Tuesday, 21 November 2017

NEWS AND STORIES

Monday, 23 October 2017 23:16

Buhari sacks Maina, queries Head of Service

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate disengagement of the former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, from service.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

Adesina said Buhari has also directed the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, to submit a report on the circumstances surrounding Maina’s reinstatement to his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, before the close of work.

The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate disengagement from service of Mr Abdullahi Abdulrasheed Maina, former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms.

“In a memo to the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, the President equally demanded a full report of the circumstances of Maina’s recall and posting to the Ministry of Interior.

“The report is to be submitted to the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Mallam Abba Kyari, before the end of work today, Monday, October 23, 2017.”

Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) has debunked some media reports alleging that her office approved the reinstatement of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina and posted him to the Ministry of Interior.

Mr Mohammed Manga, Assistant Director Media Relations, OHCSF, refuted the reports in a statement he signed on Monday in Abuja.

“The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation wishes to inform the public that the reinstatement and posting of Alhaji Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina never emanated from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

“Consequently, the purported reinstatement and posting by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation is totally erroneous and misleading.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the immediate dismissal of Abdulrasheed Maina, a civil servant, who went missing for years after being declared, wanted for corruption.

The president said the circumstances of Maina’s return to the civil service must be investigated asking Oyo-Ita to submit the report of her investigation before the close of work on Monday.

The embattled Pension Reform Task Team, PRTT, Chairman, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Maina, had fled the country to escape arrest by the police and other security agents on his trail but was allegedly reinstated to a higher post.

Sunday, 22 October 2017 18:28

Everton 2 - 5 Arsenal

Manager Ronald Koeman says he can turn Everton's fortunes around after they slipped into the Premier League relegation zone with a 5-2 defeat by Arsenal at Goodison Park.

Everton were embarrassed in front of their own fans, and have now not won in five games in all competitions.

Koeman said the "rumours" about his position are "normal".

"The team is underperforming. It is in a difficult situation mentally," the Dutchman said.

"That is what we need to change. I still believe I can change the whole situation but everybody knows how it works in football. That is all I answer about this situation so ask somebody else.

"It is how you look to the situation. If you start to think negative then maybe there is no solution. I am not like that."

With only two league wins this season, Everton were given early hope when Wayne Rooney re-enacted his famous goal against Arsenal from 2002 as a 16-year-old with a brilliant 20-yard curling finish past Petr Cech.

It was to prove a false dawn as only Everton keeper Jordan Pickford kept his side on terms before Nacho Monreal reacted to a rebound from his save to draw Arsenal level.

Arsenal never looked back and it was no surprise when the outstanding pair of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil combined for the German to head past the besieged Pickford eight minutes after half-time.

Everton collapsed in humiliating fashion, Idrissa Gueye making matters worse when a senseless tackle on Granit Xhaka earned him his second yellow card.

Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey increased the agony for Koeman and Everton with goals in the final 16 minutes.

Even when Everton substitute Oumar Niasse pulled one back in stoppage time, there was still time for Sanchez to end a slalom run with a fifth to bring the curtain down on a desperate day for Koeman, who is now surely fighting to save his job.

Is this the end for Koeman?

The eerie silence that descended on Goodison Park for the majority of the match was the most ominous symbol of all for Koeman.

Goodison Park is normally the most hostile of arenas but the air of resignation was a clear sign how the life and hope has been sucked out of Everton's season after the optimism of that busy and big-spending summer in the transfer market.

Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who stood alone between Everton and an even more serious beating here, has been a shining light since his £30m summer from Sunderland, and, for all the questions about his signing, Rooney still possesses more class and vision that just about any of his team-mates.

Other than that, Everton look a tactical and technical mess, the muddled thinking graphically illustrated by the movable feast - or famine - that is Koeman's team selection.

So assured last season, he does not appear to know his best formation or his best team - or, as one wag put it, he does not know his worst team.

