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Hot Topics Of The Day!

We deliver the most recent information on top stories in business, politics, sports, current affairs and more in this segment.

92-year-old Shettima Ali Monguno freed by captors, gunmen suspected to be ex-militants have reportedly killed eight persons in Lorbia community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Council Area, Sunday. 39 people have died in a sectarian battle that began Friday between Jukun Christians and Muslims in Wukari town, Taraba State And former Super Eagles skipper, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, on Saturday joined the ranks of the few ex-Nigerian internationals on the micro-blogging site, Twitter.

Read Scoop In Full Below:

FMR. Minister For Petroleum Dr. Shettima Ali Monguno Has Been Freed By Captors 
Monguro was released today (Monday) morning to return to his Maiduguri home.

Borno State Governor Dr. Kashim Shettima told a cheering crowd that he was dropped off at a town called Keranuwar about 180 kilometers from Maiduguri, the headquarters of the Boko Haram, the radical Islamic group believe to have orchestrated the abduction.

Kashim Shettima had previously pleaded for the release of the elder statesman, while cautioning those involved in the kidnap of the spiritual gravity of contributing to the death of a 92-year-old man, who is known for helping orphans, widows and the needy.

The Borno Elder statesman, Shettima Ali Monguno was kidnapped by gunmen suspected to be terrorists soon after he performed his Friday congregational prayers at Mafoni ward of Maiduguri metropolis.

Gunmen Kill 8 In Bayelsa
Bareley one month after an ambush on a convoy of 50 policemen on escort duty, gunmen suspected to be ex-militants have reportedly killed eight persons in Lorbia community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Council Area, Sunday – the same Bayelsa community where 12 policemen lost their lives on April 6.

It was gathered that among those killed were five ex-militant youths who embraced amnesty under the leadership of Pastor Rebuen Wilson, a former militant leader. Wilson reportedly lost his 37-year old younger brother, Judah Benaibi Wilson, in the attack.  Security sources have described the incident as a clash of rival gangs.

Contacted, Mr. Alex Akigbe Police spokesman for Bayelsa Command said that while the command has received a report of the shoot-out, he was unlikely to have a detailed briefing until later today.  

The Media Coordinator of the Joint Task Force in Niger Delta, Lt. Col. Onyeama Nwachukwu, also confirmed the incident but said that the casualty figures were still unclear.

39 Confirmed Dead As Christians And Muslims Clash In Taraba
39 people have died in a sectarian battle that began Friday between Jukun Christians and Muslims in Wukari town, Taraba State.
With the violence that has erupted in the town, The Taraba State government has imposed a 24-hour curfew as the state’s police command officially confirmed the number of casualties.

A police spokesman in Taraba State, Joseph Kwaji, said that 32 houses were burned, and 30 people injured. He revealed that 40 suspects have been arrested in connection with the bloody confrontation that started during a traditional ruler’s funeral procession in Wukari.

Acting Governor Garba Umar of Taraba on Sunday addressed the people of the state in a state-wide broadcast, vowing to deal with any culprits implicated in the violence.

Thousands of residents have reportedly taken refuge in police and military premises in different parts of the state.

Former Super Eagle Skipper Austin Jay Jay Okocha Joins Twitter
Former Super Eagles skipper, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, on Saturday joined the ranks of the few ex-Nigerian internationals on the micro-blogging site, Twitter.

The two-time BBC African Footballer of the Year announced his arrival on Twitter at 3:17 pm on Saturday, saying, “My people, how far now? Na Jay Jay o. Make you na no fall my hand. This is my official Twitter account.”

Popular artistes such as Wizkid,  Basketmouth, AY, Tee A, Weird MC and Sound Sultan are among the notable personalities who spread the news of Okocha’s foray into Twitter on the social network.

Okocha has only tweeted thrice and following 44 handles but has about 3,914 followers already.

Sources:
TheWill Nigeria

Sahara Reporters

The Punch

 


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Hot Topics Of The Day!

We deliver the most recent information on top stories in politics, sports, current affairs, foreign news and more in this segment.

The U.S Government through its embassy in Nigeria has denied the report saying military assistance has been withdrawn from Nigeria.

Osun State Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Barrister Ajibola Bashir stated on Thursday that the airport under construction in Ido-Osun, Osun State, has been named after the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, by the Osun State government.

Convicted former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, lost a legal appeal on Thursday against a 13-year prison sentence for embezzling £50m in one of Britain’s biggest money-laundering cases.

The Lagos State Police Command is investigating a case of fraud perpetrated by six men, who defrauded hundreds of people in Ketu area of the state while faking Jonathan/Sambo Foundation.

Investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet joined Twitter on Thursday, gained 268,365 followers in two days.

