Wednesday, 20 September 2017
News & Stories

News & Stories (1578)

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: Publisher of Premium Times newspaper Dapo Olorunyomi and Judicial reporter Evelyn Okakwu have been released by the police in Abuja.

Both were arrested Thursday afternoon in Abuja.

Dapo Olorunyomi, publisher of the newspaper, was arrested alongside the judiciary correspondent, Evelyn Okakwu, at around 5:00 p.m.

They were released on bail and instructed to report at the FCT Police Command Headquarters by 8:00 a.m. Friday morning.

But a highly-placed police source said the invitation could be a ploy to detain the journalists for an extended period.

The police source said there are chances that the two could be taken before a Magistrate’s Court.

“From what I understand, if they report tomorrow morning, they will be taken to a Magistrate’s Court and arraigned before a judge that will readily comply with the police arrangement and grant order for them to be detained,” the source said. “That way, they can then claim to be detaining them legally.”

The development has sparked widespread condemnation, with the Amnesty International promising to launch an investigation into the motive behind it.

The journalists were arrested after several plain-clothed officers raided PREMIUM TIMES office in Abuja.

The newspaper’s managing editor, Idris Akinbajo, hailed the “overwhelming” support from Nigerians and readers around the world.

He said the paper would release a full statement after the journalists meet the police Friday morning.

Posted On Thursday, 19 January 2017 23:05 Written by

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: The Nigeria police have raided PREMIUM TIMES head office in Abuja, and arrested the newspaper’s publisher.

The publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, was arrested alongside the paper’s judiciary correspondent, Evelyn Okakwu.

Plain-clothed officers conducted search at the office shortly after 5p.m. Thursday, and said they were acting on a complaint filed by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.

The arrests came days after PREMIUM TIMES turned down the army’s demand to retract news stories about the Nigerian Army and its operations.

The paper’s Editor-in-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed, condemned the raid.

“They should stop deluding themselves that they can muzzle the press and intimidate PREMIUM TIMES,” said Mr. Mojeed. “They should know that our loyalty lies with our readers and the Nigerian people who have a right to know.”

He said the paper will continue “to discharge its responsibilities in line with global best practices, social responsibility and patriotism, even at great risk to our personal liberties”.

Posted On Thursday, 19 January 2017 23:02 Written by

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: The Nigerian Army has offered N500,000 reward for information that will lead to the arrest of suicide bombers or discovery of transit house of bombers or factory for making bomb.

Army spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman, said in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja that the cash reward for information followed the spate of suicide bombings in the North East, particularly in Maiduguri and Madagali which was “assuming a disturbing proportion”.

“Consequently, the Nigerian Army is offering a reward of the sum of N500,000 for any information that leads to the arrest of a suicide bomber, the guide to the suicide bomber, or discovery of the transit house or factory of the suicide bombers.

“The offer by the Nigerian Army is to further encourage law abiding citizens to actively join the war against terrorists and our collective security,” he said.

Usman said anyone with information could reach the following officers: “Theatre Commander, Operations LAFIYA DOLE, Maiduguri- 09064823221 and General Officer Commanding 7 Division Maiduguri- 09078599985”.

The others are: Commander, 7 Division Garrison Maiduguri-08022375305, Commander, 28 Brigade, Mubi-08065504576 and Commander, 26 Brigade, Gwoza-+234 809 721 1700 (WhatsApp).

Also, they could reach Director, Army Public Relations, Abuja-07080217992 and Commander, 7 Division Military Intelligence Brigade Maiduguri-09021668444.

Usman reassured that all information received would be treated with utmost confidentiality and acted upon with despatch.

“While we appreciate the cooperation of the members of the general public so far, there is the need to be more vigilant and security conscious to save lives and apprehend Boko Haram terrorists and their sponsors.

“Once again, we call on all law abiding citizens to provide useful information to security agencies towards a quicker apprehension of remnants of terrorists still bent on unleashing mayhem on Nigerians,” he said.

