• 11 vessels coming into dock today - NPA

    01/Dec/2015 // 182 Viewers

    Eleven ships laden with foods and petroleum products have finally arrived the port of Lagos, the Nigerian Port Authority officials disclosed to newsmen in Lagos today, Tuesday, December 5, 2015.

    The ships in question have on board rice, Palm oil, petrol and general cargoes, said the NPA in its daily ''Shipping Position''  

    From today December 1 to December 18, 27 ships are also expected to arrive with various cargoes on board 12 of the ships  with containers  while 5 with general cargoes on board respectively.

     


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  • South Africa tops list of Africa's most corrupt country - Transparency International

    01/Dec/2015 // 693 Viewers

     

    Transparency International has released a report on Tuesday saying South Africa now  tops the list of the most corrupt country on the continent. 

    A survey carried out across 28 countries virtually every government institution is corrupt with over 75 million of the continent's inhabitants admitting to have been offered or paid a bribe, also among the worst affected nations are Nigeria and Ghana, two West African States.

    Also contained in the report is the slow response of governments of Sierra Leone and Liberia to the deadly Ebola outbreak which it also attributed to corruption.

    Said the survey, “In both of these countries there are very high bribery rates and the public sector is perceived to be affected by extensive levels of corruption''

    On the contrary, Botswana  was given a pat on the back for its anti-graft war which has recorded over 54%.

    It would be recalled however that South Africa has been hit by corruption scandal recently ranging from high-profile stealing to reckless spending of public funds and this has caused anger which speaks volumes to the nation-wide demonstrations across the country recently.

    In a statement by Transparency International boss, Jose Ugaz, ''corruption creates and increases poverty and exclusion'' and advised that hue and cry was one way to combat the social malady.

     


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  • Nigeria arrests former finance minister over $2bn arms deal

    01/Dec/2015 // 229 Viewers

    ABUJA – Nigeria's former minister of state for finance has been arrested in connection with a $2-billion (R28,9bn) arms deal that is currently being investigated, a spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said on Tuesday.

    "Yes I confirm to you that the former minister of state for finance, Bashir Yuguda, along with some other persons, have been arrested by EFCC in connection with the $2-billion arms deal with the former National Security Adviser (NSA). Investigation is still ongoing," spokesman Wilson Uwujaren said.

    President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the arrest of the former NSA, Sambo Dasuki, on November 18, accusing him of stealing funds through phantom arms contracts and hampering the fight against the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram.

    Western diplomats say Nigeria's recent arms purchases have been sourced mainly from eastern Europe and Asia.

    Uwujaren declined to identify the other people arrested.

    A spokesman for Yuguda could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Yuguda served as minister under previous president Goodluck Jonathan, when Dasuki was also in office.

    At that time Boko Haram took control of large parts of Nigeria's north-east, where it has been trying to carve out an Islamic state since 2009.

    Military equipment orders were normally done through the ministry of defence but this task was transferred to the NSA in the second half of last year.

    A senior official at the State Security Service said Dasuki remained under house arrest in the capital Abuja but was called in for questioning on Tuesday morning.

    Boko Haram became the world's deadliest militant group last year, when it killed 6,644 people, a more than fourfold increase on the previous year, according to a report by the Institute for Economics and Peace, an international think tank.

     

    Source: AFP


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  • Boko Haram abducts more girls

    01/Dec/2015 // 330 Viewers

    File: In the latest attack by Boko Haram militants who stormed a village in Nigeria’s north-eastern state of Borno, an unknown number of girls were abducted.


    ABUJA – More teenage girls were abducted in the latest attack by Boko Haram militants who stormed a village in Nigeria’s north-eastern state of Borno, security sources and residents told Xinhua on Monday.

    An unspecified number of teenage girls were taken away early on Sunday in Bam village, located about 170km south of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, after razing buildings and killing at least seven people, an unnamed security officer said.

    Borno state police spokesman Victor Ikuku said information about the abduction had not reached his office.

    Local sources said the gunmen shot indiscriminately and sang some Arabic choruses as they unleashed terror on the villagers.

    Ali Mallam Ali, a local chief, said most residents were still asleep when the incident occurred.

    “The attackers gathered all the women in the village and separated the teenage girls from the married ones before taking them away,” he said.

    Another resident said news of the abduction has jolted the restive Borno state, especially because more than 217 school girls abducted last year in Chibok are still missing.

    Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to bring back the missing girls, although there are fears that some of them might have been taken across borders or married off by their abductors.

    The West African country has vowed to rout Boko Haram from its territories by next month.

    - Africa News Agency 


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  • Probe: Hundreds of Igbo Youths accuse Fed Govt of disgracing Jonathan

    01/Dec/2016 // 416 Viewers

     

    Hundreds of Igbo youths protested yesterday in Enugu the probe of former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.