Read News in Full Below:

US Government Denies Withdrawing Military Assistance To Nigeria Over Baga
The U.S Government through its embassy in Nigeria has denied the report saying military assistance has been withdrawn from Nigeria.
It was reported yesterday Thursday 2nd of May that the United States Government has withdrawn military assistance to Nigeria citing various human rights violations by Nigerian security forces, particularly the military which is currently engulfed in a controversy over the killing of dozens and destruction of hundreds of residences in Baga.

The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terence P. McCulley through the embassy in Abuja however denied the report stressing the need for security force to respect human rights.

 

Osun State Names New Airport After Late Moshood Abiola
Osun State Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties, Barrister Ajibola Bashir stated on Thursday that the airport under construction in Ido-Osun, Osun State, has been named after the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, by the Osun State government.

This was during a ministerial news conference held at the Governor’s Office, Abere.

Basiru disclosed that the aircraft maintenance facility of the airport would be ready by next year while international flights would also commence next year.

The airport, which was formerly an aerodrome, had been abandoned for several decades by subsequent administration in Osun before the Rauf Aregbesola administration decided to reconstruct it.

Basiru said the fencing of the airport had been completed while all gates and security facilities of the airport had been completed.

Jame Ibori Loses Legal Appeal In UK
Convicted former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, lost a legal appeal on Thursday against a 13-year prison sentence for embezzling £50m in one of Britain’s biggest money-laundering cases.

Ibori, a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party and a behind-the-scenes kingmaker, who ran Delta State for eight years, was trying to get his sentence reduced.

His lawyers argued that the original judge had indicated the term would be shorter.

Judge Antony Edwards-Stuart rejected the argument at the appeal hearing and said money laundering should attract close to the maximum 14-year sentence.

Ibori pleaded guilty to 10 charges of fraud and money-laundering in February 2012. He is the most prominent Nigerian politician to be successfully prosecuted for corruption, in one of the most graft-ridden countries in the world, according to monitoring group Transparency International.

Fraudsters Dupe Over 100 Faking Jonathan/Sambo Foundation
The Lagos State Police Command is investigating a case of fraud perpetrated by six men, who defrauded hundreds of people in Ketu area of the state.

According to police authorities, the suspects, Dr. Chris Ajakaiye, Atanda Johnson, Morenike Folarin, Ademola Atanda, Soledayo Akinnubunmi and John Ajagbe, set up a foundation at 15 Oluwalogbon Street, Ikosi, known as Goodluck/Sambo Foundation and were collecting money from victims with the guise of keeping them in touch with the presidency.

It was learnt that the foundation was set up in 2010 during the build up to 2011 elections and most of the victims are not from Ketu, which made it difficult for them to know that it was a fraudulent business.

The foundation initially collected N1,000 as registration fee from members but as the demand rose, the foundation increased its fee to N3,000 and then changed its name to Vision Relief Programme. It ran for almost three years until an aggrieved member went to report at the Ketu Police Division.

The spokesperson for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, said investigations revealed that the perpetrators had realised over N12m from the victims. She said the case has been transferred to the X Squad of the state command for further investigation.

Warren Buffett Joins Twitter, Gains 268,365 Followers In 2 Days
Investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet joined Twitter on Thursday. His first tweet, “Warren is in the house,” was retweeted nearly 20,000 times within just a couple of hours and as at the 3rd of May, it has been retweeted over 33,000 times.

The Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO regularly makes lists of the world&#39s wealthiest and most influential people. Once known as the Wizard of Omaha, Buffett has long been wary of technology, and was known not to carry a cell phone or use an office computer for years.
 
Buffett&#39s entry into social media was immediately noticed, and fans of America&#39s most famous investor piled as high as his money. He currently has 268,365 followers on Twitter.

Sources:
Osun Defender
The Punch
Twitter
UPI

 

 


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Hot Topics Of The Day!

We bring to you stories while they are still hot. Recent information in business, politics, sports, current affairs and more, is what we deliver in this segment.

Former Head of State and presidential candidate for the Congress for Progressive Change in the 2011 general election, Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has said he is ready to step down as presidential candidate of the newly formed All Progressives Congress in the 2015 presidential election, if there is a formidable and better candidate.

President Goodluck Jonathan said he was ready to forgo his ambition to run for second term in 2015 if the Senate passed its proposal for a single non-renewable six-year tenure into law.

Human Rights Watch, on Wednesday in a statement on its website, said satellite images showed that soldiers may have  set the fires that razed  down  “2,275 buildings  and left 125 others”  in the town  severely damaged – Baga

Read News In Full Below:

Buhari Ready To Step Down For A Better Candidate
Former Head of State and presidential candidate for the Congress for Progressive Change in the 2011 general election, Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has said he is ready to step down as presidential candidate of the newly formed All Progressives Congress in the 2015 presidential election, if there is a formidable and better candidate.
He said he might contest the 2015 presidential election on the platform of the yet-to-be-registered APC, depending on what happened before the time.