Posted On Wednesday, 18 January 2017 04:06 Written by

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: MMM Nigeria, the most popular ponzi scheme in the nation, says it has removed all requests for payment on the system, but it has by no means cancelled them.

In a statement yesterday, the scheme explained that “although some people called it ‘cancelled’, the truth of the matter is that it was only removed not canceled.

“Please note that the GH orders were not cancelled because if cancelled, you will see it at the right hand side as deleted. It was removed because of the following reasons:

“There is an ongoing upgrade because programmers are always working on the MMM system every day so the promised New Model can be unveiled as soon as possible.

“More so, many participants have formed the habit of cancelling their GH orders and creating new GH orders hoping they will be matched earlier.

“There is no need for that anyway but to forestall that, the created GH orders were removed and that is why you can’t create new GH orders because the old GH orders have not been cancelled but removed and withdrawal is still pending.”

The scheme said there was no need for participants to panic, maintaining that it would pay participants who had requested for their monies.

“There is no cause for any alarm over the removed GH orders, if you check your Mavro, you will notice the value of the removed GH order has been restored and had also increased though it is still showing pending withdrawal.

“There have been reports of ‘removed GH orders’ in some POs. The removed GH orders are mostly GH orders created on Friday/Saturday.

“There is no cause for any alarm. The value of the removed GH order has been restored and increased though showing pending withdrawal.”

Posted On Wednesday, 18 January 2017 03:28 Written by


The #BBOG activists airbone in Sambisa forest. They should tell us what they saw and their impression of the flight

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: The Federal Government team, led by the Ministers of Information and Culture as well as of Defence, Monday led the #BBOG and a select group of journalists to the Nort East to experience first hand the NAF’s daily search of Sambisa for the Chibok girls and all those abducted by the Boko Haram terrorists.

The ministers and two #BBOG representatives, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili and Mrs Aisha Yusuf, and the SA to the President in the Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, joined one of the two search planes while the journalists joined the other.

Fighter jets provided air cover. The one-hour search was very revealing.

Beyond that, the men and women of the Nigeria Air Force deserved the support and commendation of all Nigerians for their onerous task.

 

Ezekwesili and Yusuf on air in Sambisa

Ministers of Defence and Information and Culture during the flight over Sambisa forest

Ezekwesili and Mrs Aisha Yusuf airbone looking for the Chibok girls abducted by Boko Haram

Posted On Tuesday, 17 January 2017 01:57 Written by

SPONSORED BY HIRING234.COM: The abductors of students and members of staff of the Nigeria Turkish International College (NTIC) have demanded N1.2bn ransom for the victims to be released, it was learnt.

Reports say the abductors called a family member of one of the victims on Sunday to make the demand.

The police authorities confirmed that the gunmen invaded the school now changed to Tulip International School, and took the students and the teachers away in a white Toyota Hilux vehicle.

They were abducted at about 9:30pm on Friday, when the kidnappers dug through the fence and entered through a back door.

A source who confirmed the demand for ransome said, “They have been using the victims’ phone numbers to call their families. Each time the families try to negotiate, they would end the call.”

Daily Trust learnt that footage of the CCTV Cameras at the school hostel indicated that the kidnappers wore masks when they stormed the hostel. One of them reportedly wore skirt but he is suspected to be a man.

Among the victims were two Junior Secondary School (JSS) students, one Senior Secondary School (SSS) student, three Nigerian workers and two Turkish staff.

Representative of Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris, AIG Zone 2, Aderanti Kayode and Commissioner of Police, Ogun Command, llliyasu Ahmed had visited the school, saying the police authorities are on top of the situation.

The Ogun State government has also assured parents and relatives of the students and staff of the school of prompt action to ensure safe and immediate release of the kidnapped victims.

Deputy Governor, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga also visited the school.

Posted On Sunday, 15 January 2017 17:44 Written by

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM...THE BUSINESS DIRECTORY: The Federal Government has invited members of the Bring Our Girls Back (BBOG) to a short trip in a military operational flight into Sambisa forest in search of the missing Chibok girls.

