Thursday, 23 November 2017
Items filtered by date: November 2016

SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: Akure—THE Former Chief Security Officer, CSO, to late military Head of State, General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha (retd) yesterday said he was not the killer of late Kudirat Abiola.

He made the denial at the sixth edition of Dr. Fredrick Fasehun annual public lecture in Akure. The lecture had the theme: “The Nigerian quest for social justice and credible leadership: the travail of a nation on trial.” Al-Mustapha declared that the insinuation that he killed Kudirat was a ploy by some people in government to soil his image in other to cover up for their atrocities after Abacha died.

He pointedly denied that he assassinated the wife of the 1993 Presidential election winner, Chief MKO Abiola. According to him: “I am often misrepresented, I discharge my duties as required which was to protect the Head of State, protect the government and the people of the country. “Anything aside that would have made me a traitor and I was never a traitor, I am not a traitor and will never be a traitor.’’ Al-Mustapha however called on all citizens of the country to come together as one regardless of their creed or political differences for a better Nigeria. 

Asked to access the nation’s democracy in an interview with newsmen after the lecture , the former CSO said; “There is so much turbulence, greed and selfishness. We take two steps forward, four steps backward. ”My concern is patriotism and true love for the country our desire is to invest and allow our institutions to stay rather than forcing them into decay. That is what we should be cautious about. “Those in leadership and those being led particularly those who have attained statesmanship position should understand there is heavier responsibility on their shoulder and they should realize that this country is too important to be allowed to fail. We must support all those in power.’’ Also speaking on the present administration fight against corruption he said that; “Anti corruption war is not easy as it is being said, we saw it in the past administrations. “But before you start the anti corruption war itself, there are measures to take. One is to heal the wounds; two, corruption has eaten deep so it is going to be a combination of many things, moral law, science and force. “The law should be seen to be enforced, ensuring the right of man and those who are enforcing it should also realize that the right of man must be respected. “And those who are stealing should realize law is hot water, if you dare put your hand in hot water, you will get burnt and when it is burnt you have no one to blame. This is where we are and this must be done .’’ 

Earlier, Fasehun had exonerated the former CSO and recounted his experience with him during the Oputa panel. 

Fasehun said Al-Mustapha was convicted “with unreliable evidences by the Oputa Panel” The guest lecturer Dare Babarinsa had earlier said that the former CSO imprisoned the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Falae and Fasehun in the same prison during the military junta’s rule. Babarinsa said: “Nigeria has really changed and this has also culminated into the CSO sitting together with Fasehun and Falae whom the former allegedly victimized during the military era.’’ He however lamented that the leaders, who enjoyed the dividends of democracy in their days, have failed to provide same to the succeeding generations.

 

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: Akure—THE Former Chief Security Officer, CSO, to late military Head of State, General Sani Abacha, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha (retd) yesterday said he was not the killer of late Kudirat Abiola.

He made the denial at the sixth edition of Dr. Fredrick Fasehun annual public lecture in Akure. The lecture had the theme: “The Nigerian quest for social justice and credible leadership: the travail of a nation on trial.” Al-Mustapha declared that the insinuation that he killed Kudirat was a ploy by some people in government to soil his image in other to cover up for their atrocities after Abacha died.

He pointedly denied that he assassinated the wife of the 1993 Presidential election winner, Chief MKO Abiola. According to him: “I am often misrepresented, I discharge my duties as required which was to protect the Head of State, protect the government and the people of the country. “Anything aside that would have made me a traitor and I was never a traitor, I am not a traitor and will never be a traitor.’’ Al-Mustapha however called on all citizens of the country to come together as one regardless of their creed or political differences for a better Nigeria.

Asked to access the nation’s democracy in an interview with newsmen after the lecture , the former CSO said; “There is so much turbulence, greed and selfishness. We take two steps forward, four steps backward. ”My concern is patriotism and true love for the country our desire is to invest and allow our institutions to stay rather than forcing them into decay. That is what we should be cautious about. “Those in leadership and those being led particularly those who have attained statesmanship position should understand there is heavier responsibility on their shoulder and they should realize that this country is too important to be allowed to fail. We must support all those in power.’’ Also speaking on the present administration fight against corruption he said that; “Anti corruption war is not easy as it is being said, we saw it in the past administrations. “But before you start the anti corruption war itself, there are measures to take. One is to heal the wounds; two, corruption has eaten deep so it is going to be a combination of many things, moral law, science and force. “The law should be seen to be enforced, ensuring the right of man and those who are enforcing it should also realize that the right of man must be respected. “And those who are stealing should realize law is hot water, if you dare put your hand in hot water, you will get burnt and when it is burnt you have no one to blame. This is where we are and this must be done .’’

