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Saturday, 11 June 2016

TROOPS KILL 10 BOKO HARAM TERRORISTS AND ARREST 2

UPDATE ON OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE:
Troops of 3 Battalion, 22 Task Force Brigade on Friday 10th June 2016,  based on information received that  Boko Haram terrorists elements earlier dislodged  at Chukungudu and Hausari villages during a recent clearance operations, were migrating towards Muska village in Gamboru Ngala Local Government Area,   conducted fighting patrol operations in the general area.

During the encounter, the troops killed 10 Boko Haram terrorists,  captured 2 alive and rescued a woman with her baby that were held hostages by the terrorists. 

The troops also recovered several equipment, arms and ammunition that include 6 AK-47 rifle magazines, 56 rounds of 7.62m (Special) rounds of ammunitions, 1 bundle of detonating cord, a Manual on how to prepare Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)  2 rifle magazine pouches, a Techno IPad, a Nokia mobile telephone handset and 1 Gionee mobile telephone handset. Others include 1 Digital  Multimetre,  6 SIM cards, 3  Memory cards and   1  Airtel Modem containing memory card also.  The troops also recovered a wristwatch, 2 Islamic books, an empty bag and 2 Motorcycles. 

The captured terrorists are undergoing preliminary interrogation , while rescued woman and her child are receiving necessary attention pending onward movement to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).  Camp.

Similarly, another element of the Battalion also conducted another fighting patrol to Wumbi village based on received information on the presence of  remnants  of  Boko Haram terrorists in the area. The patrol team recovered 157 rounds of 7.62mm (NATO) ammunition and 37 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) ammunition. 

In a related development, troops of 22 Brigade Garrison intercepted 15 IDPs, all male adults,  approaching  Dikwa from Mudu Kasa village. They revealed that some Boko Haram terrorists occasionally visit and terrorise their village and forcefully collect food and valuables. They further alleged that   the terrorists came   in numbers with some of them holding AK-47 rifles, while others wield machetes. 

As part of the troops mandate of facilitating humanitarian assistance by both Governmental  and Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) to the IDPs, troops also provided   security to International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) same day.  The troops provided security to the ICRC’s contractors sinking 5 boreholes around Dikwa IDP camp. They troops would continue to provide the needed security to facilitate humanitarian assistance and activities in the area.

AFRIMA PRESIDENT, MIKE DADA TO ADDRESS MINISTERS AND EXPERTS IN ETHIOPIA



In recognition of AFRIMA's roles and contributions to inspire African youths and raise the consciousness of African identity and renascence through Music, Culture and Entertainment for continental growth and development, the African Union has invited the President and Executive Producer of All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, Mike Dada to address the meeting of the Ministers of Youths, Culture and Sports in Africa at the African Union 2nd Ordinary Session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Youth, Culture and Sports (STC-YCS2) which will  hold at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on June 13 to 17,2016 with the theme : “African Year of Human Rights: Promoting Ethics and Cultural Diversity as an Essential Right for the People of Africa’’.

According to the Head of Culture, Department of Social Affairs, African Union Commission, AUC, Angela Martins “The 2nd session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Youth, Culture and Sport is holding a few days after the celebration marking the 10th Anniversary of the African Union Youth Charter (the Banjul+10) which was an opportunity to advance the agenda for youth empowerment and development in all member states. The outcome documents of the Banjul+ 10 celebration will be presented to the STC-YCS2 for consideration, adoption and implementation by AU Member States.”

“The Charter for African Cultural Renaissance adopted by the 6th Assembly of the African Union held in Khartoum, the Sudan in January 2016 is the guiding policy tool for the promotion of the cultural and heritage sector in the continent.  However, the Charter has only been ratified by eight (08) AU Member States even though thirty one (31) have signed it. The entry into force of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance will enable that the sector takes its rightful place and contributes significantly to the development of the continent through heritage and its cultural and creative industries sector.” She concluded.

Reacting to the Invitation to present a paper on the journey so far of The All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA to the meeting of the Ministers of Youths, Culture and Sports, The President and Executive Producer of the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, Mike Dada who is also the Chief Brand Strategist of PRM Africa Marketing and Communications states that “On behalf of the International Committee of AFRIMA, I express my sincere appreciation to the AU for this invitation as it indicates that AFRIMA is on the right path of communication the true narrative of Africa to the world through the instrumentality of music,art and Culture.”

Dada, a Public Relations and Brand Management expert with strong love for art, will also dwell on the economic power of Music, Culture and Entertainment as a tool for job creation and perception management of Africa during the summit.
The All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, is a music property developed to celebrate, reward and showcase the rich musical culture of Africa, stimulate conversations among Africans and between Africa and the rest of the globe about the great potentials and values of the African musical and artistic heritage for the purpose of creating jobs, reducing poverty, calling attention of world leaders to Africa and promoting the positive image of Africa to the world for global competitiveness.