The invitation extended to members of the BBOG, an advocacy group for the release of the missing school girls from Chibok, Borno, was contained in a letter dated Jan. 11.

The letter signed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and addressed to Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, the convener of the group was made available to the media on Saturday.

In the letter, the government asked the BBOG to nominate three of its members to join on the guided trip on Jan. 16 in recognition of the unwavering commitment of the group to the release of the girls

“The trip being planned by the military will see the ministers of defence and information, the Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Army Staff joining the invited BBOG members and a select group of journalists.

“They will first go to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Command Centre in Yola to witness firsthand the efforts being made to search for the girls by NAF and then join the day and night sorties with the BAF to the Sambisa Forest.

“Please note that due to limited seats on the search plane, only two of the invited BBOG members will join the NAF sorties.

“After the sorties, the team will return to Yola for bidding by the NAF on their daily search for the girls as well as all those who have been abducted by Boko Haram.

“Departure is scheduled for 8.30a.m. at the Air Force wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Monday the Jan. 17, 2017, ” the letter reads in part.

The government stated that the trip would avail the BBOG the opportunity to witness and better understand the efforts being made to secure the freedom of the girls and other victims of Boko Haram terrorists.

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Chibok Girls: Ezekwesili lists conditions to follow troops to Sambisa

The Bringbackourgirls advocacy group has replied the Federal government’s letter inviting the group to follow troops to the Sambisa forest for a search of the missing Chibok schoolgirls.

In its letter, BBOG said it was willing to undertake the tour but called for a pre-tour meeting with the National Security Adviser to the President and the other officials of government including: 1. The Minister of Defence, 2. The Chief of Army Staff, and 3. The Chief of Air Forces.

It also asked that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, should retract and apologize to BBOG for receiving and endorsing a group he received at the Army Headquarters, who had accused BBOG of engaging in “social advocacy terrorism.”

Read BBOG’s reply below:

“We write to thank you and acknowledge your letter on the above subject, dated January 11, 2017 which we received by email transmission yesterday, January 12, 2017. We had an emergency meeting of our Movement to discuss your invitation to embark on a “guided tour” of the Nigerian Air Force Command (Yola) and Sambisa Forest with officials of the government.

Our members unanimously agreed that the Movement is open to exploring the opportunity for a visit to the North-East theatre of war as presented in your invitation. However, before proceeding with further discussions on the proposed visit, we propose a pre-tour meeting to discuss pertinent issues that will help inform our decision to proceed.

We believe that this prior meeting would help provide first-hand knowledge of, and answers to questions that our movement wishes to raise ahead of the guided visit.

We propose that participants at the meeting be the National Security Adviser to the President and the other officials of government indicated in your letter. These are: 1. The Minister of Defence, 2. The Chief of Army Staff, and 3. The Chief of Air Forces.

Furthermore, we wish to raise a matter critical to our proposed meeting. Only two days ago, the Federal Government owned News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) widely reported, through the mass media, that during a visit to the Army Headquarters by a certain group which was received by the Chief of Army Staff, our Movement was attacked for engaging in “social advocacy terrorism.”

It is puzzling that the reported said visit happened less than forty-eight hours before our Movement received your letter asking us to travel in the company of the same Chief of Army Staff to Sambisa Forest.

We demand therefore that ahead of the pre-tour meeting we have proposed herein, that the Chief of Army Staff retracts and apologizes for endorsing such slanderous attacks against our Movement #BringBackOurGirls and specifically at some of our leaders.

Such a step would communicate that it is with goodwill that the Federal Government is asking us to entertain the visit proposed in your letter. For 990 days, our Movement has singularly advocated for the return of our Chibok daughters who were abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok, on April 14, 2014 by Boko Haram during an insurgency that has raged in North-Eastern Nigeria for over eight years. For nearly three years, our movement has demonstrated the utmost decorum and civility by ensuring that our advocacy follows due process and upholds the core values that we developed early on in our campaign.