Buhari stated this in Minna at the maiden edition of Sam Nda-Isaiah Public Lecture Series, in honour of the publisher of the Leadership Newspapers, which took place at the Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre.

Answering questions from journalists on the possibility of him stepping down in case more candidates emerge on the platform of the party, Buhari said, “Whoever thinks he has got a chance, let him come out because the more we are, the merrier it becomes.”

Jonathan To Forgo Second Term For Six-Year Tenure
President Goodluck Jonathan said he was ready to forgo his ambition to run for second term in 2015 if the Senate passed its proposal for a single non-renewable six-year tenure into law.

This was made know through the presidency on Wednesday.

Though Jonathan had made half-hearted denial of his ambition for another term in office, his actions and loyalists had clearly shown that he was preparing to run in the 2015 general election.

But the President’s Special Adviser on Political Matters, Dr. Ahmed Gulak, said the ambition to stage a return would be shelved if Senators decided in favour of a single term for the President and state governors.

He said, “Nigerians will remember that it was President Jonathan that suggested an idea of a single term tenure from the beginning. So if the proposal becomes a law, the credit should go to the President.

“If it becomes a law and is enshrined in our constitution, the President and everybody will be bound by the provision of that law. Let us wait and see what happens.

Soldiers May Have Set The Fires That Razed 2,275 Buildings In Baga – HRW
Human Rights Watch, on Wednesday in a statement on its website, said satellite images showed that soldiers may have  set the fires that razed  down  “2,275 buildings  and left 125 others”  in the town  severely damaged – Baga.

Calling on the Federal Government to impartially probe the incident,   it said that the military was covering up something  going by the fact that it had vehemently refused to allow journalists access into the troubled community.

There had been reports that 187 persons were killed and about 2,000 houses torched during the April 16, 2013 clash.

President Goodluck Jonathan had last week directed the Defence Headquarters and the National Emergency Management Agency to investigate the incident.  Both organisations submitted their preliminary reports to the President on Monday.


Baga (Main Damaged) Area Before The Violence

HRW had countered their report that said less than 1000 houses were destroyed. In the statement by its Africa Director, Daniel Bekele, HRW said that the area damaged by fires measured about 80,000 sq2.


Baga (Main Damaged) Area After The Violence

Stating that the fires were detected by the MODIS sensor aboard NASA satellites Aqua and Terra, the rights organisation said its findings corroborated claims by the residents that 2,000 houses and 183 bodies were burnt during the mayhem.

View the Satellite Images here

Sources:
The Punch
HRW

 



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Hot Topics Of The Day!

We deliver the most recent information on top stories in politics, sports, current affairs, foreign news and more in this segment.

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has said that if the Goodluck Jonathan administration was keen on probing his government, it should come after him instead of people that served under him.

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has accused the federal government of plans to launch unprecedented assault on the civil rights of Nigerians, through the reported $40 million Internet Surveillance Contract that will allow the government invade the privacy of citizens.

Unknown gunmen have kidnapped nine employees of Octopus Clan Nigerian Limited and the Deck Oil Services along the Ilebiri Creek in the Southern Ijaw Area of Bayelsa State.

There was intense gun fight between suspected members of Boko Haram and Nigerian troops after some 30 bombs were exploded by militants that invaded Ringim township in Jigawa State.

The Federal Government on Sunday refuted claims that the President had a hand in the grounding and outright ban of the official plane of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi for “operating illegally in the country.”

Read News In Full Below:

Olusegun Obasanjo Dares Goodluck Jonathan To Probe Him
 Just when it seems the cold war between President Goodluck Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo had subsided, it came again to the fore  on Sunday at a thanksgiving service held  in honour of a former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, in Abuja.

At the service that had many eminent Nigerians, including a former Head of the Service of the Federation, Steve Oronsaye,  and  ex-Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Kanu Agabi, in attendance, Obasanjo said if  the Goodluck Jonathan administration was keen on probing  his government, it should come after him instead of  people that served under him.

He also flayed the plan by the Federal Government to set up a pipeline protection agency, saying it was another avenue for corruption.

But Obasanjo’s comments drew the ire of the Presidency which said no past administration, either past or present, should  be afraid of probe. It also advised the former President to  allow Jonathan  to do his work.

ACN Condemns $40 Million Internet Surveillance
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has accused the federal government of plans to launch unprecedented assault on the civil rights of Nigerians, through the reported $40 million Internet Surveillance Contract that will allow the government invade the privacy of citizens.

The party alleged that the security move was targeted at journalists and those considered to be opponents of the administration, adding that the move violates the 1999 Constitution.

It urged the National Assembly, civil society organisations, professional groups and the citizens to speak out against it before it was too late.

In a statement issued in Lagos Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said since the report of the contract, said to have been awarded to an Israeli firm, was yet to be denied several days after it was published, it was safe to assume that it was indeed true.