When Tom Davies replaced Ashley Williams at half-time, it was the ninth time in 17 games this season that Koeman has made a substitution at the interval. This is a telling statistic.

Wayne Rooney
Rooney's opener came 15 years to the week since he scored against Arsenal for Everton as a 16-year-old

Gylfi Sigurdsson, Everton's £45m record signing, looks lost and the swathes of empty seats that Koeman looked out on at the final whistle will also have resonated with major shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

Everton are now so rudderless and lacking in inspiration that it is hard to see where Koeman goes from here.

Moshiri gave Koeman his backing two weeks ago, but this was such a desperately poor performance that it is impossible to believe he is not revisiting that support.

The jeers from the few fans that remained at the final whistle only underlined the crisis that now threatens to totally envelope the beleaguered Koeman.

'Everton in real trouble'

Former Leicester City striker Steve Claridge said "something has to change quickly" at Everton.

"On this evidence, Everton are in real, real trouble," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

"There were very few redeeming features about their play. There is no belief in what they are doing and they are not good enough to play like that.

"There is no reaction to what is going on. The fans have just given up reacting. Apathy is too strong a word but they look like they've had the guts knocked out of them.

"The best they could do is get men behind the ball - no balance, no shape, the system didn't suit the players and there was no quality. Arsenal had five and it could have been a lot more."

Before the game, Claridge said Koeman should be shown patience. Asked if he had changed his mind, he said: "Yes I have. I am not advocating people leave their job but something has to change quickly."

How would Arsenal cope without Sanchez and Ozil?

Sanchez
Sanchez added Arsenal's fifth in the fifth minute of stoppage time

As Arsenal celebrated the easiest of victories at the final whistle, their fans tucked away in one corner of the ground may not have been pondering a thorny question facing manager Arsene Wenger.

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are both running down their Arsenal contracts and look certain to leave the club, perhaps as early as January, but both produced performances that underlined just how much they would be missed.

Sanchez showed no signs of any discontent or hangover from his failed move to Manchester City.

The Chile forward was inventive, endlessly aggressive, created one goal for Ozil with a perfect cross and finished of the win with a glorious slalom run and shot across Pickford.

Ozil was at his graceful best, picking his way through midfield, selecting the finest from his wide range of passes and ghosting in for a fine header that gave Arsenal a crucial lead they never looked like relinquishing.

Arsenal's immediate future hangs heavily on these two players and Wenger may decide it is more palatable to take the long-term financial hit rather than lose what they could give him in the latter months of the season when the January transfer window opens.

Arsenal given easy ride

Arsenal's character and heart for battle was questioned by Watford striker Troy Deeney after the Hornets' win last weekend, but Everton allowed the Gunners to rebuild their confidence without a hint of trouble.

If Everton had taken any note whatsoever of Deeney's message that Arsenal may be frail under the physical exchanges, they did not show any evidence of it.

Arsenal strolled around midfield - or what passed as Everton's midfield - almost unchallenged, giving Ozil and Aaron Ramsey free rein to provide service for Sanchez and Lacazette to inflict the punishment that eventually overwhelmed Koeman's bedraggled side.

Man of the match - Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez scored and made an assist. He had seven shots on goal and made four key passes for Arsenal.

'There are no excuses in football' - Koeman

Everton boss Ronald Koeman: "The position in the table is not the position Everton should be in.

"Even after today, I see a lot of positives. It is a negative situation for the team - everything is negative - but I am not like that.

"We had a lot of expectation after last season. Those expectations are not filling in - that makes the situation difficult."

"That was a test for us. We should have been 2-0 or 3-0 up at that stage. It was about how we responded to that - could we keep calm? We did that in a convincing way. Our passing and movement was excellent.

"It's very difficult to single out any performances as everyone played very well. It was important to get our first win away from home."

