Breaking News: Boko haram carrying out attack in Maiduguri…multiple explosions and thick smoke bellows everywhere

Gunmen suspected to be members of the extremist Boko Haram sect have invaded Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, throwing the city into pandemonium.

The attackers, shooting sporadically at anything in sight, arrived at about 7:20 a.m. Friday through an area called Fori, near the Army’s main base called Giwa Barracks.

The heavy shooting continues as at the time of this report.
An airforce jet fighter arrived exactly an hour after the attack started.

Women, children, men, young and old around the Giwa barracks area were seen running in confusion.
Echoes of gunfire and explosion were heard from the area.
The military jet continued to drop bombs at targeted areas.

Armed policemen have taken over some of the major roads leading to major government facilities.
Those who saw some of the attackers said they were dressed in military uniform.

The Boko Haram insurgents attempted invading the Giwa Barracks, but were repelled by soldiers.

Thick Smokes bellowing everywhere.

The attack is still on.

Details later….

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President Jonathan’s Media Aide, Reno Omokri Exposed As Wendell Simlin, The Propagandist – Ekekeee

Its really been a while since I blogged due to my busy schedule but I couldn’t but put this up as it is so unfortunate for Reno Omokri, a Special Assistant to President GEJ on New media.

This is what social commentators meant when they said President GEJ reels himself with bad Presidential aides. For me I think politicising the Boko Haram insurgency is the saddest thing a Presidential aide could plunge himself into.

You want to know what he did? Read the article below by and feel free to share your comment:

A regular Twitter user, Feyi Fawehinmi (@DoupleEph) had asked Journalist and Blogger, Abang Mercy (@AbangMercy) to forward him an email making the rounds and received by the latter linking the worrying spate of killings in which more than 200 persons had lost their lives (including 43 college kids) in Nigeria’s turbulent North East region in the space of four days, to the suspended Sanusi Lamido who has since dragged President Jonathan to court for legal breaches in ousting him.

The revelations that followed from Fawehinmi’s Twitter timeline would have the online community buzzing for a while. The emails, written by a certain Wendell Simlin have since been traced to Mr Omokri who handles the President’s social media brief .

Mr Omokri’s name turned up after the mails were subjected to a property and digital footprint analyses. As the backlash from furious Twitter users aimed at Mr Omokri’s Twitter handle intensified, Mr Wendell Simlin’s Facebook page got yankedoff cyberspace. The microsoft document from where the inciting email was attached bore Mr Reno Omokri’s name.

Wendell Simlin has since been discovered to be Reno Omokri and Reno Omokri, we have since found, shares the same flesh and soul with Mr Wendell Simlin.

Using pseudonyms on Social Media is not an altogether new practice and is in fact as old as the internet. Now popularly referred to as ‘Catfishing’, thousands have lost vast sums of money to internet catfishing and many more have fallen in love with virtual love partners who were more often than not pseuodonym experts. The internet bestows ample anonymity on users and the lines between real and virtual internet “friends” are becoming increasingly blurred.

Some mischievous social media users have taken catfishing to new heights; opening several Twitter and Facebook accounts to rein in unsuspecting persons into believing a cause or associating with nefarious agendas. But when a Presidential aide gets ensconced in what is an unwholesome practice and uses same to preach hate and whip up vile sentiments, we all should have cause to worry.

There are several ethical reasons why this is an altogether new low for the President’s media team which is adept at throwing plenty of mud at perceived opponents and opposition elements alike while hoping it sticks. In a corner of the country, the corpses of several slain school kids who were murdered in cold blood while they slept are only just making their way to the morgues.

Defenseless and starry eyed, their lives had been brought to premature ends because they hailed from a country which couldn’t protect them. Their families are still grieving. Three days before, 109 persons were also killed by the Boko Haram sect in Borno.

As the nation mourns her dead, a Presidential aide finds it amusing and worth his time to send a nebulous email using a pseudonym. His aim: to play politics some more, to get back at the opposition and to upturn the media narrative in his boss’ favour.

It may have been an act of overzealousness, but it doesn’t gloss over the fact that it was a most despicable brand of overzealousness from an aide of the highest ranking public officer in the land.

Over time, Mr Reno Omokri has proven himself a voyeur of a sinister ilk in the social media terrain; one whose acts of schadenfreude have won for him and the President more enemies than friends. Presidential aides should have some sense of decorum and responsibility, some love for country and a sprinkling of honour amidst the ungainful propaganda. Mr Reno Omokri’s penchant for belittling his office and that of his Principal time and again are sadly well documented.

In the light of this latest revelation and opprobrium, President Goodluck Jonathan should immediately relieve Mr Reno
Omokri of his responsibilities.

Firing him will be the only logical conclusion to what has become a most embarrassing tale.

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BREAKING: Boko Haram attacks Adamawa villages; casualties unknown – PREMIUM TIMES

The Boko Haram sect has intensified attacks in the North-East region in the past few days
Unknown gunmen on Wednesday night raided three villages in Madagali and Michika local governments in Adamawa state, residents and officials have said.

According to the chairman of Madagali Local Government, Maina Ularamu, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES over the telephone, the attackers, suspected to be members of the extremist Boko Haram sect, first attacked Kirchiga Village before proceeding to Shuwa town both in Madagali Local Government Area.

“They came to Kirchiga at a little after 8p.m and opened fire sporadically at the people,” he said.

He however could not confirm any casualty‎ figure as at midnight on Thursday.

Mr. Ularamu added that the gunmen also‎ attacked neighbouring Shuwa town, adding that the sounds of gunfire could still be heard in the town as at the time we spoke to him.

Also, a resident of Michika town, who declined to be named for security reasons, told PREMIUM TIMES that he could hear gunshots in the town.

He reported intermittent sounds of gunshots and said most people in the town had run home for safety.

The spokesperson of the Nigerian Army in Yola, Nuhu Jafaru, could not be reached to comment for this story. Calls to him were unsuccessful as his telephone line failed to connect.


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PDP takes back majority in House of Reps

Nigeria’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday secured a big win over its rival in the House of Representatives, the All Progressives Congress, APC, staging a forceful reclaim of the majority the opposition party took more than a month ago.

Five APC members announced their defection to the PDP Tuesday, while only one lawmaker moved from APC to PDP, giving a fair lead to the PDP that had earlier won an edge last week.

On Tuesday, Ladan Bichi (Kano), Abdulsalam Adamu (Kano), Sani Galadinma (Zamfara), Ibrahim Gusau (Zamfara) and Umar Bature (Sokoto) said they were decamping from the APC to PDP; while Isa Ashiru, who represents Kaduna State, decamped from the PDP to APC.

The PDP now leads the House with between 178 and 179 members, while the APC drops to between 167 and 168 members. Official figures of the 360-member House are yet to be announced. Other parties with fewer members in the House include the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA; Labour Party, LP; and Accord Party.

The margin between Nigeria’s two largest parties would be the widest yet since dozens of lawmakers, moving from the PDP to APC, staged the first in a series of defections in the House last December.

The legislators cited the PDP’s intractable crises, and pushed the APC into a slim lead over the PDP, the first time an opposition party would be in majority in any of the two houses of parliament, since 1999.

Since then, the numbers have continued to shift with more members declaring for either of the two parties ahead of general elections in 2015.

But Tuesday’s defections gave the PDP a fairly firm control, amid expectations the figures could still change in favour of any of the parties as more members plan to switch sides.

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Revelations of Ogiadomhe’s eviction from the Presidency. (SaharaReporters)

SaharaReporters has gathered that a huge dossier prepared on the activities of the erstwhile Chief of Staff of President Goodluck Jonathan, whom he fired yesterday, revealed an extensive corruption profile.

But the former Deputy Governor of Edo State is unlikely to be asked to answer to any of them because Mr. Jonathan does not want to open a Pandora’s Box involving persons at the highest levels of his administration, analysts have told SaharaReporters.

Mr. Oghiadomhe’s bag of tricks includes Kerosene subsidy fraud at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the magnitude of millions of dollars with a controversial businessman, Jide Omokore, owner of oil companies Atlantic Energy Limited and Seven Energy.

Both companies are at the center of the $6 billion fraud cited by the Governor of the Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, in his recent revelation to the Nigeria Senate that the NNPC has not been able to account for $20 billion of the $67 billion worth of oil it lifted between 2012 and 2013.

Mr. Jonathan reportedly asked Mr. Oghiadomhe to resign after security agencies revealed his deep involvement, first, in a Rice waiver scam used to fund Mr.
Jonathan’s Presidential Election in 2011; the security reports traced billions of naira to the duo, showing that they did not declare or remit a greater portion of the “profit” from the Rice waiver to the Jonathan campaign.

The campaign treasurer the was Ms. Stella Oduah, the current minister of Aviation, enmeshed in various financial and ethical scandals in her ministry.

In recent days, it also emerged that Mr. Omokore and Oghiadome benefited immensely from the N1 billion-naira-a-day Kerosene subsidy fraud.

Last week Tuesday, Omokore sent his wife, Angela, to meet with President Jonathan in order to explain that her husband did not partake in the fraud, but Mr.
Jonathan appeared unconvinced as the CBN governor buffeted the nation with further revelation of massive fraud in the petroleum sector. Angela Omokore is Oghiadome’s goddaughter.

Also, Nigeria’s Petroleum minister Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke reportedly washed her hands off the fraud case claiming that Oghiadome and Omokore shortchanged Nigerians in the deals.

When the former Chief of Staff showed up for work at the Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday he was told to submit his resignation letter. After complying, he returned to his residence.

He was not subjected to any questioning or surveillance, leaving him free to do as he pleases with his time and resources.

In order to fend off inquiries, presidential spokesperson Reuben Abati told some reporters today that Mr. Oghiadomhe “voluntarily resigned” to go and participate in politics.

The spin is aimed at deflecting public outrage that could force Mr. Jonathan’s hands in taking action against others involved in the NNPC fraud, particularly the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Alison-Madueke. She is currently reported to be “sick,” and is maintaining a low profile in far away London.

The challenge facing Mr. Jonathan is that, particularly in an election year, it would be impossible for him to claim that Mr. Oghiadomhe carried out his full briefcase of alleged corruption activities at the NNPC all the way from Aso Rock without the knowledge of the Minister, and that he has done all of it since 2010 without the knowledge of the presidency and the security agencies.

Mr. Jonathan is also likely to face questions as to why, each time a top official of his government is accused of corruption, he or she is at best removed from office, as has happened in the cases of Mr. Oghiadomhe and the former chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Farida Waziri.

Most of the time, such an official is shielded from any investigation, as has happened in the cases of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohamed Adoke; the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah; Alison-Madueke, and now Oghiadomhe.

In recent times, Nigerians have increasingly accused Mr. Jonathan of boosting corruption and impunity in Nigeria by, among others, failing to take action against his corrupt officials. On sunday, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties called on Mr. Jonathan to institute a comprehensive investigation into corruption in the NNPC since 1999.

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Henry Okah attempted to escape from prison–South African authorities

Prison authorities in South Africa have confirmed that Henry Okah — the guerrilla leader of the Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) sentenced in January 2013 to 24 years in prison for terrorism charges — was involved in a failed jailbreak last month.

Although details of the botched escape from Leeukop Prison in northern Johannesburg were not released, Spokesman for South Africa’s Department of Correctional Services, Manelisi Wolela told AFP: “I can confirm that Okah is one of the five inmates that attempted to escape and whose efforts were foiled”.

The department revealed that most of the offenders who hatched the botched escape are serving life sentences for serious offences, such as murder, kidnapping and robbery. It added that since there were 11 attempted jail breaks in the 12 months preceding March 2013; security at the prison has now been tightened.

Okah was convicted for spearheading the 2010 Nigeria Independence Day car bombings in Abuja that resulted in the death of at least 12 people, and for instigating two explosions in Warri, Delta State, South-South Nigeria in March 2010, among many others.

The 48-year-old was first arrested in February 2008 in Angola and then deported to Nigeria on a 62-count charge of treason, terrorism, illegal possession of firearms and arms trafficking.

With a death penalty looming, however, Okah accepted late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s Presidential Amnesty Programme and was consequently freed on July 13th 2009.

But he was re-arrested on 2nd October 2010 — a day after the 2010 Independence Day bombing — in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the trial began on October 1st 2012, exactly two years after the bombing.

Okah often poartrays himself as an important and influential figure, for example, he previously claim to have been influential in President Goodluck Jonathan’s appointment of Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke as Minister of Petroleum Resources, after intense lobbying by the minister and an aide of the president.

Mr. Okah, who led MEND from his South African base for many years has consistently accused President Jonathan and his aides of pressuring him tio implicate certain Nigerian politicians as being involved in the independence day bombings.


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Kerosene Subsidy: Absence Of Minister, NNPC, PPMC Stall Probe

The absence of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Deziani Allison-Madueke, NNPC and Pipeline, Products Marketing Company (PPMC), on Monday stalled a probe on kerosene subsidy.

The hearing was at the instance of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the house through a resolution mandated the committee to investigate issues surrounding kerosene supply, distribution and subsidy payments from the year 2010 to 2013.

The announcement by the Chairman of the committee, Rep. Dakuku Peterside, for the postponement came after a long wait by stakeholders who were seated before 10 a.m.

Peterside said that the committee was compelled to postpone the hearing due to the absence of officials of the three agencies which were critical stakeholders in the investigation.
“It is not in the character of the seventh National Assembly to waste people’s time.

“On behalf of the committee, I want to apologise to you, we are going to be compelled by circumstances to put off this hearing to the Feb. 18.

“We owe you a duty to carry out the investigation, we will not let you down, we want to apologise once more, we will move on with the hearing on Feb. 18.

He explained that several invitation letters were written to the agencies and ministry about the hearing, but they did not responded till the day of the hearing.

The letters partly reads: “I wish to inform you that the Honourable Minister together with the top management of the ministry and its agencies will be participating in the International Summit on Power Financing starting today, 10th February, 2014.

“As a result, we regret to inform you of our inability to honour your invitation. We are also currently engaged with the Senate Committee on Finance and it is not clear when their hearing will end.’’

NNPC in a letter signed by its General Manager, National Assembly Liaison, Mr M.B Bamanga, and dated Feb. 7 gave the same excuse.

“I am further directed to appeal to the Chairman to allow NNPC and its subsidiary sufficient time to collate the required documents and reschedule an alternate date for the appearance of our organisation at the hearing, please,’’ the letter reads.

The PPMC’s letter dated Feb. 7 and signed by the Executive Director, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, also followed the same format.

