of the Bayelsa State government towards amicable resolution of the crisis.

According to him, governor Henry Seriake Dickson, has not only put adequate measures in place to address emergent issues but is also effectively resolving the crisis.

“Characters with dubious intent with the backing of politicians focused on 2019 elections should desist from exploiting the crisis to cause further division in Amassoma community.

“The platform of music should not be exploited to inflict pain and agony on the community because the conflict is already being resolved by the various authorities.

“It has come to the attention of the traditional institution and authorities of Amassoma that a popular musician, Chief Barrister Smooth, has released a musical record in the form of an inflammatory dirge on the recent crisis in our dear community, Amassoma.

“While we are not opposed to genuine efforts geared towards peace, security and prosperity of our town, the people òf Amassoma are not in support of the activities of the particular musician with the backing of politicians which are designed to inflame passions in the community.

“Politicians should leave Amassoma alone. The tendency to exploit a crisis situation to aggravate conflict cannot be the best way to show concern and love. This is unknown to the culture of our people.

“The Amassoma community finds this curious action as unpatriotic. Amassoma can do without these crocodile tears and detrimental sympathies. For the purpose of emphasis, we advise that nobody should compose a song to inflame tension and threaten public peace in our community.

“The Governor and the traditional authorities have not only put machinery in place to address the issue but are indeed resolving the crisis. Nobody should do anything that will inflame passion or acts that can lead to further unrest in our community. ”

The monarch said that for anyone to claim to love Amassoma more than the indigenes was the loudest way to express hypocrisy.
“Politicians should leave Amassoma alone. The tendency to exploit a crisis to deepen conflict cannot be the best way to show concern. Amassoma is beyond any individual,” he said.

Ebonyi Gov. puts rice mills under former ambassador, minister cares

By NewsDsk,

The Ebonyi State Governor,  David Umahi, has appointed a former Nigerian Ambassador to Mexico, Lawrence Nwuruku and a former Minister of State for Power and Steel, Goddy Ogbaga, to manage two rice mills in Ikwo and Izzi Local Government Areas (LGA).

Nwuruku, also a former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Commissioner, would manage the Ikwo Rice Mill, while Ogbaga was appointed the Chairman of the Rice Mill, located in Iboko, Izzi LGA.

Umahi made the announcements on Friday during the novelty football matches involving the various arms of governments and parastatals in the state as part of events to mark the 2018 democracy day celebrations.

The governor commended the organisers of the novelty matches, noting that the excitement had reduced the blood pressure of spectators at the refurbished Pa Ngele Oruta Stadium.

He also announced a donation of N5 million to participants of the matches with the six winning teams getting N500, 000 each.

“The four-runners up will get N400, 000 each, while the officials would also get N400, 000,” he said.

As gathered,  Ogbaga and Nwuruku had recently declared intentions to run for the Ebonyi North and Central Senatorial seats of the state respectively.

UN reiterates commitment toward tackling violence against children in Nigerian

By NewsDesk,

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has assured of its commitment to end violence against children in Nigeria, as country joins world to mark 2018 Children’s Day.

It said that the organisation was determined to mobilise will and resources to tackle all forms of violence against children wherever it occurred.

The Deputy Representative in Nigeria, UNICEF, Isiye Ndombi, described violence against children as pervasive, such that occurred at home, school, work place and online.

Speaking on Saturday in Abuja ahead 2018 Children’s Day, Ndombi said that perpetrators of voilence against kids often include the very people children are expected to trust, parents, caregivers and other family members, friends, teachers and intimate partners.

“We are currently re-analysing the 2014 Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) findings to gain an even deeper understanding of the drivers of violence against children.

“We are also supporting our Government partners to launch our National Plan of Action to End VAC by 2030, alongside a national Social Norms Change Strategy.

“We are supporting the Government to track and monitor reported cases to end the menace,’’ she said.

Ndombi noted that violence against children affected them for life, saying that the marks were sometimes visible bruises and broken bones.

According to him, harm caused by violence on children also affects their mental and physical health and their ability to function in the world.

Speaking on the year’s theme, Ndombi said it provides an excellent opportunity to speak up on behalf of all the vulnerable children in the country.

He identified the efforts of the government to end violence against children to include the conduct of VAC survey in 2014.

The survey, according to him, provides the first national representative data on the prevalence of sexual, physical, and emotional violence among children in the country.

Ndombi identified Nigeria as the first country in the West African sub-region and the 9th worldwide to conduct VAC survey.

This, he said demonstrate the commitment of government to tackle the menace.

“The findings released at the end of 2015, highlighted that millions of Nigerian children are suffering from violence every year and most are suffering in silence.

“Six out of 10 children will suffer some form of emotional, physical or sexual violence before they reach the age of 18.

“Many of them encounter violence over and over; yet, less than five per cent of the children that seek help and receive support.