Arsenal hit 100 against the Toffees - the stats

  • Arsenal have beaten Everton more times than any other club have beaten another in English Football League history (95 wins).
  • Arsenal have now scored 100 Premier League goals against Everton, the first time a club has reached the landmark against one team.
  • This is the 20th instance of a manager winning a Premier League game on his birthday and the third time that Arsene Wenger has done this (2005, 2006 and 2017) - more often than any other manager.
  • This is Everton's worst points tally (8) after nine games of a Premier League season since 2005-06 - when they had four points but finished the campaign in 11th place.
  • Since beating Leicester City in September 2015, Arsenal have trailed in 20 different Premier League away matches. This is the first of those 20 games that they have won.
  • Arsenal had 14 shots on target in the match, the most they have managed in a Premier League away game since 2003-04.
  • Mesut Ozil assisted his 43rd Premier League goal. He has more assists than any other player in the competition since his debut in September 2013.
  • Wayne Rooney has now scored 12 Premier League goals against Arsenal, more than any other player.
  • Rooney has scored seven Premier League goals against Petr Cech, more than any other player.

What's next?

Everton visit Chelsea in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday (19:45 BST), before travelling to Leicester in the Premier League on Sunday (16:00 GMT).

Arsenal are also in cup action on Tuesday against Norwich (19:45), then host Swansea on Saturday (15:00).E

The World Health Organization has revoked the appointment of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador following a widespread outcry.

"I have listened carefully to all who have expressed their concerns," WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

He had previously praised Zimbabwe for its commitment to public health.

But critics pointed out that Zimbabwe's healthcare system had collapsed in recent years.

During the first 20 years of his 37-year rule, Mr Mugabe widely expanded health care, but the system has badly been affected by the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy since 2000.

Staff often go without pay, medicines are in short supply, and Mr Mugabe, who has outlived the average life expectancy in his country by three decades, travels abroad for medical treatment.

Mr Tedros said he had consulted with the Zimbabwean government and decided that rescinding Mr Mugabe's position was "in the best interests of" the WHO.

He said he remained "firmly committed to working with all countries and their leaders" to build universal health care.

Mr Tedros, elected in May under the slogan "let's prove the impossible is possible" had said he hoped Mr Mugabe would use his goodwill ambassador role to "influence his peers in the region".

But the appointment was met by a wave of surprise and condemnation. The UK government, the Canadian prime minister, the Wellcome Trust, the NCD Alliance, UN Watch, the World Heart Federation, Action Against Smoking and Zimbabwean lawyers and social media users were among those who criticised the decision.

Sunday, 22 October 2017 17:58

Tottenham Hotspur 4 -1 Liverpool

A Harry Kane double inspired Tottenham as they punished a poor defensive performance by Liverpool at Wembley to move level on points with second-placed Manchester United in the Premier League.

Kane scored the opener after four minutes as Kieran Trippier's chipped pass went over Dejan Lovren's head and the England striker took the ball around Simon Mignolet, who had rushed from his goal, to score from 12 yards.

Eight minutes later Spurs doubled their lead as Hugo Lloris' long throw was not dealt with by Lovren, who missed a header on the halfway line and Kane was able to square to Son Heung-min to slot home.

Liverpool got a goal back as Jordan Henderson's wonderful cross-field pass found Mohamed Salah, who outpaced the Tottenham defence and finished off the inside of the post with a scuffed shot.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp responded by taking off Lovren for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after 31 minutes, but Dele Alli added a third for Spurs just before half-time as he lashed in a volley from 18 yards.

Kane got his second in the 56th minute as he followed up a rebound from Jan Vertonghen's shot after Mignolet failed to clear a free-kick.

Liverpool's best chance in the second half fell to Philippe Coutinho but his shot from the edge of the area was pushed on to the crossbar by Lloris with a one-handed save.

They dropped to ninth in the table - 12 points behind leaders Manchester City - while Spurs prepare for a meeting with United at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The game also saw a Premier League record attendance of 80,827.

Kane breaks Wembley duck

Despite Kane's 15 goals for club and country this season, one question mark over the 24-year-old had been his lack of league goals at Spurs' temporary home.