In an interview with NAN, Mr Obafemi Olawore, Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, expressed disappointment over the postponement of the hearing.

“We flew down to Abuja on Sunday so that we will not have any filth delay this morning, personally I got here quarter to 10 this morning.

“I have wasted the whole of today, wasted hotel accommodation, flight and I have to now go to Lagos,’’ Olawore said. (NAN)

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what do you guys think? Is Dangote doing it right?

Many folks have condemn the initiative of business mogul, Aliko Dangote to build a refinery in Lagos state. They said he left his undeveloped northern region to develop the already developed Lagos state.

Guys what do u think?

Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola today took businessman Aliko Dangote to inhabitants of Ibeju-Lekki communities.

Local chiefs of several villages in about nine interlocking communities were enticed with cash and car gifts to surrender their lands to a Lagos free Trade Zone project.

The residents however said were cut out of any plan to help them resettle or get compensation as their chiefs cut deals to displace them for Mr. Dangote’s prospected refinery and petrochemical project.

The State government had tried to use police force to dislodge the inhabitants a few days ago but they were resisted.

However, today, Lagos Governor Fashola changed tactics using local chiefs to cut land deals that would shortchange residents.

Below are some of the pictures taken at the event. Be free to share your opinion!

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What, actually is PDP’s headache over APC’s registration?

I wonder what PDP’s headache is just because APC is carrying out membership registration. Now Lagos state chapter of PDP is running their mouth.
I guess they are being frustrated over the recent success of the new bride, APC…read their statements below!!

The Lagos State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, of sponsoring the ongoing membership registration of the All Progressives Congress, APC, with state funds. The party also accused Mr. Fashola of crippling governance in the state in order to participate and monitor the registration exercise.

The PDP also accused the 57 council chairmen in Lagos of also using council funds for the party registration exercise. The APC controls the 57 local council development areas of Lagos.

“We can now confirm that the ongoing APC membership registration, especially in Lagos State, is enjoying the sponsorship of Governor Fashola. The Governor has also condoned the decision of the 57 Council chairmen to divert their council funds into the clearly Party exercise.

“They have spent at least N7 billion paying for the Registration Materials, Staff, Massive Promo Adverts at all levels, Inducing persons to register etc. This amount could have been better utilised to improve the lives of Lagosians,” the PDP said in a statement by its spokesperson, Taofik Gani, on Monday.

The PDP also said it may invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to probe the allegation.

“This Party, APC, has no membership yet and cannot claim any financial membership as well. Who then is bankrolling their ongoing membership registration process? Governor Fashola must give us answer to this question. Lagosians demand to know. We have more strong Direct and Circumstantial evidence for the EFCC to proof that the ongoing APC membership registration is being sponsored from the Lagos State treasury,” it said.
The APC has, however, dismissed the claims of the Lagos PDP.

“This people (PDP) are getting paranoid, and it appears they have no respect for money. N7 billion? Well for the record, the registration exercise is sponsored wholly by the party and the entire budget is not even close to N1 billion,” the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lai Mohammed, told PREMIUM TIMES.

Lagos is one of the 16 states governed by the APC.

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MEND Claims Responsibility For Attack On “Ogun Boss” Police Escorts–SaharaReporters

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack on the police gunboats that were escorting Eris Paul, aka “Ogun Boss,” who it called a traitor, in Peremabiri, Southern Ijaw Local Government of Bayelsa State.

It said the attack was similar to the April 6, 2013 attack it carried out on 15 police officers on the day its ‘Hurricane Exodus’ was launched.

SaharaReporters learned that “Ogun Boss” had prevailed on the Bayelsa Police Commissioner to release three police gunboats and escorts for Saturday’s operation.
“Ogunboss and several others now hiding in the cities, sold their birthrights for contracts and political appointments to the detriment of a just cause,” MEND said in a statement on Sunday.

“They are now persona non grata in the creeks, and their lives and ill-gotten properties have become subject to legitimate targets for destruction. In the words of our hero, the great Madiba, Nelson Mandela, “No self-respecting freedom fighter would take orders from a government he is fighting against or jettison a long time ally in the interest of pleasing an antagonist”.

The statement warned it was “not yet uhuru” for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) concerning its announcement that the completion of repairs on the Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline was attacked by Hurricane Exodus.

“Nigerians should not expect improvement in power availability through gas pipelines until the root issues that led to militancy in the Niger Delta have been addressed or discussed,” MEND said.

The MEND statement also the movement has learnt from a reliable source in the National Hospital, Abuja that the last paragraph of the psychiatric evaluation report dated January 09, 2014 was doctored.

“This paragraph concluded that Mr Charles Okah was happy with the judge and was fit for his trial; contradicting the body of the report which listed several serious mental conditions including memory loss, psychotic depression, auditory and visual hallucinations. It even mentioned the Charles Okah could not recall the number of children he has and imagined he was in the Judges chamber instead of a physician’s consulting room!

“A wide range of symptoms he exhibited according to the report are related to the side effect of the drug epilim sodium valproate which was prescribed by the National Hospital and forcefully administered to him by the Nigerian Prisons even after he had complained of the adverse effect it was having on him,” the statement said.

MEND further said its source had revealed that government Prosecutor, Alex Iziyon, the SSS, the National Hospital Medical Director and the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee, had fraudulently inserted the paragraph into the space that was deliberately created between the original last paragraph and the signature, and inserted the doctored paragraph after the document was signed by an unsuspecting consultant psychiatrist who could not be persuaded to make such an unethical and unprofessional compromise.

“The cat was let out of the bag after Charles Okah’s lawyer pointed out the contradiction between the body of the report and the conclusion to an already suspicious Judge, who then ordered for another psychiatric evaluation to be conducted and signed by three (3) psychiatrists before the next adjourned date of February 05, 2014,” MEND said.

“The consultant psychiatrist on discovering the unethical conduct by her superiors bluntly refused to carry out a further evaluation which is the real reason why no new report was available in court on February 05, 2014. To avoid exposing this national disgrace, the matter was discussed inside the Judge’s chamber while the official line was to lie that the re-evaluation was not carried out because the National Hospital had just one psychiatrist and needed two more to sign. They also sighted “National Security”. Since when did a medical evaluation report become a “national security” matter to be discussed in private?”

MEND described as “very unfortunate” the fact that the National Hospital has joined the list of government agencies of persecution by allowing doctors to be used to destroy perceived enemies of the State by administering poison and falsifying documents.

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Order Independent inquiry into NNPC accounts, CNPP urge Jonathan–SaharaReporters

Osita Okechukwu

Osita Okechukwu

The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) on Sunday sent an urgent appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan to order an independent inquiry into the 1999-2013 accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

“We are making this patriotic appeal not only to stop the revenue leakages bleeding our country to stupor, nor stop the public hearing by the Senate Finance Committee; but to save our democracy and our dear country from harm’s way,” it said in a statement signed by Osita Okechukwu, its National Publicity Secretary.

CNPP said the 2015 general elections will be free, fair and more transparent if Mr. Jonathan can muster the political will to clean the Augean stables in the NNPC since 1999 or even the beginning his regime.

“Without sounding alarmist, the drums of war from several quarters and Do-or-Die attitude, as we approach 2015 general elections seem to echo and revolve around who signs the Oil Signature,” the statement said, adding that such a transparent and independent inquiry, without prejudice to the PIB Bill, would invite credibility to the industry.

“President Jonathan would wittingly ink his name in the hall of fame of history, clear his name from this rot, sacrifice those who are tainting his name and protect our fledgling democracy and our dear country; if he honours this appeal,” CNPP said.

It further noted that no sane person can dismiss with a wave of the hand the monumental disclosure from Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Governor of the Central Bank, who is a constitutionally authorized Economic Adviser to the President, no matter how inaccurate his figures might be.

It said the missing link is the accuracy of Mr. Sanusi’s figures, not the absence of rot in the NNPC, which the independent inquiry would be mandated to unravel and cleanse for posterity.

“For example, can we dismiss his allegation that NNPC’s claim of expending $8.49b in paying subsidy is doubtful? More so after NNPC had officially earlier reported not making deduction for fuel April 2012 and 2013 and when the National Assembly duly appropriated first N888b and secondly Supplementary Budget of over N100b in 2012 for fuel subsidy.

“Secondly, can anyone uphold the sanctity of the Strategic Alliance Agreement between Nigerian Petroleum Development Company {NPDC} an arm of the NNPC and Atlantic Energy and Seven Energy?

“Thirdly, is the sustenance of the so called late General Abacha $10 per barrel- sealing of Production Sharing Contract {PSC} formula of deep offshore Oil Wells not questionable? For Nigerians would wish to know why only $10 per barrel is paid into the Federation Account, even when Crude Oil sells for over $100 per barrel. What a grave injustice to Nigerians?”

Recalling the recent comment of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu that the NNPC is the ATM of the PDP-led Federal Government, CNPP expressed worry that the handlers of Mr. Jonathan might feel threatened in their comfort zone if he embarks on this important task, but urged him to remember his oath of office and convoke the inquiry into the accounts of NNPC so as to clear his name.

“Failure to do so means President Jonathan is coming to 2015 presidential election with less than transparent records; for the avoidance of doubt, the regime will be remembered as Jonathan’s regime not in any minister’s name,” CNPP warned.

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Nigerian named head of New York City Housing Authority–Premium Times

Shola Olatoye

Shola Olatoye

The Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, has appointed a Nigerian to head the city’s Housing Authority in his bid to overhaul the previous administration’s housing policy.

Shola Olatoye would serve as the new chair of the New York City Housing Authority, NYCHA.
Mr. de Blasio said his administration is working towards building and preserving 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade to address longstanding health and safety issues in the city.

“We are going to take a new approach to this crisis that holds nothing back,” said the mayor.

“From doing more to protect tenants in troubled buildings, to innovating new partnerships with the private sector, to forging a new relationship with our NYCHA communities, every decision we make will focus on maximizing the affordability of our neighbourhoods.

“These agencies are going to work together as a collective to lift up families and make this one city—where everyone rises together,” Mr. de Blasio added.

The daughter of a Nigerian immigrant and working class mom, Mrs. Olatoye is expected to focus on strategic goals like expanding employment opportunities for NYCHA residents, developing plans to retrofit buildings, and supporting tenants – including the 40 percent of residents over the age of 62.

Mrs. Olatoye described the decision to let her run the NYCHA as an “honour.”

“Everything we will do will be focused on improving the quality of life for our tenants, especially protecting their safety,” Mrs. Olatoye, who is married with two sons, said.

“This is an enormous opportunity. Public housing helped people in my family. I want it to do the same in the future for others,” she added.

Before her appointment, Mrs. Olatoye was Vice President and New York Market Leader for Enterprise Community Partners, a national non-profit that has helped build or preserve more than 44,000 affordable homes for lower-income New Yorkers and invested more than $2.5 billion in and around the city.

At Enterprise, Mrs. Olatoye oversaw a cross-functional team that worked with community partners, the public sector and private capital sources to build and preserve approximately 3,000 affordable homes per year in New York City.

Mrs. Olatoye had also overseen a number of public-private partnership initiatives at Enterprise, including a 2013 project the East Harlem Center for Living and Learning located in East Harlem, in which Enterprise provided more than $12 million in debt and equity to create a new 151,000-square-foot multi-family, mixed-use development with 88 new affordable apartments, a 58,000-square-foot K-8 charter school, and 6,000 square feet of office space dedicated to not-for-profit organizations.

She had also served as a Vice President and Senior Community Development Manager of HSBC Bank; Director of HR&A Advisors, Inc., an advisory and economic development consulting firm; and Director of Community Outreach at the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc.

“I cannot wait to work with Shola and this administration to make New York proud of their public housing again,” said Cecil House, NYCHA General Manager.

“We’ve never had a leadership this committed to making that happen, and to treating our NYCHA tenants with the same respect as every other tenant in this city. We are ready to roll up our sleeves, get to work, and change the way we do business,” he added.

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Northern Governors meet on oil and gas exploration

Governors from thirteen northern states which fall under the region’s sedimentary basin, are to meet Monday in Minna, Niger State, to kick start Oil and Gas exploration activities in the north’s Inland Basin States.

Niger State governor, Babangida Aliyu, who is also the chairman of the Northern State Governors Forum, will declare the meeting of the Association of Petroleum Inland Basin States of Northern Nigeria, open, according to his spokesperson, Danladi Ndayebo on Sunday.

Mr. Ndayebo said in a statement that Mr. Aliyu, in his capacity as the chairman of the forum, has invited his counterparts whose states fall within the region’s sedimentary basin to direct their relevant commissioners to attend the meeting to enable them brainstorm on the action plan that would kick start and sustain oil and gas exploration activities in the north.

According to the statement the meeting will “fashion out strategies to harness the resources in Sokoto basin, Chad basin, Bida basin and Benue trough whose hydrocarbon contents are yet to be properly developed and estimated”.

It also said the forum expressed support to the on-going efforts by the federal government to explore oil in the sedimentary basin of Northern Nigeria.

The Inland Basin States comprise of Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Gombe, Kogi, kebbi, Niger and Sokoto states. Others are Zamfara, Kwara, Nasarawa, Taraba, Yobe and Plateau States.

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Police ‘mopping up’ arms ahead of #Nigeria2015 elections

The Nigeria Police said they have started mopping up arms ahead of the 2015 general elections in the country.

Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday.

He added that the police had placed surveillance on public armouries across the country and the nation’s borders in order to checkmate illegal possession of arms.

He said that many black spots were also being raided across the nation.

“One major factor behind thuggery is the proliferation of illegal arms. As a result of this, we have been mopping up arms across the country,” Mr. Mba said.
He disclosed that many illegal arms had been discovered in Lagos State.

“Police in other states are doing same. We are mounting surveillance on public armouries to check proliferation of light arms in wrong hands.

“The Marine police are checking our waters, particularly in Niger Delta. We are checking local arms production,” he said.

Mr. Mba said the police had also discovered some factories in Edo, Anambra and other places. Those arms and factories were destroyed, he said.

The police spokesman said that arrangement was on to recover all illegal arms in the country for destruction.

He said the police were collaborating with the military, Department of State Service, Civil Defence Corps, Immigration, Customs and private security organisations to achieve set goals.

“As we speak, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has placed embargo on issuance of licence to individuals for arms. This is just one way to check arms in the country,’’ he said.

Mr. Mba said the IGP had reduced the use of police escort by politicians and some private persons nationwide.