We assure you that we shall remain on the path of our core values of Hope, Unity, Motivation, Affability, Nationalism, Integrity, Transparency, Empathy, Equity, Discipline, and Sacrifice. We are available to attend the pre-tour meeting we have proposed as soon as we receive a date from you.

We look forward to receiving your reply at your earliest convenience to enable us adequately plan for our members that will attend the pre-tour meeting with you and your designated colleagues.

Read BBOG original letter here:

Posted On Sunday, 15 January 2017 04:43 Written by

SPONSORED BY HIRING234.COM: The last may not have been heard about the sack of Mr. Jim Obazee as Executive Secretary of Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN).

Few days after he was removed as the scribe of the body, the Federal Government is considering probing his tenure.

Some other top officials of the council may also be asked to make way  as government  prepares for the overhaul of the parastatal.

The planned reorganisation is a consequence of allegations of wrongdoings  in the establishment.

One of the allegations is that over N1 billion cash of the council, meant for International Financial Reporting Standards Academy (IFRS) is  trapped in a bank, contrary to the decision of the board to invest it in treasury bills.

Investigation revealed that FRCN had been under probe radar since 2014 but the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan did not act.

Some of the other allegations against the council border on curious budget and expenses as follows:

  • Expenditure of  N225 million on the  production of FRC registration certificates which cannot be exhausted in 24 years’ time
  • Acquisition of  a  N47 million mansion in Houston, Texas (suspected as 15918 Mission Village DR Houston Texas 77083) by a top official  of FRCN.
  • Expenditure of N36 million within  60 days in 2014 on local travel to Abuja to probe the books of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under ex-Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
  • Suspicious payment of incidental expenses.

In a particular  curious expense in July 2014, a top official allegedly applied for N736, 250 to go to Abuja for an official assignment.

His memo said: “Please arrange to reimburse me for my trip to Abuja to meet and brief the Permanent Secretary on the activities of the FRC.

“I travelled on Monday, July 14, 2014 and returned to Lagos on Tuesday, July 15, 2014.

“Details are as follows: Return ticket (Lagos-Abuja-Lagos) N150,000; Hotel Expenses (N86, 250); Incidental Expenses (N500,000), amount due to me, (N736,250).”

In a similar claim,  the official on August 18, 2014 asked for a reimbursement of  N836, 250 for a trip to Abuja.

The official  had applied for the reimbursement of the cash through a memo addressed to Assistant Director (FIND).

The memo, which was obtained by our correspondent  said: “Please arrange to reimburse me for my trip to Abuja for a meeting to attend the meeting of Heads of Parastatals with the Honourable  Minister at Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment on Thursday, August 14, 2014.

“I travelled on Thursday, August 14, 2014 and returned back to Lagos on Friday, August 15, 2014.

“Details are as follows:  (i) Return ticket( Lagos-Abuja-Lagos)—N150,000; (ii) Hotel expenses (N86,250);  and (iii) Incidental expenses (N600,000).

“Amount due to me is N836, 250.”

A top government official said: “There were a lot of issues during the tenure of Obazee which the government will look into.

“There were allegations of mismanagement of funds and  huge incidental expenses incurred by some top officials of the council.

“For instance, it was alleged that about N36 million was spent on local travel to investigate the books of the Central Bank of Nigeria during Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s tenure.

“We have a report on how a top official of FRCN allegedly bought a N47 million mansion in Houston, Texas.

“The council made suspicious payments to  hired consultants, who  were suspected to be proxies for some of its officials.

“Some contracts awarded were questionable. Also, some outrageous allowances were paid outside the approved rates in the civil service. So, we may probe the administration of FCRN anytime from now.

“The probe of Obazee and others will be part of plans to overhaul the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria. The agency stinks  a lot.

“These allegations are not new but the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan did not act on them.

“Actually, a member of the Audit Committee of the former board of FRCN had raised some of these issues, especially on poor management of resources.