It said, if the report was true, it would mark the beginning of the curtailment of the rights to freedom of speech and expression and the freedom of the press, in addition to the invasion of citizens&#39 privacy.

Unidentified Gunmen Kidnap Nine Nigerian Oil Workers In Bayelsa
Unknown gunmen have kidnapped nine employees of Octopus Clan Nigerian Limited and the Deck Oil Services along the Ilebiri Creek in the Southern Ijaw Area of Bayelsa State.

Sources in the security services said in Yenagoa on Sunday that the workers were abducted at about 2pm on Thursday by the yet to be identified gunmen, who are also suspected to be behind the killing of 12 policemen in Azuzuama on April 6.

The gunmen seized the oil workers to negotiate a reprieve from the JTF which launched a series of raids to smoke out the kidnappers from their known camps.

The kidnapped workers, all of them Nigerians, were on their way to work to repair leaks within Agip’s pipeline network in the Southern Ijaw Area of Bayelsa.

An indigene of the Ikebiri community, Kelvin Okuneibie said that   fishermen along the waters confirmed that the gunmen swooped on the oil workers from the Azuzuama axis of the area.

Five of the kidnapped workers are employees of Port Harcourt-based Octopus Clan Nigeria Limited while the remaining four work for Deck Oil Services.

Intense Gun fight Stirs Unrest In Jigawa State
There was intense gun fight between suspected members of Boko Haram and Nigerian troops after some 30 bombs were exploded by militants that invaded Ringim Township in Jigawa State, residents said yesterday 28th April.

A security source told SaharaReporters that several militants invaded the township with bombs and rocket propelled grenades. The attack in Jigawa marks further escalation and expansion of the sects armed insurrection in northern parts of Nigeria.

It will be recalled that it was barely two weeks since the same kind of attack killed over 180 people including civilians in Baga, Borno State.

As at Sunday, it was reported that the gunfight has continued into the night stating that the gunmen have now taken over the home of former Inspector general of Police, Hafiz Ringim and the police station in the township is currently under attack.

The former inspector was said to have fled his home to the UK sometimes back.

FG Refutes Claim Of Grounding Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s Official Plane
The Federal Government on Sunday refuted claims that the President had a hand in the grounding and outright ban of the official plane of Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi for “operating illegally in the country.”

Reacting to reports that the Presidency was in the know as touching the ban of the Rivers government aircraft last Friday, the government through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, stated that such stories were mere speculations.

The General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, Mr. Fan Ndubuoke, told our correspondent that the aircraft was not supposed to be in Nigeria, stressing that the Rivers State Government was aware of this fact.

The Rivers State Government on Sunday however denied flouting any aviation regulations, adding that the documentation for the aircraft was in place.

Sources:
Sahara Reporters
Punch
Thisday

 


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Hot Topics Of The Day!

We deliver the most recent information on top stories in politics, sports, current affairs, foreign news and more in this segment.

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been appointed as the first chairperson of the Governing Council of African Risk Capacity (ARC).

President Goodluck Jonathan is billed to inaugurate the National Council on Niger Delta in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State today, the 26th of April, 2013.

The Northern Governors’ Forum on Thursday pleaded with members of the Boko Haram sect to accept the planned amnesty for them by the Federal Government

Read News in Full Below:

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Appointed AU Risk Agency Chairperson
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been appointed as the first chairperson of the Governing Council of African Risk Capacity (ARC), a continental financial climactic disaster risk management agency.
A statement from the Special Adviser to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu yesterday, explained that the ARC is a specialised agency of the African Union (AU) which supports countries in the continent in mitigating the severe social and economic impact of extreme weather conditions through a structured insurance system.

It stated that by deploying innovative technology based on satellite weather surveillance and software run by independent risk professionals, the ARC is expected to help African governments plan better for emergency situations, manage them efficiently as well as in ensuring sufficient distribution of resources to disaster areas.

Reacting to the development, Okonjo-Iweala who expressed delight over the appointment, also described the ARC as a timely and innovative response to the increasing challenges brought on by extreme weather conditions in the continent

President Goodluck Jonathan Set To Inaugurate National Council On Niger Delta
President Goodluck Jonathan is billed to inaugurate the National Council on Niger Delta in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State today, the 26th of April, 2013, a day after the council held its maiden meeting, where the recommendations flowing from the stakeholders’ conference were considered and ratified.

The inauguration is coming as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, Thursday assured that his ministry’s drive for  development in the region was not in any way intended to take over the functions of any organisation or intervention agency such as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The 40-member council, which was recently approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), comprises representatives of governmental, institutional bodies, development partners, multilateral and bilateral organisations, and oil exploration companies.

The council is mandated to give direction to the development partners operating in the Niger Delta, ensure the alignment and coordination of policies and programmes intended for the region, ensure the full realisation of uncompleted projects as well as give full impetus to new ones while eliminating duplication.