He said that surveillance had also been placed on politicians and private persons, with a view to checking anyone using police officers without permit.

“We should however note that some people are to be protected by the police because of their position in Nigeria. Even in developed world, the state provides special security for some people’’, he said.


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ASUU accuses Nigerian Govt. of violating new agreement – Premium Times

The Nigerian Government has breached a section of an agreement it signed last year to end a five-month old strike by university lecturers on December 17, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has alleged.

The union said the government has failed to release the N20 billion it pledged, amongst other commitments, to universities at the beginning of each quarter of the year.

Speaking to journalists at the University of Ibadan, Friday evening, ASUU National Treasurer, Ademola Aremu, said part of the agreement reached with Federal Government was that the government would pay N20 billion at the start of each quarter to cater for areas of needs identified in the needs assessment carried on universities.

“This is February and the government is yet to release the money for the quarter,” Mr. Aremu said.

Mr. Aremu, who spoke on behalf of ASUU president, Nasir Fagge, said the union had to start raising the alarm now to avoid the embarrassment the last strike caused the nation and its education system.

Last year’s strike by the union paralysed academic activities in all public universities in the country for nearly six months, over ASUU’s insistence that Federal Government fulfil an agreement reached the union in 2009.

Describing the strike as needless but inevitable, Mr. Aremu recalled that if the government had been sincere, academic activities not be disrupted as is often the case when lecturers go on strike.

“All the strike ASUU had embarked upon in this country were basically because the Federal Government has failed to honour agreements freely entered to with us. It is also sad that before we begin each of those strike, we would give the government enough warnings and grace to make them retrace their steps. But they always fail,” Mr Aremu said.

“We don’t know why the government is always unwilling to implement the documents signed by their representatives. However, we will continue to fight for the system because if the system collapse we will collapse with it.”

Earlier, the ASUU chairman at the University of Ibadan, Olusegun Ajiboye, said it was unfortunate that successive governments in Nigeria don’t learn from history as they always wait till major standoff with their members before doing the needful.

He expressed appreciation to the Nigerian media for standing by ASUU during the struggle, adding that the support was not really for the members, but for a better Nigeria.

According to Mr. Ajiboye, the strike would not have recorded the level of success it did if the press did not stand by the lecturer.

He, however, said the struggles was not over yet, saying journalists must see it as duty to monitor proper disbursement of monies promised to be injected into the university system.

“You must ensure that every money is used for the purpose it is meant for.You must also challenge us to justify the fruit of the fight.

When we are going astray, please do not keep quiet. That is your mandate as the fourth estate of the realm,” he said.

The ASUU boss also charged journalists to take deeper interest in the crisis rocking the Ibadan-based Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, CRIN, where he said the management was treating the staff in unfair manner.

Bayo Okunade, a professor of political science, who represented the UI Vice Chancellor, Isaac Adewole, said if the press had not communicated the demands of ASUU to Nigerians effectively, it would not get the public appeal it got, and may not have been a success.

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How Obasanjo, APC leaders wanted me to rot in jail in Benin Republic — Dokubo-Asari

The leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari has alleged that former President Olusegun Obasanjo as well as some leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, wanted him to rot away in detention in Benin Republic to enable them perpetrate electoral malpractices in the coming general elections.

He specifically alleged that Mr. Obasanjo plotted his arrest recently in the Republic of Benin, when he (Obasanjo) sent his name alongside others to the INTERPOL, asking it to arrest and detain the neighboring West African country.
Mr. Dokubo-Asari stated this in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES last Tuesday, two days before he was arrested and interrogated by the State Security Service, SSS.

Mr. Dokubo-Asari said when he was picked up by the Benin security outfit, the APC leaders, who he did not name, wanted him kept away for long as long as possible since they could not silence him.

He said, “They believe that if I’m around in 2015 and people know me – it is not boasting and shouting because the records are there – they know that if people like me are around in 2015, they will not be able to do what they want to,” he said.

“And for the threats they are making; every action will get an opposite reaction, they cannot silence me.

“Benin republic is a democracy and there is rule of law and of course they examined the accusations leveled against me and they found out that there was nothing.

“I hear that some APC leader said I should rot in prison and they were even putting pressure on my lawyer. They have forgotten that it was through me that Festus Keyamo (his lawyer) became a member of the APC, because I was a founding member of ACN. They are the ones who will surely rot in prison because my hands are clean.”

The APC spokesman, Lai Mohammed, could not be reached for reaction to the allegation as he did not answer or return calls.

Former President Obasanjo could also not be reached for comments. His aides, who asked not to be named, said the former president will not respond to allegations from an “inconsequential character like Dokubo-Asari.

Recounting his ordeal in Benin Republic where he says he runs three schools and have over 500 staff, Mr. Dokubo-Asari said he kept a low profile life until that country’s authorities received a report from Mr. Obasanjo about him, got him arrested, but found him clean after conducting their investigations.

According to him, “I have been in Benin since 2008, I have been doing business there and nobody knows me apart from the few people I interact with. I have over 500 people under my employment in my three schools. I pay my tax, yet I don’t have any visibility.

“Ordinarily anywhere I stay, I hardly have any visibility other than when people see me because I’m not flamboyant. I don’t believe there is any need in this world for somebody to display wealth. Whatever you have you should use it. This is my house people can say whatever they like about me having billions, but this is where I stay. You see the cars that I drive they are ordinary cars.

“Benin Republic received a report from former President Olusegun Obasanjo about me. That was why they arrested me, but thankfully, they conducted all their investigations and found me clean.
Thanks also to the efforts of some Igbo and South-South People’s Associations who played a part to get us released.”

Mr. Dokubo-Asari also admitted that Mr. Jonathan played a part in getting him released, but denied that the president dispatched a presidential jet to ferry him back to Nigeria.

“The president did intervene,” he said. “He did and I’m grateful for that, but presidential jet ‘no be the first time wey I go enter presidential jet now! Obasanjo no send presidential jet to come and carry me? This is not the first time but the president (Jonathan) didn’t send any presidential jet to come and carry me back.

“But Obasanjo sent a presidential jet to pick me from Port Harcourt when I came out from the creeks to Abuja. Did he not cancel Oct 1 (Independence) celebrations in the history of this country because of me in 2004?”

Describing himself as the most prosecuted Nigerian, Mr. Dokubo-Asari said contrary to the perception in some quarters, he had been invited and questioned by the SSS several times last year over remarks the Service considered inflammatory.

He said he had been detained more than 73 times and that on one occasion, they though he would go crazy.

He said, “I am the most prosecuted person, I have been detained more than 73 times. In fact, I was under the ground. I was buried alive by Obasanjo where you don’t know when it is night or day.

“I was buried alive for 10 months 11 days at the SSS they think I will go bananas I did not go, so I have seen it all.”

According to him, once during his interrogation, he told the authorities at the SSS that they had no right to arrest him if a former Head of State and APC leader, Muhammadu Buhari, who he claimed threatened his Ijaw ethnic group, could not be similarly arrested.

“I was with the SSS several times last year, they even came here to pick me up. I don’t need to make noise about it. We Ijaw people are men, we can’t make noise anyhow. SSS comes and you run under your wife’s wrapper? Who is SSS?” he said.

“It is wrong to say I was never invited by the SSS. I was invited over the statement that I make and I went there and I told them I have the right to reply if somebody threatens my people, I will reply him. See if you didn’t arrest Buhari for threatening my people, you have no right to arrest me.

“A man contests election, then threaten the people, he becomes a burden and if no action is taken, he would actualize his threats. But if he knows that there will be resistance and the resistance will overwhelm him, he will be careful to make such statements, he will be careful to make plans against my people.

“Goodluck Jonathan comes from a place and it is our duty to protect him whether he’s doing well for us or not, when we reach home we will talk about that one, when he comes outside we will put up a united front,” he said.

Mr. Dokubo-Asari was invited by the SSS and interrogated for about six hours last Thursday for threatening to make the country ungovernable if President Goodluck Jonathan was not allowed to run for a second term next year.

“We’ll make Nigeria ungovernable if Jonathan fails to return. If it is war, the North wants, we are ready for them because Jonathan must complete the mandatory constitutionally allowable two terms of eight years,” he had said in a newspaper interview.

It was not the first time the NDPVF made such a threat. He did so on about two previous occasions.
However, the security agencies came under pressure to arrest and question after he issued the latest threat.

Those who demanded his arrest questioned the rational for arresting and interrogating the Deputy National Secretary, Nasir El-Rufai by the SSS two weeks ago, when he (El-Rufai) said there might be violence if the 2015 general elections were not credible.

Prominent among those who demanded his arrest were a former Head of State and APC leader, Muhhamadu Buhari and a rights group, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC.

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“Hold all 2015 elections in one day”-Buhari advices INEC

A former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday, advised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct 2015 general elections on the same day.

Mr. Buhari gave the advice in Daura, Katsina State, while answering questions from journalists after he obtained the membership card of the All Progressives Congress.

He said that conducting the elections in one day would help in reducing election malpractice and save cost.

He added that the litigations that trailed the 2003, 2007 and 2011 general elections would be avoided if the elections were held on the same day.

“If all the elections are conducted on the same day, there will be less cases of snatching of ballot boxes and use of political thugs to rig elections,’’ he said.

Mr. Buhari, who urged party members to come out en masse and register with the APC, expressed optimism that the opposition party would win the 2015 general elections in the country.

INEC has fixed presidential and National Assembly elections for February 14, 2015, while governorship and state house of assembly elections occur a fortnight later.


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Document Shows NNPC’s Claims On Kerosene Subsidy A Massive Scam-PREMIUM TIMES

Claims by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, that over 80 per cent of the controversial $10.8billion (about N1.728trillion) was used for subsidy on kerosene may have been a scam after all.

Multiple confidential memos exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES showed that the purported subsidy on kerosene was actually in defiance of a subsisting presidential directive to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC to remove the payment of subsidy on kerosene from the Petroleum Support Fund, PSF, template.

On June 10, 2009, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua had approved the resolutions of the Presidential Committee, which sat the previous day to deliberate on the action plan on the deregulation of the downstream petroleum sub-sector.

The committee had sought the president’s approval of the proposal to ameliorate the likely adverse impact of the planned removal of subsidies in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.

The memo to the President, No. SH/PSP/24/A/812, had, among several prayers, requested the petroleum minister be directed to “eliminate existing subsidy on the consumption of kerosene, taking into account that subsidy payments by government on kerosene do not reach the intended beneficiaries.”

On June 2009, a memo No. SH/PSP/24/A/819, signed by the then Principal Secretary to the President, David Edevbie, conveyed the president’s directive to the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

The memo also asked the Minister to avoid public announcement of the measure to be implemented PSF template.
In spite of the presidential directive, the NNPC, apparently feigning ignorance of the directive, still submitted a request for the payment of subsidy on kerosene.

But in memo No. SH/PSP/24/A/1087 dated October 19, 2009, the President rejected the request, pointing out that based on his earlier directive “the NNPC should not be entitled to make claims from the Petroleum Support Fund, PSF, in respect of kerosene with effect from the date of Mr. President’s approval.”

It was not clear if the corporation received the subsidy after the demise of the former president.
However, in July 2011, despite the subsisting presidential directive, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Alison-Madueke, announced the launch of the Kero-Direct scheme initiated by the NNPC ostensibly to make kerosene available to consumers nationwide at a highly subsidized rate of N50 per litre.

Under the scheme, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, a subsidiary of the NNPC in charge of petroleum products marketing and distribution, was directed to provide the product sold to consumers using the products distribution facilities of an independent marketer, Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited.

But the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee probing the fuel subsidy regime in 2012 had, in its report, described the scheme as “a scam to defraud Nigerians and extort money from the Petroleum Support Fund, PSF.”

The committee had noted that the scheme was not only implemented in defiance of a subsisting presidential directive removing kerosene from the subsidy regime, but also designed in a way the product would not get to the target beneficiaries at the approved price.

The committee said throughout the period, kerosene, which was supposed to be distributed to consumers nationwide at the subsidized price, sold only at the 36 NNPC mega stations out of over 24,000 retail outlets across the country.

Even then, it said the product was never available at that price as there was massive diversion of the product, which was resold to consumers at between N160 and N200 per litre in the open market.
Also, a study conducted by a Lagos-based financial consultancy, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, revealed that retail price for kerosene in Lagos and environs between January 2012 to date ranges between N140 and N300 per litre despite the purported subsidy regime.

The study showed that in January 2012, kerosene, which should go for N50 per litre, sold for as much as N300 even in some major towns and cities, which represents about 500 per cent hike, while the prevailing price for the month of February and March 2012 was N250, representing 400 per cent increase.

Since April 2012, where available, the price for the commodity till date has continued to oscillate variously between N150, N175, and N225 per litre.

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Two Missing As Ex-Militant Figure “Ogun Boss” Attacks Bayelsa Community In Police Gunboats—SaharaReporters

There was pandemonium in Peremabiri, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa, in the early hours of Saturday as youths from the area resisted a gunboat attack launched by ex-militant leader Monday Paul aka “Ogun Boss”.

Casualty figures remained unknown, but sources in the community said two persons were missing.

SaharaReporters learnt that the ex-militant leader got the Bayelsa Police Commissioner to release three police gunboats as well as police escorts for the operation.
The police command recently lost 11 policemen who were part of 50 policemen deployed to provide cover to an ex-militant.

A source in the community told SaharaReporters by telephone on Saturday morning that the police gunboat approached the coastal community about midnight and commenced shooting to scare residents.

The source stated that the youths of the community quickly mobilized and resisted the three gunboats which fired at the community from the creeks for more than 30 minutes.

The source said that the unarmed youths hauled stones at the boats until the gunfire attracted a naval patrol team assigned to protect a Shell flow station in the community.

The intervention of the naval team reportedly led to the arrest of the attacking gunboats and their occupants who were handed over to security agents in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa capital.

A source accused the ex-militant of seeking to foist his men as the leaders of Peremabiri community and to undermine the community’s current leadership with whom he had been having a running battle.

The police in Yenagoa refused to comment on the police commissioner’s alleged deployment of policemen and three gunboats for “illegal operation.”

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Yoruba leaders converge to talk ahead of National conference—THISDAY Live

Tunde Bakare

Tunde Bakare

Prominent Yoruba leaders Friday reiterated their support for the proposed national conference but insisted that Nigeria must run on true federalism.

The group which cut across different ideological and party lines met at the residence of Afenifere Chieftain, Chief OlanihumAjayi at Ishara Remo, Ogun State but regretted that former governor of Lagos State and All Progressives Congress leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief BisiAkande refused to attend the meeting.