Those demons can now be put to bed as Kane finally scored under the Wembley arch, with his 29th shot at the stadium.

Ballon d'Or nominee Kane worked tirelessly in attack and caused the Liverpool defence nightmares with his movement, hold-up play and composure in front of goal.

It was his fourth double in the league this season and he has now scored 45 goals in 2017 for Spurs and England.

One slight worry for Tottenham was when manager Mauricio Pochettino brought the striker off in the 88th minute with what looked like a hamstring problem.

Liverpool defensive woes continue

This fixture was Klopp's first Premier League game as a manager on 17 October, 2015.

Liverpool have conceded 16 goals in the league this season, their worst defensive record after nine top-flight games since 1964-65.

They have struggled most on the road, conceding 15 goals, the most in the league this season.

Defensive performances like Sunday will make the failed pursuit of Southampton and Netherlands Virgil van Dijk in the summer hurt even more.

Lovren will be singled out for his errors, but even after his substitution and Joe Gomez moved to centre-back alongside Joel Matip, Liverpool still looked a shambles.

Mignolet is another who will have nightmares about the game, at fault for both of Kane's goals.

The Belgium international has made 13 errors leading to goals in the league since making his Liverpool debut in 2013, three more than anyone else.

Mrs. Rakiya Zuberu was infected with HIV by her late husband. The mother of three, who now begs to survive, shares her ordeal with TOLUWANI ENIOLA

Tell us about yourself.

I am from the Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State. I am 35 years old. I got married at the age of 15. It was not that I desired to get married at that age. As a little girl, there was little I could do to stop the marriage. My father had the final say. Shortly after I was born, my mother parted ways with my father; so, she left me with my father. I lived with my father and my step-mother. I have three children. Two of them are HIV positive.

Did you attend school?

No, I didn’t. Nobody saw any need why I should go to school. None of my parents’ children attended any formal school. I don’t know what it means to go to school.

When did you discover you were HIV positive?

It all started with a strange sickness in 2008. I was rushed to a hospital. The doctor said an HIV test should be conducted on me when they could not understand what was wrong with me. Initially, when they did the test, it showed that I was HIV negative. But I was diagnosed with tuberculosis. So, I started taking drugs for TB for a period of six months. After that period, I felt better. Then I got pregnant with my second child. I didn’t have money to pay at the hospital. There was a health worker close to my hospital who helped me with the delivery of my child at home. But during the pregnancy, I was always falling sick. When the baby was about three months old, I fell sick again. I started coughing blood. I went to a local chemist where I was given drugs to heal the pains. I finished the medication and went to the chemist for more.

The chemist knew there was more to my illness so he told me to go to a hospital for assistance. It was at the hospital that another test was conducted which showed that I have HIV. At the hospital, I was asked to bring all my children for a test. The same day, the children all tested for HIV. My last two children have the virus. I was told to begin two-month treatment. I could not afford to buy the injection so I didn’t complete the treatment. That was in 2008.

How many wives did your husband have?

My husband was married before he took me in as his wife. But the first wife left him. After then, he didn’t marry any other person.

How did you get HIV?

In 2005, my husband fell sick. We took him to a hospital in Zaria, Kaduna State, where he was treated. He came back home feeling better. But after some time, the sickness returned. That was when he got tested for HIV and it showed he was positive. He said he didn’t believe he could be infected with HIV. Although he knew his status then, he didn’t tell me.

Later in 2008, I discovered I was HIV positive. I went to the hospital to get the anti-retroviral drugs. I realised that when I went to the hospital to collect my drugs, he would ask me to give him out of my own drugs which I did. At a point, his sickness worsened. Doctors said he had a kidney problem and that he needed to do a kidney transplant. He sold half of his plot of land. From Kaduna, he was referred to the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria. He was placed on oxygen. He got better but later went into a coma within five days. After he regained consciousness, he insisted that he did not want to stay any longer at the hospital. After five days at the hospital, we brought him back to Kaduna. He didn’t spend up to a month. He died at home.