Earlier, Fasehun had exonerated the former CSO and recounted his experience with him during the Oputa panel.

Fasehun said Al-Mustapha was convicted “with unreliable evidences by the Oputa Panel” The guest lecturer Dare Babarinsa had earlier said that the former CSO imprisoned the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Falae and Fasehun in the same prison during the military junta’s rule. Babarinsa said: “Nigeria has really changed and this has also culminated into the CSO sitting together with Fasehun and Falae whom the former allegedly victimized during the military era.’’ He however lamented that the leaders, who enjoyed the dividends of democracy in their days, have failed to provide same to the succeeding generations.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka has vowed to keep his word to tear his Green Card if Donald Trump was elected US president.

Soyinka in an interview assured doubting thomases that he will fulfill his promise on 20 January 2017, the day Trump will be officially sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

In the build up to the US election, Soyinka had threatened to trash his US green card, if the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, won.

In an exclusive email interview with The Interview on Wednesday, Soyinka vowed to keep his word. He also spoke on the future of a Trump world:

Did Donald Trump’s victory surprise you?

Not altogether. The possibility was looming nearer and nearer, getting scarier and scarier.

What do you think Trump’s victory means for the world, especially Nigeria?

It’s brought an already teetering world closer to the precipice.

Do you think the victory of Trump, who threatened to build a Wall is a coincidence coming exactly 27 years to the day the Berlin Wall came down?

Trump’s Wall is already under construction. Walls are built in the mind, and Trump has erected walls, not only across the mental landscape of America, but across the global landscape. I am glad you referred to the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall – that was one anniversary in reversal!

Will you trash your green card, as you reportedly said you would?

Come January 20, 2017; watch my WOLEXIT! (Donald Trump will be sworn-in as the 45th President of the United States of America on Friday, January 20, 2017)

At what point did it occur to you that Trump’s victory was inevitable?

As Election Day approached, the spectre became near palpable. I refused to switch on the television this morning until I had stiffened myself with a strong espresso. I felt disaster in my marrow.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: Donald Trump was elected America’s 45th president Tuesday, an astonishing victory for a celebrity businessman and political novice who capitalized on voters’ economic anxieties, took advantage of racial tensions and overcame a string of sexual assault allegations on his way to the White House. 

His triumph over Hillary Clinton will end eight years of Democratic dominance of the White House and threatens to undo major achievements of President Barack Obama. He’s pledged to act quickly to repeal Obama’s landmark health care law, revoke the nuclear agreement with Iran and rewrite important trade deals with other countries, particularly Mexico and Canada.

The Republican blasted through Democrats’ longstanding firewall, carrying Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that hadn’t voted for a GOP presidential candidate since the 1980s. He needed to win nearly all of the competitive battleground states, and he did just that, claiming Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and others.

Global stock markets and U.S. stock futures plunged deeply, reflecting investor alarm over what a Trump presidency might mean for the economy and trade.

A New York real estate developer who lives in a sparking Manhattan high-rise, Trump forged a striking connection with white, working class Americans who feel left behind in a changing economy and diversifying country. He cast immigration, both from Latin America and the Middle East, as the root of the problems plaguing many Americans and taped into fears of terrorism emanating at home and abroad.

Trump will take office with Congress expected to be fully under Republican control. GOP Senate candidates fended off Democratic challengers in key states and appeared poised to maintain the majority. Republicans also maintained their grip on the House.

Senate control means Trump will have great leeway in appointing Supreme Court justices, which could mean a major change to the right that would last for decades.

Trump upended years of political convention on his way to the White House, leveling harshly personal insults on his rivals, deeming Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers, and vowing to temporarily suspend Muslim immigration to the U.S. He never released his tax returns, breaking with decades of campaign tradition, and eschewed the kind of robust data and field efforts that helped Obama win two terms in the White House, relying instead on his large, free-wheeling rallies to energize supporters. His campaign was frequently in chaos, and he cycled through three campaign managers this year.

His final campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, touted the team’s accomplishments as the final results rolled in, writing on Twitter that “rally crowds matter” and “we expanded the map.”

The mood at Clinton’s party grew bleak as the night wore out, with some supporters leaving, others crying and hugging each other. Top campaign aides stopped returning calls and texts, as Clinton and her family hunkered down in a luxury hotel watching the returns.