For the 2016 edition of the continental awards, AFRIMA remains steadfast to the AUC’s objectives of promoting African unity and celebrating her cultural uniqueness through programme of events on the AFRIMA 3.0 calendar (with entry submission opens on May 30, 2016) which was officially unveiled on Tuesday May 24 at the AUC-AFRIMA joint Stakeholders/media conference in Banjul, The Gambia. The 2016 edition of AFRIMA will hold in November.

Another Coach of The Super Eagles,Shuaibu Amodu Is Dead!

The technical director of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), and former coach of the Super Eagles, Shuaibu Amodu, has died, the NFF announced early Saturday.

Mr. Amodu, a four-time coach of the national team, passed on on Friday night shortly after complaining of chest pain, the NFF said in a post on its Twitter handle. He was 58.

Mr. Amodu was appointed technical director of the Eagles in April 2016.

His death came as the nation is still reeling from the loss of Stephen Keshi, the country’s football legend, who died three days ago, aged 54.

Family sources said he will be buried later today.

May his soul rest in peace

Army Retires Senior Officers on Service Exigencies

The Nigerian Army wishes to inform the general public  that quite a number of senior officers of the Nigerian Army were retired from service yesterday.

Those retired were mainly some Major Generals, Brigadier Generals, Colonels, Lieutenant Colonels and a Major. 
Their retirement was based on Service exigencies. It should be recalled that not too long ago some officers were investigated for being partisan during the 2015 General Elections.  

Similarly, the investigation by the Presidential Committee investigating Defence Contracts revealed a lot. Some officers have already been arraigned in court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

People should therefore  not read this out of context.

The military must remain apolitical and professional at all times.

We must applaud and support this laudable and bold initiative  by the government.

Pictures of Ooni of Ife In United States.... Presented the key to city of Newark

Metronews Exclusively Serve Our Readers Pictorial Flow of Ooni's Stay and  Movement In United States
















Exclusive Pictures Credit:Chief TĂșndĂ© Alabi Hundeyin,CEO of Dudu Productions.

Pictures of Henrietta Kosoko's Burial

See Pictures From the Lagos Burial Rites of Henrietta Kosoko 






Friday, 10 June 2016

Saraki Speaks On One Year As Senate President

How would you describe your experience in the last one year?
I give a lot of thanks to our creator, mighty God for giving one the opportunity. Whatever you say, it is an honour, an opportunity. It is not bestowed on many. To have been able to achieve that, one is honoured. Based on that, everyday one is grateful for that opportunity.

It reminds me of when I was governor in Kwara State; I used to say that every day. What was driving me was that I was counting the days when the job would end. The day it ends I want to be able to say that I did this and that. I don’t want to end the job and say hey, I wished I had done this and that.


 
I am one that is focused on what needs to be done. I believe this is a new challenge. This is so because one played a very key role in bringing about this government. At the beginning a lot of people used to tell me, why are you wasting your time? Have you ever heard of anybody defeating a sitting government? They would advise me not to waste my time. They would say, ‘you can’t win, you are just going to endanger yourself, you are going nowhere.’ Even a lot of our friends in the media, out of respect they would listen to me. But they would say ‘this Oga, you are so optimistic; you will defeat a sitting government, with what?
But we achieved that with the commitment of Nigerians. I feel one is carrying on his shoulder a lot of responsibility. I know what people sacrificed in making this happen. I believe that motivates one to see that we make a difference and everyday, that is what drives me.

I wouldn’t say I underestimated what is happening, I expected the challenges when you are trying to make a change. This is more on the legislative angle. That is where the change is because Nigerians have been used to the executive and the judiciary. The youngest of the three arms is the legislature. The one that people don’t understand the most is the legislature. The one people cannot see how it connects to their daily life is the legislature. An average man or woman in Nigeria knows how the executive affects his or her life. When a minister makes an announcement that we have now raised the duty on car importation or the exchange rate has gone up to this and that , they know what that means. It is so for the judiciary. They know that this judge can rule for or against if they have a case. They do not understand what the lawmakers are doing. That makes our work more challenging.
I am very hopeful that by the time we are done, we will be able to change this perception.

Is this the Senate you had in mind when you vied for the presidency? Can it propel Nigeria to the destination the people are aspiring?
I very much believe so. I was in the 7th Senate for four years; I followed the activities of the National Assembly. I believe that where we are now, the groups of senators we have are focused, patriotic and they are committed to solving Nigeria’s problems. They are patriotic because this is the first time we have a Senate that is much divided, the majority is very slim. You can’t really compare it to the previous Senate. You have a Senate with this slim majority, everyday should be chaotic, and the senators should be up in arms.

But in the last one year, anytime we discussed national issues, issues that have to do with the economy, senators have jettisoned their political leanings and have presented themselves as senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Right from the time we screened ministers, looked at budget, they acted like senators of Federal Republic of Nigeria and not that of APC or PDP.