    The youths, led by the Coordinator of Concerned Igbo Youths, Comrade Victor Ezenagu, said the probe, which led to the freezing of her accountý, was a calculated plot to humiliate ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

    The protesters marched to the Enugu office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), where they submitted a petition to the Southeast Head of the commission, ýMr. Johnson Babalola.

    In the petition titled: Unjust Prosecution and Desperate Plan to Humiliate Former President Goodluck Jonathan, the protesters called for the de-freezing of Mrs. Jonathan’s account.

    Ezenagu said: ý”ýWhile we salute the commitment of the present administration towards fighting corruption, we, however, express our disaffection with the manner the war is being prosecuted by the commission under your watch. Some of the actions of the commission in recent times leave no one in doubt that certain persons have clearly been singled out to be humiliated.
     
    “A case in point is that of former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, who is currently being prosecuted by the EFCC. We see the freezing of her personal account and prosecution as an attempt to discredit former President Goodluck Jonathan.

    “It is quite condemnable that having sacrificed his ambition for the sake of Nigeria’s future, Jonathan’s family is being visited with such cruelty from the commission. We say this because Mrs. Jonathan is not the first person to have occupied the office of First Lady in Nigeria. Yet, none of the other former occupants of that office is under probe, let alone trial.

    “…It is also not out of place to state that the current administration is indirectly prosecuting and persecuting Jonathan. But to unleash such an action on a man who willingly conceded defeat, even when he was being urged to fight on, has grave implications.”


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  • JUST IN: Nigerian state GOVERNORS to be sacked from office; read and see why

    01/Dec/2016 // 1317 Viewers

     

    Tension brews as Nigerian state Governors other than normal impeachment process henceforth run the risk of being sacked from office  to check their excesses , House of Representatives Speaker Hon. Yakubu Dogara has said.

    These include those  who refuse to conduct council elections and  for gross violation of the Constitution. He accused governors of violating the 1999 Constitution by undermining local councils’ independence.

    The Speaker accused governors of using local government funds instead of making the money available to the councils.

    He described the state/local government joint accounts as “evil”, adding that governors have emasculated councils and turned them into cash cows.

    According to him, it is unfortunate that most governors have “pocketed” Houses of Assembly, making them toothless, hence their inability to impeach governors who violate the constitution.
     
    To Dogara, failure to conduct council elections amounts to “serious violation of the provisions of the constitution”, which he said was “one of the biggest grounds for impeachment”.

    He said: “As a matter of fact, joint account is one of the biggest evils because it gives the authority to local government ministries in the state.

    “In most states, especially in the north where we don’t have oil and co, the ministry of local government in the state is regarded as the ministry of petroleum resources.

    “So we all know when funds are allocated to the councils. Instead of getting to the councils, they are hijacked at that (state) level and appropriated according to the whims of the powers that be.

    On what is to be done, Dogara said: “We will have to make this local government system a bit independent.

    “I am not saying absolute independence because we may not achieve that since ours is a strong federation. It is not a weak federation like what you have in the United States where councils and states join their own money and then appropriate it and pay royalties in taxes to the federal government.

    “So, what we can therefore do is make sure that in the spirit of the constitution, the local government administration is democratically-elected to ensure that by provision of the constitution, that any local government that is not democratically constituted will not have access to any funding from the federation.
     
    “That was the problem we had, there was this issue of Lagos creating more councils and then President Olusegun Obasanjo decided to deny them allocation from the federation account before the courts said you are just a trustee, you can’t do that. As a matter of fact, the money does not belong to the Federal  Republic of Nigeria. So, we must cure that

    “We talked about financial autonomy, which is the biggest. We want to guarantee that by ensuring that councils submit their respective account numbers to the federal government where money meant for them are paid directly without any intervening authority or third party on the chain so that council authorities and citizens that live in those local governments will know that this is what is coming.

    “The money is published every month so they know. And to be able to achieve this, I did talk about the state legislators needing some form of autonomy and we want to give them that. That will definitely be in the proposal that will be going out to them to vote on. We talked about ensuring democracy, credible elections at the third tier of government and we agreed, it was your suggestion actually, and I concurred that state independent electoral commissions have never worked and will never work. So our best bet is to make sure that they are eliminated.”

    As a way out of the problem, the Speaker said any state whose councils are run by caretaker committees should not get federal allocations.

    “What we are trying to say is, okay,  if your local government administration is caretaker, you cannot draw funds from the federation account. That should be a provision of the constitution itself,” he said.

    Dogara wants State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) abolished. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should conduct council elections, he said.

    In an interview, Dogara said the constitution provides that the local government officials must be democratically-elected, but very few of them have elected executives running their affairs.

    “It is a system that is in crisis. Since 1999 when we had this latest advent of politics, I don’t want to go back to the days of military regime, you will attest to the fact that there is hardly any local government that has lived up to its constitutional mandate and the reasons are quite obvious,” he said.