At 2 a.m., Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta told the crowd to head home for the night. “We’re still counting votes and every vote should count,” he said.

Trump will inherit an anxious nation, deeply divided by economic and educational opportunities, race and culture.

Exit polls underscored the fractures: Women nationwide supported Clinton by a double-digit margin, while men were significantly more likely to back Trump. More than half of white voters backed the Republican, while nearly 9 in 10 blacks and two-thirds of Hispanics voted for the Democrat.

Doug Ratliff, a 67-year-old businessman from Richlands, Virginia, said Trump’s election would be one of the happiest days of his life.

“This county has had no hope,” said Ratliff, who owns strip malls in the area badly beaten by the collapse of the coal industry. “You have no idea what it would mean for the people if Trump won. They’ll have hope again. Things will change. I know he’s not going to be perfect. But he’s got a heart. And he gives people hope.”

Trump has pledged to usher in a series of sweeping changes to U.S. domestic and foreign policy: repealing Obama’s signature health care law, though he has been vague on what he could replace it with; building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border; and suspending immigration from country’s with terrorism ties. He’s also praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and spoken of building a better relationship with Moscow, worrying some in his own party who fear he’ll go easy on Putin’s provocations.

The Republican Party’s tortured relationship with its nominee was evident right up to the end. Former President George W. Bush and wife Laura Bush declined to back Trump, instead selecting “none of the above” when they voted for president, according to spokesman Freddy Ford.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a reluctant Trump supporter, called the businessman earlier in the evening to congratulate him, according to a Ryan spokeswoman.

Democrats, as well as some Republicans, expected Trump’s unconventional candidacy would damage down-ballot races and even flip some reliably red states in the presidential race. But Trump held on to Republican territory, including in Georgia and Utah, where Clinton’s campaign confidently invested resources.

Clinton asked voters to keep the White House in her party’s hands for a third straight term. She cast herself as heir to President Barack Obama’s legacy and pledged to make good on his unfinished agenda, including passing immigration legislation, tightening restrictions on guns and tweaking his signature health care law.

But she struggled throughout the race with persistent questions about her honesty and trustworthiness. Those troubles flared anew late in the race, when FBI Director James Comey announced a review of new emails from her tenure at the State Department. On Sunday, just two days before Election Day, Comey said there was nothing in the material to warrant criminal charges against Clinton.

Associated Press (AP)

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SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: The Federal Government on Tuesday brought a nine-count charge of Money Laundering and Corruption against a Supreme Court judge, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta.

Ngwuta, his colleague, Justice Inyang Okoro and five other federal justices had been suspended on allegation of fraud.

The Department of State Services (DSS) between October 7 and October 8 raided the homes of the judges where large sums of money were allegedly discovered.

The charge filed in Federal High Court, Abuja, alleged that Ngwuta illegally retained in his possession N35,358,000.00 contrary to the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011.

It was also alleged that the defendant retained in his possession 319,596.00 dollars and 25,915 pounds.

According to the charge, the prosecution alleges that the monies formed part of the proceeds of unlawful act contrary to the Money Laundering Act.

The charged alleged that several sums of cash were recovered from the defendant’s home, including N35.3 million, $319,596.00(USD) 25,915 pounds sterling and 280.00 r. 44.

It further alleged that four diplomatic passports, one official and two standard Nigerian passports all in the name of the defendant were found during DSS search.

The charge said the defendant allegedly obtained multiple passports contrary to Section 10 of the Immigration Act, 2015 and punishable under the same Section.

According to the charge, the embattled judge allegedly made false statement to the Passport Office concerning his date of birth for the purpose of procuring an additional Diplomatic Passport for himself.

He was also alleged to have in his possession two valid Diplomatic Passports and thereby committed an offence under Section 10 of the Immigration Act.

The case file is yet to be assigned for trial.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: Americans going out to polling sites Tuesday were reporting lengthy lines and hours-long wait times, especially in the toss-up states that will determine who becomes president.

Some polling sites in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania described turnout as “unprecedented,” with voters waiting several hours to even enter the buildings, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Questlove, best known for being the drummer and frontman of the band The Roots, said on Instagram he was expecting a two-hour wait in Philadelphia.

He posted an image of Netflix television titles and wrote underneath: “Welp, Netflix about to be my friend in this two hour wait of a line … Happy to see this positive turnout.”

However, voters at other places in Philadelphia reported breezing through the poll sites.