Legislative arm is belief in processes. Sometimes the substance might be good but once you miss it, you derail. Just like the judiciary, if you miss the process it is out. The senators have shown a lot of maturity, patriotism and support. Nobody would even know that there is a slim majority. Without that support, that unity, majority of the issues we want to discuss especially those that border on reforms of this country cannot take place. They think of Nigeria first. I am happy and honoured by the support they have given me. I am confident that as we move ahead we would build on our achievements. We would ensure that major issues that ordinarily should be discussed on party lines because of their controversial nature are looked at from nationalistic point of view.
We have been doing that. Look at the supplementary budget, under a normal circumstance, would not have passed if the senators wanted to go along party lines. But they rose beyond that, they saw themselves first as senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

If you see the work we have done in the last one year despite a lot of distraction, it shows that it is a Senate that has the roadmap. We are not just coming to the Senate to jump from one issue to another. We are focusing largely on the economy, how we can address things that would make Nigeria a better place, create jobs for our people, improve the economy and make the country investment friendly.
Looking at things we have tackled you can see a clear path that we have created. This is different from what was in place before. Some of the issues that people were not ready to touch in the past, we have touched them. We are opening up the Senate to public participation. We are not afraid that anybody would come with criticism of our activities. Of course people should express their own mind.
We told ourselves, look, let’s open it up. We are ready to take whatever that comes with it if it will help make the country better. I don’t think the Senate has ever had this kind of openness that is in place now. To achieve this, you cannot do it alone as Senate president; it is because the senators wanted it and believe in that agenda.
If I don’t have the type of senators we have now to work with some of the things we are doing would not have been possible.

Nigerians face hard times. How is the Senate helping to navigate the nation out of the economic doldrums?
The economy has always been on our agenda. You have to understand that 90 percent of our revenues come from oil. We are all aware of the price of oil has plummeted since the last one year. It came from $100 down to even $28, $30. We are operating a mono product economy. And there is high level of unemployment. So it is clear for us that, in order to address some of these issues we must do the following. First, we cannot continue to depend on oil. We must diversify. We must diversify to agriculture and solid mineral. But we all have to understand that these sectors are not such that you can go there on a Monday and by Tuesday, Wednesday you begin to see results. They need five to ten years to give you what you want. What we must bring about in these sectors are reforms. It is not even policies. People who want to invest in these sectors are skeptical of somersault in polices. What people are looking out for is the kind of laws the country has that support the sectors.

For instance, in agriculture, if you talk about agriculture diversification and you don’t have any law that is clear or shows that there is a move to promote either commercial agriculture or credit to farmers, nobody is going to do any business. People would not want to invest in those sectors.
So you begin to see that we are addressing some of these areas. In the agricultural sector we are doing it.

On the economy, one of the bills before us which I am hopeful that the two chambers will soon pass is our public procurement law. It is a pity that it is not well reported. We saw earlier on that we must do something to stimulate the economy. One of the things we must know is that when you are going through this kind of downturn or recession, you must think outside the box.

We told ourselves that the country spends in its budget a lot of money, close to N2trn in capital purchases, outside salary etc. Most of the money is used to purchase goods outside the country. So that two trillion is help other countries’ economy. What stops government from saying, look I have my two trillion naira, if I don’t find those goods in Nigeria I can buy it any other place. But I must first make a concerted effort to see whether I can find those within Nigeria.
If there is no law that supports that, it will not happen. It cannot be left to one government today, another one in four years comes with different plans. If there is a law well backed up, it will encourage entrepreneurs to say, well there is a law in Nigeria that says that this ministry must buy this item first in Nigeria. I as an entrepreneur, if I can produce that goods locally, I have a market. The America we talk about free trade etc, as early as 1920s had such a law. It was called ‘Buy America’. China still has it. Few countries in South America have it. I told somebody that even if this is the only law that we passed it will have huge impact on our economy. There would be money going into stimulating the manufacturing sector and providing jobs to Nigerians.
Today in the health sector, there are some drugs that governments agencies buy that are produced locally. But because there is no law that stops them from buying them abroad, they would go and buy the same drug that is made in the UK instead of buying the one produced here.

We have a lot of our Para agencies that do not support those that locally procure shirts, shoes and canvasses etc. We looked around when we went to the Aba Trade Fair Made in Nigeria. Some of these items can be bought here. Ministries buy pencils, chalk from abroad. Initially you might talk about standard but it is like that all over the world. When we start we will improve the standard. When we banned importation of furniture in Nigeria, we didn’t have enough people who were producing furniture. But now we have them in abundance. The furniture I use is made from a factory in Kwara.

Like I said, passing a law like that will stimulate the economy. We will challenge the executive to make sure that they respect the law when we pass it.
Secondly, in the public procurement law that we are passing, we are reducing the number of huddles for the bidding process. Sometimes, even after passing the budget, before they award contracts they advertise, screen, this and that. It will take sometimes four to five months to do all those things. Before everything is finished it will take up to a year. We have looked at it; we have cut down some of the days and hurdles. We have shortened the time so that money will come into the system. After a budget is passed money is not in the system. If a system encourages that money will still sit at the central bank for another three, four months, the economy will not move.

