Saturday, December 2, 2023

Tag: Election Petition: Atiku tenders 26175 exhibits from Katsina Kebbi Borno Jigawa Gombe three others

Buhari re-appoints Boss Mustapha, Abba Kyari, others President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the re-appointment of Mr Boss Mustapha as Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), and Malam Abba Kyari as Chief of Staff (COS) to the President. A statement by the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Friday, said both appointments took effect from May 29. According to him, the re-appointment of the two principal officers of the administration followed the inauguration of Buhari for the second term in office. Shehu said: “Following the inauguration of the second term of the President in office, the need has arisen to formalize the engagement or re-engagement of principal functionaries of the administration. “To this effect, the president has approved the re-appointment of Boss Mustapha as Secretary to the Government of the Federation effective from May 29, this year. “He has also approved the re-appointment of Malam Abba Kyari as Chief of Staff to the President, also effective from May 29, this year.’’ The president had earlier in the week approved the re-appointment of some of his aides, including Mr Bayo Omoboriowo and Sunday Aghaeze, as his Personal Assistants on Photography. He also approved the re-appointment of his Personal Physician, Dr Suhayb Rafindadi and 10 other personal staff. Those re-appointed by the president, according to the presidential aide, include Mohammed Sarki Abba – Senior Special Assistant to the President (Household and Social Events);  Ya’u Shehu Darazo – Senior Special Assistant to the President (Special Duties) and   Ambassador Lawal A. Kazaure – State Chief of Protocol. Others are  Sabiu Yusuf – Special Assistant (Office of the President); Saley Yuguda – Special Assistant (House Keeping);Ahmed Muhammed Mayo – Special Assistant (Finance & Administration) and Mohammed Hamisu Sani – Special Assistant (Special Duties). Mr Friday Bethel was reappointed as Personal Assistant (General Duties); Sunday Aghaeze – Personal Assistant (State Photographer) and Bayo Omoboriowo – Personal Assistant (Presidential Photographer) Shehu disclosed that the appointments take effect from May 29. Election Petition: Atiku tenders 26,175 exhibits from   Katsina, Kebbi, Borno, Jigawa, Gombe, three others Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his party, on Friday, tendered a total of 26,175 exhibits against the February 23, 2019 election that produced Muhammadu Buhari as President and in support of his petition seeking nullification of the election on grounds of fraud, election malpractices and non qualification of Buhari to stand for the poll. The documents were tendered through his lead counsel, Dr. Livy Uzoukwu (SAN) at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal sitting at the Court of Appeal, Abuja.  Atiku had, on Thursday, kick-started hearing of his petition before Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba led tribunal when he tendered a total of 5,196 documents as part of efforts to establish fraud and malpractices in the February 23 election that produced Buhari. The documents tendered comprised mainly result sheets from polling units, wards and local governments in eight states, while receipts for certification of documents from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were tendered and admitted as exhibits along with the result sheets. The eight states where the documents emanated from are Katsina, Kebbi, Borno, Jigawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Kaduna and partly Kano. The breakdown of the documents indicated that 3,378 came from Katsina; 2,106 came from Kebbi; 3,472 from Borno; 3,162 from Jigawa; 1,912 from Gombe; 3,539 from Bauchi; 3,335 from Kaduna and 5,271 came from Kano. Atiku's lawyer, while tendering the documents told the tribunal that the remaining ones from Kano state would be brought on Monday, the adjourned date. Counsel to INEC, Yunus Ustaz Usman, that of Buhari, Mike Igbokwe (SAN) and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Charles Edosomwan (SAN) objected to the admissibility of the documents but however informed the tribunal that reasons for their objections would be made at the address stage of hearing in the Petition. Uzoukwu, Atiku’s lawyer told the tribunal that his team will begin to call witnesses at the end of tendering of documents by the team. The tribunal adjourned further hearing in the petition till Monday, July 8, 2019. Court orders interim forfeiture of customised Gold iPhone, others worth $40m belonging to Diezani A Federal High Court in Lagos, on Friday, ordered the interim forfeiture of Jewelry and Customised Gold iPhone, belonging to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke. The properties are all valued at $40 million. Justice Nicholas Oweibo ordered that the items be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government following an ex parte application filed and moved by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The Commission through its counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, said