What did he tell you before he died?

Before he died, I had suffered a lot. I was so exhausted after bringing him back home. He called me and sat me down. He told me he needed to tell me something important. He told me he knew he would die any moment from then. He said he needed to seek forgiveness from me on a matter. I was curious; so, I asked him to go ahead. He said, “Please forgive me for all I have put you through. I knew I had HIV but I am sorry I didn’t tell you.” I told him there was no need to beg me for forgiveness. I complained bitterly about my sufferings and what life would be for me if he dies. He said, “Anybody that comes to this world must definitely die.” When he died, I felt bad.

How have you been surviving since his death?

It has been continuous suffering for the past nine years. Most times, my children and I skip meals to survive. It’s becoming unbearable for my children. Most times, when I run into a crisis, I would start crying. Sometimes, I think about killing myself because the suffering is much. Sometimes, I ask myself the essence of my life. Sometimes I say, “Why don’t I just die?” But anytime I survive the crisis, I would become remorseful for thinking about killing myself. But most times, I feel death is the best way to end the problem.

My children are not in school. I would rather use the little money I get on the street to feed them than think of enrolling them in a school. Apart from not attending school, the children are malnourished. Sometimes, they stay for 10 days without bathing with soap. Sometimes, we stay for weeks without washing our clothes because rather than use the money to buy soap, we would rather use it to buy food. My daughter’s limb is paralysed as a result of complications from HIV.

Fatimah is about 13. Abdulazeez is over eight years. Fatima likes school and would like to go to school. The ARVs are free in the hospital but other drugs are not. Even though the ARV is free, sometimes, I don’t have the money to go to the hospital to get it. I used to go to a mosque in Tundun Wada and a market to beg for alms.

I want my children to be educated. But there is no money to do so. If there is any way my children can get help to go to school, I would be very grateful. Even if they cannot go to school, at least if I am able to feed them, I would be happy. I used to go to the villages before to buy maize and sweet potatoes for sale. But now things have been so hard that I can’t buy farm produce any longer.

Why didn’t you seek assistance from your family?

When I tested positive to HIV, I went to my father. I told him about my plight. He said I should ignore the diagnosis, that if I had HIV, I would have died immediately after contracting it. He simply told me there was nothing like HIV. Since then, I stopped going to him again. He killed my spirit.

Do you experience any stigma as a result of your situation?

One of my friends is HIV positive. At the hospital, they gave us one handbill with the inscription, “HIV does not kill.” She showed people her handbill and since then, people started running away from her. She was so sick that I was the only person going to visit her. The woman got better. I realised that if I disclosed my status, it would only worsen my problem as people would run away from me as well.

Why didn’t you remarry after your husband’s death?

After my husband died, some men showed interest in marrying me. I told them my children were still very small. Besides, I didn’t want to disclose my status. One particular man came and insisted he wanted to marry me. I told him he could not marry me. He wanted me to tell him my problem. I told him I was sick. He said no problem, that he would marry me despite the sickness. He insisted on knowing why I said I could not marry just any man. I refused to tell him. Then he started mentioning names of sicknesses one by one until he mentioned HIV. When he mentioned HIV, I said yes. Then he said, “No problem. I will marry you.” But from then, I never heard from him again. Nobody wants to marry an HIV positive person. Since then, nobody has come to ask for my hand in marriage. I will like to get married because I’m still young.

What lessons has your illness taught you as a mother?

I have gone through a lot in life. I wish my husband told me his HIV status and began treatment early enough. He wouldn’t have died. Also, we were told during the counselling sessions at the hospital that if more women knew their status, they could protect their children from contracting the virus when they are pregnant. I never knew all these. I gave birth to my children at home. I regret that my children have to live with the virus and go through the pain of taking drugs every day. I want to advise more women to know their HIV status. That way, they can protect their unborn children. There is still a lot of ignorance in Kaduna about HIV. The government has a lot to do. All I want in life is to see my children succeed and never to suffer. My prayer is to get a drug that will cure HIV. I appeal to people in government to help me.