What we have done also in advanced payment is to give flexibility to it. It used to be 15 percent. In some cases like in works you may need to give more money in the dry season to get a lot of work done. These are the laws that make a difference.

Also, we are facing infrastructure deficit -we talk about power, road, and railway – there is no government that can fund these gigantic projects. It is not possible. If you are waiting for government to fund railway, roads, it will not happen. It does not have the money to do that. I don’t think it is pretending about it. And we all agree that without this infrastructure, our economy cannot move forward. The answer remains to have an enabling environment by law that allows private sector participation in the funding of these projects.
Look at the issue of Lagos-Calabar rail that raised a lot of dust. How much is the money? N60bn. If that amount is what we are struggling to find from everywhere, how will government tackle other pressing needs. If we have an enabling environment, a big Chinese or a UAE company can say look, can I participate? I will provide all the trains, carriages for this route. Give me the route, Lagos to Calabar or Calabar to Port Harcourt, I will fund it and I will make my money from the goods tariffs. If there is a law that allows that you will see everybody bringing his money.

The law that we are trying to pass currently, for the first time, will allow the private sector to even build rail tracks. If we want to concession part of it, the law allows it. These are the things that the existing law did not allow.
On roads, we are ensuring that some of the laws will enable better maintenance of highways and better participation of private sectors in road construction. Look at the Lagos -Ibadan road or the one from Ibadan to Ilorin? Since 1999 when Obasanjo was in power the road has been under construction. That is 16 years ago. They broke it into three segments in a bid to make it easier.

They broke into Ibadan to Oyo, one contractor; Oyo to Ogbomosho, another contractor; and Ogbomosho to Ilorin, another contractor. Till now we are just about to start the last phase. That is Oyo to Ogbomoso. Lagos -Ibadan that is so important to us is yet to be completed. The money is not there.
So it is the law that will enable the private sector to participate in such construction that we require.

If you talk about reforms in any society, they can only be done if there are stable laws that will support that. And that is what we are trying to do in ensuring that all these sectors are provided with an enabling environment that will bring about change in the economy and create jobs for a lot of our unemployed youths.

How much of distraction has your trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal had on your Senate presidency? Secondly, with the controversies that surrounded the 2016 budget and the dwindling oil revenues, do you sincerely think the budget will be faithfully implemented?
Let me start with the last question. What we have done, despite the power that is given to the legislature by the constitution, is to stand with the people. As part of the cooperation with the executive we ensured that the executive got what they want so that they will not give the excuse that they are not familiar with the budget or that it is not theirs. We bent backwards and even relinquished some powers we have as part of the support. This is a government that has come to change things, we told ourselves that we should as much as possible support it and work with what it wants. There is no excuse on the executive part.

On our part, we are to ensure that the enabling laws are passed. I give you example again with the procurement law that we are amending. It is an effort to fast tract the process by which budget would be implemented. And then, of course our own oversight, we have resolved that we will monitor every naira, every kobo to ensure that they are spent in line with the budget.

I can assure you that we will do that. We will make sure that all the agencies and ministries implement the budget fully. In saying that we have to be realistic and see what the executive does with the challenges it has. Nobody anticipated the disruption we are having in the Niger Delta area. The budget was based on 2.2 million barrels a day. But now it has gone that to as low as 1.6 million barrels. That is temporary setback. Government must show its capacity and ability to get peace restored in the Niger Delta. Everything must be done to ensure that production goes back to the original projection which 2.2 million barrels.
Remember oil price was down to $28 per barrel. Some people were worried and even asked how we are going to implement the budget. Luckily it has gone up to $50. There is some buffer there that should help to cushion some of the shortfalls here and there.
Our own part is to make sure that the amount that has been appropriated, all the releases are made to the agencies in line with the law. There cannot be selective releases. The budget has been approved, the money is there, there is need to release it to the agencies and ministries each quarter. When the monies are not there, there is need for the executive to come back to us to explain why. We will hold them accountable. That is the only thing that will make the difference between this year and any other year in terms of budget implementation.

On the CCT, I agree that anytime the history of this period is written the aspect of CCT will be there. From what we are seeing in the court, not my words, even the words of the witnesses support what I said earlier that my trial is political. Remember the day the chief witness said the first time they wrote to the committee on federal government implementation of property sale was in August 2016, which was like two months after I emerged. To me, that was further confirmation to what I said. It means that prior to then there was no investigation done.

Be it as it may it is a distraction. There is more we could have done. There are a lot of hours that we are losing when we do go to court. We have to do that; I want to clear my name as soon as possible so that we can move forward. It is an unfortunate distraction. I think it was ill-conceived by those that started it.
However, it has not deterred us. We still have been able to address and push along our own agenda. It is something that after the case is over, as an institution, we must look at how to strengthen our judiciary and how to ensure that political battles that are lost in the political arena do not find themselves into the judicial arena. It is not good for the system. Sometimes you hear people use the word corruption trial but when you actually look the issue, at best you call it administration misdemeanor. There is nowhere at anytime we are talking about government funds missing somewhere. When we start to paint the fight against corruption and people begin not to be sure whether it is corruption fight or politics we do more harm to the war on corruption. The fight against corruption should be very transparent so that when you find somebody guilty Nigerians will know. But you see, sometimes people are found guilty even on the so called corruption; the society will still embrace them. And this is because people do not have belief in the system. When we do things like these we taint the system.