that it found and recovered the properties, which is believed to be acquired with proceeds of unlawful activities. The application, titled action in rem, had Diezani as the only defendant and it was brought pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other related Offences Act, No. 14, 2006. EFCC said it found and recovered the properties on the premises of the respondent, adding that it reasonably suspected that the former minister acquired them with “proceeds of unlawful activities.” The court has adjourned the case until July 22. Buhari signs N243.3bn FCT 2019 Budget into law President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the N243.37 billion Federal Capital Territory Appropriation Bill 2019, into law. The President’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, disclosed this on Friday in Abuja. Enang told State House correspondents that N130.7 billion of the amount is for capital expenditure while the remaining balance is for recurrent expenditure. He said: “This amount is from the Statutory Revenue Allocation due to the Federal Capital Territory. “This is in addition to the budgetary provision of N23,023,593,146 for capital expenditure made in the 2019 Budget earlier assented to by Mr President on May 27, 2019.’’ The presidential aide also disclosed that the president assented to bills for the establishment of two federal polytechnics in Nigeria. He said the bills were signed “as part of his (President Buhari’s) desire to improve and expand admission opportunities for children in tertiary institutions in the country”. He named the two polytechnics as the Federal Polytechnic, Kaltungo, Gombe State; and the Federal Polytechnic, Daura, Katsina State. Enang added that “the law establishing the named polytechnics is standard with laws establishing other federal polytechnics in Nigeria’’. Solicitor General, Enitan, Adegboruwa, Rhodes-Vivour, 34 others make SAN list The Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF) and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Adetayo Apata, rights activist, Ebun-Olu Samuel Adegboruwa and Adedoyin Oyinkan Rhodes-Vivour, wife of Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour of the Supreme Court are among 38 lawyers conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). Chief Registrar and Secretary, Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC), Hadizatu Mustapha, made this public while addressing a press conference in Abuja on Friday. Mustapha said, out of the 117 lawyers that applied for the rank this year, 80 were short-listed, out of which the final 38 emerged. She said the final 38 constitutes of two females, three from the academics and 35 advocates. Mustapha added that four female lawyers applied for the rank this year, from among whom two were chosen. Others conferred with the title are Olusegun Jolaawo, Prof Alphonsus Alubo, Prof Maman Lawan, Prof Uchefula Chukwumaeze, Abdullahi Haruna, Manga Nurudeen and John Asoluka. Also conferred with the rare honour are Adedokun Makinde, Daniel Enwelum, Emmanuel Oyebanji, Tuduru Ede, Abdul Ajana, Ama Etuwewe, Oladipo Olasope, Leslie Nylander, Olusegun Fowowe and Andrew Hutton. Also on the list released at the Supreme Court are Paul Ogbole, Olaniyi Olopade, Samuel Agweh, Ayo Asala, Abiodun Olatunji, Olumide Aju, Chimezie Ihekweazu, Usman Sule, Saffiya Badamasi, Echezona Etiaba, Godwin Omoaka and Emeka Ozoani. Others include Alexander Ejesieme, Jephthah Njikonye, Aikhunnegbe Malik, Alhassan Umar and Oyetola Atoyebi. Mustapha added that 80 were shortlisted for interview before the successful candidates were picked. She added that Safiya Badamasi and Adedoyin Rhodes-Vivour are the two out of the four women who applied that were awarded. She also noted that out of the 38 awardees, the three professors are academics. The successful candidates would be inaugurated in September this year. Reps’ Minority Leadership: PDP suspends Elumelu, six others The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended Ndudi Elumelu and six other members of House of Representatives for one month over the minority leadership tussle in the lower chamber. The other suspended members are Wole Oke, Lynda Ikpeazu, Anayo Edwin, Gideon Gwadi, Toby Okechukwu and Adekoya Abdul-Majid. The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, announced this at a news conference on Friday in Abuja. He said that the members were suspended over issues related to indiscipline, insubordination and disobedience of party directives. Ologbondiyan said that the party had also referred the matter to its National Disciplinary Committee. He said that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party took the resolutions after reviewing issues surrounding the minority leadership of the Green Chamber. He explained that the party noted the roles played by the seven members which resulted in the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, reading another list for minority leadership of the House other than the one it submitted to him. “After preliminary examination by the NWC, it was evident that the roles played by the mentioned members, bordered on indiscipline, insubordination and disobedience of