According to the leaders, the Yoruba race is demanding among others; regional autonomy, true federalism and resource control.
In attendance were Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former Secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Olu Falae, chieftain of Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, elder statesman, Dr. Tunji Braitwaite, Secretary General, Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF), Dr. Kunle Olajide, Gen. Alani Akinrinade (rtd), Pa Reuben Fasoranti and Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi.

Also present were; Bishop Ayo Ladigbolu, Chief Supo Shonibare, Mr. Bisi Adebuyi, Spokesperson, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, Mr. Shina Kawonise, Prof. Wale Are Olaitan, Dr. Akin Onigbinde, former Minister of Mine, Alhaji Sharafa Ishola, Senior Pastor, Latter Rain Assembly Church, Pastor Tunde Bakare, former Chairman, Punch Newspaper, Chief Ajibola Ogunsola, former DPP governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo Dosunmu, National Coordinator, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), OtunbaGani Adams.

They agreed on the need for wider consultations for the region to properly articulate its position before the conference.
Odumakin, who addressed the press on behalf of the group said: “This is assembly of people who are political, people who are non-political and from various cadres of life, nobody should see it as a political thing. It is about the Yoruba nation. We are here to take a position on the planned national conference.”

He said the selection of the 15 representatives of the Yoruba nation to the conference has been shifted to February 17, when the meeting will reconvene at the same venue.

“We have reviewed the modality for the conference. We do not accept the idea that we would be having 75 per cent vote at the conference where we don’t have consensus. We want that where we don’t have consensus, two-thirds should suffice”, he said.

While talking about attempts to bring Tinubu to the forum, Chief Adebanjo said, “We have done everything to bring in APC. Go and ask General Alani Akinrinade.

We have done everything to bring in Tinubu. Some people wanted to meet him two days ago, he gave them an appointment, twice, he didn’t keep it.

“Before we came here that was the battle we first had, that we wanted to get everybody that this is not a political matter, but he wouldn’t respond. What are we discussing that he (Tinubu) shouldn’t be there, we are talking of federalism, is that for our selfish interest, we talk of resource control and these are the things we have been agitating ever before he became the governor of Lagos State in 1999. I was the chairman of the party that made him the governor.

These are the agitation we have been doing 20 years ago and you now have the opportunity to achieve it.”

Braitwaite on his part, maintained that the planned conference was a great opportunity once more open for Nigerians to address the anomalies in the present federal structure.

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Vice Chancellor Mimiko Suspends ASUU Chairman, Five Others Over Alleged Assault—SaharaReporters

AAU A ASUU chairman, Busuyi Mekusi

AAU A ASUU chairman, Busuyi Mekusi

The conflict between members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) and Vice Chancellor Femi Mimiko appears to be deepening as six members of the union were today suspended by the university administration.

The six members, including ASUU branch chairman, Busuyi Mekusi, were suspended after the registrar of the university, R.O. Olotu, issued a query to six ASUU officials and members. The query pertained to an ongoing dispute between ASUU members and the university’s security outfit.

Earlier, the university had demanded that Mr. Mekusi and other ASUU members respond within 24 hours to various allegations regarding a reported assault on lecturers.

In the query by the registrar, the ASUU branch chairman was accused of assaulting the university security men, disruption of the university’s academics, and the subsequent media publication of the alleged attack on ASUU members.

The registrar said Mr. Mekusi should explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against him by the university administration.

A source told SaharaReporters that the suspended ASUU executives are due to face an investigation panel over their assertion that ASUU national officers were recently assaulted by members of the university’s security outfit during a zonal meeting on the university campus.

Two sources told SaharaReporters over the telephone that the suspended ASUU members have also been barred from entering the university premises. “The university authorities have told gatemen that the affected lecturers should be disallowed from entering into the school,” one source said.

Just last week, at a press conference in Akure, ASUU national President, Nasir Isa Fagge, criticized Mr. Mimiko’s tyrannical rule in the institution. Mr. Fagge also condemned the attack on ASUU members in the institution and called for an investigation of the matter.

“It is unimaginable that a Vice Chancellor of a state-owned university in a Labor Party-controlled state would unashamedly canvass for the castration of Labor activists,” said the ASUU leader, accusing Mr. Mimiko of “deliberate mischief.”

A lawyer and counsel to the ASUU members, Charles Titiloye, had complained of the refusal of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) at Akungba Police Station to investigate the reported attack on the lecturers. Mr. Titiloye had also written a petition to the Ondo State Police Commissioner, Patrick Dokumor, on the failure of the police to investigate the attack on his clients.

Mr. Titiloye said the police commissioner ought to have assigned some officers to investigate the disruption of ASUU’s meeting at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko. He condemned the assault on lecturers of the institution by the university security men who claimed to be acting on the instructions of Vice Chancellor Femi Mimiko, who is a younger brother of the state governor.

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Tinubu says NNPC is FG’s ATM. Guys do u agree?

According to former Lagos State governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the federal government under President Goodluck Jonathan has turned the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into its automated teller machine (ATM) for squandering the country’s resources.

He also accused the federal government of abuse of power and manipulation of Nigerians, to remain in power.

Tinubu, who was the special guest of honour at the NG Group annual dinner in Lagos at the MUSON Centre on Thursday drew a distinction between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the APC, describing the Jonathan-led PDP government as “recklessly out of control in terms of spending, corruption in the oil sector and other slush funds channelled through government programmes to fill the pockets of party loyalists.”

In a statement made available to LEADERSHIP Weekend in Abuja by his media office, Tinubu asserted that Nigerians were yet to get a satisfactory explanation on the 400,000 barrels per day that was stolen and declared that the NNPC had been converted into an ATM by the government.

He said, “Like I have maintained previously, the SURE-P project is a drainpipe; a slush fund for political patronage. For instance, the N253.5billion alleged to have been spent on projects by the federal government as at December 2013 has not reflected on the lives of ordinary Nigerians. In 2012 about N180billion accrued to the federal government from SURE-P alone.

“Under the heavy weight of corruption, heavy dose of insecurity, the ticking time bomb of youth unemployment and a near total absence of institutional rationalisation, Nigeria under President Jonathan clutches on like a battered engine in need of a complete overhaul. In fact, a change of engine,” he said.

Tinubu used his experience as the governor of Lagos to gauge Nigeria’s current political and economic problems. “Nigeria punches below its weight and is trapped in a disarticulated economy occasioning poverty and frustration on people.

The AfDB, in its African Economic Outlook report of 2013, revealed that poverty has worsened since 1996 and through 11 years of the PDP, rule. The efforts of President Jonathan’s government at combating poverty were also faulted,” he said.

The former governor of Lagos State asserted that with the current economic environment, it was almost impossible for Nigeria to meet any of the predictions about its prosperity.

“The projection that Nigeria will soon emerge, at least in the next 30 years alongside three other countries as an economic giant by the British economist Jim O’Neil will for long be a mirage. O’Neil predicted that Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey are to become what he refers to as ‘MINT’. We all know that this is another Vision 2020 gimmick. A very distant hope with no chance of coming to fruition; let us not for once delude ourselves that this is possible. A country that is yet to export the smallest plastic product or one that generates a miserable 12 per cent of the total energy needs of the country can never be a candidate for MINT, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and as we now know, Vision 2020. Our energy woes abide,” he lamented.

On the vision and mission of APC, Tinubu said, “We formed this party to improve the lot and the lives of those who don’t have. We formed it to bring dignity, hope, justice and the reality of prosperity to those Nigerians who seek these things. The PDP has never been a friend of the people and each year it becomes less of one. They have turned their backs on the people. Now it is time the people turn their backs against the PDP.”

The NG Group formed in 1998 has produced a number of governors, ministers, commissioners and key functionaries. It is an informal think tank, a sounding board of sorts for government types and policy makers.

Mr. Wale Edun, the chairman of the NG Group expressed delight that Tinubu found time to honour their invitation.

Credits: Leadership Newspaper

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NNPC said Kerosene is 50naira in Nigeria, is that true?

Fellow Nigerians, the General Manager of Public Relations Department of the NNPC, Umar Farouk Ibrahim just made a comment on Channels tv programme, SUNRISE, he said kerosene are being sold at 50naira per litre all over NNPC mega stations.

I don’t knw how true is this, that’s why I’m posting this question to us. IS KEROSENE BEING SOLD AT A SUBSIDISED PRICE IN NIGERIA?

olatomirinblog learnt that there was a presidential directive in 2009 by late president Yar’adua that all subsidy on kerosene should be quashed and removed. But Umar Ibrahim said such directive hasn’t been made known to NNPC, meaning NNPC has actually been paying subsidy for kerosene (which has been removed by Yar’adua).

What is your reaction to this fellow Nigerian? Is kerosene sold at 50naira in your area?


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Nigeria2015: PDP accuses APC of plot to derail electoral process through membership registration—Premium Times

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the All Progressives Congress, APC, of a plot to derail the 2105 general elections, using the latter’s ongoing nationwide membership registration as the platform.
The ruling party claimed reports it received from various states indicated that the APC had made well-planned clandestine moves to lay mines in the way of a successful conduct of next year’s polls.

The APC began its nationwide membership registration last Wednesday.
At a press conference in Abuja, the PDP spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, said it was unfortunate that while the party-led Federal Government was solidifying the foundation of a credible electoral system it had already laid, and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yet to release the final details of the timetable of the general elections, the APC was already introducing inventions calculated to torpedo the process.

The PDP said it whole-heartedly welcomed the APC’s membership registration because it tallied with its avowed commitment to political plurality and the freeing of the democratic space so as to enable every Nigerian choose whatever political platform he or she so wished.
The PDP, however, said it was clear from the statements, actions and the activities of the leaders of the APC, that the opposition had only been changing names without changing its character.

The PDP said it investigations revealed that part of the plot by the APC was the use the fraudulent membership registration to hype a phantom public support after which it would declare a particular bogus figure and create a false impression of massive public followership ahead of the 2015 general elections.
“Gentle men and ladies, we wish to alert Nigerians therefore to the incontrovertible evidence at our disposal to the effect that the APC is sadly and currently using every foul means at its disposal to build a particular membership figure, running into tens of millions, which it intends to use as a justification to fault, dispute, reject and subsequently take to violence when it loses the 2015 general elections,” the ruling party said.

“This fraudulent membership figure, meant to create an un-existing mass followership is to be maniacally presented, projected and defended by the APC, using its well known unethically hypodermic propaganda tools as an anticipated real voter strength, below which it will carry out its threat to unleash mayhem on the nation as contained in its allegory of ” the monkey, the baboon and blood.”

“To achieve this, the APC officials and members have been going round the wards and polling centres, using INEC polling locations and materials as well as lying to unsuspecting Nigerians that the party’s membership registration is an INEC voter registration exercise for the 2015 elections. This is to hoodwink them into registering as members of APC.”

The APC interim spokesperson, Lai Mohammed, could not be reached for his response as he refused to respond to repeated calls to his mobile telephone.
The PDP said it reliably gathered that in the states it was in power that pupils and students were lured or persuaded to get the passport photographs of their parents and guardians, which were thereafter secretly affixed to the APC membership forms without the knowledge of the innocent students or their parents.
It said, “We wish to condemn this brazen hijack of INEC polling booths for a partisan membership registration. The unlawful use of INEC polling booths is a clear violation of laid down electoral norms and rules that safeguard their sanctity for the purpose of elections and against illegal conversion for partisan reasons.”

The PDP also said it was curious that INEC whose responsibility was to safeguard against the aberration had not only kept mum, but also folded its hands in the face of the conversion of its property, therefore, raising suspicions of duplicity.
Stating that the worst of all frauds was to cheat oneself, which it said the APC was doing, the PDP noted that by trying to build a phantom membership, the opposition party forgot that no structure pivoted on sand could survive the pull of winds.

It said that though it was not surprised by the development, it did not however reckon that desperation to grab power had taken such dimension so early in the day.

“We wish to remind the APC that no political party has the monopoly of mischief and that this level of grand deceit is actually a monumental crime against democracy. While the PDP is desirous of winning elections, we do not wish to descend to the level of illegality, violence and deceit,” the PDP said.

“We therefore wish to inform Nigerians that the APC membership registration is not an INEC organized civic exercise as they have been made to believe but one of the numerous APC’s deceitful schemes to steal their mandate.

“We further wish to urge all Nigerians, especially the civil society and all lovers of democracy to be on their guard and resist attempts by the APC to surreptitiously use foul means to buoy up the membership base of a political vessel, whose captains are contrastingly inclined but selfishly united in quest to capture power, through fraudulent and violent means and thereafter, divide the people and take us back to Egypt.”

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Amaechi defeats Omehia as Supreme Court dismisses suit challenging governor’s election—Premium Times

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a suit filed by Celestine Omehia, a former governor of Rivers State, challenging the election of his successor, Rotimi Amaechi.

The court quashed the decision of an appeal court which gave Mr. Omehia a temporary win that suggested he may oust Mr. Amaechi after seven years in office.
In the ruling Friday, Justice Muhammad Muntaka-Coomassie, who read the Supreme Court judgement, said the Court of Appeal in Abuja erred in law to have ruled in favour of Mr. Omehia, whom the judge said had no stake in the case he filed in court.

The long-drawn case dates back to 2010.
Mr. Omehia was removed from office in October 2007 after holding office for five months. The Supreme Court at the time ruled that he had usurped Mr. Amaechi’s ticket for the election, and accordingly handed Mr. Amaechi the top job.

Given past court rulings on similar cases, Mr. Amaechi would have been expected to leave office or stand for a re-election in October of 2011, the same month he took office.
But the governor appeared to have opted to run in April of that year during general elections alongside other governors.

Analysts said the decision was to ensure Mr. Amaechi’s election was not held after a president, in this case, Goodluck Jonathan, would have emerged in April 2011.
With the likelihood of a strained relationship between the two men, analysts suggested an October election for Mr. Amaechi would have allowed the president the leverage to influence the outcome, should he chose to.

Mr. Amaechi and President Jonathan have long fallen apart.
Ahead of the 2011 election, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Cyprian Chukwu, asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to interpret the Supreme Court judgment on Mr. Amaechi’s tenure.

The court was to specifically decide whether Mr. Amaechi can stand election in April of 2011, or should wait to the expiration of his tenure in October.
In his ruling, Justice Abdul Kafarati affirmed that the governorship election in Rivers State must hold during the general election of April 2011.