I think it is something we must address. Back to the issue, it has not deterred us. Yes it may have weighed us a little down, stopped us from moving at the pace we wanted to move but I still believe that we are doing much better than previously. I am confident that at the end of our term we would have made a lot of great strides, that we will set the Senate and National Assembly at a level much higher than we met it.

The Senate attempted amending the CCB act but it was visited with public outcry. And that forced the chamber to drop the idea. The House is going ahead with the amendment. Is the Senate going to concur when the House passes it? Secondly what step do you recommend the Federal Government take to restore peace in the Niger Delta?
On whether the Senate will concur or not, I have not seen details of what they have passed. There is a process, when they pass it. They will send it to us for concurrence. When we get it, we will look at it and see what they have done.
On the issue of Niger Delta, we have had this kind of problem before. That was during the period of President Yar’Adua. We were able to find a solution that restored peace to the region. Clearly, there is need for all of us to put all hands on the deck and bring peace to the Niger Delta.

I was chairman of NGF when we did it in the past. I know the role we played at that time to ensure that Yar’Adua government works out the amnesty programme that restored peace at that time. The National Assembly is there and available to play our own role in bringing about peace in the region. It is a priority and I don’t believe any price is too high in restoring peace.
Are you recommending that the Yar’Adua model should be employed by the incumbent administration?
I didn’t say that. I said that we have done it before. Every situation has its own solution. There is an amnesty programme already in place, so it might not be the issue of amnesty. Whatever the issues are what I am saying is that we must be able to bend backward and find solution. At the time of the Yar’Adua time nobody had heard of such programme. It was fashioned out at that time to meet the situation. Now, we must fashion out whatever is required. What I am saying is that no price is too high to pay for peace to reign in this country.

How true is the claim that the President transmitted a letter to the senate regarding his medical trip to London?
The letter clearly stated that the President will be away for 10 working days to attend to his health. I am a doctor, you can be attended to by a doctor, if he is not sure, he might say look I better refer you to another doctor. That happens to an ordinary person not to talk of the President of a country. I don’t blame the doctor that attended to him. He needs to be careful. He wants to share responsibility, he is just being over cautious. I think you are ok, I don’t want tomorrow you will say I am the one that said so, let’s someone else confirm what I am saying. I think that is ok.

He is taking 10 days off, he has done the right thing so that there will be stability. He has followed the process, nothing has been hidden. We wish him all the best. When we had the dinner he was fit and well. We sat together; there was no evidence that he had any problem. I think this is just to ensure that all righteousness and correctness are followed. There is no problem.

What is the state of the constitution amendment in the Senate?
We have set up a committee headed by the Deputy Senate President. They have started meeting. We gave them a clear mandate. As you are aware, in the 7th Assembly a lot of work was done, it was passed by the National Assembly but it did not get the assent of the former President. We have told them to break the work into two phases. Let us first agree quickly things that most people agree that should be amended. In two weeks’ time they are going to have a retreat in Lagos to review all the areas where people have common position. Secondly, they will get new areas.

We are going for areas that have little or no controversy. They will consult with speakers in all the 36 states so that we get their buy in as well. We will come back and try as much as possible to ensure that before the year ends we can pass the constitution amendment. It is likely that after that we will continue to work because there are some new areas that will come in that may need more consultations and engagement with the public.
But these ones that we have already had engagements before, I think with limited resources, it is better that we try and fast tract it and get it out. We are targeting that before the end of the year we should try and see we amend the constitution in areas that there is agreement by all. It might not be comprehensive but our attitude is, lets what we can do that everybody will agree than spending two three years on the same process.

Senate in the last one year has passed quite a number of resolutions but we don’t get to see many of the resolutions being implemented by the executive. Is that not a sign that National Assembly is turning into a toothless bulldog? Secondly, the issue of restructuring of the country is coming up now, will the constitution amendment work towards that?
Constitution amendment is based on the feedback you get from the people, general consensus by the people and stakeholders. It is not in my place as a presiding officer or chairman of the National Assembly to say this is what is going to happen. Restructuring I think will involve arguments to and fro, pros and cons. These are the kind of thing I think at this first stage will pretty much distract us.
On resolutions, we have made it clear that we are not going to be a National Assembly that will not be effective. We have already set up something like a compliance committee to oversee some of these things we have made and see that the executive arm complies.

This National Assembly is not afraid of anybody. This Senate is not afraid to say the truth when it is necessary. We are not afraid of taking on anybody once we believe that the person is not following the law. There is no sacred cow in this business. We know by doing that the system will come back to fight us. Unless we do things right nothing will happen.