Orubebe, who is the chairman of the council, disclosed at the inaugural meeting of the council in Uyo, yesterday that President Jonathan is to formally inaugurate the council today.

Northern Governors Plead With Boko Haram To Accept Amnesty
The Northern Governors’ Forum on Thursday pleaded with members of the Boko Haram sect to accept the planned amnesty for them by the Federal Government while lamenting the effect of the   Boko Haram insurgency on the North.
The Chairman of the forum and Niger State Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, stated this while receiving the report of the forum’s Committee on Reconciliation, Healing and Security, in Abuja on Thursday.
Aliyu, who said the activities of the insurgents had led to destruction of many lives and property, also advised the Federal Government to complement the resolve of the forum by taking into account, the findings and recommendations of its committee.

Members of Boko Haram through their leader had said they did not need amnesty because they believed they had done nothing wrong but Aliyu said the governors were determined to ensure that the amnesty succeeded. He explained that   “the formation of the Reconciliation, Healing and Security Committee was as a result of recurring incidence of violence and wanton destruction of lives and property which crippled the economy of Northern states and paralysed socio-political activities of the region.”

Sources:
Thisday
Punch

 


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Hot Topics Of The Day!

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Speaking on the new police reforms, Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar has said that N100,000 was being proposed as the minimum salary for the least police officer.

The Minister of Works, Mike Onolemeihmen has said that N920 billion will be required to complete Federal road projects that are on-going across the federation.

In response to the clash between operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and members of radical sect, Boko Haram in Baga, Borno state in which many lives and property were lost, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deployed a team of its officers and stakeholders to provide medical and relief assistance to the affected people in the area.

Read News in Full Below:

Nigerian Police To Receive N100, 000 Minimum Salary
Speaking on the new police reforms, Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar has said that N100,000 was being proposed as the minimum salary for the least police officer.

He made this known on Wednesday saying that the welfare of police personnel was of paramount importance for the reforms.

Abubakar spoke through the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) Zone Four, Mr Mike Zoukomor, at a lecture for officers and men of the Plateau Police Command in Jos.

“The money you are being paid is not enough, that is why the police is working towards increasing the money. We are doing our best to ensure that your morale is high, you must therefore put in your best at ensuring that the society is free of any form of crime,’’ he said.

He urged policemen to exhibit the highest sense of discipline and professionalism in carrying out their duties and that such habits as drunkenness, extortions and hard drug use must be put aside.

 “If you are caught stealing or found taking hard drugs, you would be severely punished, because you are supposed to show good example.”

“Things like drunkenness will not be tolerated. Police officers must not be seen as a drunk,’’ he said.
Mr Chris Olakpe, Plateau Commissioner of Police, advised the officers and men to put into practice the advice given by the Inspector-General.

“The IG has told us that it is what you sow that you would reap. You must continue to work very hard and do the right thing,’’ he said.

He also promised the state that the police will continue to protect lives and property.

FG Needs N920 Billion To Complete Road Projects
The Minister of Works, Mike Onolemeihmen has said that N920 billion will be required to complete Federal road projects that are on-going across the federation.

The Minister, who briefed journalists after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, said, if government were to depend solely on its annual budget of N190 billion, “it will take another eight years before the projects can be completed.”

Mr. Onolememen, spoke alongside the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, hinting at a plan of a loan to cover the shortfall.

“To ensure timely completion of all the projects, a multilateral approach was under way as well as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme that will add about 6,000 kilometres of road nationwide is being explored,” he said.

After breaking down funds spent on Roads across the Northern to the South East coast of the Nation, He commended President Goodluck Jonathan, saying “in the last two years, the road sector has received direct attention from Mr. President.”

The Minister was complemented by his junior minister, Bashiru Yuguda, who disclosed that the ministry no longer paid contractors on presentation of certificate but on completion of a section of the road project.

Baga Massacre: NEMA Deploys Relief Team, Jonathan Vows To Deal With Culprits
In response to the clash between operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and members of radical sect, Boko Haram in Baga, Borno state in which many lives and property were lost, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deployed a team of its officers and stakeholders to provide medical and relief assistance to the affected people in the area.
At least 185 were killed in the incident that also led to the displacement thousands of residents.

A statement signed by Manzo Ezekiel said the Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani Sidi acting on the directive of President Goodluck Jonathan, has directed the department in charge to urgently provide immediate succour to the people.

In Similar story, President Goodluck Jonathan has vowed to ensure that those  found culpable in the  massacre of no fewer than 185  people during a clash between the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram,  and the  Multinational Joint Task Force in Baga, Borno State, would be dealt with.

The President who warned against bringing large scale destruction to communities in the name of peacekeeping made this promise while inaugurating the  Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North and the Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Jonathan promised to support the panel and other organisations to put an end to the violence being orchestrated by Boko Haram.