“This is a clear call for the government at all levels to act to end violence against children.

“In September 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari launched a Year of Action to End Violence Against Children and called on all Nigerians to join this battle.

“Buhari renewed his commitment in October 2016 by launching a long-term campaign, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, to End Violence Against Children by 2030,’’ he noted.

Pope chooses Bishop for Enugu Catholic diocese

By NewsDesk, 

Pope Francis has chose Rev. Fr Ernest Obodo as auxiliary bishop of Catholic diocese of Enugu, Nigeria, the post of which would remove his current office as rector of Saint Bernard Senior Seminary Hostel and lecturer at the Bigard Memorial Seminary in Enugu

However, he appointment which was announced through a release by Vatican press Office on Friday, Pope also assigned the appointee to titular see of Mediana.

Obodo, before the appointment, was rector of the Saint Bernard Senior Seminary Hostel and lecturer at the Bigard Memorial Seminary in Enugu.

He was born on 24 October 1966 in Awha-Imezi, in the diocese of Enugu, and joined “Sacred Heart” minor seminary in Nsude, and carried out his studies in philosophy and theology at the Bigard Major Seminary in Enugu.

The bishop was ordained a catholic priest on 22 July 2000 for the diocese of Enugu and since priestly ordination, had held various positions in the diocese.

They include parish vicar of the “Queen of Holy Rosary” parish, Ugwuagor (2000-2001); pastor of the “Saint Charles” parish, Amechi Idodo (2001-2004); and formator at the Saint Bernard’s Hostel Seminary, Nchatancha.

He was also the secretary of the diocesan clergy of Enugu, chaplain of the Saint Jude Society and member of the diocesan Commission for History (2004-2009).

From 2010-2016 he carried out his studies for the licentiate and doctorate in theology at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.

Since 2016 he has served as rector of the Saint Bernard Senior Seminary Hostel and lecturer at the Bigard Memorial Seminary in Enugu.

Buhari’s media group attacks Obasanjo over $16bn power project

By NewsDesk,

The President Muhammadu Buhari Media Organization (BMO) has cautioned the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, to stay away with unnecessary explanations on his failure to deliver power which $16 billion was claimed to had been spent on.

It said that since the former president could to produce proof agaist the allegation, there was no need for Obasanjo to justify how the $16 billion was move away from Nigerian economy with pretext of power projects in Nigeria?

Advising the former president through a statement issued on Friday in Abuja, it noted that the lengthy communication of Obasanjo still failed to address the salient point and that evident needed was not that of article.

it said: “Nigerians may be many things, but they are not fools. They would definitely have been able to tell if the $16 billion allocated to power projects was actually expended as proposed.

“Even the poorest mathematicians among us would have been able to calculate the disbursement of that amount in the increased number of hours per day their light bulbs, television sets and refrigerators stayed on, and in the decreased hours their generators stayed on.

“It would have been impossible to not feel the impact of the $16 billion dollars on power, if the money had actually been spent on power”, BMO said.

“Chief Obasanjo exculpates himself by referring to probes and investigations which found him blameless.

“But, the fact remains that the invisible $16 billion power projects took place under his watch. As the commander in chief at the time, he should have been able to keep an eye on the huge funds he dished out to such a crucial sector of our economy, and monitor those who handled the cash. Most importantly, he should be able to tell Nigeria what became of the funds and why we still have no power after such a huge expense.

“Which brings us back to the question of President Buhari’s recent query. Chief Obasanjo, please, tell Nigerians: Where is the power after the 16 billion dollars your government spent on power projects in Nigeria?”

Ambode bags Leadership Newspaper Governor of Year award

By NewsDesk,

The Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode, has proven that more development could be put in place in Lagos after he emerged as Leadership Newspaper 2017 Governor of Year, the award which exhibited recognition of the governor’s exceptional performance among his counterparts.

 

Receiving Governor of the Year Award, Ambode, who was represented by Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamigbetan, reiterated that his determination after taking over mantle of leadership was to put in his expertise and experience at the service of the people to ensure continuous infrastructure and human development as well as sustain the economic growth of the State is not in doubt.

Speaking at the at Leadership 2017 Annual Conference and Awards Ceremony, organized by the Leadership Newspapers on Friday in Abuja, the governor stated that his social contract with people of Lagos was his totally committed to fulfilling their the state needs.

Besides, both Ambode and his Cross River counterpart, Donald Duke, made  known of their concerns on danger of incessant migration from all parts of the country pose on Lagos State should it be abandon to shoulder developmental challenges all alone.

They warned that continued expansion of 24 million population within a territorial land mass of 923, 773 square kilometres could leading to huge infrastructural deficit that federal allocations and internally generated revenue have not addressed, both urged State Governments to create productive economies to stem the drift to Lagos.