Mr. Omehia, not related to the case, accused the PDP man, Mr. Chukwu, of being a front for Governor Amaechi; and promptly appealed to the Court of Appeal to make him a party to the suit, to enable him appeal the judgment.
Through his lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi, Mr. Amaechi kicked against the appeal arguing that Mr. Omehia had nothing from start to do with the case.

Mr. Omehia however responded that since he was a party in the Supreme Court judgment that had given the governorship to Mr. Amaechi, he was affected by the new decision and deserved to be heard.
He also told the court that as a prospective governorship candidate in future election in the state, he had a stake in the matter.

The Appeal Court agreed, while Mr. Amaechi appealed to the Supreme Court.
In its ruling on Friday, the Supreme Court upheld Mr. Amaechi’s appeal and declared that Mr. Omehia had no case on the matter.
The judge that read the ruling, Mr. Muntaka-Coomassie, said Mr. Omehia should not have been joined in the suit since he was not a party to the initial suit that culminated in an appeal.

Mr. Omehia’s Counsel, James Ezike, expressed his dissatisfaction with the ruling, and insisted that under Section 243 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, his client was an interested party in the suit.
Mr. Omehia, he said, was “a person, who is affected or likely to be affected by the outcome of any proceedings at the apex court’’.
The Rivers Government, however, said it was pleased with the outcome.
“As a government, we believe that the court remains the last hope that we can go to. We thank God for the Supreme Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the state commissioner of information, Ibim Semenitari, said.

Also, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, which Mr. Amaechi now belongs, said the ruling “should serve as a warning to all those who insist on the way of the moving train known as Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.”

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‘Missing’ $20 billion: Group asks Sanusi to seek judicial redress—PREMIUM TIMES

A civil society group, Human Rights Writers’ Association, HURIWA, has asked the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido, to seek judicial redress over the $20 billion he alleged was not remitted to the federal purse by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
The group said a judicial interpretation on the matter had become necessary to ascertain the constitutional question of whether the Corporation was statutorily entitled to deduct foreign derived revenue from source before making payment to the Federation Account.
It stated this in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Director of Media, Zainab Yusuf, on Thursday.
Mr. Sanusi had on Tuesday, at a public hearing organized by the Senate Committee on Finance, alleged that the NNPC did not remit $20 billion into the Federation Account.
He had earlier accused the Corporation of not remitting $49 billion; but after reconciliation with relevant agencies, the amount reduced to about $12 billion.
The CBN Governor, however, explained that he did not make the allegation to tarnish anyone’s public image, but did so in the best interest of the country’s economy.
“HURIWA is of the conviction that judicial process is best suited for this kind of very sensitive matter to protect the nation’s fragile economy from suffering the consequences of loss of confidence by foreign direct investors and other industrialists,” the statement said.
The group said the financial health of Nigeria was of the highest essence that must be protected by all and sundry and especially government officials holding sensitive financial positions.
It stated that though whistle blowing had been internationally acclaimed as the most effective and potent tool against corruption, given the ‘politically suspicious’ manner and the wrong timing of these deluge of allegations of sleaze and financial malpractices made by the CBN governor on the eve of his departure from office, a judicial decision should be sought by the hierarchy of the bank to put the matter to rest.
It said there were speculations of the governor’s association with members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, the opposition party at the federal level.
The group noted that as the nation’s number one official banker, Mr. Sanusi was in the best position to know the various transactions on at the highest levels of government.
It, however, insisted that apart from presenting those damning evidence before the public, the CBN Governor should also seek judicial pronouncement for posterity and to justify his claim that he is not on a wild goose chase and jamboree of political vendetta.
HURIWA said that the Federal Ministry of Finance had not been forthcoming on the matter and accused it of behaving as if the interest of political leaders was more important than national interest.
It also asked the National Assembly to amend the Central Bank of Nigeria’s enabling Act to make it imperative that the holder of the office of Governor of CBN was insulated from political influences.
In making the law, HURIWA said the legislature should make it mandatory that the holder was not allowed to venture into party politics until after five years of exiting or quitting his appointment at the end of the statutory tenure.
The group also called for the appointment of a professional banker and economist of high repute from any part of the World irrespective of the person’s place of birth or nationality, but with clean crime free record, to head the Central Bank of Nigeria after the exit of the current holder.
It advised Nigeria to borrow a leaf from the British Government, which recently hired a Canadian scholar of Finance to head the British Central Bank

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Osun State Education reform: Confusion as students turned up in school in masquerade costumes.

Alumni of Baptist High School, Osun State, are calling for an emergency meeting Sunday after the latest round of protests over the State’s education reform policies. The meeting is called for 2 p.m. at the school’s premises.
President of the Alumni Association, Professor Soji Aremu, told Saharareporters their intervention is crucial and that some of the reforms must be reconsidered.
“The idea of making all students wear the same uniform across the State is totally wrong,” he said.
He added it is faulty to have “…fusion of all faith-base and gender-only schools into one.”
The Osun State Education Reform policy, an ambitious goal of Governor Rauf Aregbesola, while reducing school fees and reorganizing school classification, has met some criticism and resistance.
Since Monday students at Baptist High School have been wearing school uniforms indicating their religious affiliation with Christians wearing white garments and Muslims wearing insignia. On Wednesday, traditional believers at the school turned up in their masquerade costumes.
On previous occasions, students have fought one another and injured teachers in their refusal to observe the new reforms.

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House of Reps deputy majority leader, Leo Ogor in Road contract fraud.

Instances of scams, double dealing, switching of contracts, fraud, threats and intimidation, lying to the public and public officials is the focus of a claim by two prominent Nigerians on the status of a public road that was reduced in length that has cost more than two billion naira.
House of Representatives deputy majority leader, and member representing Isoko Federal constituency Mr. Leo Ogor Okuweh, and a local construction company, S.O. Olotu and Sons Nig Ltd, are accused of defrauding the Ozoro kingdom, Isoko North, and the local government area of Delta state, of billions of naira in a N2.4 billion road contract in the area.
The road contract which has generated a controversy over the alleged fraud discovery, was approved by the Federal Government, and awarded a staggering sum of millions, in 2011, by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to S.O. Olotu and Sons Nig. Ltd. That contract has come under fire. It was learned that the length of the public road was reduced, nearly in half, from a length of 28.4 kilometers, to 15.2 kilometers, at a total cost of N2.4 billion.
Having mobilized to site since 2013, the contractor, Chief S.O. Olotu, allegedly connived with the house of representatives deputy majority leader, Mr. Leo Ogor Okuweh and went to the commission ‘through the back door,’ with the assistance of some staff of the commission to fraudulently alter the earlier length of the road, it has been alledged. In addition, the contractor has been accused of falsifying another document, the Bill of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation (BEME) for the construction of the Ozoro Township Roads.
Raising the alarm on the alleged fraud, Senator Francis Spanner Okpozo, told SaharaReporters in an interview that the contractor, Chief S.O. Olotu, connived with the House of Representatives deputy majority leader, Mr. Leo Ogor Okuweh, to defraud the people of the Ozoro kingdom.
According to Senator Okpozo, the contractor and the federal lawmaker had given lay men excuses that the initial Bill of Quantity (BOQ) did not accommodate stonebase materials and drainage, in order to provide for some essentials that were not provided for the unwarranted reduction from 28.4KM to 15.2KM.
“All of a sudden,” Senator Okpozo said, “the contractor in working hand in hand with Hon. Leo Ogor Okuweh, came out with a fraudulent BOQ different from the original one, which they are (now) displaying to arm twist the people. We have since discovered that the new BOQ is a falsified one, which does not state the relevant quotations among other vital issues as in the case of the original BOQ.
“In a matter like this, it’s the people of the kingdom that should summon a general meeting, Senator Okpozo said, “but in his bid to blind-fold the Ozoro people, because of the personal interest he has in the contract, Ogor summoned selected PDP members and supporters meeting to the palace of Ozoro kingdom where he brainwashed, and sugar coated the people, after disbursing the sum of N500, 000 to the people, to shout down anybody who may raise any objection during the meeting.
“There is no way a contract that has been awarded, and approved by the federal executive council, will be reviewed downward instead of upward. Myself and one Ozoro illustrious son, Mr. Willaims Omoviro, a former Special Assistant to the then Managing Director of NDDC, Chief Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, fought tooth and nail before the contract was awarded by the federal executive council, (and) before it was later hijacked by Leo Ogor, and the proceeds (had) been shared by Ogor and the contractor. Leo Ogor, from nowhere jumped in, and fraudulently hijacked the contract because of his personal interests, to the detriment of Ozoro people, who are the main beneficiaries of the N2.4billion road contract.” Senator Okpozo stated.
Senator Okpozo while saying he has reached out to all the relevant authorities in the issue, even as he insisted that the new BOQ on display by the contract is a forged document, added that “The contractor conspired with Leo Ogor to defraud Ozoro people for their selfish interest. Ogor and the contractor are fraudulent, and the falsified BOQ (document) they brought has no bearing with the original BOQ for the contract. The most annoying aspect of the whole thing is that, the N2.4billion approved for the 28.4KM, is the same sum they are using for the 15.2KM.”
Senator Okpozo while also vowing to fight the battle with the last drop of his blood to correct corruption, noted that no authority, not even the NDDC can make any alteration on the (original) contract awarded and approved by federal executive council.
Also reacting to the alleged fraud, Mr. Williams Omoviro, former Special Assistant to the then Managing Director of NDDC, Chief Emmanuel Aguariavwodo, corroborated Senator Okpozo’s submissions, saying that he was the original progenitor of the contract.
“Whatever Senator Okpozo has said, is nothing but the whole truth. I am the original progenitor of that contract, I, midwived it when I was in NDDC. Hon. Leo Ogor just came from (out of) nowhere to hijack the project, and (is) using it to play politics in Ozoro. When a contractor has bided for a contract, you saw all the items you bided for, and later on you were given a certificate of no objection by due process office in Abuja.
“You didn’t object and you were later given a letter of award which you were given 14 days to accept the letter before NDDC, and you wrote to accept the letter, Williams Omoviro added, (and) you didn’t object, and you commenced work and only for you to come out again with a fraudulent BOQ reducing the roads from the initial 28.4KM to 15.2KM.
“The question now is, while still using the initial cost of N2.4billion meant for the original kilometres (how) to execute the one you have reduced to 15.2KM? Is this not funny, is this not questionable, is this not fraudulent (for) my people? It is true that the contractor wrote, but the reduction of the road from the initial 28.4KM to 15.2KM, or any alteration of any kind is never done by NDDC because in a situation like this, the contract ought to have been reviewed upward, to accommodate whatever that was not accommodated, not the other way round. The whole fraud here, Williams Omoviro said, “has been perpetrated by the contractor, Hon Leo Ogor, and others, to short-change the people of Ozoro kingdom.
Williams Omoviro was emotional, yet focused when explaining the process of a major public works project. He did not mince words when addressing the project that has come under scrutiny. “Hon Leo Ogor is busy intimidating the Ozoro people from going to the NDDC to verify the issue at stake. The due process office in Abuja has already told us that what they needed to do is to refer back to them, because in Niger Delta, there is no road that can be tarred without stonebase. But instead, the contractor and Leo Ogor for selfish interest went ahead to reduce the road (anyway.”)
In a petition by Concerned Ozoro Citizens, signed by Senator Francis Spanner Okpozo, Mr. Godek Aboma, community leader and chairman of chairmen and Engr. Clement Ochegbe, secretary to chairman of chairmen, and addressed to the Managing Director of NDDC, that was obtained by SaharaReporters, seeks urgent clarification from the commission as to whether the project is still the initial 28.4KM, or reduced to 15.2KM, as informed by the contractor.
“The content of this purported new and amended BOQ negates originality and genuine-ness as it has no semblance to an authentic and professionally prepared document. The contract sum, or cost, is not indicated in any page of the entire purported new and amended BOQ.”
An NDDC source who confided in SaharaReporters, disclosed over N600 million has so far been given to the contractor, and that the purported new BOQ was not approved by the commission, saying it was a ‘back door deal’ between the contractor, and one of the staffers called, Udom, who is on transfer to Calabar and others.
Contacted, Hon. Leo Ogor Okuweh debunked his involvement in the alleged fraudulent new BOQ, saying that the road was 28KM, and it was discovered that stonebase and drainages were not provided for in the BOQ.
According to the House of Representatives deputy majority leader, “When the contractor came to (the) site, he said he will do the road without stonebase and drainage, he wanted to pour the asphalt on the road, and I said, “capital NO,” and that was how NDDC was approached. I influenced that project, and I know what it takes for me to influence that project to that place, as such, I won’t be part of a poor job execution, hence I insisted the stonebase and drainage must be accommodated.”
The lawmaker lamented what he called “evil minded criticism” from the Isoko man, rather than appreciating him for attracting development to the land, saying that “Senator Okpozo does not know his left from his right, he is getting too old in his age, he is suffering from old age which is his problem. He is not from my party; he is a member of the APC, and will look for everything to rubbish me. Maligning somebody’s image is becoming too much of the average Isoko man when we have people who can influence projects they should be encouraged. If you do there is a problem, if you don’t do, there is a problem.”
When contacted, Chief S.O. Olotu, who is the contractor, threatened to deal with our correspondent should the story be reported.
Meanwhile, an Abuja based lawyer, Ejumejowo Tony (ESQ,) has raised the alarm over threats to his life by the contractor, following a letter written to NDDC and the Secretary to the Federal Government to know the true status of the road contract.
In an interview with our correspondent, the lawyer said “This afternoon at about 1.49pm, a certain number, 08033365511 called me twice, while I was in a meeting. On concluding my meeting, I returned the call, and the caller asked if I was the one that wrote the said letter of enquiry, and which question I confirmed in the positive. So I asked the caller, who I was thinking was some official of the Commission. The caller introduced himself as “the system,” and threatened my person by saying, the system is coming after me for daring to write such a letter. On further probe, the caller, the system identified himself as Evangelist S.O.Olotu and the contractor for the road.”