Look at the last investigation we did on TSA everything was made open. I was in the 7th Assembly; those kinds of reports don’t see the light of the day. I did a motion on oil subsidy, till the time the 7th assembly ended it never saw the light of the day.

But the TSA report did not only see the light of the day, its recommendations did. We will make sure that our resolutions have substance, transparent and that the right thing is done.

You earlier promised to make the breakdown of the budget of the National Assembly. Should the silence on that from you be taken that you have changed your mind?
No, I have not changed my mind. There is a process of putting it on our website. I have already released the figures, what is remaining is creating greater awareness on that. You cannot be shouting for transparency and you do not ensure openness in your own house.

Quote 1
The senators have shown a lot of maturity, patriotism and support. Nobody would even know that there is a slim majority. Without that support, that unity, majority of the issues we want to discuss especially those that border on reforms of this country cannot take place. They think of Nigeria first. I am happy and honoured by the support they have given me.

IBB RETURNS TO NIGERIA....We Still Need IBB Around - Gov. Sani Bello



Niger State governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has said the country still needs Elder statesman and former military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida around for his wise counsel at this critical period. 

Gov. Sani Bello who welcomed the former military leader back from a medical trip to Germany said wise counsel of leaders who have weathered the storm and distinguished themselves are needed to bail the country out from the woods.  

The governor who spoke in Minna on Friday was full of praises to Allah (SWT) for preserving the life of the former military leader. 

Gov. Sani Bello said "despite unfounded rumour about the life of our national icon, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, we are grateful that it pleases Allah (SWT) to preserve his life and bring him back safely and healthier to continue in the good work of nation building. 

"General Ibrahim Babangida remain one of the few leaders in this country that we still need around to tap from their wealth of experience and knowledge and we are grateful he is back and kicking like the old soldier he is. 

"Your safe return has finally put a lie to the rumour and the evil machinations of those who are playing God. We are grateful to Allah (SWT) that He has silence them". 
Babangida returned on Friday to Minna International Airport at about 3:30pm after a three week medical trip to a German Hospital.  

The rumour of his death was awash in the social media last week before it was refuted by his son Mohammed Babandgida. 

The governor then advised the media, especially the new media to be cautious in spreading death rumour, stressing that such practice was not only unethical, it was un-cultured and immoral. 

"It is high time media practitioners, especially those in the social media refrain from broadcasting or publishing falsehood. Aside from questioning the integrity of the media, it portend danger for the society that the media cannot be trusted. 
"The media should be guided by the ethics of the profession. If you are not sure, don't share. The social media purported death of General Babangida was reckless, unethical and unwarranted". 

Suspect in a Case of Fraud Dies


Desmond Nunugwo, a suspect under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, passed away today June 10, 2016 few hours after he was taken into custody. His demise was confirmed at the hospital where he was rushed after he suddenly took ill.

Late Nunugwu allegedly fraudulently obtained N91million from an acquaintance after he tricked her into believing that he had high net worth business associates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates who were at the verge of buying Nicon Insurance and convinced her of their disposition to help her stock fish business. Consequently, she wired N91m into Nunugwo’s nominated account (Mainagge General Merchants) in Diamond Bank.

After the transfer of the funds, Nunugwo became evasive forcing the complainant to report the transaction to the EFCC.

Consequently, Nunugwo was arrested in Utako, Abuja at about 5.33pm on Thursday, June 9, 2016. His statement was taken, where he admitted receiving the money from the complainant, with the additional information that he transferred N30m of the said money to Norway. But he could not explain the whereabouts of the balance of N61m.

The suspect was detained at about 7.30pm, in the absence of anybody to take him on bail.

Six hours later, he suddenly complained of discomfort and was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The incident has already been reported at the Wuse Police Station, where investigation into the cause of the sudden death has commenced.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Jide Kosoko Officially Announces Death Of His Wife .... Reveals Burial Arrangement Details

With heavy heart, I hereby officially announce the death of my wife, Henrietta kosoko.it happened at about 10:30 am on Monday 6th of June,2016 at Al-jolad hospital,  There will be a christian wake -keep and artiste performances on Thursday 9th of June ,2016 from 4 pm to 9 pm. At Ltv 8, Agidingbi ikeja The Burial service at the Catholic Church,  and interment follows at Atan cementry for Friday 10th of June 2016.thanks

Exclusive! Stephen Keshi's Final Moment And The Battle To Save His Life

Just confirmed from a source close to him..................He is gone. My source just left his body at the Faith Medical Centre Benin minutes ago. 
Doctor on duty confirmed him dead ! He was seated in the front passenger's seat of the car his cousins used to rush him five minutes earlier. 
Meaning he did not make it as a patient.He was brought in dead.
The Nigerian police has opened SUD (Sudden and Unnatural Death) file. My source also said Keshi was not fine on Monday when they met and got worse yesterday. Oddly, his sole complain were his knees.
Prayers for his orphaned  kids at this time.