•Died after wife of 17 years delivered triplets

Tragedy has befallen the home of a director in the employ of the Kogi State public service, Edward Soje (54). He committed suicide barely 10 days after his wife was delivered of a set of male triplets.

The couple had been childless in their over 17 years of marriage.

Soje, a director with the Kogi State civil service, reportedly hung himself with rope on a tree in Lokoja, the state capital.

The Nation gathered on yesterday that Soje’s dangling body was discovered on a tree behind the mammy market at the Maigumeri Barracks, housing the Nigeria Army Command Record.

Soje, a Grade Level 16 officer in the Kogi State Teaching Service Commission (TSC) decided to take his life barely 10 days after his wife was delivered of a set of male triplets in a private hospital in Abuja.

Soje, who hailed from Ogori town in Ogori-Magongo local government of Kogi, was allegedly being owed 11 months’ salary arrears as at the time he took his own life.

He reportedly travelled to Abuja, leaving a suicide note for the wife who is said to be a federal civil servant, before committing suicide.

The suicide note read, “Psalm 121:3: God will not suffer your foot to be moved: He that keepeth you will not slumber. Amen. You and the three boys, God Almighty keep you and make you prosperous. Amen. I love you.”

Confirming the incident, the Kogi State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. William Aya said that the dangling body of Soje was found on a tree behind the barracks, around 5.55 pm on October 16.

Aya, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) said that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Area D Division received information about the incident from the military intelligence office in the barracks.

He said, “Police moved to the scene and removed the corpse to the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja. Investigation is on-going.”

According to the police, nothing was found on the man to help trace his address and family.

However, a search party organised by some relations and friends, led them to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), where his corpse was discovered at the morgue of the hospital on October 20.

Family sources said that Soje had been going through a tough patch occasioned by financial pressure and non-payment of his salary for 11 months.

He was said to have sold his car and a yet-to-be completed three-bedroom bungalow he was putting up at the Otokiti area of Lokoja.

The property, said a source, was sold at a give-away price of N1.5 million in April, to meet pressing family needs.

According to the source, Soje’s woes were compounded when the wife gave birth to a set of triplets through caesarean operation in a private hospital in Abuja on October 7.

He remained at the hospital looking after the wife and new born children till October 13, a day before their naming ceremony, when he returned to Lokoja.

On his return to Lokoja, Soje was said to have headed straight to his bank, where he withdrew the N30,000 balance in his account, and thereafter notified the bank in writing, of his decision to close the account.

He subsequently returned to the hospital in Abuja, and handed over the N30,000 to the wife. Soje and wife were joined by two clergymen and some relatives for a brief naming ceremony of the triplets in the hospital.

He later left the hospital with the excuse that he wanted to pick some things from the wife’s apartment in Abuja with a promise to come back quickly.

But for hours, he did not return and did not pick any of the many calls made to his telephone line, a development which forced the wife to send somebody to the house to go and ascertain what was happening to him.

The person, on getting to the apartment knocked the door severally but got no response and thereafter called his telephone number. On hearing the telephone ring out from the apartment, he was said to have knocked severally again but no response, which made him seek the help of neighbours to force open the door.

On entering the apartment, they saw Soje’s mobile handset placed on a suicide note on the centre table in the sitting room, while he was nowhere to be found.

When the wife was informed, she quickly contacted people for a search for him in Abuja while relations and friends in Lokoja were also informed of the development.

Efforts made to locate him did not yield result until relations decided to visit hospitals in Lokoja, where the corpse of Soje was found in the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja on Friday, October 20.

A family member said that the management of the hospital explained to them that Soje’s corpse was brought in by the police who found it dangling on a tree. He described the late Soje as a very quiet and lovable human being.

