Saturday, 21 October 2017
Items filtered by date: September 2017
TROOPS yesterday launched a manhunt for Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu , barely 24 hours after the group’s proscription.

Nothing has been heard about Kanu since the proscription.

Some sources yesterday said he had gone underground.

Kanu is on bail for the alleged treason charges preferred against him.

The Nation learnt  yesterday that  his bail sureties might be asked by the security agencies to account for him.

Besides,  security agencies are  probing  IPOB leader’s alleged foreign links.

Investigators are said to be analysing a  video clip of Kanu and a Turkish citizen  as part of the probe.

A source, while confirming the search for Kanu, said: “Troops have been given a firm order to fish out and arrest the IPOB leader. As a prelude to it, the Defence Headquarters on Friday  declared IPOB as a terrorist organisation.

“Intelligence has, however, revealed that Kanu might have gone underground. As I speak with you, troops have actually searched his house and he was not found there.Troops have a mandate to arrest him wherever he might be.”

Asked what if he is not found the source said: “ We might follow legal process by holding his sureties responsible. These sureties will have to produce him.”

On the probe of Kanu’s alleged foreign links , another source said:”We are looking into the allegations of foreign support for Kanu. We are doing a profiling of his foreign contacts. We have some clues but we need to dig deeper.”

The Nation can also confirm that  government insisted on non-withdrawal of soldiers from Abia State to avoid a situation whereby the  IPOB will “take advantage and unleash mayhem” on innocent citizens.

Sources said the   presidency overruled Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on the withdrawal of troops because the police alone could not  cope with the “grave security” situation.

“The governor wanted a political solution to a military matter. But the federal government cannot watch and allow the situation to degenerate,” one of the sources said.

“Before Kanu was released on bail, these same governors in the Southeast, political leaders from the zone and others prevailed on the federal government to allow him home.

“Some of these governors and Igbo leaders made a commitment that they would  ensure that Kanu did  not abuse his bail conditions.

“The government bent backwards and ensured that Kanu was released on bail. But you can see what has happened. All those who gave the guarantee that Kanu would  respect his bail bond have been made to look foolish.

“Intelligence on IPOB revealed that without troops on the streets, the situation would have been worse.”

The  Embassy of the United States has asked Americans in Abia and Plateau states to review their security and maintain a high level of vigilance.

The Embassy’s cautionary note was contained in its travel alert.

It said: “Curfews have been declared in Abia and Plateau states because of violent attacks accompanied by threats of reprisals.

“Exercise caution in these areas; review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates.

“Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.”

The  National Leader (Southsouth) of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Senator Roland Owie,  yesterday  faulted the declaration of IPOB as a terrorist organisation.

In a statement in Abuja, Owie said the declaration smacked of double standards.

He said: “Now that IPOB has been declared ‘Terrorist group, the government should immediately declare Fulani herdsmen, Terrorist group.”

Owie added: “I urge President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to walk the way of justice and equity in handling the affairs of Nigeria and stop pretending that all is well.

“The gravest mistake of non-equitable administrations all over the world is the denial of wrongdoings on their part.  Unfortunately for such administrations, they forget that God cannot be mocked.”

“Gravitation will help a person if he builds the side of his house straight and plumb; but gravitation will oppose him and make his house fall down if he builds it out of plumb.”

 
Published in Headliners
Saturday, 16 September 2017 00:56

Man United can cope without Pogba, says Mourinho

Jose Mourinho says he has ample options in his Manchester United squad to cope without injured midfielder Paul Pogba as Wayne Rooney prepares to return to Old Trafford.

Pogba is widely expected to be out of action for between a month and six weeks after damaging his hamstring just 18 minutes into Tuesday’s 3-0 Champions League victory over Basel.

That would force him to miss France’s World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and Belarus in early October, which they need to win to guarantee a place at the finals in Russia.

But Mourinho’s refusal to put a timescale on the midfielder’s absence may yet give national team coach Didier Deschamps reason for hope.

Marouane Fellaini, who replaced Pogba as a substitute against Basel, is likely to step into the starting line-up for Sunday’s Premier League home match against Everton, with Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick also in contention.

Mourinho would not elaborate on suggestions that Pogba had aggravated a long-term hamstring problem, or claims that the midfielder has been working with a personal trainer against club advice.