Shocking!!! Stephen Keshi Is Dead @ 54


Nigerian football icon Stephen Okechukwu Keshi died suddenly in the early hours of Wednesday in Benin City, Edo state, TheCable understands.

The former international football player and coach had lost his wife of 33 years, Kate, last year after a prolonged battle with cancer.

TheCable confirmed his death from a member of his family as well as one of his close associates.

“He was not ill at all, never showed any signs of  illness, but we suspect he never got over the death of his wife,” a friend said.

He is survived by four children and his mother.

Keshi, the only Nigerian coach to have won the Africa Cup of Nations, achieved a rare feat in 2013 by becoming only the second person to win the trophy both as a player and a coach.

The only other person to have achieved the feat is Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary.

Keshi, a product of St. Finbarr’s College, Akoka, Lagos, started his playing career at a very young age at ACB Football Club, and later played for New Nigeria Bank, Stade d’Abidjan, Africa Sports, Lokeren, Anderlecht, RC Strasbourg, and a host of other clubs.

He represented Nigeria from 1982, at age 20, till 1994, most of the time captaining the Super Eagles and scoring vital goals from his position as a central defender.

He also coached Togo and Nigeria at the World Cup, as well as Mali.

Keshi, nicknamed the “Big Boss” for his leadership skills, is the fifth member of the all-conquering 1994 team to die, following Uche Okafor, Thompson Oliha, Rashidi Yekini and Wilfred Agbonavbare.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

AMBODE’S WIFE TASKS CIVIL SERVANTS ON DEDICATION TO DUTY


...As Lagos Perm Sec Gets C’Wealth Outstanding Service Award

Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode on Tuesday enjoined civil servants in the state to imbibe the culture of strong personal discipline, focus, perseverance, drive, determination to excel and dedication to duty, just as she said such would go a long way in taking them to the peak of their career and enhance public service delivery.

Mrs. Ambode, who spoke at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in Alausa, Ikeja during the conferment of Common Wealth Outstanding Service Award to the outgoing Permanent Secretary of the State Primary Health Care Board (PHCB), Dr. Ibironke Sodeinde, said the feat was an eloquent confirmation of productive years and decades of diligence and hard work which the awardee put to the State’s civil service.

Dr. Sodeinde, who is the first woman to be conferred with the award in Nigeria after the likes of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and General Yakubu Gowon, was said to have been honoured for her selfless service to humanity and high sense of dedication to duty.

In her goodwill message, Mrs. Ambode said the international recognition was instructive as it would spur younger generation of public servants to put in their best to excel, adding that it was important for people to understand that only dedication and hard work could guaranty excellence and ensure the attainment of the peak of one’s chosen career.

“Dr. (Mrs.) Ibironke Sodeinde is an admirable and outstanding civil servant, who put in the very best into her public service career, to reach the apex. As officer, she gave hard work; as director and Permanent Secretary, she gave direction and effective leadership.

“Everyone wishes and prays to be celebrated this way, but this sort of recognition requires more than prayer. It requires strong personal discipline, focus, perseverance, drive and a determination to excel, all of which Dr. Sodeinde epitomizes.

“The conferment of the Common Wealth Outstanding Service Award on this exceptional civil servant is a testimony to her possession of those qualities that distinguish her for distinction,” Mrs. Ambode said.

Dr. Sodeinde, who officially bowed out of service on June 3, 2016 has held several positions in the Lagos State Civil Service until her appointment in August 2015 by the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode as Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, and later redeployed as Permanent Secretary in charge of PHCB.

Responding after the conferment of the award, Dr. Sodeinde thanked God and Governor Ambode for giving her the opportunity to attain the peak of her career as civil servant just one year before her retirement, saying the promotion contributed towards the award.

She commended Governor Ambode for the wonderful transformation that had taken place in the State since assuming office, saying such was unprecedented and could be attributed to the grace of God and commitment to serve selflessly by the Governor and his team.


$40m Scam: Jonathan’s Cousin, Azibaola Remanded in Prison


Justice Nnamdi O. Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 ordered the remand of Azibaola Robert, a cousin of ex- president Goodluck Jonathan in Kuje Prison pending the determination of his bail application.

Azibaola and his wife, Stella, were arraigned alongside their company, One Plus Holding Limited on a seven 7-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The couples were alleged to have diverted $40million (forty million US dollars) purportedly meant for the supply of tactical communication kits for Special Forces.
The money was transferred from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser with the Central Bank of Nigeria to the domiciliary account of their company, One Plus Holdings.