He said that some members of the family have been sent to Abuja to break the news to the wife.

The Nigerian Army Council has approved accelerated promotion for Garba Abdullahi from Master Warrant Officer to Captain for gallantry, bravery and selfless service.
 
The army authorities described the development as a reward for unprecedented show of bravery culminating in an Executive Commission for Abdullahi who moved from Master Warrant Officer to a Captain.
 
Abdullahi is of the 159 Battallion, Nigerian Army with serial number 79NA/31553.
 
A statement Thrusday night from the Director of Army public Relations, Brig General Sani Usman, noted that Abdullahi displayed exceptional acts of bravery while carrying out his assignments against the Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast to the admiration of his superior commanders.
 
 The statement reads: “In recognition and reward for gallantry, unprecedented show of bravery, courage and selfless service, the Army Council has on Monday 16th October 2017, approved the granting of Executive Commission to 79NA/21553 Master Warrant Officer Garba Abdullahi of 159 Battalion, Nigerian Army, to the rank of Captain for gallantry.
 
“The accelerated promotion was due to observed outstanding qualities of military professionalism such as gallantry and dedication to service demonstrated by the Non–Commissioned Officer.
 
“Garba Abdullahi’s leadership qualities endeared him to his Commanding Officer who deemed it fit to assign him a higher responsibility as platoon commander of one of the arrow head sub-units of the Battalion, the role he played excellently to the admiration of both his superiors and subordinates alike.
 
“Under his able leadership, his platoon achieved great exploits of daring, bravery and courage for which the Battalion was reputed. The 159 Battalion is of one the rugged and most experienced cohesive fighting unit that make up Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
army
 
“The Battalion covers five Local Government Areas in Yobe State and serves as the Brigade’s first line of defence in the northern front adjoining Niger Republic and Borno State.
 
“The Battalion primarily occupies a blocking position from where it conducts Counter Terrorist and Counter Insurgency operations to defeat Boko Haram terrorists, deny them freedom of action and assist the civil authority in maintenance of law and order and restoration of socio-economic activities within its area of responsibility.
 
“Since their deployment into the theatre about two years ago, the unit has contributed immensely to the decimation of Boko Haram terrorists and also involved in humanitarian activities to the host communities.
 
 
 “The elevated Garba has played a significant role in all the successful operations achieved by the unit. The newly commissioned Garba Abdullahi has since been decorated with the badge of his new rank of Captain at the Battalion Headquarters located in Geidam, Yobe State by his Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Owoicho Augustine Obochi, to the admiration of both officers and soldiers of the unit.
 
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General TY Buratai has congratulated the newly commissioned officer”.

The wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, on Thursday temporarily blocked the Federal High Court in Abuja from hearing an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission seeking an order of interim forfeiture of two properties traced to her in Abuja.

Usually, such ex parte applications are heard by courts without the knowledge or participation of the other parties whose properties are at stake.

But somehow, Patience’s legal team led by Chief Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN) got wind of the fact that the EFCC’s ex parte motion was to be heard by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba on Thursday.

The legal team quickly filed a motion challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the ex parte motion and also attended court on Thursday to block the hearing.

Justice Dimgba was set to hear the EFCC’s motion on Thursday but had to adjourn until November 11 after Adedipe and Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), appearing for Mrs. Jonathan, argued that the ex parte could not be heard since their client had filed an application challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain it.

The EFCC was represented by Best Ojukwu and ‎also later by Tahir Sylvanus.

After the back-and-forth arguments between the EFCC’s and Mrs. Jonathan’s legal team, the court fixed November 11 for the hearing of the applications.

The trial of a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Raymond Dokpesi resumed Thursday with two prosecution witnesses telling a Federal High Court in Abuja that Dokpesi bought house hold items with funds allegedly paid to him by former National Security Adviser (NSA), Mohammed Dasuki.