The United manager would only say he expects Pogba, the club’s £89 million ($121 million, 101 million euros) record signing, to be out for “a few matches”.

“I just know that it’s a muscular injury and he’s out for the weekend match,” said Mourinho. “That’s the only one I’m thinking about. I don’t think further than that. So for me, it’s simple and objective that he’s not playing this weekend.

“I don’t know if it’s the same one. I just know it’s a hamstring.”

Rooney return
Pogba was out for three weeks in March with a hamstring issue and it is understood he was given instructions by United’s medical staff on how to strengthen the muscle to ward off further problems.

But the midfielder is believed to have been getting treatment from a personal trainer, leading to fears that it might have made him more vulnerable to injury.

Pogba is set to miss United’s league games against Everton, Southampton and Crystal Palace, plus next Wednesday’s third-round League Cup tie against Burton and the Champions League trip to CSKA Moscow on September 27.

He also faces a fight to be back in time for his side’s Premier League trip to Liverpool on October 14 — but Mourinho is certain that United will manage.

The manager said: “We have players waiting for an opportunity because we started the season really well and we had one match per week so there was no need to rest players and no need for changes.

“Honestly, we miss Pogba and we need him but we have good players. Herrera, Fellaini, Carrick, they are waiting for a real chance to start matches. And they are ready. This is also our way of things.

“We lost important players last season at crucial moments and we were not crying or getting excuse. That’s just football.”

Sunday’s match will see Wayne Rooney return to Old Trafford for the first time since leaving Manchester United for Everton in July.

Mourinho described the former England captain as a “legend” but urged United fans not to make him feel too comfortable.

“I think he will get the welcome that he deserves,” he said. “Sometimes in this country the word legend comes too easily, but that’s not the case here. He is a legend of this club.

“He is one of the most important players in the history of Manchester United. The stadium will show him the respect he deserves before and after the match, not during the match.”

Published in Business and Economy
Saturday, 16 September 2017 00:46

Southeast governors ban IPOB

The South East Governors’ Forum has announced the proscription of activities of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).

Arising from its emergency meeting on Friday in Enugu, Chairman of the forum, Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi requested the group and other of such groups to articulate their grievances and send to the forum.

Umahi appealed to all governors in the zone to ensure compliance with the directive in their various states and for the Federal Government to withdraw the troops in the zone.

Umahi said: “All activities of IPOB are, hereby, proscribed. IPOB and all other aggrieved groups are advised to articulate their position on all national issues.

“Such should be submitted to the committee of governors, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo and National Assembly members from the South East zone through the chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum,” he said.

The Ebonyi governor said that the forum believed in the unity and indivisibility of the country and reinforced their desire for the restructuring of the country.

“We reinforce our desire for the restructuring of Nigeria where all national issues will be discussed and amicably settled to achieve justice and fairness to every Nigerian.

“Accordingly, we appeal to President Muhammad Buhari to, please, withdraw the military in the South East zone, while police perform their traditional role of maintaining law and order,” he said.

Umahi said that the forum was in touch with their northern counterparts “who have assured us of the safety of our people living in the north and we have also planned for exchange of visits to reinforce confidence.

“We wish to assure Nigerians that full investigation is ongoing on all allegations of killings, maiming and other unlawful conduct in the zone within this period,” he said.

He said that appropriate actions would be taken against those found culpable.

Umahi said that governors in the zone had taken adequate measures to protect the lives and property of indigenes and non-indigenes and urged northern governors to do same in their respective states.

“We advise all residents of the zone to go about their normal businesses as governments of each state is committed to protecting everybody,“ he said.

The governor said that all those invited for the meeting were present except the leadership of IPOB that sent in their apologies.

At the meeting were governors of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu while Imo was represented by the deputy governor.

Other notable personalities that attended the meeting were the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Maj.-Gen. Adamu Abubakar and the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo.

Published in Headliners

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Thursday accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressive Congress (APC) of abandoning him after helping the party to win the 2015 general election.

This came after the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, publicly declared her support for Atiku’s presidential quest in 2019.

The minister said she would support the ex- vice president even if President Buhari decides to seek re-election in 2019.