Sources:
Channelstv.com
Punch

 


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Hot Topics Of The Day!

We deliver the most recent information on top stories in politics, sports, current affairs, foreign news and more in this column.

EnoughisEnough (EiE) Nigeria has announced the date for an event to formally kick off its projects and campaign – #RSVP2015 – towards the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria.

A couple from Oxford has been convicted of attempting pass off a Nigerian baby as their own so they could bring it back to the UK.

A Nigerian Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) student, Chidube Ezeozue, has created an app, with his brother, that reports on the power surges situation in Nigeria.

Read News in Full:

EnoughIsEnough Nigeria To Launch Campaign For 2015 – #RSVP2015
EnoughisEnough (EiE) Nigeria, a coalition of individuals and youth-led organizations committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability in Nigeria through advocacy, activism and the mobilization of the youth population as responsible citizens, has announced the date for an event to formally kick off its projects and campaign towards the 2015 General Elections in Nigeria. The media and partners event holds on Monday, 29th April in Ikeja, Lagos.

“The electoral process is at the heart of our work and we have spent the last two years building tools and networks to deepen youth engagement in governance,” said the administrator of EnoughisEnough Nigeria, Yemi Adamolekun. “We’ve been active in all gubernatorial elections and some local government elections since 2011 and learnt lessons from Ghana and Kenya. With the current state of the nation, 2015 will be an important milestone in Nigeria’s history. As such, we are focused on organising the youth vote to be effective and transformational and also want to communicate numbers that the youth vote must count.”

Highlights of the event include the formal launch of the organisation’s countdown to the 2015 General Elections, details of its engagement with partners and stakeholders, as well as showcasing the technology tools that foster citizen education and engagement.

The technology tools to be showcased include Revoda, the election monitoring mobile app launched in 2011 as well as the crowd sourcing platform, Shineyoureye.org.  EiE’s partners will also showcase their projects like CLP’s Reclaimnaija.net.

All EiE activities are anchored on its official election campaign, R|S|V|P (Register|Select|Vote|Protect), which was launched in 2010.

The event will be streamed live on the official website [eienigeria.org www.eienigeria.org] and will be live blogged with the hashtag #RSVP2015 through its Twitter handle @EiENigeria.

British Couple Nabbed While Smuggling Nigerian Baby
A couple from Oxford has been convicted of attempting pass off a Nigerian baby as their own so they could bring it back to the UK.

Dr. Simon and Gladys Heap from Oxford were convicted by a UK court and sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and 250 hours of community service after pleading guilty on April 16, 2013.

Gladys aged 52 and her husband, 47, had entered Nigeria in July 2010 and had gone to the British High Commission in Lagos to apply for a British passport for the baby girl claiming Gladys had a baby just a few days after entering the country.

According to the British High Commission in Abuja, the staff at the High Commission were however suspicious.

“…DNA tests later confirmed that neither adult was related to the child. A birth certificate they had presented was also found to be fraudulent.  They flew home without the baby,” the statement issued in Abuja yesterday said.

Although the statement was silent on how the couple came about the child, it implied that the child may have been purchased.

Following an investigation by a joint Border Force and Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), the couple was arrested and charged with facilitating a breach of immigration law.  They were sentenced by the Isleworth Crown Court.

Nigerian MIT Student Chidube Ezeozue Builds App To Predict PHCN Power Surges
A Nigerian Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT) student, Chidube Ezeozue, has created an app, with his brother, that reports on the power surges situation in Nigeria. This data, when merged into an algorithm developed by Ezeozue, can help Nigerians predict when power outages may strike their neighborhoods, and how long those outages might last.

Chidube while speaking on the app which he named NepaSituation said, “With over 100 million cell phones in Nigeria, we knew it was an important resource we could tap into. It took a while to come up with this algorithm, because the outages are pretty randomized, and the app is only as good as the number of people who enter outage data.”

In addition to coming up with the algorithm, Chidube is also working to address the Nigeria’s chronic energy shortage.

His company, SolarKobo was recently funded by a seed grant from MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship, where he is a fellow.

“Nigeria has plenty of solar energy available … for as low as $25 a month, we can make this resource available to those who are interested,” he said.

Sources:
Thisday
Channelstv.com
MIT

 


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Hot Topics Of The Day!

We deliver the most recent information on top stories in politics, sports, current affairs, foreign news and more in this segment.

Police has arrested a 22-year-old man named Uche Chibueze, who raped a minor and also the victim’s guardian – Edwin Alagbaso – for torturing the 12-year-old after being raped.

In a press release statement signed by the President’s Special Advicer, Reuben Abati, President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered investigation into the reports of high civilian casualties in the clash between Nigerian soldiers and insurgents at Baga in Borno State at the weekend.