The witnesses – Peter Imoekor and Fabian Ozoemina – informed the court that they supplied generators, a transformer and security doors valued at millions of naira, to Dokpesi’s houses in Lagos and Agenebode, Edo State, and his offices at different times after N2.1bn was allegedly paid to him by the Office of the National Security Adviser between January and March 2015.

Dokpesi and his firm, Daar Investment and Holding Limited are standing trial on a six-count charge in relation to the N2.1bn they allegedly received unlawfully from the Office of the National Security Adviser between January and March 2015.

They are accused of engaging in money laundering and procurement.

Dokpesi and Daar Investments were said to have received the sum of N2.12bn from ONSA then headed by Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), as payment for a “purported contract on presidential media initiative”.

The two witnesses, who testified as the prosecution’s 7th and 8th witnesses, were led in evidence by prosecuting lawyer, Oluwaleke Atolagbe.

Imoekor, who is the Administrative Manager of Mikano International Ltd, Abuja branch, was the first to mount the witness box. He said that he was invited by the EFCC in February 2016 “to clarify” some transactions which Mikano had with Dokpesi and Daar Communications Plc.

He explained how between February and August 2015 Mikano supplied four units of 140KVA, two units of 200KVA and a 500KVA electric transformer to Dokpesi’s house in Agenebode (Dokpesi’s hometown) and Daar’s offices in Sokoto and Gusau, Zamfara State.

He said “The transaction was in respect of four units of 140KVA Basic (open type). Each costs N3.5m and they all totaled N14m

“Daar made payment for all. The payment was made in two tranches of N7m each through First Bank drafts.

“On March 19, 2015, they came to exchange three of the ‘Basic’ generators with soundproof type and paid the difference of N6, 350,000 through UBA Plc.

“Then on March 30, 2015, delivery was made. We delivered them to Sokoto and Gusau, capital of Zamfara State.

“In the same March,they made a request for the purchase of two units of 200KVA basic generator and payment of N11,657,240 was made through transfer and delivery was made to his (Dokpesi’s) house in Otuake  Quarters, Agenebode in Edo State.

“In August 2015 payment for 500KVA electric transformer was made. The amount paid was in cash. It was N3,073,200. This time the receipt was issued in his name, that is, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi’s name.

“Then a memo was issued to the head office of Mikano International Limited for delivery in Agenebode Edo State. It was subsequently delivered,” the witness said.

He confirmed that the instructions for the transactions were from Dokpesi and that they were mostly carried out by the officials of Daar Communications.

While being cross-examination by Dokpesi’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN), Imoekor said did not know the sources of the money paid by Dokpesi and his company for the supply of the products.

He also said he did not know about the income and expenditure of Daar and that there is nothing about the transactions which he considered abnormal until he was invited by the EFCC.

Ozoemina said the EFCC invited him sometimes in January 2016 and asked him what the money paid to my company was for and he said it was for security door.

The witness was later handed a document – a bank statement – and was asked to read from it.

He said, “The narration reads: inward clearing cheque in favour of Gilgal Concept Ltd, on January 27, 2015 – N5m. Inward clearing cheque in favour of Gilgal Concept Ltd on the same day, January 27, 2015 – N1,066,558.”

Ozoemina confirmed that the sums of money were paid into the account of Gilgal, his company.

He said the total sum of N6,066,558 was for installation of security doors at Dokpesi’s house in Agenebode.

The witness further said “We got a total of N6,066,558 for the supply and installation of steel security doors. We installed the security doors. They were installed at chairman’s project at Agenebode. It was installed towards the end of 2014 and early 2015.”

He confirmed that Dokpesi, whom he had known for close to 20 years gave the instructions for the transactions.

While being cross-examination by Agabi, he denied knowing the sources of the money paid by Dokpesi.

On whether he would describe Dokpesi, with whom he said he had related for the past 20 years as a good man, Ozoemina said the 1st defendant is.

The trial judge, Justice John Tsoho subsequently adjourned further proceedings to November 17.

Page 7 of 383

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