    According to him, in other democracies such as Brazil, India and the United States, there are democratically elected leaders for the councils’ executive, legislature, courts and police.

    “But in Nigeria, the governor will sit in the state executive meeting and they will come up with a resolution that they have sacked an elected council executive and then they appoint council caretaker committees. And to be candid, that is a gross violation of the constitution.

    “I don’t know if the framers were able to anticipate that that may likely be the situation that most of the governors will violate the powers that were assigned to the states with respect to local governments under the constitution.

    “That has become the norm rather than the exception, where majority of the councils in Nigeria, even as we speak in this era of change and the promise All Progressives Congress (APC) made, you will be surprised that majority of the area councils are run by caretaker councils and there is no where in the constitution where caretaker is mentioned,” Dogara said.

    The speaker said the joint account is “one of the biggest evils” bedeviling local government areas.

    His words: “In most states, especially in the North where we don’t have oil and co, the ministry of local government is regarded as the ministry of petroleum resources.

    “So, we all know when funds are allocated to the councils, instead of getting to the councils, they are hijacked at that level and appropriated according to the whims of the powers that be.”

    The solution, Dogara said, is a Constitution amendment to make councils less subject to laws passed by the state assemblies.

    “For us to tackle this problem, since they are constitutional, it means that the only avenue we have is to embark on constitution amendment. If we don’t get it on that level, I don’t think it is going to work,” he said.

    According to the Speaker, for councils to have financial autonomy, they must maintain an account with the Accountant-General of the Federation where monies due them will be paid directly, thereby eliminating joint accounts.

    He said the constitution has to be very clear on how council executives are composed to avoid situations where states unilaterally suspend a council chairman or councilors.

    Dogara said if councils become efficient, the best hands would want to contest elections as chairmen and councilors.

    He said when financial autonomy and independence is achieved, councils would still, to some extent, be under states’ jurisdiction regarding healthcare, basic education, policing, among others.

    On the House’s role, he said: “The aspect we will be looking at is to ensure that all local government councils in Nigeria are democratically run, not run by caretaker councils appointed by the state executive. That is one big area that we are looking at.

    “The second area is democratically elected council legislators, not caretaker committees, so that they will be saddled with the responsibility of passing laws that will give the council the powers to effect all latitudes given to them under the 4th schedule of the 1999 constitution. We talked about financial autonomy, which is the biggest.

     ”We want to guarantee that by ensuring that councils submit their respective account numbers to the federal government where money meant for them are paid directly without any intervening authority or third party all the chain so that council authorities and citizens that live in those local governments will know that this is what is coming. The money is published every month so they know.

     ”State legislators need some form of autonomy and we want to give them that. That will definitely be in the proposal that will be going out to them to vote on.”

    On why SIECs should be abolished, he said: “State independent electoral commissions have never worked and will never work. So our best bet is to make sure that they are eliminated.

    “From the proposal that will come out from us, you will discover that the state independent electoral commission will be removed from the provisions of the constitution but it is left for the state assemblies, two thirds of them, to agree with us.

    “Once we do that, we will transfer the powers of organising elections in the third tier of government to INEC which appears to be doing a better job than the state electoral commission, and that is by popular consensus anyway.

    “So, that is what we want to do in regards to the councils and the motivation is to ensure that we have a sustained basis at the local level where developmental activities can take place to stem the tide of rural-urban migration which has become a big problem in this country.

    “When we do that, we will improve on the quality of the pool of professionals that will serve at the local level. That therefore means that it will escalate developmental activities across the nation. That is what we are doing.”

    Dogara recalled that in the seventh assembly, effort was made during the constitution amendment to vest council with financial autonomy. He said 20 state assemblies endorsed it, but because two-thirds of the states was needed, the amendment could not scale through as it fell short by four states.


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  • Why I didn’t recognise Tinubu in my victory speech – Akeredolu

    01/Dec/2016 // 346 Viewers

     

    Governor-elect of Ondo State, Mr. Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, yesterday met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, where he threw light on why he did not recognise former Lagos State Governor and National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu in his victory speech.

    Akeredolu declared that he had no strained relationship with the party’s national leader as he would continue to operate with him at the level of one of the party’s leaders.

    Tinubu had attempted to replace Akeredolu with his preferred candidate before the governorship election in the state, a development that widened the rift within the party and allegedly pitched Tinubu against the Presidency.

    Speaking to State House correspondents having been led to meet President Buhari by the Plateau State governor and chairman of APC Ondo governorship national campaign committee, Simon Lalong, Akeredolu explained that with President Muhammadu Buhari recognised as the APC national leader in his victory speech, he didn’t need to specifically mention Tinubu.

    The governor-elect was also on the visit to the presidential villa with his deputy, Agboola Ajayi to thank President Buhari for his support which gave the party victory at the election.