“There are allegations that  council did not publish its annual reports for some years contrary to Section 38 of the FRCN Act. This is not in line with international best practices.

“We will ask the new board to restructure the FRCN in a manner that it will disallow a sit-tight syndrome. Until he was removed, Obazee had served as FRCN chief for more than 10 years as Technical Director through CEO in NASB and to the Executive Secretary level.”

The FRCN’s stipulation of a maximum period of 20 years for the heads of all registered churches, mosques, and civil society organizations and its Governance Code 2016 have caused tension in the last few days.

The FRC’s regulations, which had not received final approval, led to  the exit at the weekend of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) General Overseer Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye.

Worried by the religious tension, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday sacked Obazee and reconstituted the board of FRC.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, announced the President’s decision.

The statement said: “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate removal and replacement of the Executive Secretary and the reconstitution of the board of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria.

“He has appointed a Chairman and a new Executive Secretary for the council. The new Council as approved by the President has Mr. Adedotun Sulaiman, MFR, as Chairman.

“Mr. Sulaiman was a former Managing Partner/Director of Arthur Anderson and later, Accenture. He is a Chartered Accountant and a product of the University of Lagos and Harvard Business School.

“The President has also approved the appointment of Mr. Daniel Asapokhai as the Executive Secretary of the Council. Mr. Asopokhai is a partner and a Financial Reporting Specialist at the Price water House Coopers, Nigeria.”

Posted On Friday, 13 January 2017 23:24 Written by

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM...THE RADIO STATION FOR THE NATION

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Sokoto State Government had spent over N 1.12 billion on the 2016/2017 Anchor Borrowers Wheat Farming Programme, an Official said in Sokoto on Thursday.

The Chairman of the Framework Committee on Agricultural Development in the State, Alhaji Chiso Abdullahi, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Abdullahi, a former Deputy Governor of the state, said that out of the amount, the apex bank contributed about N990 million, while the state government provided over N125 million.

According to him, no fewer than 4,305 farmers are benefiting from the gesture for the season that commenced Nov. 2016 and will end in the first week of Feb. 2017.

”The state government had since distributed over 1500 bags of wheat seeds free to the farmers across the state.

”In the same vein, the state government had sold additional 2,094 bags of wheat seeds to the farmers, with each bag bought at N 35,000 and sold at N 18,219.

”The government had also given assorted fertilisers to the farmers at highly subsidised rates as well as other farm inputs,” he said.

The chairman further said that the farmers had been fully trained, while adequate extension officers were provided for them, with each farmer billed to get a package of N 235,000 in cash and kind.

He further stated that both the CBN and the state government have made adequate arrangements to provide all the logistics needed for the success of the programme.

Abdullahi added that the state government has also bought 3,000 water pumps and sold to tomatoes farmers at highly subsidised prices.

He said that each water pump was bought at N42, 000 and sold to the beneficiaries at N10, 000.

”In the same vein, the state government had bought 6,000 bags of fertilisers for sale to the tomatoes farmers at subsidised prices.

” The state government has also concluded arrangements to establish a mini-tomatoes paste production company in the state.

”All these are being done in the bid to have more value addition, reduce poverty and unemployment, curb post-harvest losses and boost food security in the state,” Abdullahi said.

Posted On Thursday, 12 January 2017 12:05 Written by

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM...THE BUSINESS DIRECTORY

Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have recovered the body of Lt. Col  K Yusuf, the former Commanding Officer of 223 Tank Battalion and 15 soldiers who were declared missing.

The bodies  were recovered  after troops conducted clearance operations and dislodging of some Boko Haram elements at Asaga village along Kamadugou river line in Borno State.

 The late Lt Col. Yusuf and his soldiers were declared missing in action on October 16, 2016 after Boko Haram fighters dislodged them from their station in Gashiga.

The Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole , Major General Lucky Iraboh, who announced this yesterday during a review of the operations under his command, said the fallen soldiers were buried at the Maimalari Cantonment Cemetery “with full military honours.”