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Rivers crisis: Police Service Commission redeploys Mbu

The Police Service Commission (PSC) has announced the removal of the controversial Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Joseph Mbu, and posted him to the Federal Capital Territory with immediate effect.
SaharaReporters had exclusively reported on Monday that the controversial cop, who had become a key figure in the political crisis in Rivers State, was slated for removal and reposting.
He will be replaced by Johnson (Tunde) Ogunsakin, who until the PSC announcement was the commissioner in charge of the Special Fraud Investigations Unit in Lagos.
The PSC also announced the redeployment of several other commissioners, all of them to take effect immediately.
PSC Chairman Mike Okiro urged all the officers to put in their best in their various commands in order to provide a secure environment for business and life to thrive.
The Police Service Commission has approved the recommendations of the Inspector General of Police for the redeployment of thirteen (13) Commissioners of Police to various Commands nationwide:
Present Posting
Posted To
The Chairman of the Commission,Sir Mike Mbama Okiro, equally admonished the newly redeployed officers to put in their best in their various Commands’ operations, so as to provide a secure environment for business and life to thrive.
Ferdinand U. Ekpe
For: Hon. Chairman
6thFebruary, 2014

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Finally, Asari Dokubo invited by the DSS over extreme comments

The Department of State Security (DSS) in Abuja is currently questioning president of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Mujahid Dokubo-Asari on many of his recent comments threatening the country’s security.
The DSS has not officially confirmed the action but Rex Asari, Dokubo-Asari’s younger brother, told Premium Times that operatives are currently interrogating the former militant.
“It is true. He is being interrogated as we speak,” Rex was quoted to have said.
Dokubo-Asari drew a lot of flak from the public in September 2013, when he threatened bloodshed if incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan is not declared winner of the 2015 general elections, whether he contests or not.
“2015 is already a settled matter; Goodluck Jonathan will be president in 2015. Whether they contest or they don’t contest, Goodluck Jonathan will be president”, he had said on Channels Television.
“If they say the blood of the dogs and the baboon will be soaked in water on the street, in blood on the street, in salt water on the street, we will help them soak them in blood”.
On Tuesday February 6th 2014, he made similar claims, saying the people of the Niger Delta would cripple the country even if Jonathan is defeated in a free and fair election.
“If it is war, the North wants, we are ready for them because Jonathan must complete the mandatory constitutionally allowable two terms of eight years. At home, we have regrouped and we have put our people at alert”, he had said.
“In less than one hour, the way we would strike, the world will be shocked. If anybody does anything against Jonathan, we will retaliate. What we will do will shock the whole world. We will cripple the economy of the country not only in the creeks, but also on the nation’s territorial waters. No vessel will be allowed to enter Nigeria’s territorial waters.
“Let them not try anything. If they abuse Jonathan, there is no problem, he is their President but anything that will affect the interest of the Ijaw people and the interest of the entire people of the Niger Delta will be resisted at any cost. Jonathan cannot be defeated; they cannot defeat him; they don’t have the right”.

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WAEC announces 39 new subjects!

The West African Examinations Council has announced the introduction of 39 new subjects in its examinations.
The Council’s Acting Head, Test Development Division, Mrs. Olayinka Ajibade, who announced this, said the new subjects would commence in this year’s May/June West African Senior School Certificate Examination.
Ajibade said this while delivering a paper titled “The New Senior Secondary Education Curriculum in Nigeria: Implications for Assessment” at the council’s monthly seminar in Lagos on Friday.
The fresh initiative, she said, was in accordance with the Nigerian Education Research and Development Council’s new secondary school curriculum.
The NERDC is the body responsible for reviewing primary and secondary schools’ curricula in the country.
She said, “The implementation of the new SSCE curricula began in September 2011, meaning that the maiden public examinations based on the new/ revised curricula are expected to be held in May/ June 2014.
“Each WASSCE syllabus is derived from the senior secondary education curriculum. In addition to the 39 new subjects for which NERDC engaged in curriculum development, curriculum review was also carried out for 35 existing subjects.”
In the new curriculum, four new subjects- Computer Studies, Insurance, Store Management and Office Practice- are in the electives category, while the remaining 35 subjects are in the Trades category.
Among subjects in the trade category are Painting and Decorating, Photography, Salesmanship, Plumbing and Pipe Fitting, and Upholstery.
Ajibade added that under the fresh directive, students would be required to take four core subjects, comprising English Language, General Mathematics, Civic Education and Trade/ Entrepreneurial Studies.
The candidates, she added, would be required to choose three or four subjects from Humanities, Science, Technology and Business Studies depending on their potential and interest.
Ajibade, while unveiling this, noted however that the new directive would face some challenges.
She identified inadequate teachers, appalling state of facilities in schools and large class size as some of the challenges that would likely beset the initiative.

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“APC is the party for change”- Atiku

After weeks of speculation, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday announced his resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Mr. Abubakar said he is now a member of the opposition coalition, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and that he will hand in his resignation letter to the PDP on Monday.
Coming amid the turbulence that has since engulfed the ruling PDP for months, the former vice president said he left the party because it has “lost touch with Nigerians”, and has failed to resolve its many crises, mainly instigated by its leadership.
“We have, therefore, concluded that that party cannot be redeemed. In short the PDP has abandoned Nigerians, the very people who gave it life and many electoral victories,” the former vice president said in a statement Sunday.
Mr. Abubakar is leaving the PDP the second time, having quit the party in 2006 at the peak of his standoff with then President Olusegun Obasanjo ahead of the 2007 elections.
He later joined the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, a party that would later, in alliance with other opposition parties, transform to the APC.
Mr. Abubakar rejoined the PDP in 2009 after Mr. Obasanjo left office. He said he did so as a new leadership of the party and the country had promised a new direction, inclusiveness, internal democracy, an end to impunity, adherence to the rule of law and respect for the dignity of members and Nigerians.
“Sadly, however, those promises have not been kept. In addition, the PDP continues to be beset with many crises, mostly leadership-induced crises,” he said in his statement on Sunday.
Mr. Abubakar’s decision to quit the party the second time would hardly be surprising having been one of the leaders of PDP who staged a walkout from the party’s national convention in September 2013.
That protest, backed by seven governors-five, whom have already defected to the APC- was the first public demonstration of the bitter divisions within the PDP. It culminated in the formation of a splinter group called the new PDP, which later fused formally with the APC.
The former vice president said months after, the party, as well, has failed to address the issues that led to the walkout.
“Many founding members of the PDP, I included, continue to be marginalized and excluded from the affairs of the party. For instance as a former Vice President, I am by virtue of the PDP constitution, a member of the party’s Board of Trustees and its National Executive Committee,” he said.
“However, I am not invited to the meetings of those organs nor consulted on their decisions, apparently because I dared to exercise my right to contest in the party’s primary election for a chance to be its flag-bearer in the 2011 elections.”
Mr. Abubakar remained largely passive with the activities of the PDP after the walkout, and recently announced he was consulting on his political future.
The former vice president was later linked with a new party, the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM. He denied being a member of the party.
But the PDM said on Sunday it was briefed by Mr. Abubakar about his decision to join the APC, and thanked him for the consultation.
Mr. Abubakar said his decision to join the APC was the “right decision”, and may not be popular among his supporters. He said he considered Nigeria first.
“As in 2006 it is the struggle for democracy and constitutionalism and service to my country and my people that are driving my choice and my decision. Let me emphasize that this is not about me. We have to have a country before people can aspire to lead it, but as it is today we may be losing this country,” he said.
He said the APC is a party of change committed to the improvement of the lives of our people and to the continued existence and development of Nigeria as one indivisible country.

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What Does A Nigerian Governor Do? By Prince Charles Dickson

A Nigerian governor is Nigerian, he often than not is an indigene of the State he governs/rules/ or controls.
In rare cases, we know a state governor has actually hailed from another state, and in those cases we have kept the matter under the realm of gossip and conjectures, like one of the governors in the North whom we know originally hails from ‘agenebode’ or so in the Niger Delta.
Well, is my admonition about where governors come from? Certainly not! But let’s share this learning together in the next few paragraphs.
Now, in the case that the best man for the job is from another state, he simply is disqualified, as he is not an indigene, the only caveat is, in the case of the governor of the Central Bank, and even on that count, the man must be ethnically/regionally and religiously correct.
To the grouse then, what do these men do, what really is the job of a governor…Nigeria has 36 of them, split into the Nigeria Governors Forum (Jang faction and Rotimi Faction), PDP Governors Forum, Progressive cum Opposition Governors Forum, Northern Governors Forum, South-South Governors Forum, South East Governors Forum, South West Governors Forum, and recently I heard of the former PDP Governors Forum composed of ex-governors.
What do these men contribute to nation building or even state building.
On a personal note, these men are entitled to a four wives if Muslim, and a wife if a Christian, but scores of then keep a convent/harem of concubines, girlfriends and mistresses, at least not any has been caught ‘gaying’. In other words, as a governor in Nigeria you cannot/should not be faithful at home, by extension you owe those you govern very little and owe much to your harem/party and godfathers.
It is not so much about what these governors do, as in also what they do not do. These governors have dozens of commissioners ranging from 30-45, they are entitled to senior special assistants/special assistants/advisers (both senior and junior)/countless aides and yes consultants on various subject matters.
This allows for governors to spend an average of 7 days only in a month at the office and in the state. The rest is spent galavanting, wedding, naming ceremony, birthday, and death-day, they attend meetings in abuja, and flex in caucus meetings of how to remove Jonathan, or how to deceive him and make more money.
Off course all these happen when they are not in Kosovo, Kabul or Khazastan seeking investors.
There is no governor in Nigeria that has in the last four years spent an average of 4 hours everyday, 15 days a month and 9 months a year in the office, taking his leave as at when due and handing over to the right person temporarily. But trust me, these ‘guys’ are working so HARD, indeed very HARD.
Have you visited a state without big billboards with one motto or the other attached to a life size photo of the governor, state mass transit buses with his picture on them, soccer clubs like Plateau United christened (the Jang Boys) which was once Dariye Boys and briefly Botmang Boys. If there’s a state similar things don’t occur, then the state has no governor, even the chief servant in the power state is top of the swagger in these art of self worship by our governors-general.
Our governors tell us how difficult the art of state governance is, and you sure would agree, contending with the opposition, with political enemies from different camps, and sure spending billions unaccounted for must be one hell of a job.
Recently I asked how much do our governors earn for all the hard work? And very few could say. No wonder everyone of them tell us how they were all millionaires before they became governors.
Millionaire state CEOs that don’t have factories yet they speak and act in millions and billions, they tell you to go and die, and if you don’t they give you N2M.
I watch people say governor X,Y,Z is doing well, and I ask where else do people praise a governor for using your money to give you utilities that are not priorities, but our beloved Nigeria.
Is there any Nigerian governor with just two cars, with kids in public schools, and less than N100M, then I will show you a lazy governor. Today in assets and cash there is no governor who is not a billionaire, and that’s 36 hardworking billionaires.
These hardworking governors spend millions on healthcare, and yet the hospitals are not good enough to check their health. In one of the progressive South West States, all of the governor’s kids are schooling in London and the governor flaunts his hardwork in the educational sector.
Have you had ‘Rochanomics’ or Kwakwasiya or Redemption, or tar ze che, the tags are countless yet all these are nothing but empty shells.
I am using these governors as guinea pigs, but it is really about our leaders, what do our councilor men/women do, how about the chairmen, legislators, how has our minister impacted our lives?
We need to start asking questions, we’re need to demand answers to issues of governance.
An old axiom speaks of not touching a blind man’s hand while eating with him…for how long our leaders will continue to touch our hands while they eat–only time will tell.

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Boko Haram bomb blast kills 7, injures 3 in Borno village

An Improvised Explosive Device, IED, believed to have been planted by the insurgent group, Boko Haram, on Friday killed seven passengers and injured three others, the Borno State police commissioner, Lawan Tanko, has confirmed
The explosion occurred at about 7 a.m. in a village called Kuthra in Gwoza Local Government, both witnesses and the police said.
Mr. Tanko said the incident happened when an 18-sitter Toyota bus conveying passengers ran over an IED believed to have been planted by Boko Haram by the side of the road. The IED exploded killing seven passengers and injuring three others that are now receiving treatment at the General Hospital in Gwoza.
A monarch in Gwoza, Idrissa Timta, who broke the news to the state governor, Kashim Shettima, in Maiduguri, said he was forced by military officers to delay his trip to the state capital for two hours while the corpses of victims were being evacuated and the area being sniffed for yet to be detonated bombs.
Gwoza is 90km away from Kawuri, the village where gunmen believed to be Boko Haram attacked and killed 85 persons and injuring about 50 others on Sunday.
Scores of people have been killed and thousands displaced in 2014 by Boko Haram activities in Borno. Over 6,000 of the displaced are in Cameroon and Niger Republic, the United Nations had said.
Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa are under emergency rule as soldiers battle to defeat the outlawed Boko Haram sect.

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Police arrest herbalist, 9 others for killing of NNPC staff

•Victims decomposed body was identified through DNA testing

The Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS, has arrested nine persons, including a native doctor, in connection with the killing of a staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police FSARS, Chris Ezike, confirmed the arrest while speaking with a correspondent in Lagos on Thursday.
Mr. Ezike, who is of the Adeniji-Adele Police Station, said the suspects committed the crime on September 23, 2012.
He gave the name of the NNPC staff as Sylvester Emefiele, who worked with NNPC’s Transformation Office in Abuja.
The commissioner said that the wife of the victim, Ngozi, had petitioned the Inspector-General of police in September, 2012 over the disappearance of her husband after leaving Lagos for Abuja.
Mr. Ezike said that the woman revealed that her husband left Lagos for Abuja on the invitation of his boss to process his visa for a training programme in Hungary.
“She claimed her husband sent her SMS on September 23, 2012 at about 8.37 p.m.that he was at Gwagwalada and that was the last she heard from him.
“She also stated that surprisingly, she noticed that withdrawals were being made from her husband’s accounts through ATM,” he said.
Mr. Ezike said that the arrest was made possible through scientific tracking of the mobile phone line of the victims, stressing that a school drop-out was first arrested in Ilesa, Osun with the victim’s blackberry handset.
“The suspect confessed that he bought the phone from one of the suspects, a cab driver in Modakeke in Osun State for N22, 000,” he said.
He added that after the arrest of the cab driver in Abuja, they were able to arrest others in connection with the crime.
“Two of the suspects confessed that they picked up the victim in their taxi cab with registration No. AG 956 KEF at Giri in the Gwagwalada Area Council to be dropped at Finance Quarters, Wuye, Abuja. The driver of the cab was the one that picked the victim and picked the second suspect some metres away even as the victim protested, the driver pleaded with the victim that the man was his brother. The second suspect claimed he brought out hammer as a decoy for pistol as soon as he entered the front of the cab. They subdued the victim and took him to a nearby bush,” Mr. Ejike narrated.
He said the suspects searched and dispossessed the victim of his laptop, N3,000 cash, three ATM cards and other items.
“They claimed they forced the victim to disclose his ATM pin numbers. One of the suspects went to the banks to withdraw N180, 000 immediately and the second suspect watch over the victim. They claimed that after they discovered the victim had more money in his accounts, they used charm prepared by the native doctor on him and he became weak. They claimed they discovered that the man died the following day and they abandoned the corpse in the bus and escaped,” Mr. Ejike said.
He said that on June 10, 2013, the two suspects led the DCP and crime scene forensic experts led by the police doctor, Emenike Chinenyenwa, to the scene located at Idu along Airport Road, eight kilometres from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport junction, Abuja.
“At the scene, we met a completely decomposed skeleton suspected to be the remains of the victim. The bones of the legs were still stuck in the jeans trousers while his ribs were scattered around. His wrist watch, one leg of his sandals and the twine rope used in tying him and other belongings were recovered there,” he said.
He added that the remains were packaged by forensic experts for autopsy by the police pathologist and the victim’s family invited to identify the items recovered. The wife and younger brother of the deceased identified them, Mr. Ejike said.
“The two suspects also led detectives to arrest the native doctor that prepared the charm in Ipetumodu, Osun State. Our investigation has been able to establish offences of criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, armed robbery and culpable homicide,” he said.
The DCP said that after the DNA test on the bones and tooth of the victim, the report by the Force Chief Consultant Pathologist, Akhiwu Wilson, showed that they were similar to that of the victim’s son and his brother.
“The suspects were first arraigned on November 19, 2013 at High Court, FCT, Abuja. The suspects are coming to court again on Jan. 31, 2014 now that the lab result is out,” Mr. Ezike added.