party directives. “These acts are contrary to Section 58 (1)(b)(c)(f)(h) of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017), which provides that: “Subject to the provision of this Constitution, the Party shall have power to discipline any member who says or does anything likely to bring the party into disrepute, hatred or contempt. “Member who disobeys or neglects to carry out lawful directives of the party or any organ or officer of the party. “Engages in anti-party activities, or engages in any conduct likely to cause disaffection among members of the party or is likely to disrupt the peaceful, lawful and efficient conduct of the business of the party. “Consequent upon this, the above-mentioned members of our party are hereby suspended for one month and this matter is hereby referred to the National Disciplinary Committee of our party, in keeping with Section 57(3) of PDP Constitution.” Earlier, the National Chairman of the party, Mr Uche Secondus, had shortly after the NWC meeting, told newsmen that the party was insisting on its nomination list earlier forwarded to the Speaker of the House. He added that the party remained united behind Kingsley Chinda, who was nominated for the minority leadership position in the lower chamber. “On the issue of the minority leadership of the House of Representatives, we want to reiterate that the party and the BoT are united. “In consultation with members of PDP and other minority parties, Chinda is our minority leader and all the other positions as we have communicated to the Speaker House of Representatives. “You are also aware that it was with the same process that we communicated to the Senate and it has done a fine job. The Senate has announced our leadership as sent without rancour. “It is surprising that the Speaker had to generate his own list. This is against parliamentary rules or what is tenable at the parliament,” the chairman said. He called on PDP supporters to remain resolute, committed and loyal to the party, reaffirming that the party was one, united and working hard to recover its mandate at the courts. In his remarks, Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party, Sen. Jubril Walid, said that the Board and NWC were working together and would continue to work together. Walid said that the nomination list of the NWC would be resubmitted to the Speaker. “Like I told you yesterday, it is not a fight between the NWC and the BoT. “In that respect, we have all discussed this morning and we will inform all our members of the decision taken. “So, we have to be very careful not to do anything that will tamper with our case at the tribunals. We have to be one; we have to be united and that is what is before us,” Walid said. The PDP had on Thursday summoned the suspended members to appear before the NWC at a crucial meeting at 10 a.m. at its national headquarters in Abuja. But, the members defied the order and stayed away. NSE market indicators down 0.1% The week-long bearish trend persisted on Friday with the All-Share Index of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) declining further by 0.1 per cent, due to profit taking. The index, which opened at 29,300.09, lost 0.1 per cent to close lower at 29,270.95. Also, the market capitalisation lost N33 billion or 0.1 per cent to close at N12.901 trillion, compared with N12.914 trillion achieved on Thursday. Conoil led the gainers’ table, increasing by N2.15 to close at N23.80 per share. Flour Mills followed with a gain of N1 to close at N15, while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria added 25k to close at N15.25 per share. Cadbury appreciated by 25k to close at N11, while Lafarge Africa appreciated by 15k to close at N4 per share. Conversely, Guaranty Trust Bank recorded the highest loss, to lead the losers’ chart, dropping by 50k to close at N20 per share. Union Bank of Nigeria trailed with a loss of 15k to close at N6.85, while Zenith Bank also lost 15k to close at N19.35 per share. Learn Africa declined by 14k to close at N1.32, while NEM Insurance was down by 13 k to close at N2.15 per share. Investors traded 298.404 million shares worth N1.829 billion in 3377 deals against 180.472 million shares, valued at N2.077 billion in 3862 deals. An analysis of the activity chart indicates that Wapic Insurance was the toast of investors, exchanging 78.33 million shares worth N31.33 million. Morison Industries followed with an account of 45.46 million shares, valued at N24.56 million, while FBN Holdings traded 35.47 million shares worth N220.40 million. United Bank for Africa sold a total of 28.59 million shares valued at N172.93 million, while Zenith Bank exchanged 23.11 million shares worth N448.34 million. In all, investors bought and sold 298.40 million shares valued at N1.83 billion transacted in 3,377 deals. This was in contrast to a turnover of 180.47 million shares worth N2.08 billion achieved in 3,962 deals on Thursday. NSE postpones Airtel Africa listing The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), on Friday, postponed the planned cross border secondary listing of 3,758,151,504 ordinary shares of Airtel Africa. The Exchange, in a mail, said that the postponement was