Maj. Gen Irabor said the troops successfully conducted several clearance operations and arrested 963 civilians as Boko Haram Terrorists (BHT) suspects while two Boko Haram members surrendered to the troops during the operations conducted between January 4-11.

 Gen. Iraboh said following reports of an attempt by Boko Haram members to regroup, troops embarked on clearance operation and clashed with Boko Haram at Wulge village. In the fire fight that ensued ,11 Boko Haram members were killed while nine others were arrested .

Also, six Boko Haram members were killed while two soldiers were injured in a clearance operation on January 8, 2017. The operation involved troops and the Civilian Joint Task Force in Dogon Chuku towards Tumbun Rago.

The theatre commander said: “ On 8 Jan 17 at 0830hrs, own troops conducted clearance operation in MANAWASI and GAREL villages. The troops encountered BHT at BULAKESA village. The troops successfully cleared the BHT with support from Air Component and dominated the village.

“Sadly, an officer and four soldiers were killed in action while three other soldiers were wounded. A total   of 50 BHT were killed in action while 3 AK47 rifles and several weapons and grenade were recovered from the BHT. Also, 9 BHT adults and 18 minors were arrested during the operation,” he said.

 Gen. Iraboh said on January 3rd, four women and 13 children were apprehended by vigilantes at BUNI YADI and were later handed over to troops. He said preliminary investigation revealed that the women were wives of BHTs who fled from Sambisa Forest as a result of the operations.

 The theatre Commander said:  “On 4 Jan 17 at about 1300hrs, own troops at KATARKO while on patrol along GUJBA-NANAMAJI road arrested four BHT suspects fleeing TALALA. Their names are Babagana Mohammedu from HONG in MICHIKA LGA, Usman Usman from FUNTUA Katsitna State,  Murtala Dan-azimi from KOFAR GOMBE Bauchi State and Sanusi Dahiru from SAKWAYA in Jigawa State. Arrested suspects are in own custody undergoing further interrogation.

“On January 5,2017 own troops and CJTF arrested four BHT suspects at SHUWARI village ahead of own checkpoint following a tip off that there were some BHT amirs lurking around. The suspects are Modu Auwami, Mamye Modu, Usman Kachanawa and Mallum Maji. During preliminary investigation, some local witnesses identified Modo Auwami as the one who used to provide medical treatment to injured BHT and had been seen wielding AK47 rifle on several occasions. The other 3 suspects claimed they were abducted by the BHT but only spent few days in their camps. The suspects are all from DAGUMBA and GUMSHE in MAFA and DIKWA LGA respectively. The suspects are in custody undergoing further interrogation.

“On 8 Jan 17 at about 2317hrs, following a tip-off a suspected BHT member one Abubakar Babagana Tijani (also known as Mafiyo) was arrested at GONGE area of MAIDUGURI. The suspect is believed to be among those at the top hierarchy of the BHT sect as he is especially known for his cross border activities. He has been to Chad, Cameroun and Republic of Niger at various times. The suspect has been undergoing interrogation.

“On 6 Jan 16 at about 2120hrs, own troops deployed at BUNI YADI arrested 2 men who were wandering forward of own troops location. On challenge, one of them identified himself as an ex-soldier. Troops arrested them and preliminary investigation revealed that the ex-soldier was dismissed from the military in Jan 16 at NASI while the other suspect was his friend. The suspects are undergoing interrogation. “

General Iraboh explained that a total of 119 Nigerian refugees were handed over to Nigerian troops at Banki by the Cameroonian forces. They were made up of 20 male adults, 25 female adults and 74 children. They were screened and moved to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp.

 He said the troops had reconstructed many bridges. “ I am hopeful that my earlier call to well-meaning Nigerians and corporate bodies for equipment support for construction and rebuilding of infrastructure will be fruitful,” the military chief said.

Posted On Thursday, 12 January 2017 12:03 Written by
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