    Akeredolu said his victory at the poll was not for him alone but for the entire APC and recalled that even Tinubu had buried the hatchet Nand congratulated him on the electoral success.

    Akeredolu said: “That I didn’t specifically thank Bola Ahmed Tinubu? I thanked the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the leader of our party profusely for the leadership which he showed leading to this election.

    “I also thanked our indefatigable chairman for standing by the truth and for his position on this matter that led to this election. I have no reason to do otherwise. “The party structure, to the best of my knowledge, is very clear.

    You have the leadership of the party and that is represented by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. “After the election, a chief executive emerges, he becomes a leader of the party; you don’t have to personalize and be looking for leaders all over the place. If we have to do that then I will have to mention 36 or 37 leaders.


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  • Tension in Akwa Ibom as CODE OF CONDUCT TRIBUNAL sends 50 public officers to jail

    01/Dec/2016 // 326 Viewers

     

    The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) would between December 6 and 9 relocate to Akwa Ibom for the trial of 50 public officers in the state who allegedly breached the code of conduct ethics.

    Mr Danladi Umar, Chairman of the tribunal, disclosed this in a statement on yesterday in Abuja. According to him, the defendants comprised of ex-Special Advisers and Local Government Councillors who served between 2008 and 2009. According to him, two Clerks from Esit and Etim Local Governments will also be tried.

    “The tribunal’s itinerant session helps to clear up backlogs of cases in the zone within the period of the session. “It also makes legal services at the door step of the defaulters, particularly the low-ranking public officers and as well serves as a means of publicising the activities of the tribunal within the zone.

    “The essence is to further strengthen relationship between CCT and the hosting state, whose infrastructure and other logistics would be used for the session,’’ he said.

    The tribunal is the enforcement and disciplinary arm of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB). All public officers in the Federal, State and Local Government levels are compelled by the Act of the bureau to declare their assets within the period of engagement.

    The tribunal recently convicted a former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, for breaching CCB Act while the trial of the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, at the tribunal is ongoing.


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  • Zahra Buhari showered with 30 bags worth over N47 million in 30 exotic cars

    01/Dec/2016 // 248 Viewers

     

    The wedding ceremony of Zahra, the 21 year old daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari, earlier scheduled for this weekend has been postponed.

    The postponement is reported to be as a result of President Buhari`s insistence on a low-key wedding as he is not comfortable with the attention the media is giving to his daughter’s wedding.

    Recall that there were media reports that the family of the groom, Ahmed Indimi presented about 30 LV bags to the bride, Zahra.

    The 30 bags which allegedly cost about £120, 000 (approximately N47,144,502, using the official rate of N392.87 to a pound) are said to have been delivered in 30 exotic cars.

    An introduction ceremony between both families had earlier held at the Aso Villa, Abuja on Friday, November 18, with the wedding programme scheduled between Wednesday 30th November and Sunday 4th December, 2016.
    Her husband-to-be, Ahmed, is the marketing director of Oriental energy resources and hails from Borno.

    The good looking fiancé attended Global International College in Lagos for his degree foundation program. He completed his Degree in Information Technology at the American InterContinental University, in Atlanta, USA. 

    He proceeded to complete an MBA in Internet Security at the same Institution where he served as the treasurer of the Student Union Government at the London Campus.


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  • Another plot against NNAMDI KANU by FG discovered

    01/Dec/2016 // 2102 Viewers

     


    As the trial and bail denial of the leader of the indigenous People of Biafra ,Nnamdi Kanu, continues, another ill-conceived plot by the Nigerian government , according to  , the defence counsel has been discovered which he raised an objection to in court on Thursday.

    The plot which was exposed by his lawyer includes the plan to   import foreigners  of Cameroonian and Ghanaian extraction  to testify against him in court.

    Binta Nyako, justice of the federal high court, Abuja, had denied Kanu and three other accused persons — Chidiebere Onwudiwe, David Nwawuisi, Benjamin Nmadubugwu — bail, citing the severity of their offence as the reason for her decision.

    After the ruling, Labaran Shuaibu, counsel to the federal government and prosecutor, asked the court for an order to mask the witnesses who would testify against the defendants.

    He said the lives of his witnesses might be in danger if their identities were not concealed.

    But Maxwell Okpara, one of Kanu’s lawyers, told the court that the government had lined up foreigners, whose identities it wanted to conceal, as witnesses.

    “My lord, we have uncovered their plan to bring Ghanaians and people from Cameroon to appear in this court to testify against the defendants,” he said.

    “We as Nigerians will resist that plot. It cannot work. That is why they are insisting that they should testify behind screen. That plot has failed, it will not work.”

    After listening to their arguments, Nyako adjourned to December 13 for ruling.

    Meanwhile, a large crowd of  pro-Biafra protesters besieged the court, chanting war songs.


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