necessitated by the need to ensure that the company met all the post NSE approval pre-requisites for listing on NSE. “NSE will provide further communication on this issue when all the conditions for the listing in its market have been met,” NSE said. Airtel Africa listing was earlier scheduled to hold on July 5, with the listing of 3.76bn shares at N363 per share. The company has not completed documentation with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the commission to approve its application for listing. A source close to the transaction told NAN that the company “has not completed its documentation.” “They are still running helter-skelter to complete their documentation. “Until that is done, the SEC cannot approve. So, the ball is in their court,” the source said. On June 18, Airtel Africa officially filed an application with the SEC for listing of its shares on the NSE. Makinde dissolves Electoral Commission Board Governor Seyi Makinde has dissolved the board of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission(OYSIEC). A statement on Friday in Ibadan by the state Head of Service, Mrs Amidat Agboola, said Makinde ordered the dissolution with effect from July 1. According to the statement, the state government is prepared to offset the salary and allowances payable to all the board members having taken cognisance of the fact that their tenure has not expired. The board members were directed to hand over all property of the state government in their custody to the most senior director in the commission. The dissolved board was inaugurated on June 17, 2016 by the immediate past governor, Abiola Ajimobi. The eight-man board headed by Mr John Ajeigbe conducted local government elections in the state on May 12, 2018. The elections produced candidates of the All Progressives Congress as chairmen in all the 33 Local Government Councils and 35 Local Council Development Areas in the state. Makinde, a PDP governor, few hours after his inauguration on May 29, sacked all the  chairmen. He claimed that the election which produced them was illegal because it contravened a court order. Olamide: Another child with ex-lover Maria Okan coming Nigerian rapper, Olamide Adedeji (baddosneh) is expecting a child from lover and former on-air-personality, Maria Okanrende. ‘baddosneh’ On Tuesday announced the birth of his second child, Tunrepin Myles Adedeji with his fiance of over five years, Bukunmi Aisha Suleiman in Maryand, the United States (U.S.). The rapper took to his Instagram page to announce the birth, with a photo of himself carrying the baby. He also caption the photo quoting the name of the baby, Tunrepin Myles Adedeji. In 2015, Olamide and Bukunmi welcomed their first child, Maximilian Boluwatife Adedeji. Although Maria’s pregnancy was rumoured a few months ago, it was later confirmed by a close friend of Maria. The source disclosed that the MTV Shuga actress had entered into a romantic relationship with Olamide with the belief that he was single and separated from his baby mama. “Olamide told her he was single that’s why she began a relationship. They loved each other,” the source revealed to Pulse Ng. The affair between Maria and Olamide wasn’t planned to be short-lived, however, it began to fade away when Maria found out that the YBNL boss was still with his baby mama and long-time partner, Bukunmi Suleiman. “They broke up because she found out he was still with his baby mother,” Maria’s close friend told Pulse. However, it was too late to turn back the hands of time as Maria had gotten pregnant. “Later she found out she was pregnant.” The source also disclosed that after Maria found out that she was pregnant with Olamide’s baby, Maria reached out to him for mutual discussion and agreement. “They discussed options. He said the decision is hers. She kept it and they planned to co-parent from the beginning,” Maria’s friend informed. After discussing with Olamide, Maria resigned her appointment with Beat FM and moved to London. This move, her friend said, wasn’t solely her decision. “Her parents took her to London because they thought that was the best.” Unknown to many, Maria had to battle to save her life and that of her pregnancy after relocating to London in 2019. Her friend said, “That (relocating to the UK) was a blessing because not long after, she was admitted to hospital with serious dangers to the pregnancy. This has resulted in her pregnancy being labeled a “high-risk pregnancy” by doctors which is why she is still in London as she is monitored every week.” Maria’s friend went on to say Olamide was notified of the development after which he sent money to the pregnant OAP. “He (Olamide) sent money for the baby when she came out of the hospital in March (2019). That is the only time he sent her money – which was to start buying baby things.” Since rumours of the pregnancy broke, some Nigerians have gone to twitter to accuse Maria of ‘trapping’ Olamide. However, Maria’s friend explained that the actress and producer would not respond to insults and snide remarks as she needs to focus all her energy on delivering her baby in good health and condition. “My friend won’t speak because she needs to rest before the baby