President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday said the lack of modern and technically up-to-date forensic laboratories in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has hampered crime investigations by the police and relevant agencies across the country.

Over 30 houses and shops were Monday razed in Omitowoju area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, in a late afternoon inferno caused by a petrol-laden tanker which fell on a road side.

Read News in Full Below:

Guardian Tortures Minor For Getting Raped
Police has arrested a 22-year-old man named Uche Chibueze, who raped a minor and also the victim’s guardian – Edwin Alagbaso – for torturing the 12-year-old after being raped.

The guardian had accused her for causing the rape. He used razor blade, knife and an iron rod to punish the victim.

Chibueze, who had sex with the victim on April 15, 2013, near the home of her guardian located at number 1 Magente Street, Pipeline, Akute denied raping the victim saying it was consensual.

He said she had approached him to help him find solution to her spiritual problem and also to locate her real family, he had told her to follow him to  “Solution Church” nearby and she agreed.

“On our way to the place, I took her to a corner of the street and took off her clothes. I also took off my shorts and I had not fully penetrated when a resident caught us and raised the alarm. I tried to flee but they apprehended me. I explained to them that it was not rape but they did not listen to me.”

It was learnt that Chibueze and the victim were taken back to Alagbaso’s house. The guardian in a rage picked a knife and stabbed him in the palm.

Unable to do anything with the child molester, Alagbaso was said to have picked a razor blade and inflicted injuries on the scalp of the 12-year-old, he also used an iron rod to beat the victim and later used a knife to cut her in the legs.

The residents, who had been pleading, intervened and took her to the hospital and also invited policemen from Ajuwon Division.

Alagbaso insinuated that he had purnished her for her own good although he never meant to beat her to the extent he did.

Jonathan Orders Investigation Into Reports Of High Civilian Casualties In Baga Clash
In a press release statement signed by the President’s Special Advicer, Reuben Abati, President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered investigation into the reports of high civilian casualties in the clash between Nigerian soldiers and insurgents at Baga in Borno State at the weekend.

He said in the statement that preliminary briefings indicate that the casualty figures being reported by the foreign media may have been grossly exaggerated, notwithstanding, the investigation to determine whether or not rules of engagement for the military and security agencies were fully complied with.

“The President has also ordered the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) and Federal health agencies to liaise with the Borno State Government and take urgent steps to provide immediate relief and medical support for all who suffered losses and injury in the fighting at Baga.

“He commiserates with all those who have regrettably lost their lives in the fighting, including the soldiers who gallantly made the supreme sacrifice in the operation against terrorism, insurgency and insecurity in Nigeria.”
The president hopes that “the National Committee which he will inaugurate on Wednesday for dialogue and the peaceful resolution of security challenges in the North will contribute significantly to ending the continuous loss of lives to wasteful violence.”

Nigerian Police To Set Up Modern Forensic Laboratories
President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday said the lack of modern and technically up-to-date forensic laboratories in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has hampered crime investigations by the police and relevant agencies across the country.

The president was represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd), at the official unveiling of this year’s Police Week Celebration and the inauguration of the Presidential Task Force in Abuja. He said it was imperative for the laboratories to be set up in the country and also noted that a Presidential Committee had been set up to assess the state of the forensic laboratories currently in use by the Police and other security agencies in the country.

A statement made available to journalists, said this was in line with the security component of the federal government’s transformation agenda and the need to curtail the rising crime wave.

According to him, the setting up of the committee was a direct response to the security challenges facing the country.

The establishment of the laboratories, the minister added, would enhance the operations of the Police and other security agencies at crime scenes, forgery, DNA and paternity investigations as well as in prosecution. He directed data collection agencies like the Police, Nigeria Immigration Services, Customs, Prisons, Independent National Electoral Commission, National Identity Management Commission among others to be ready for data integration in order to facilitate crime detection and prosecution. The Committee, which has a month to submit its report, draws its membership from security services, Presidency and the office of the Solicitor- General of the Federation.

Tanker Fire Razes Over 30 Houses, Shops In Ibadan
Over 30 houses and shops were Monday razed in Omitowoju area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, in a late afternoon inferno caused by a petrol-laden tanker which fell on a road side.

A Witness said “the tanker was taking fuel to the Oando filling station on the narrow road in the residential area. As it was negotiating to turn around St. Stephen Church at Omitowoju junction, it fell and the fuel started pouring on the road and before we knew what was happening, the fire has started consuming the houses”.

The fire which burned down houses was curtailed at Okun Abere Street where one of the vehicles of the fire service was stationed and the fire fighters battled to ensure that it did not extend beyond the area.

Sources:
Punch
Thisday
Sahara Reporters
PM News


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A graduate of Madonna University, Anambra has stabbed himself repeatedly thereby taking his own life in his parent’s house at Wole Madariola Street, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos.