Duke noted that that N1.4trillion budget of the state for 2018 was too meager to fund needed infrastructures,

He said that the leadership at the federal and states level must recognize that a state that contributes more than 50 percent of the Gross Domestic Product and majority of industrial activity needs urgent support.

Earlier, while declaring the Conference open, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, advocated for states commitments to developments by drawing inspiration from Western Region which executed landmark projects and programmes in the First Republic.

He said the giant strides of Lagos State since the administration of former Governor Bola Tinubu which planned the re-development of Lagos on aggressive internally generated revenue has demonstrated the importance of taxation to the provision of infrastructures.

However, the Chairman, Leadership Newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah, urged governors to act as the Chief Executive Officers of companies who must make profits for their firms to keep their jobs.

“The days when States would go cap in hand every month to the Federal Government will soon be over because the Federal Government itself will be too busy struggling to solve its own federal problems. The good news is that every State in Nigeria can survive as a rich entity, with a little imagination from its leaders,” Nda-Isaiah said.

Nda-Isaiah postulated that, perhaps, it might take the states to suffer some hard times in order to come to terms with the new reality.

“Lagos State found out the hard way that it could earn much more than its monthly allocations from Abuja when the then President Olusegun Obasanjo illegally impounded the monthly allocations of its local governments for selfish reasons.

“That was when the governor then, Bola Tinubu, knew the real definition of IGR. Since then, the State has not looked back,’’ he said.

He further averred that States needed to develop their own proprietary methods of boosting their IGR, noting that Lagos chose corporate taxes because that was where its advantages lay.

“It could be abundant mineral resources for some, and yet for others, it could be massive land resources. Any state government that gives the impression that it is waiting for a constitution amendment before it can take advantage of the state’s mineral resources is simply dumb.

“State sovernments can apply to the Federal Government for mining leases in their states and simply become mineral-rich. The problem is that no state has been able to do this. Some states are succeeding with agriculture, especially rice cultivation using the CBN intervention funds. It is the same logic”, Nda-Isaiah said.

Atiku raises concern over Cholera outbreak in Adama, Kano

By NewsDesk, 

The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has raised concerned over need for Federal Government and relevant agencies to come to aid of scores of persons affected by cholera outbreak in Adamawa State and that of those in Kano State.

Atiku, who spoke after reports of 12 persons’ deaths as result of the scourge in Mubi and another four in Kano, expressed sadness on the effect of the disease since.

Through a statement issued by hsis media office on Friday, the former vice president urged  governments at all levels to expedite action by coming to the aid of those infected and stop the spread of the disease before it gets deadlier.

He noted that government intervention had become inevitable since the local authorities do not possess level of manpower to handle outbreak of cholera or of any disease of such magnitude.

“I call on Nigerians especially in the affected regions to be on high alert and make it a priority to observe personal and environmental hygiene”.

Operation centre has also been set up in Mubi General Hospital where all suspected cases should be reported to 08031230359 and 07080601139″.

Courts remands Edo PDP chairman, others over N700M fraud

By NewsDesk,

The Federal High Court in Benin has ordered remand of Edo State People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Dan Orbih, in prison custody should  he failed to perfect bail condition which the court granted him over fund he alleged N700 million fraud along others prior to 2015 election.

However, the court, which granted Orbih and party’s 2016 governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, bail in the sum of N10 million for alleged N700 million fraud, ordered that the arranged person before the court be kept in prison custody until they meet the condition set by the court.

It also granted bail in the same condition, the state former deputy governor, Lucky Imasuen, a former member of the House of Representatives, Tony Azegnemi and Efe Anthony.

On his oart, Justice P. Adjokwu, who sat over the fraud case, ordered the defendants to produce a surety each in like sum.

The judge ordered that the sureties, who must not be below salary grade level 16, must also be house owners, with Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) that should be deposited with the court’s deputy registrar.

Adjokwu, who rejected the plea by defendants’ counsel, Mr Charles Edosomwan, ordered them to be remanded in prison until they met the bail conditions.

The Judge adjourned the case till July 4.

EFCC had arraigned the defendants on an eight-count charge of laundering the sum of N700 million.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants were arraigned for receiving N700 million prior to the 2015 general elections, from former oil minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

The money was part of the $115 million that Diezani pilfered from the treasury.

He said the offence contravened Section 15(2)(d)of the Money Laundering (Prohibited) Act 2011(as amended by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) punishable under section 15(3) of same Act.

Court goes after Innoson Motor’s chairman over 5th non-appearance

By NewsDesk,

A Special Offences Court sitting in Lagos, has declared Innoson Motors Chairman of Innocent Chukwuma, wanted by following his continuous refusal to attend court proceedings for an alleged fraud trial.