is delivered. She also knows better than to have her baby reading negative things in the future. “Therefore she will not respond to insults. We are looking forward to her first child and so is the father,” she told Pulse. In 2018, Olamide hinted at his decision to marry Bunkunmi by proposing. There is a sponsored campaign against JAMB, says Oloyede Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), said that he was sure of a sponsored campaign against the efforts of the board. Oloyede said this on Thursday in Abuja while presenting another suspect to newsmen, Kokowa Cletus, a 20-year-old, who allegedly falsified his Unified Tertiary Admissions Examination (UTME) result. The board had on June 24, presented a 19-year-old Adah Eche, who allegedly falsified his UTME result, yet wrote a letter of complaint to the board for presenting him with two results. The registrar frowned at the fraudulent trend, saying that it was unfortunate that the board was making efforts to serve the public yet it was being discouraged by detractors. “This is especially when cases that were meant to be investigated were not appropriately done. “We believe that there is an organised and sponsored campaign against JAMB for whatever reason. “We have no apology, but will want the public, who might be misinformed to always know the situation at hand and the gravity of what we do. “This campaign going on against JAMB is done by people who knowingly or unknowingly, are inadvertently employed to do this. “At the appropriate time, we will come out to tell the people what is really going on but there is a personal war, you will see that soon,’’ he said. He noted that many of such campaigns were done through complaints of the board issuing out double results to candidates who sat for the 2019/20 UTME among other complains. Oloyede said that some of the people who make the claims are aware of the Nigerian factor where most accusations were not properly investigated before undergoing public judgements. The registrar said instead they preferred to go elsewhere to cry foul instead of approaching the board. He said Cletus was invited to the board’s headquarters from Bayelsa, after he wrote a complaint to the board for issuing him two results and subsequently he was apprehended. “He came with his uncle who fortunately, is an army officer and we investigated the matter together before the members of the board. “He presented two results; one was 206 and the other was 162. “We found details of transactions on his phone between him and the syndicate, including a video on how to process result upgrade and negotiations were made on the phone too. “There was also a screenshot of an imposition result of 206, yet, he had the guts to claim that JAMB sent him two results while we also discovered that he checked the results 15 times via `55109’, Oloyede added. The registrar explained that the suspect did not know that once a result has been checked, a copy was being sent to the candidate, another was copied back to the board with the date and time of check. He also narrated how the father of the suspect had written a letter to the board, expressing disappointment at the board’s incompetence. Oloyede quoted the letter as saying, “your inability in swift response to address the issue has led to my son’s forfeiture of his Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) admission opportunity. “However, am craving your indulgence to quickly rectify the result in affirmative to enable him have a good chance for the second choice of the institution.’’ The registrar said that the board would stop at nothing to expose the syndicates working against it, noting that about 80 of such cases were already being prosecuted nationwide. He assured that others would be apprehended in no time, adding that the board would have to focus on admissions process for now. According to him, the suspect’s result will not be cancelled but be invalidated, while he will be handed over to the police to face the law. The suspect told newsmen that his parents would be disappointed at his actions. He said that he did not believe his original result was a reflection of his performance and so, decided to approach the board for a proof. This, he explained, was because he thought he did better than 162 as the UTME questions he answered were not so difficult believing that the second result is not his. “Someone sent an mail to me saying that they can upgrade my result, so I asked them to send me a proof that they could do it and they sent me 206. “The person now asked me to pay N10,000 but I told him I didn’t have that kind of money, he then promised to make things hard for me. “When I checked later via `55109’, I got 162, then I decided to complain to JAMB to know if my scores were actually changed or not,’’ he said. Cletus said that he knew upgrading scores was a criminal offence and did not expect the syndicate to be successful, yet he believed that it was JAMB that sent the 206 result to him and wanted to be sure. South Africa’s net foreign reserves rise to $43.940bn South Africa’s net foreign reserves rose to $43.940 billion in June from $43.178 billion in May, the Reserve Bank said on Friday. Gross reserves also