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, must hold onto the urban and college-educated voters of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in order win Pennsylvania, where Republican Donald Trump has had success with working-class voters.

In the north-eastern swing-state of New Hampshire, Twitter users posted images of lines stretching far outside polling places in the state’s biggest city, Manchester, even before they officially opened at 6 am (1100 GMT).

There were concerns ahead of Tuesday about voter intimadation tactics from supporters of Trump, who has repeatedly called the election is “rigged” despite no evidence to support the claim.

Political provocateur and Trump backer Roger Stone had called on people to descend on polling places as independent poll watchers as part of an effort dubbed “Stop the Steal.”

Kristen Clark, the president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a group running an independent effort to address voter complaints, said it had received scattered reports of voter intimidation in parts of the battleground state of Florida.

But if there was trouble at the polls, the cause often was often due to technical issues.

The worst appeared to be in Durham County, North Carolina, where officials decided to extend opening times there by one and a half hours after computer failures at six sites prevented workers from checking the voter registion.

North Carolina has been one of the most highly contested states in this election. The state’s many African American voters pushed it to the Democrats in 2008, but it returned to Republicans four years later.

Turnout among African American voters had trailed during early voting, providing a worrying sign for Democrats.

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SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: The nation’s apex court, Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the election of Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State.

The panel of justices led by Tanko Ibrahim affirmed the judgments of the Bayelsa State Election Petitions Tribunal and the appellate court.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in he election, Timipre Sylva, had challenged the victory of Dickson, alleging that the election was marred with irregularities.

Sylva asked the tribunal to declare him the duly elected governor.

But having lost at the tribunal and appellate court, Sylva headed for the apex court.

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM:

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SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: The National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress,APC, Dr. Muiz Banire, has offered to resign from his post pending the conclusion of investigations into his alleged bribery of a judge.

In a letter addressed to the party leadership, Mr. Banire said he was not only shocked but “extremely disturbed” by media reports claiming he paid a judge N500,000.

“As surreal as I find the allegation to be, I will not stand by and watch it negatively affect the name of the party,” said Mr. Banire, a former lecturer at the University of Lagos.

“Mr. Chairman, Sir, it is in view of the above circumstances that I wish to temporarily step aside from my position on our National Working Committee as the National Legal Adviser of our party until completion and final outcome of the EFCC investigation involving my person.”

Mr. Banire’s offer to step down from his post, a position he occupied at the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria and continued after the merger that birthed the APC, came less than 24 hours after he issued a public statement denying the bribery allegations.

Following the arrest of some judges by operatives of the State Security Service, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had launched a massive investigation into allegations of bribery of judges by some senior lawyers.

Mr. Banire, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, allegedly transferred N500,000 into the bank account of James Agbadu-Fishim, a judge at the National Industrial

Court.

Mr. Agbadu-Fishim was among the judges who reported to the Lagos office of the EFCC on October 19 to write statements on the findings against them.

Premium Times quoted media reports as saying that Mr. Banire was questioned for over six hours at the Commission’s office and his international passport seized.

In his five page letter of resignation dated November 8th, Mr. Banire insisted he had voluntarily submitted himself for questioning by EFCC officials.

“The allegation, as I have come to understand it, is that a Statement of Account of one Judge of the National Industrial Court, the Honourable Justice J.T Agbadu-Fishim, who is subject of an ongoing EFCC’s investigation, contained a June 2013 entry of a ‘N500,000’ payment ascribed as being from one ‘Dr. Muiz B.’

“I did not hesitate in confirming that this probably referred to me because I remember that about three years ago, I received a text message from someone I recollected at the time to be an old colleague in my days as a lecturer at the University of Lagos, an ‘Agbadu-Fishim’ who was then a Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, informing me of the death and funeral programme of his mother.”

Mr. Banire said he had had no contact with Mr. Agbadu-Fishim 14 years prior to that text message, when he was appointed a Special Adviser to then Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, in 1999.

“As far as assumption goes, he was to me, at the time of his contact, still employed by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies; he never informed me that he had moved on to become a Judge of any court in Nigeria, and I have never throughout my career as a legal practitioner or public functionary ever appeared in any case before any judge whatsoever at the National Industrial Court…

“Indeed, it was with considerable difficulty that I was able to eventually recognise his face when I eventually saw him again (after 17 years of my leaving the University of Lagos) on my attendance at the EFCC on Thursday the 3rd of November, 2016.”

Mr. Banire said Mr. Agbadu-Fishim’s text message to him soliciting financial assistance for his mother’s funeral showed he was in “great distress”.