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“National Conference”: Those to attend and the modalities.

The federal government of Nigeria yesterday announced the modalities for the proposed but controversial National Dialogue, which it said would now be known as “The National Conference” and feature 492 delegates.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, said that all Socio-Political and Nationality Groups in the country have been given 15 slots from each Geo-Political zone just as five political parties will get 2 slots each in the proposed National Conference.
The slots are limited to the political parties that have representation in the National Assembly, which are the Peoples Democratic Party, the All Progressives Congress, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, the Accord Party and the Labour Party.
Giving other details of the National Conference, which will hold in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Anyim said:
“It shall last for 3 months and shall discuss any subject matter, except the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a nation, therefore the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable. The decision at the National Conference shall be by consensus; but where it is not achievable; it shall be by 75% majority. It shall advise the Government on the legal framework, legal procedure and options for integrating the decision and outcomes of the National Conference into the constitution and laws of the country and the Conference shall have a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson of unimpeachable integrity.”
He further stated that January 30- February 20 will be for nomination of delegates, and that the inauguration of the conference will follow soon after the conclusion of the delegates list.
Giving a breakdown of the composition of delegates, he said they would be as follows:
Federation Government of Nigeria (20) and 6 must be women
Nigeria Labour Congress (12)
Trade Union Congress (12)
Civil Society Organisations (24)
Military (6)1 per Geo-Political Zone
Police (6)1 per Geo-Political Zone
State Security and NIA (6) 1 per Geo-Political zone
National Council for Women Society (NCWS) – (12) 2 per Geo-political zonel
Market Women Associations (6)—1 per Geo-Political zone
FIDA, NAWOJ, WINBIZ—(6) —1 per organization
Elder Statesmen –(37) — 1 per State and FCT
NECA —(2)
NESG (2)
NUJ –(2)
Nigerian Guild of Editors (2)
Newspapers Proprietors Association (2)
People Living with Disabilities (6) 1 per Geo-Political zone
Christian Leaders (6)
Muslim Leaders (6)
Traditional Rulers (13) 2 per zone + 1 from FCT )
Retired Civil Servants (6) 1 per zone
National Youth Council of Nigeria (6)
NANS (6)
Other (Outsatnding Youths and Role Models) (6)
Nigerians in Diaspora (Europe,America Africa, Asia and Middle East) (6) 2 per location Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (2)
Socio –Political/Cultural and Ethnic Nationality Groups (90) 15 per Geo-Political zone,nomination should reflect Ethnic and Religious Diversities.
Professional Bodies : (13)
NBA,NSE,CIB,NMA,NIM,NIA,ICAN, ANAN,NIPR,AAPN,NIESV, Nigerian Environmental Society (1 per organization)
National Academy: (5)
Academy of Science
Academy of Engineering Academy of Education
Academy of Letters
Academy of Social Sciences (1 per Academy)
Judiciary (6) person not currently serving on the Bench
Former Political Office Holders:
Former Governors (6)
Senators Forum (6)
House of Reps. Forum (6)
Association of Former Speakers(6)
State Government and FCT (109) 3per State and 1 for FCT based on Senatorial District at least one of whom shall be a woman .
Former LGA Chairmen (6) 1 per Geo-Political zone
Chairmen ,Deputy Chair and Secretary (3) Geo-Political spread to be observed.

*Nomination of these delegates shall be done by the stakeholders of such group.

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Ex-Kano Governor, Shekarau, Dumps APC For PDP

Ex-governor Shekarau

Ex-governor Shekarau

Ibrahim Shekarau, one of the founding members of APC, has moved to the PDP.
The immediate past governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, has dumped the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Mr. Shekarau, backed by his supporters from the 44 local government areas of Kano, made the declaration at his Bompai GRA residence in Kano on Wednesday.
He said the decision is to satisfy the aspirations of the people of the state who felt left out from the APC.
“We intended with the merger to form a solid foundation for entrenchment of democracy,” Mr, Shekarau, the presidential candidate of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, in 2011, said.
“The Legacy Group sacrificed all interests for the merger, but for the past six months all agreements reached by the merged parties had not being met.
“No clear leaders, no registration of APC members at any levels. This shows a clear lack of commitment, transparency and accountability to all concerned,” he said.
The supporters participated in the declaration and affirmed the decision to defect to PDP.
Mr. Shekarau had last week met with a former Sokoto Governor and founding members of the APC, Attahiru Bafarawa, last week. Mr. Bafarawa has since decamped to the PDP. Both men accuse the APC of giving the party’s structures in their states to their current state governors who last year decamped to the APC from the PDP.

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“They closed the Church, stood by doors, and started throwing IEDs and shooting directly at the helpless worshippers”–Adamawa Bishop.

Bishop of Yola diocese, Bishop Stephen Dami Mamza

Bishop of Yola diocese, Bishop Stephen Dami Mamza

Bishop Mamza said the attack, suspected to be the work of Boko Haram, left 31 parishioners dead, and 11 others mutilated by knives and gun wounds. He said “They closed the Church, stood by doors, and started throwing IEDs and shooting directly at the helpless worshippers”. “The attack took place in our out-station Church on Sunday morning in a village called Waga Chakawa. The Church is under St. Dennis Catholic Church, Madagali in Adamawa State. They were about to finish Holy Mass with the Catechist when the suspected men arrived in Hilux vans and some on motorcycles.”
“Those that were escaping through the widow were being slaughtered like rams and others killed through their sophisticated guns.”
He added, “I have never seen this tragedy; it is a gradual elimination of people with impunity and desecration and sanctity of human lives.”
The Bishop said after the gang had finished with the helpless villagers inside the Church, the attackers went into the village and slaughtered about ten people of several Churches and escaped without any response.
Bishop Mamza had a plea for the Nigerian government, “I am begging in the name of God, government and security agencies should come to the aid of poor Nigerians irrespective of their religion, status or whatever and give them protection. We are mourning these children and adults whose innocent lives were brutally stuffed out of them unjustifiably.”

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Babangida Warns Jonathan Over Anti-Democratic Actions And Impunity

Former military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida, has warned President Goodluck Jonathan of carrying out anti-democratic actions with impunity.
In a statement he circulated to the Nigerian media, Mr. Babangida, an ex-general in the Nigerian Army, stated that the situation under Mr. Jonathan’s Presidency was worrisome.
The statement read in part:
“The happenings in the country in recent times call for worry if we must be sincere with ourselves. Every day, the nation is treated with one form of political issue or [another]. From security challenges to economic challenges, Nigerians are asking several questions that deserve responses from government at the various levels. Democracy is when it is a people-driven government with its fundamental principles of freedom of expression, freedom of association, rule of law, accountability, probity and equal representation amongst others.
“I will like to advise President Goodluck Jonathan to tread cautiously so that those sycophants in, and out of government will not derail his focus, resilience and perseverance. He needs all the comportment, resilience, perseverance, introspection and determination to be able to take the right decisions for the good of the country. The arrest and release of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai is a deliberate distraction which the President must run away from.
“He must avoid gambling with decisions and he must be willing to seek a third opinion on issues before he takes his decision. President Goodluck Jonathan must understand that there is a whole body of people out there who are not happy with happenings in the country. It is his responsibility as President of the country to reach out to them and make his mission understandable to the common man on the street so that they can buy into his government.
“If his body of advisers do not understand the temperament in the country and decide to embark on arresting and releasing people on very questionable allegations, they will be making enemies for the President instead of friends. The prerogative is that of the President and no one else.
“President Jonathan should as a matter of responsibility listen to voices of the opposition and or dissent, as he stands to gain experience and knowledge from their well-informed criticisms rather than build hostilities around them. He has to ensure that he minimizes and maximizes his discretionary powers in a manner that will not be subject of abuse.
“President Goodluck Jonathan must sit back, collect himself and carry out a critical self-appraisal before he takes his decisions. He is aware, without mention, that the country is presently faced with several developmental challenges.
“Also, security agencies must avoid getting involved in political issues. Modern day security has evolved to a point where you do not require seeing gun-wielding policemen on the streets. The ability to collate information and analyze same in a proactive manner will help improve the security situation in the country. We must carry out moral healing as well as political healing in the land. The President must make it a point of duty to reach out to people, groups and individuals with the sole purpose of selling his Presidency. It is becoming instructive that the concept of winner-takes-all which has pervaded the system for so long may not flourish as such again.”

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11 PDP Senators defect to APC: Read full List

Saharareporters has obtained the full list of 11 Senators that submitted a letter to Senate President David Mark today asking to defect to the opposition All progressives Congress (APC) party.
The defecting senators are as follows :
1. Senator Bukola Saraki-Kwara Central
2. Senator Umaru Dahiru-Sokoto South
3. Senator Magnus Ngei Abe -Rivers South-East
4. Senator Wilson Asinobi Ake-Rivers West
5. Sen. Bindawa Muhammed Jibrilla-Adamawa North
6. Sen. Mohammed Danjuma Goje-Gombe central
7. Sen. Aisha Jummai Alhassan-Taraba North
8. Sen. Mohammed Ali Ndume-Borno South
9. Senator Mohammed Shaba Lafiaji-Kwara North
10. Sen. Abdulahi Adamu-Nasarawa West
11. Senator Ibrahim Abdullahi Gobir-Sokoto East

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Nigeria2015: Despite APC threat, no automatic tickets for PDP lawmakers, Chairman Mu’azu says

Despite the claim by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, federal lawmakers that the party had promised them automatic tickets for the 2015 election, the ruling party said nothing of such would be done.
The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mulikat Akande, had stirred the honets nest on Tuesday night when she reminded leaders of her party and those of other sympathetic parties of the promise by the PDP leadership. She asked the party leadership to honour its promise and ensure all willing lawmakers of the PDP are given automatic tickets and have no need to partake in party primaries for the 2015 elections.
Ms. Akande was speaking at the National Assembly complex in Abuja on Tuesday evening during the welcome address at a meeting between the PDP Caucus in the House and the PDP National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu, and PDP governors. The meeting was also attended by two governors from the All Progressive Grand Alliance and the Labour Party.
At the end of the meeting, however, Mr. Mu’azu told journalists that the PDP will not give automatic tickets to its members to contest the 2015 general elections.
He said that automatic tickets were only given by parties that were undemocratic.
“We have a democratic process and we will go through that, those that deserve it will surely get it,” he said.
He said that he was not aware of any promise made by the immediate past national chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur, of giving automatic ticket to any member.
On the meeting, the chairman said it was normal for the party leadership to consult with the lawmakers.
The meeting was part of efforts to stem the tide of the defections of PDP lawmakers to the All Progressives Congress, APC, which has seen the latter become the majority in the House.
Mr. Mu’azu said the party would not disclose the strategy it would use to woo back members that defected to the All Progressive Congress, APC.
At least 37 PDP members in the House defected to the APC late last year, thus making the APC the majority in the 360 member congress. Five PDP governors (of Kwara, Sokoto, Kano, Adamawa, and Rivers) also decamped to the APC.
In attendance at Tuesday’s meeting were Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta, Liyel Imoke of Cross River, Ibrahim Shema of Katsina, Ramalan Yero of Kaduna, Babangida Aliyu of Niger, and Theodore Orji of Abia states, all PDP governors.
The Deputy Governors of Kogi and Jigawa states also attended the meeting.
The Governor of Anambra, Peter Obi (APGA) and Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo (Labour Party) came in briefly in company of Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom (PDP).

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Pipeline Vandals Sentenced To 25 Year Jail Term In Plateau

Two suspects involved in petroleum pipeline vandalization in Plateau State, North Central Nigeria have been sentenced to twenty five year imprisonment by a Federal High Court sitting in Jos.
Justice Ambrose Allagoa, in his judgment sentenced the accused persons to five years jail term on each count of the five charges instituted by the Plateau State command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC.
The three suspects were apprehended by vigilantes in Taria, Jingre of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State for vandalizing NNPC pipelines in the area.
Parading the suspects at the office of the state command of the Civil Defence in Jos, the State Commandant, Vincent Bature, commended the efforts of the community leader and the vigilantes in apprehending the suspects before handing them over to the security agents.
The suspects were arraigned on a five count charge of unlawful obstruction of Premium Motor Spirit; unlawful interference with free flow of Premium Motor Spirit; unlawful dealings in Premium Motor Spirit; unlawful procurement of Premium Motor Spirit, as well as unlawful aid to procure Premium Motor Spirit.
The third accused person, Auwal Abubakar, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

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Kogi University lecturer to be arraigned in February over alleged Boko Haram link

He claims he is being set up

He claims he is being set up

A Federal High Court in Abuja, Friday, fixed February 3 for the arraignment of a Kogi State University lecturer, Muhammad Nazeef, over his alleged connection with Boko Haram.
Mr. Nazeef, a lecturer in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies of the university, was paraded alongside four others by the State Security Services, SSS, at its headquarters in Abuja on November 20, 2013.
The presiding judge, Gabriel Kolawole, fixed the arraignment date on the basis that charges filed against the accused persons by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation had not been served on them. He, however, ordered that the charges be served before the set date.
On January 13, the SSS had informed the court that it had no evidence against three of the suspects: Mustapha Yusuf, Ismaila Abdulazeez and Ibrahim Hayafu. They were discharged by the court while the SSS applied for a leave from the court to further detain Mr. Nazeef and Umar Musa until their arraignment, a request the judge approved.
Mr. Nazeef has denied any link with the outlawed sect. However, when the suspects wee earlier paraded by the SSS last year, the others had accused him of being their ring leader.
Mr. Nazeef on the day of the parade said he believed he was being set up by Boko Haram following his consistent preaching against the sect’s activities. His daughter, Summayya Muhammad, also stated that her father had always condemned the Boko Haram’s activities and that tapes of his messages were proof of that.