surged to $49.804 billion at the end of June from $48.329 billion in the prior month, central bank data showed. But the forward position, which represents the central bank’s unsettled or swap transactions, dropped to $376 million in June from $1.152 billion in May. Court quashes remaining two charges filed against Goje A Federal High Court sitting in Jos, on Friday, quashed the remaining two-count charge on sale of 50 buses filed against Senator Danjuma Goje. Justice Babatunde Quadiri, the Presiding Judge, in a judgement, discharged Goje , after the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) applied for the withdrawal of the two charges. The EFCC was prosecuting the former Governor until Friday, June 7, when it handed it over to the AGF to continue with prosecuting Goje and one Sabo Dakoro of the way and manner 50 old buses belonging to Gombe State Transport Company were sold Government functionaries during his reign as Governor between 2003 and 2011. The anti-graft Agency filed 21 count charge against Goje, but 19 of the charges were later struck out leaving only two count in Goje’s “submission of No Case”. When the case came up for hearing on Friday, the counsel for the AGF, Pius Akutah, told the court that he has an application to withdraw the charges against Goje. “My Lord, we have an application having taken over the case and reviewed the 21 count charges of no submission and by the ruling of this court quashed 19 leaving only two count charges in which they are to enter defence. “As it is, the Federal Ministry of Justice wishes to withdraw those two charges against the accused persons “This action is in line with the power vested on the AGF by virtue of section 128 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 particularly sub section 1 of that section (128). “It’s in accordance with the power vested on the AGF by the constitution that we wish to withdraw the charges before your Lordship. “This is our humble application and urge your Lordship to grant our application, Akutah pleaded. Responding, Mr Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), counsel to Goje, did not oppose the application. “My Lord, we are not opposing the application but we are urging your Lordship to evoke the provision of section 2(a)(b) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and acquit them of the charges. “The same section gives your Lordship the discretionary power to make an order for the accused persons to be discharged and acquitted. My Lord have the power under Section III. “As we urge your Lordship to consider our humble application, we wish thank you for your patience with us since 2011 when we started this journey on the case. “We also wish to commend the AGF for wise decision in bringing this case to an end, “ Akintola stated. Quadiri, in his ruling, said pursuant to Section 174(1) particularly sub-section (b) and coupled with Section 108 (2) of 2015, “ the application by the AGF to withdraw the charges is hereby granted.” “The accused persons are hereby discharged, “ the judge held. Police announce release of 25 Fulani herders 'illegally detained by local vigilantes in Zamfara' The Zamfara State Police Command has facilitated the release of 25 fulani herders illegally held by local vigilantes in Dansadau Emirate, Maru Local Government area of the state. The release of the victims is part of the ongoing push for dialogue with kidnappers and bandits to restore lasting peace in the state. The victims, comprising men, women and children, were apprehended by the vigilantes, locally known as Yansakai, on April 9. This is contained in a statement to newsmen in Gusau on Friday by the Public Relations Officer of the command, SP Muhammad Shehu. Governor Bello Matawalle had initiated dialogue with bandits as part of efforts to address the security challenges facing the state. The state chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association had in an earlier meeting with the governor, accused local vigilantes of arbitrary arrests, torture and branding of all Fulani herders as thieves and bandits. “The release of the victims is in line with the ongoing peace and dialogue mission initiated by the state government,” the police said. The Emir of Dansadau, Alhaji Hussaini Umar, who handed over the victims to the Commissioner of Police, Usman Nagogo, thanked the Police for prompt action to ensure the return of peace in the state. Umar also commended the state government for initiating the peace dialogue with bandits in order to protect citezens and bring about lasting peace. The emir promised to give maximum support and cooperation for the success of the programme. Receiving the victims, Nagogo commended the effort of the Yansakai group for keeping to their words and urged them to maintain the tempo. He also called on bandits operating in the state to show same maturity in order to restore peace in Zamfara. Already, the police commissioner has handed over the released 25 victims to Gov. Matawalle at the Government House Gusau, who appreciated the police for working assiduously to ensure peace and safety in Zamfara State. I paid $2m bribe to host 2016 Olympics, says ex-Rio de Janeiro governor Former governor