“I considered it necessary to assist an old friend in dire need. Without any further prompting, he sent his account details to me and I made a cash gift of N500,000 to him.”

Mr. Banire also said that following his interactions with the EFCC, on whether the money was meant to influence Mr. Agbadu-Fishim’s performance of his duties, he had come to realise that his law chamber had been involved in two cases before the judge.

“My review of the two case files which I came to be conscious of after my interactions with the EFCC shows that one of them was amicably settled between the parties for a sum less than N1.2 million, thereby technically losing the case, whilst they won the other and that the combined professional fees (net of taxes) for the two cases was less than N22 million,” said Mr. Banire.

“While protesting my innocence, and will therefore do everything within legal limits to defend myself, I have, from the first instance, become aware of the allegation, offered my full cooperation to the EFCC and will continue to cooperate with, and give it all the assistance it may require of me in the course of its ongoing investigation into the matter.”

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SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: Residents of Yenagoa woke up on Tuesday morning to witness increased security around Government House and strategic areas of the capital in anticipation of Supreme Court judgment on Bayelsa governorship poll. 

All the roads leading to Onopa, the seat of government were blocked by armed security men.

Motorists and other commuters were forced to seek alternative routes to their destinations.

The Supreme Court will deliver judgment on Tuesday on the legal tussle between Governor Seriake Dickson of the PDP, who was declared winner of the poll and Chief Timipre Sylva, the APC candidate who challenged the victory.

Sylva had approached the election petitions tribunal which upheld Dickson’s election.

Not satisfied by the verdict of the tribunal, the APC candidate took his case to the Appeal Court which also affirmed the decision of the tribunal.

Inspite of the heavy presence of security men deployed to strategic locations, the capital remains calm.

DSP Asinim Butswat disclosed in a telephone interview that the deployment was to ensure that the prevailing peace in the capital is maintained.

234naira.com:

http://www.234naira.com/1250/bayelsa-poll-tight-security-in-yenagoa-as-supreme-court-deli

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: Reverend Nicholas Okoh, Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, says people are living under a perpetual sense of insecurity and uncertainty in all parts of Nigeria because of different forms of fear. 

Okoh made this remark at the Sixth Edition of the Divine Common Wealth Conference (DIVCCON), with the theme, ”Fear Not” on Monday in Abuja.

Okoh said the fears might be dismissed as wrong perceptions of reality.

But he added that the fact of events available had left the ordinary man with no option than to be afraid.

He explained that the people’s perception of the inclination of the present administration was on its own a cause of mistrust and fear.

The primate added that the direction of the government was not clear on the issue of national unity giving the actions of the government that seemed to sideline some and favour some.

He also disclosed that there was also the fear of Islamisation of the country, alleging that the selective governance style of the government, in which Muslims and Islamic issues are given priority exacerbates the fear the more.

He wondered how anyone could explain the call for full implementation of the Sharia criminal code on Nigeria’s legal system, in a country where you have Christians and people of other faith?

Okoh also called on government to urgently address the menace of herdsmen attacks on farmers and communities by disarming them to allow people engage in agriculture effectively.

He added that the fear of economic recession, Niger Delta militancy and unemployment were among other fears that Nigerians were currently grappling with, considering their attendant effects on the society.

“Fear is a very bad thing and it would appear as if the government is not taking adequate knowledge of what these fears are.

“That the actions and activities of government or lack of actions in certain areas are generating fear in the heart of people and when there is fear, people act irrationally because they don’t have adequate information.

“It is important for government through actions and explanations to take away fear from the people.

“So for a child of God, faith in God will lay fear to rest but we live in society where we don’t have that type of religious belief.

“It is therefore important for government to recognise that this is a problem and take adequate steps to remedy them. It will not be right to say ‘don’t mind them’ because after all said and done, government is about people,” he said.

On the release of suspected killers of 84 year old business woman in Kano, Okoh said the decision was part of the activities that inspired fear, adding that Christians that lived in such environment would be subjected to fear.

He said that if every government began to act like that, the country would become unsafe for people to live in, urging the government to explain what led to the release of the suspects.

According to him, Government should not give impression that people can take laws into their hands and go free, because that is not a good signal.

“Nigerians deserve explanation from Kano state government that the court had tried them and found them not guilty or that wrong people were arrested,” he said.

The primate said the objective of the conference was to coalesce Nigerian Christians into a body to understand the teaching of the Christian Church, practice it and relate with other people in a more acceptable way.

Published in Business and Economy
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