However, the Court Judge, Justice Mojisola Dada,  who presided over the case, issued the bench warrant for his arrest after he failed to appear in court for his arraignment for fifth time.

 

As gathered, Chukwuma, who is standing trial in a matter between his company and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), had previously failed to make an appearance in court for his arraignment on Jan. 17, Feb. 9, March 14 and April 25.

The automobile maker, arraigned alongside his company for allegedly forging documents to facilitate the clearing of some goods at the port, alleged to have forged documents purportedly emanating from GTB Bank.

The issue, however, degenerated as Innoson alleged victimization and harassment by the EFCC and GTB Bank.

During the proceedings of March 14, it was revealed that Innoson had petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) over Justice Mojisola Dada, the judge trying the case.

At today’s proceedings, EFCC ‘s Counsel, Mr. Anselem Ozioko, said, “this appears to be the fifth time this matter is coming up before your Lordship for arraignment’’.

“The learned Senior Advocate of Nigeria representing the second defendant (Innoson) is still insisting on taking his application without ensuring the defendant is physically present in court.

“The question is, where is the second defendant? Is he too big for the court? Is he too big for the Federal Republic of Nigeria? Is he too big because he has money? Where is he?

“What my learned friends, the defence counsel are doing is contemptuous.

“We shall be applying for an order to declare the second defendant wanted,” he said.

In granting Ozioko’s request, Justice Dada said, “The second defendant is hereby declared wanted and the case adjourned until June 22 for possible arraignment.”

Buhari appoints former IGP, Smith, others as police commission members

By NewsDesk,

President Muhammadu Buhari has pointed former Inspector-General of Police,Musiliu Smith,  and Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a former justice of the Supreme Court, members of Police Service Commission (PSC), who may take the office from the PSC current Chairman, Mike Okiro, should the duo get clearance from senate.

As gathered, Smith may become next chairman of the PSC if he gets the nod of the Senate, and  replace  Okiro, who is also a former inspector-general of police.

Until his appointment, Smith, an alumnus of the University of Lagos, was the IGP between 1999 and 2012.

However, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had on Thursday read Buhari’s letter seeking the confirmation of Smith’s appointment and those of three others.

They are a former justice of the Supreme Court, Clara Bata Ogunbiyi (full-time commissioner), north-east; Lawal Bawa (full-time commissioner), north-west; Mohammed Najatu (member) north-west.

The president based his request on sections 153 (1) and 154(1) of the constitution as amended.

“In compliance with the provisions of section 153 (1) and 154(1) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, I write to forward for confirmation by the senate the underlisted names as the chairman and members of Police Service Commission (PSC). I attach here, with their CVs,” the president’s letter read.

“In anticipation of the early consideration and confirmation of the above appointments by the distinguished senators, please accept, Mr Senate president, the assurance of my highest consideration.”

Smith became Police IG in the first term of President Olusegun Obasanjo. He was swept out of office by the first strike by policemen.

He was born in Lagos on 17 April, 1946. He completed secondary education at Ansarudeen College, Isolo, Lagos and went to the University of Lagos where he obtained a B.Sc in Sociology in 1970.

Smith joined the police force in 1972 in Enugu as an Assistant Police Superintendent.

He later served as an Instructor in the Police College Ikeja, and a Divisional Police Officer in Mubi, Adamawa State.

From 1980 to 1982, he was in charge of the X-Squad at CID Alagbon Close, Ikoyi. He was moved to Ilorin where he served in various capacities, finally becoming Kwara State Police Command Administrative Officer.

He was posted to Rivers State in 1987, taking charge of the Police College. In 1988, he was promoted Commissioner of Police and moved to Lagos where he took over control of the Criminal Intelligence Divisional Force. He returned to Kwara State and later Plateau State as Commissioner of Police.

In 1996, Musiliu Smith was promoted to Assistant Inspector General of Police, placed in charge of Zonal Headquarters, Kano.

He completed a master’s degree programme in Strategic Studies at the University of Ibadan in 1997. He was appointed a member of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1998.

Former Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a member of the commission born on February 27, 1948 at Lassa, a town in Borno State, Northeastern Nigeria. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Law from Ahmadu Bello University June 1975 and was called to the Nigerian bar in 1976.

She read criminology at the master’s degree level at the University of Hull in 1983 and later got a Post Graduate Diploma certificate in Education from the University of Maiduguri.

Clara began her law career in Maiduguri in 1971, after obtaining a certificate in law from ABU, before she went for the full LLB.

She rose from Assistant Registrar at the High Court of Justice Maiduguri to state counsel in 1977. In 1984, she became the Director of Civil Litigation, a position she held until she was appointed as Judge of the High Court of Borno State. On October 2002, she was appointed to the bench of the Nigerian courts of appeal as Justice and on 2012, she was appointed as a justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. She retired in February 2018, after attaining the age of 70.