of Rio de Janeiro State said in court testimony on Thursday that he paid $2 million to buy votes to ensure the city would be chosen to host the 2016 Olympic Games. Sergio Cabral told a judge the money went to Lamine Diack, the former President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and was used to buy as many as nine votes. It was not immediately possible to reach Diack or his legal team on Thursday night. The head of the Brazilian Olympic Committee and the main organiser of the bid, Arthur Nuzman, introduced a representative of Rio 2016 to Diack. Diack then asked Nuzman to make the payments ahead of the 2009 vote that saw Rio win out over Madrid, Chicago and Tokyo, Cabral told a federal judge. “Nuzman came to me and said, Sergio, I want tell you about the president of the International Athletics Federation, IAAF, Lamine Diack, he’s someone who is open to taking bribes,” Cabral said. Prosecutors in Brazil charged Nuzman in October 2017 with paying the $2 million in bribes to secure Rio as the 2016 Olympics host city. That trial is ongoing. He has said he is innocent and his lawyers repeated that on Thursday. Diack was also charged by Brazilian prosecutors. He said at the time he was innocent. Last month, Diack was also indicted in a French court on charges he and his son Papa Massata were involved in a series of illicit practices over a number of years. Those practices were said to include bribe-taking and money-laundering, with the active involvement of international athletes and their federations. Cabral told Judge Marcelo Bretas that Nuzman assured him the scheme would work because Diack had a history of such practices. “I said, Nuzman, what are our guarantees here? And he said, ‘traditionally he sells 4, 5, 6 votes. There is a risk that we don’t get through to the second round (of voting).” Cabral said Diack guaranteed up to six votes for $1.5 million and then came back and offered more if he was paid an extra $500,000. Cabral said he authorised the payment. “We did it,” Cabral said. The former governor, who has been sentenced to almost 200 years in jail for his part in a series of corruption scandals, named several top athletes in his testimony. Cabral also said that Brazil’s imprisoned former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the former mayor of the city, Eduardo Paes, did not participate in the scheme. But, accroding to him, they were informed about it after the fact. Cabral made the revelations at a hearing requested by his new defense team. The strategy of revealing admissions was made as part of his plea bargain in hopes it might lead to a reduction in the sentences facing both him and his wife Adriana Ancelmo, who was also jailed for corruption. Osinbajo: FG committed to knowledge-driven economy Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday, said the development of human capital was key to the progress and prosperity of any nation. Osinbajo made the remark in Lagos while speaking at the “40th Anniversary Re-Union Symposium’’ organised by the 1979 Economics Class of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. The theme of the  symposium was “Alternative Approach to Financing Public University Education for Effective Human Capital Development in Nigeria’’. The Vice-President said what separated the developed and the under-developed countries of the world was the high quality of the human capital of the former. He added that the development of the Western countries, as well as the Asian Tigers was not by accident but by massive investment in human capital. Osinbajo said the government was committed to a knowledge-driven economy, hence its increased investments in the education sector . The Vice-President added that the government was also implementing programmes and policies to improve access to education, to catalyse the country’s progress. He described the 10 million out-of-school children as an undesirable situation, saying the Federal Government was collaborating with the state governments to address the problem. The Vice-President said the Federal Government was investing massively in the free and compulsory education for children, for the first nine years of their lives. He urged the state governments to complement the efforts of the Federal Government by showing more commitment to basic education. Osinbajo said the government’s school feeding programme had improved enrolment by about 40 per cent and that the government was strengthening the programme to record more gains. The Vice-President said the girl-child education was strategic to development, saying the government was giving it all the attention it deserves. “Some studies have shown that girls are smarter than boys. “Any nation that does not educate its girls is doing itself a great harm. “How do you solve your problem when you lock up your best minds? “So, educating the girl-child is not only sound economics but can also help to reduce the problem of population growth. “One of the reasons we have a large population is early marriages and it is because many of these girls are not educated. “When you educate these girls, you can actually reduce population growth rate. We are committed to the girl-child education