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•The meeting was held in Abuja.

The growing influence of the All Progressives Congress is forcing a major re-alignment in the House of Representatives as leaders of three major parties met with their lawmakers on Tuesday evening at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.
The meeting which ended later in the night was attended by governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Labour Party, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. The National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Mu’azu, was also at the meeting. Some of the governors at the meeting include Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom, PDP), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo, Labour Party), and Peter Obi (Anambra, APGA). The meeting was also attended by members of the House of Representatives from the three parties. A revelation from the meeting was when House leader, Mulikat Akande, said the PDP had promised all its lawmakers automatic tickets for 2015 election, ostensibly to deter them from decamping to the APC. She asked the PDP not to renege on its promise. The APC has recently benefitted from a wave of defections of PDP lawmakers in the House thus making the former the majority in the congress. The opposition party also recently asked its lawmakers to frustrate bills by the presidency until law and order is restored in Rivers State, a state where the governor, Rotimi Amaechi, recently decamped, alongside four others, to the APC. The PDP, APGA, and Labour Party lawmakers have vowed to resist the APC directive while the party’s lawmakers said they would abide by it.

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Abuja Latest: Police Disperse Anti-Impunity Rally Calling For The Sack Of Rivers State Police Commissioner

Police this morning in Abuja indiscriminately fired tear gas at demonstrators protesting the impunity in Rivers State and abuse of office by Mbu Joseph Mbu, the Commissioner of Police.
The protesters, led by the Executive Secretary of the Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) and a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dino Melaye, numbered about 100, but the police responded with an overwhelming army of over 200 anti-riot policemen.
All of them appeared to be battle-ready, and some of their number had earlier condoned off the Federal Secretariat venue of the planned protest.
Determined to carry out their action, the ACN protesters decided to march from the organization’s office to the Secretariat, but met the unyielding police blockade. The police over zealously fired tear gas canisters at the demonstrators, which resulted in a stampede and some protesters receiving injuries. Others simply fainted.
Melaye denounced the situation in Rivers as “endemic, systemic and becoming contagious.” He called on Nigerians to show courage in their response to it.
“We must do everything to rescue this country from the hands of these economic cankerworms,” he said. “There is intimidation, incessant arrests, threats and assassination attempts on my life. But for me, I am resolute because the battle to deliver this country from economic cankerworms, financial vultures and inept leadership, as I have repeatedly said, is a battle of no retreat, no surrender.”
He urged Nigerians to creep out of their cocoons and become agents of change.
“We need to call a bloodless revolution that will transform this nation from the hands of these economic cankerworms and financial scavengers,” the CAN leader said, describing Nigeria as not only sick, but also suffering from a dreadful continental abnormality.
“In an unjust society, silence is a crime,” he stressed. “This is the time in the history of Nigeria where silence is no longer golden. People must come out and speak because the day you stop eating is the day you start dying. Where dictatorship becomes legalized, revolution becomes a right.”

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Ondo Workers Shut Down GTB In Akure, Paralyze Business Transactions

Industrial workers under the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC) Ondo State on Tuesday shut down business activities at the headquarters branch of the Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) on Alagbaka Road in Akure, the state capital.
The workers, chanting solidarity songs, were protesting non-payment of their salaries. They also alleged sabotage of their efforts by the officers of the bank.
They said that GTB, without the knowledge of the state government, had withheld their salaries with the intention of using the money to defray its loans.
Many of them carried placards bearing such inscriptions as: “Enough of GTB Exploitation Antics in Ondo State”; “Workers and People of Ondo State Beware of GTB in Akure”’ “We are tired of GTB behavior”; “GTB will ruin our life in Ondo State”; and “We won’t take this no more for GTB.”
One of the protesting workers told SaharaReporters that their salaries were withheld by the bank while various unknown alerts were sent to them from the bank.
“As at now I have not received my January salary which is not supposed to be so. We learnt that GTB is planning to defraud us. They want to use our money for loans. We won’t take this from them.”
Speaking with journalists, the JNC chairman in Ondo State, Comrade Oluwole Adeleye Samuel, also alleged that the bank was trying to sabotage the workers by using their salaries for defraying loans.
“This bank without the authority of the government of Ondo State been represented by the Account General took Seven Hundred and Six Million Naira (N 706.000.000.00) meant for the payment of workers salary to defray a loan.
“As a result of this our salary has not being paid. We are tired of this barbaric act of the bank. They are holding us for ransom and we won’t take it from them. I can assure you that we won’t allow any transaction to occur in this bank unless they pay our people”.
All effort by SaharaReporters to obtain the position of the Managing Director of the bank proved abortive, as staff kept mute when asked about his whereabouts.
But the Head of Operations of the bank, whose chest badge read ‘Kehinde Oyeleke,’ but who refused to mention his name to SaharaReporters, angrily declined to comment on the issue.
“I am not aware of what is happening,” he retorted. “The bank does not have issues with the workers. What sort of questions are you asking me, I just told you we don’t have issues with the bank? What do you want me to say?”
The workers vowed to continue the protest and threatened tio occupy the entire street leading to the Alagbaka branch if no positive progress was made, adding that they would not allow customers into the bank.
Meanwhile the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of the bank have been shut down with the protesters threatening to deal with any workers of the bank who dared to attend to customers.
As of the time of this story, officers of the Ondo State Command of the Nigerian Police Force were being drafted to the scene to curtail any violence and prevent the protest from being hijacked.

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“Don’t Ask About Our Allowances, Ask About NNPC 10bn Unpaid Revenue” – Hon. Gbajabiamila

The minority whip of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said Nigerians are looking in the wrong place if they remain fixated on how much members of the legislature are being paid. Instead, he added, Nigerians should focus on a larger picture.
In an interview last Saturday with SaharaTV’s Rudolf Okonkwo, Mr. Gbajabiamila responded to a recent statement by the Finance Ministry that about 74% of this year’s budget is scheduled to go into recurrent expenditure. The ministry had added that a large chunk of the recurrent expenditure will be used to pay the salaries and allowances of legislators.
In response, Mr. Gbajabiamila said that this is nothing compared to what the Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo Iweala or any Minister for that matter takes home. “My salary is nothing…not a hundredth of what she takes home”, he said.
Mr. Gbajabiamila said the country’s legislators receive over 20 different allowances even though he and others of his rank in the House receive between N700, 000 and N800, 000 a month as take-home pay.
He hinted that even though his salary is common knowledge, his allowances should not necessarily be made public. He however offered to make that information known to Sahara Reporters via email. Mr. Gbajabiamila compared the Nigerian situation to that of the USA saying Americans may know the take-home figures of their legislators but not necessarily the allowances they receive.
He also charged the Minister to come clean on the disputed $10.8 billion in missing oil revenue and not on a relatively paltry 150bn which accounts for only about 2% of the budget.
“The 150 billion that we talk about for the whole national assembly is only 2% or thereabouts of a 4.7 trillion budget”, he said.
He also charged Mrs. Okonjo Iweala to tell the Nigerian people where the remaining 98% goes and how subsidy monies are spent.
Speaking further on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s claim of spending the disputed $10.8 billion on kerosene subsidies, he admitted that he is actually disturbed about that situation too. Mr. Gbajabiamila said there was no formal request for a kerosene subsidy in the budget and reiterated the hosts question on why the NNPC took the audacity to spend so much without appropriation. He admitted that the National Assembly must share the blame for this oversight.
“We cannot pass a budget without knowing the basis for it” he confessed.
The legislator also touched on other issues including why his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) has not assumed the position of the majority in the House despite their current 10-point lead over the People’s Democratic Congress (PDP). He said the APC is bound by the constitution to assume the majority stance in the House and to produce its leadership but there is a pending court injunction which binds them to hold on with any such plans.
He called the court’s decision “strange” explaining that the country’s jurisprudence does not permit the judiciary to meddle in the affairs of the legislature.
He however said the APC intends to abide by the ruling of the court. “We will not join PDP or any other party in the culture of impunity and disregard the court’s decision” he said.

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Credible elections beget stable polities – El-Rufai

Mallam Nasir El Rufai on Monday complied with the warrant obtained by the SSS. Accompanied by his lawyer and some political associates, he arrived at the SSS HQ at about 8.57am. He left the SSS premises at 12.35am today.The principle at stake for him when he received the “invitation” last week was whether the SSS can compel a citizen to honour it without a valid warrant. As El Rufai said on Sunday night:
“All they needed to compel my attendance wasa warrant, not guns and invasions.
At issue has always been whethertheSSS has the power under its enabling law to compel any citizen to honour its ‘invitation’ without showing probable cause to a Judge and obtaining a warrant. Another issue is whether the constitutional right to free speech can be threatened or abridged without any basis in law. Can an organisation pursue a citizen because he sued them tochallenge an abridgement of his constitutional rights?
Under what authority can the SSS attempt entry into a citizen’s private property or threaten one’s liberty? These people are exercising coercive powers that they do not have, in violation of the constitution and our laws.
These are some of the issues; it isnot about ElRufai. It isaself-evident and historical fact that in 1964, 1983, 1993 and 2011, lives were lost and property destroyedinspontaneous responsesto rigged elections.Should we not all be anxious to ensure that this never happens again? Should free and fair elections not be the goal of all actors in the political process? Or is it because thecurrent government isbent on rigging the elections andistherefore determined tointimidateus into silence and acceptance of their plans?“
The positive linkage between credible elections and stable democracy is as clear as the tragic connection between rigged elections and violence. El Rufai would keep alerting and encouraging those responsible for delivering credible elections to do so, to ensure that election results reflect actual voter preferences and that the governments that emerge from them are invested with the legitimacy that enables them to govern well, in peace and for the whole country.
El Rufai has eloquently made the point that the SSS cannot continue to conflate invitations and arrests. Invitations may be declined, but arrests must follow due process; otherwise our country will be no different from a police state. That may be the desire of some forces apparently bent on twisting the institutions that ought to uphold and support freedom for their fascist fantasies. But that is not acceptable to the majority of Nigerians who cherish the hard-earned democracy they achieved even when many of today’s power mongers were cosseting and enabling tyranny.
Freedom of speech is guaranteed by our constitution as a universal right. It cannot be abridged or distorted into a privilege reserved for the sole enjoyment of those certified by or in the service of the rulers of the day.
Muyiwa Adekeye

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11 years after commencement, trial of alleged serial fraudster, Fred Ajudua, to start afresh

Fred Ajudua

Fred Ajudua

Mr. Ajudua has been accused of being a serial fraudster.
More than ten years after he was arraigned before a Lagos High Court, the trial of Fred Ajudua, alleged serial fraudster would begin afresh following the withdrawal of the judge.
Mr. Ajudua and Charles Orie are facing trial for defrauding Remy Cina and Pierre Vijgen, two Dutch businessmen, of $1.69 million (N287 million).
The trial would restart before Justice Kudirat Jose on February 5.
The duo was arraigned in 2003 before Justice Olubunmi Oyewole.
However, a petition by Ishaya Bamaiyi, a retired General and former Chief of Army Staff, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alleging that Mr. Ajudua, 52, used the name of Mr. Oyewole to defraud him of $8.39 million (N 1.4 billion), caused the case to be transferred from the judge.
The money was allegedly handed over to Mr. Ajudua in cash while both of them were in custody at the Kirikiri prison, Lagos.
Messrs Ajudua and Orie had been billed to be re-arraigned before the new judge on Tuesday, but the absence of Wemimo Ogunde, the EFCC counsel, stalled the proceedings.
Mr. Orie was also absent in court.
It was gathered that Ms. Ogunde and Mr. Orie’s counsel were not served the hearing notices.
Mr. Ajudua, who had been recuperating at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, was present in court.
A ‘runaway’ suspect
In 2005, two years into his trial, and with six prosecution witnesses having testified; the court granted Mr. Ajudua bail to seek medical attention in India over his kidney ailment.
Mr. Ajudua was never seen again until early 2013 when he made a surprise reappearance before a furious judge who promptly dumped him in prison, thwarting all efforts by his lawyers to secure his bail.
At his bail hearing last June, Mr. Oyewole rejected the plea of Olalekan Ojo, Mr. Ajudua’s lawyer, to remand him in the custody of the EFCC.
The judge also refused a second appeal to allow the alleged fraudster attend to his “illness” as an out-patient at LUTH under “the eagle’s eyes of designated EFCC’s operatives.”
“The first defendant ceased to be on bail since December 15, 2005, when his bail was revoked,” Mr. Oyewole had said.
“The case has been held up as the agents of the Federal Government of Nigeria have been unable to execute the warrant of arrest issued on January 24, 2005.
“The first defendant is hereby ordered to be remanded in Kirikiri Maximum prison,” the judge had ruled.
However, three months later, and through another judge, Ganiyu Safari, Mr. Ajudua succeeded in his bail application.
Mr. Safari, while setting his bail at N50 million, stated that the suspect “must be alive to face trial.”
Another fraud
On February 12, Mr. Ajudua would be arraigned before Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of the Ikeja High Court, Lagos, over the alleged defrauding of Mr. Bamaiyi.
Mr. Ajudua is being charged with 13 counts of conspiracy and fraud.
In his petition to the EFCC, Mr. Bamaiyi had alleged that the suspect, along with others, duped him of $8.39 million between November 2004 and June 2005.
Mr. Bamaiyi accused the suspects of swindling him of the money under the pretence of using it to persuade Mr. Oyewole, his trial judge, to release him from the Kirikiri Maximum Prison.
The retired army general, who had been arraigned for the alleged attempted murder of Alex Ibru, the publisher of Guardian Newspaper, was later freed when the judge ruled that the state could not prove its case against the accused.

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