The foremer Vice President, in an interview on the Voice of America (VOA)’s Hausa Service, said he had been abandoned in spite of his efforts in making sure that the APC defeated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.

Speaking from his home town in Yola, the capital city of Adamawa State after the Eid-El-Kabir festival, Abubakar said: “Honestly speaking, I’m still a member of the APC; I was part of all the processes, including campaigns until success was achieved.

“But sadly, soon after the formation of government; I was side-lined, I have no any relationship with the government, I’ve not been contacted even once to comment on anything and in turn, I maintained my distance. They used our money and influence to get to where they are but three years down the lane, this is where we are.”

However, he applauded the president on the successes recorded so far in the fight against Boko Haram, but said it was not yet time to celebrate because a lot is yet to be done and “the ruling government had failed in many fronts.

“Yes, there were successes but not comprehensive success because the Boko Haram miscreants are still very active, killing our people and many local government councils in Borno and Yobe are under their firm grip. People cannot dare go back to their dwellings,” he said.

Published in News & Stories

A Nigerian minister has promised to quit if President Muhammadu Buhari decides to seek re-election, claiming the ailing leader had earlier vowed to serve only one term.

Women’s affairs minister Aisha Alhassan said she would back former vice-president Atiku Abubakar for the presidency at the next election in 2019 rather than the incumbent.

“If today Buhari decides to go for re-election… I will go and kneel before him and tell him, ‘Father, I’m grateful for the opportunity you have given me to serve in your cabinet but you know Atiku is my mentor, staying around you will portray me as a hypocrite and I’m not one’, that is if Atiku declares his interest to contest,” she told BBC Hausa radio.

Speculation has been rife in Nigeria about whether Buhari, 74, will stand again, after he has spent much of the year in a London hospital with an undisclosed illness.

The government maintains he is back at work, although he has kept a low profile since returning from the British capital last month.

Buhari has skipped and cancelled weekly cabinet meetings, chairing his first gathering of senior ministers in five months last week.

Alhassan disclosed her allegiance on Wednesday after being asked whether Buhari had told anyone he planned to run in 2019.

She said: “In 2015 prior to the election, when Buhari decided to contest following intense pressure, he declared that he was going to serve one tenure, that is four years.

“And to date no-one can claim Buhari has expressed any desire to stand for re-election in 2019.”

Buhari made Alhassan women’s minister after she narrowly failed to be elected to run the eastern state of Taraba, making her the country’s first female state governor.

Abubakar, whom Buhari beat to be the All Progressives Congress (APC) party’s presidential candidate for 2015, nominated her for the ministerial post.

The former customs service chief, 70, who served as vice-president under former president Olusegun Obasanjo in the 2000s, is widely tipped to try again for the top job.

He has been touring the nation to drum up support but senior APC figures maintain Buhari remains the candidate to beat, should he decide to contest.

Alhassan made no further comment when asked about her remarks by AFP.

Nigerian politics is largely dependent on patronage, with little to separate the main parties other than personalities.

In 2015, the Peoples Democratic Party haemorrhaged support because ex-president Goodluck Jonathan allegedly reneged on an apparent pledge to serve just one term.

A slew of lawmakers switched to Buhari’s APC, ensuring the first opposition win in Nigeria’s history.

AFP

Published in News & Stories

The South African Football Association (Safa) says that it is studying a decision, upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Wednesday, that a World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal should be replayed.

This was taken after the match referee, Joseph Lamptey, was banned for life by Fifa. The Ghanaian referee was accused of "match manipulation".

In a statement on its website Safa says that it is studying the contents of the report before issuing a statement on its intentions as to whether to challenge the decision.

Safa also denies that it was involved in any wrongdoing related to the referee's actions as was "stated in the Fifa report".

Lamptey awarded a penalty to South Africa in their 2-1 win in November last year for handball but replays showed the ball hit Senegal's Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly on the knee.

The match is due to be replayed in the November 2017 international window.

Published in Business and Economy
Thursday, 07 September 2017 23:12

'Togo is not a monarchy', protesters shout

Up to 150,000 people took to the streets of the Togolese capital, Lome, calling for political reforms, for a second day, journalist Blame Ekoue told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

He said people were carrying banners saying: "[President] Faure must go now", "Togo is not a monarchy" and "we want reform now".