The offence is in contravention of Section 8(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act"
Count one reads:

"That you, Azibaola Robert (M), being the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) and a signatory to the Zenith Bank account of ONE PLUS HOLDINGS. LTD; Mrs. Stella Azibaola Robert, being a director and a signatory to the Zenith Bank account of ONE PLUS HOLDINGS NIG. LTD and Amobi Ogum (M) (now at large) on or about the 8th September, 2014 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire among yourselves to commit an illegal act to wit; money laundering of the sum of $40,000,000.00  (Forty Million United States Dollars) transferred to the domiciliary account of ONE PLUS HOLDINGS NIG.LTD with Zenith Bank Plc, Account No. 5070365750 from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser with the Central Bank of Nigeria upon a transfer mandate Ref. No. 128/S.5LX/139 purporting to be for the supply of Tactical Communication Kits for Special Forces and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended in 2012 and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act"

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the counts preferred against them.
In view of their plea, counsel to EFCC, Aliyu Yusuf urged the court to fix a date for trial and remand the accused in prison custody.

However, Robert’s counsel, Chris Uche, SAN, told the court that he had a pending application dated May 24, 2016 brought pursuant to Section 36 (5) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 seeking for the bail of his client to enable the defence prepare for trial.

Moving the bail application, Uche argued that bail is at the discretion of the court, adding that the offence is bailable.

He went on to inform the court that, the defendant had been in EFCC custody for over two months and the constitution is clear on how long a suspect should be kept before being arraigned.

To this, Uche contended that Robert’s right as a citizen to bail as guaranteed by law had been breached.

The same argument was also canvassed by Stella's counsel, Gordy Uche, SAN, to seek her bail.

Uche stated that Stella had been on administrative bail granted by the EFCC and has not breached any of the terms.

Responding, counsel to EFCC, Aliyu Yusuf opposed both applications.

He urged the court to refuse the applications considering the severity of the offence which according to him carried a punishment of between 7 to 21 years imprisonment.

On the issue of the detention of the first defendant, Yusuf told the court that at no time did EFCC detain any defendant without a valid court order.

He said that the second defendant who predicated her application for bail on health grounds did not provide any medical report to back it up.
While Justice Dimgba ruled that Stella could continue to enjoy the administrative bail earlier granted her by the EFCC and adjourned to June 8, 2016 for ruling on the bail application of the first defendant.

CHIDERA OPARAH EMERGES AS SNAP TO STARDOM 2016 WINNER


 

Beautifully photogenic, Miss Chidera Oparah Tobolaifa, 19 years old undergraduate from Babcock University, has become the winner of the just concluded Snap To Stardom 2016- a photo reality contest in Nigeria, organized by Kanbitoons Company.

 

Chidera, who is also a model and singer from Imo State in her 300 level studying Medical Laboratory Science is no doubt the most photogenic among the last 12 contestants that made it to the final stage of the reputable photo pageant to beat and copy in this part of the world.

 

Apart from Chidera Oparah, with the prestigious title of Miss Snap To Stardom 2016, there are other outstanding winners which includes; Eremina Nzekwe, as 1st Runner Up, Islamiat Bello, as 2nd Runner Up and Folashade Adewole, as Miss Phototaining respectively.

 

The prizes as promised by the organizers were presented to the winners at the glamorous winner’s party held at Chillzone on Saturday June 4, 2016. And, Chidera Oparah the eventual crowned Miss Snap To Stardom 2016, would be embarking on a trip to Dubai for a wow experience she deserves.

 

According to the winner, Miss Oparah, she disclosed that ‘She feel extremely blessed…God’s grace is sufficient to be crowned Miss Snap To Stardom 2016, and her dream has eventually come true’.

 

The essence of the photo competition is to search for the Most Photogenic Queen in Nigeria with the prestigious title of Miss Snap To Stardom across the country and to basically promote photography modelling through a healthy competition.

 

The mission of the organisers is to discover and empower young Nigerian ladies and wannabe models between the ages of 18 and 26 irrespective of size, shape, colour and height that can be camera friendly, and to discover the potentials in them through their pictures and uncover the beauty in them within their lifestyle.

 

The winner(s) emerged from the screening process to the final studio photo-shoot that generated many likes on Instagram-snap2stardom page and the verdict by the selected judges from the board of organizers as the requirement to crown the Miss Snap To Stardom 2016.

 

According to the principal consultant of the project, Kanbi Owolabi, he disclosed that the organisers are committed to their vision, and ready to meet the expectations of the industry watchers beyond just packaging another photo-pageant, but to break the norm and package a total moral value family driven contest which is Simply Phototainment

 

Information has it that the winners have signed a contract management agreement with Kanbitoons Company, the organisers Snap To Stardom and they will be working in concert with the other reputable stakeholders in the industry and partners of the event to fulfil the winner’s/company’s obligations during their tenure.

 

Monday, 6 June 2016

Jide Kosoko's Actress Wife Henrietta Kosoko Dies @ 53

Nollywood actress, Henrietta Kosoko, wife of veteran actor, Jide Kosoko is dead. She died on Monday morning.
Henrietta, who only last week celebrated her 53rd birthday, was said to have slumped at home and was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Henrietta, until death, was married to veteran actor and former president of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (ANTP), Kosoko.
A close family source who spoke under the condition of anonymity disclosed that she before her demise, she was battling diabetes for a while, causing her sugar level to fluctuate.