and we are doing a lot to get our girls in schools,’’ he said. On teaching quality, Osinbajo said the government was revamping Colleges of Education to provide the needed manpower for especially, basic education. He added that the government planned the redesigning of the school curriculums to ensure that education meets the needs of the times. The Vice-President said the government was also investing in education infrastructure at all levels, to improve teaching and learning. He commended the OAU 1979 Economics Class for organising the symposium, saying that it would add to the discourse on the need for better education. Osinbajo urged the class to sustain its advocacy for a better education sector. The Vice-President said nation-building was a collective responsibility and urged all citizens to contribute their quota to move the country forward. Delivering the keynote address, a former Vice-President of the African Development Bank, Chief Bisi Ogunjobi, called for increased funding of education to make it functional. He expressed regrets that the education sector had continued to nosedive owing to poor funding and other issues. “We used to have a university system that was working. I attended the University of Ibadan, and in those days, the facilities were excellent and the faculty members were great. “UI was a university of diversity because students from all over Nigeria, including so many countries like Cameroon and Zimbabwe were there at the time. “What we have now is the “catchment areas’’ system where universities attract their students mainly from particular areas and this has really affected the system. “Things used to be good, there is need for a revamp in the sector to drive development,’’ he said. Ogunjobi said the proliferation of universities without commensurate funding had negatively affected the sector. The one-time Pro-Chancellor of the Adekunle Ajasin University, added that the establishment of many universities to get bragging rights by states was not good for the country. He said there was need for all stakeholders to initiate alternative ways to fund university education, to guarantee affordability and quality. Ogunjobi said the academic exploits of Nigerian students in foreign universities showed that with a good learning environment, there would be better outcomes. He commended the Class for the symposium but expressed the worry that economists were not doing as much as accountants to shape policy formulation in the country. Ogunjobi, therefore, urged members of the class to join the relevant professional body so that they could contribute more to the nation ,just like ICAN. The Guest Speaker, Mr Chinedum Nwoko, faulted the use of strikes by university lecturers to make demands from government. He said frequent strikes had affected the university system negatively and undermined standards. Nwoko, a Consulting Executive at Policy Associates, a policy advisory and development outfit, urged university lecturers to find better ways to engage the government on issues. “Also, the government should stop throwing money at ASUU whenever there is a strike. That is not sustainable; you cannot throw money at a problem to solve it. “There must be practical solutions to the problems of the university system, instead of giving money to lecturers anytime they are on strike,’’ he said. . In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Class, Chief Mark Dike, said the class was concerned about the state of affairs in the education sector. He said that it was in view of the concern that the class organised the 40th Re-Union symposium to give input to the question of how to improve the sector. Dike said the class would forward the recommendations of the symposium to the Federal Government for necessary interventions. Renowned academic, Prof. Bolaji Aluko; Vice-Chancellor of OAU, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede and the president of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, were some of the prominent personalities at the programme. APC NWC approves indirect primaries to elect Kogi governorship candidate   The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has approved Indirect Primaries to elect the Party’s candidate for the forthcoming Kogi Governorship election.   The approval was given after a meeting of the NWC on Friday where a formal request from the Kogi State executive and stakeholders in preference for the Indirect Primary was considered and deliberated on.   Recall that the APC Constitution which was reemphasized by a decision of National Executive Committee (NEC) provides for three mode of primary election to elect Party candidates – Indirect, Direct Primaries and consensus – depending on the peculiarities of the state and preferences of the stakeholders in respective elections.   Meanwhile, the Party's timetable for the sales of forms and conduct of primaries will be announced in due course.    SIGNED:   Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu National Publicity Secretary All Progressives Congress (APC).

Election Petition: Atiku tenders 26,175 exhibits from Katsina, Kebbi, Borno, Jigawa, Gombe,...

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