President Faure Gnassingbe has been in power since 2005. He succeeded his father Gnassingbe Eyadema, who seized power in 1967.

One protester told Blame:

Fifty years is enough. The Gnassingbes must go. The reforms must be done. They must release political detainees now." 

In the coming days, the national assembly is expected to meet in a special session to discuss changes to the constitution limiting presidential terms, but it is not clear if this will placate the protesters.

Published in Headliners
Monday, 04 September 2017 20:09

Nigeria draw Cameroon 1-1 in Yaounde

 

The Super Eagles on Monday played a 1-1 draw with the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon at the Stade Omnispirts Ahmadu Ahidjo in Yaounde.

The Nigerians were rewarded with a goal in the 30th minute after an Odion Ighalo’s shot was cleared to Belgium-based Moses Simon who put the ball behind goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa.

The Cameroonians equalised from the spot following a reckless challenge by goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa on Djoum Arnaud.

Vincent Aboubakar slots the ball calmly into the net as Ezenwa runs the wrong way.

The Super Eagles were the better team when both sides clashed last Friday in Uyo; winning 4-0 at the Nest of Champions.

Nigeria tops Group B with 10 points ahead of second-placed Zambia which has 4 points but with a game in hand, Cameroon are third with three points while Algeria stay at the bottom with just a point and a game still unplayed.

Published in Business and Economy
Barely two weeks after the signing of six agreements with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Federal Government has initiated moves to seize assets of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and four others in Dubai.

The others are: a former Managing Director of the defunct  Oceanic Bank, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Sen. Bala Mohammed and his son, Shamsudeen.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has traced eight choice assets to Mrs. Ibru and two to Mrs. Diezani.

Although the ex-FCT Minister and his son are on the Federal Government’s list, their Dubai houses are yet to be listed. The investigation is on.

The profiling of the suspected assets of more than 25 Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) is ongoing.

The EFCC has done “considerable intelligence work on the assets of Diezani and some of her business associates”, a source told The Nation on Sunday.

The source said: “Following due diligence by the EFCC, the Federal Government has already compiled a list of first batch of suspects with houses in Dubai, whose assets ought to be attached.

“They are a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke; a former Managing Director of the defunct  Oceanic Bank, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru and a former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Sen. Bala Mohammed and his son, Shamsudeen.

“The government will soon formally apply to the UAE for the seizure of the assets traced to these Nigerians.

“Despite the fact that many assets were said to be allegedly owned by Mrs. Ibru, only eight choice mansions has been identified by the EFCC.

“Mrs. Diezani has two apartments, including  the one marked as J5 Emirates Hills (30 million Dirham) and another tagged E146 Emirates Hills, valued at 44million Dirham.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “The EFCC is profiling more than 25 PEPs based on the huge database from the UAE.

Some of these assets are in Emirates Hills, Marina, Jumeira, Bur Dubai in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE. “We are yet to focus on looted funds stashed in the Emirates,” the source said.

On the inclusion of the ex-FCT minister and his son, the source added: “This is based on intelligence report. We will keep you posted on the outcome of their suspected assets in Dubai. Ours is to make their names available for investigation by the UAE.

“Even those  who bought houses through proxies can be detected.”

Following a state visit to the UAE by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 19, 2016 , the Federal Government entered into  six agreements with the Emirates.

The agreements, which were signed by President Buhari last week, are:

  • Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement;
  • Agreement on Trade Promotion and Protection;
  • Judicial Agreements on Extradition;
  • Transfer of Sentenced Persons;
  • Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters; and
  • Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters(recovery and repatriation of stolen wealth).

Sections 7 of 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004 mandate the agency to seize suspicious assets.

Section 7 says: “The commission has power to (a) cause any investigations to be conducted as to whether any person, corporate body or organization has committed any offence under this Act or other law relating to economic and financial crimes.

“(b) Cause investigations to be conducted into the properties of any person if it appears to the commission that the person’s lifestyle and extent of the properties are not justified by his source of income.”

Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004 empower the anti-graft agency to invoke Interim Assets Forfeiture Clause.

“Section 28 of the EFCC Act reads: ‘Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the Court.’

Section 13 of the Federal High Court Act reads in part: “The Court may grant an injunction or appoint a receiver by an interlocutory order in all cases in which it appears to the Court to be just or convenient so to do.

Published in Headliners
Sunday, 03 September 2017 14:19

‘Help save my sight and dreams’

Losing both eyes to the deadly paws of cataract just five years ago, Master Holy Ogene, a talented musician is appealing to well-meaning Nigerians to save his sight and dreams

At the first encounter, his visual handicap is not obvious, considering  the way he carries himself with little or no assistance at all. It is astonishing to find him deriving strength and courage from his inability to see. It is true that even in his physically challenged state, Master Holy Ogene has managed to craft a worthy name for himself, struggling to make ends meet and  living without his parents help.

Christened Master Holy Ogene by his parents, he lost his sight in highly unfortunate circumstances just five years ago when he was still a student at Babs Fafunwa Millennia Senior Secondary School, Ojota, a Government school where both eyes were infected by cataract.

In an interview with  our correspondent, he recalled the genesis of his present situation.

“When I was born, I had short sighted. I was asked to use glasses but my father refused to let me use them as he believed I was too young to use recommended lens.”

Tragedy  actually struck when he was admitted to Babs Fafunwa Senior Secondary School at Ojodu Berger where the inability to cope due to large groups of students finally coerced his father to let him use recommended lenses. However, the damage had already been done at the ripe age of 14.

“It was after I started using glasses upon admission that I got cataract on my left eye and it got serious. My Dad had to take me to Eye foundation and they advocated surgery as the only solution. I was about 14 at the time and the implications of an eye surgery was much which included an operation via my brain and the risk being my Dad signing a form if anything happened to me.”

The delayed decision in undergoing a surgery led to the complete closure of the right eye after cataract covered the second eye.

The 22 year old who is an upcoming musician and politician witnessed the loss of both eyes after the unfortunate incident. Not willing to concede to defeat, he picked up a singing career due to his current condition.

“Singing comes from emotions, how I feel and the society around me. How I feel being depressed and just hearing people around me. At times, when I eat I don’t see what I eat,” Holy said.

He described his foray into politics by the nature of his unique singing talent. He was able to attract the attention of politicians and majorly the political presence of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“Due to my knowledge, and my brain, I operate phones and create technology. I created caller tunes and the current one for my phone was created by me. I created caller tunes and ways to advertise politicians which instantly peaked their interest in me, especially the PDP, though I would not want to say much over that.” He however attested to creating his own caller tune himself.

The event which happened in his heydays in secondary school hampered him from acquiring higher education but did not stop him from developing his mind.

“I wasn’t able to go to university but I went for some lessons to take my knowledge to another level.”

When asked if he used braille as means to communicate or express himself; he stated that he did not believe in the use of braille phones, he attested to the capability of using any phone no matter the complexity in functionality in less than three days.

“I use a normal phone and there is no phone I can’t use. Right now, I can send you a text message as fast as possible,” he demonstrated using his Nokia phone. Even the caller tune I created, you can hear it yourself; I did it in less than 3 minutes.” He reaffirmed: “I create caller tunes for myself and can operate any phone in 3 days.”

“I require #340 000 for the operation which is the specific operation price but the total is #360 000 drugs inclusive. Eye foundation gave me a bigger bill of #750 000 which is much. The Federal Medical Centre Asaba is cheaper and I have the doctors report with me here offering me #360 000.”

Ogene appealed  to well-meaning individuals, Churches, NGOs, and most importantly government officials and political parties. “I think this is a medium where parties can use my knowledge instead of making me a nuisance in the society to create an avenue where I can get my sight back.”

Ogene isn’t new to donations, he claimed that he had been given donations in the past but they had been very meagre to pay the bills for the drugs prescribed. “I got only #10 000 to #15 000 with little assistance from people but you know drugs and it has been almost two years and nothing else came. I don’t stay with my parents in Delta State, I have been feeding alone and life has been a little bit terrible and horrific.”

Holy who was accompanied by his distraught mother solicited the help of well-meaning Nigerians to save his sight by not letting the light of his dreams die a premature death, at the very tender age of 22.

His phone numbers are 08104974780 and 08142556716 while his account details is Ecobank, Ogene Holy 3823067769.

Courtesy: thenationonlineng.net/sight-and-dreams/

Published in Headliners
Page 3 of 4

Newsletter