One of the kidnappers of the Chairman, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Kehinde Bamigbetan, jumped to his death at a hotel along Old Ojo road, Agboju, Lagos.

About 185 people have been killed in an upheaval between Nigeria&#39s military and Islamic extremists in Baga, Borno state, a fishing community in the nation&#39s far northeast.

Some of Nigerian new age photographers have been selected to feature in Al Jazeera’s upcoming programme which will premiere today, 22nd of April 2013.

Read News In Full Below:

University Graduate Stabs Self To Death
A graduate of Madonna University, Anambra has stabbed himself repeatedly thereby taking his own life in his parent’s house at Wole Madariola Street, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos.

Chidike Oyeka who recently concluded his National Youth Service Corps programme, on April 19, 2013, took a kitchen knife and stabbed himself repeatedly until his intestines were disembowelled.

A relative, who wished to remain anonymous, said the 25-year-old had been depressed for some time. She said, he did his NYSC in Delta State, he returned in February and has since been acting strange. When asked what was wrong, he would say he was not happy.

“When the symptom became persistent, his parents took him to a hospital but nothing was discovered to be wrong with him, so we took him back home and continued to monitor him.” She said.

Narrating what transpired on the day the victim died, the relative said it happened after everyone had gone to sleep.

She said he went into the kitchen, took a kitchen knife and stabbed himself three times.
She said, “I do not know the time it happened exactly but everyone had gone to bed while he stayed in the parlour. Around midnight, he was found lying in a pool of blood and the knife soaked in blood.

“His intestines were on the floor as well. From what we deduced, he stabbed himself three times without screaming because no one heard any noise. At daybreak, we went to Aguda Police Station to report the matter.”

A neighbour, who craved anonymity, said the deceased had once complained that one of the reasons why he was unhappy was that he was unemployed.

He said people advised him to be patient since he had only just completed his NYSC.

Bamigbetan’s Kidnapper Jumps To Death
One of the kidnappers of the Chairman, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Kehinde Bamigbetan, jumped to his death at a hotel along Old Ojo road, Agboju, Lagos.

Bamigbetan was set free by his abductors on Saturday night, five days after he was kidnapped.

Police had been on the trail of the suspects and had actually made some arrests, they were about to arrest one of the perpetrators, known as ‘Onye Army’ when he (Army) killed himself. Onye Army had tried to evade arrest when operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja tracked him to the hotel, he jumped from the balcony of his room on the second floor of the building and killed himself.

A police source said Army was actually in the hotel with some members of the kidnapping gang but by the time SARS operatives got there, other members of his group had cleared out leaving just Army.

“While some of the SARS operatives went up to his room and knocked on the door, some waited by the entrance of the hotel. It seems, however, that Onye Army had sighted them through his window because he refused to open up the door. When they started to force the door open, he came out on the balcony, hoping to jump down safely and make his escape.

“Unfortunately, it was a fatal fall. Onye Army broke both legs and his spine; he was in serious pains. Despite all attempts to keep him alive and lead the SARS operatives to the hideout where his colleagues were keeping Bamigbetan, he died while being rushed to the hospital.”

A ransom of N15m had been paid to secure his release but the kidnappers reneged on the agreement and demanded another N10m before he could be released, Bamigbetan was however set free after the kidnappers discovered that some of their members were being rounded up by SARS.

185 Killed In Borno Boko Haram Clash
About 185 people have been killed in an upheaval between Nigeria&#39s military and Islamic extremists in Baga, Borno state, a fishing community in the nation&#39s far northeast. The fight as at Sunday, Officials said, saw insurgents fire rocket-propelled grenades and soldiers spray machine-gun fire into neighborhoods filled with civilians.

The fighting in Baga began Friday and lasted for hours, sending people fleeing into the arid scrublands surrounding the community on Lake Chad. It was on Sunday, when government officials finally felt safe enough to see the destruction, homes, businesses and vehicles were burned throughout the area.

The assault marks a significant escalation in the long-running insurgency Nigeria faces in its predominantly Muslim north, with Boko Haram extremists mounting a coordinated assault on soldiers using military-grade weaponry. The killings also mark one of the deadliest incidents ever involving Boko Haram.

Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima, who visited the town yesterday, was overcome by emotion at the sight of charred houses, vehicles and how homeless residents took refuge in the bush.

Authorities had found and buried at least 185 bodies as of Sunday afternoon, said Lawan Kole, a local government official in Baga.

Nigerian Photographers To Feature On Al Jazeera’s “New African Photography”
Some of Nigerian new age photographers have been selected to feature in Al Jazeera’s upcoming programme which will premiere today, 22nd of April 2013.

The New African Photography looks at this fast-changing continent through the eyes of its most acute observers: its photographers.

The Nigerian photographers which will featured on the programme include George Osodi and Emeka Okereke.

They will feature in a six episode series with Emeka Okereke, the founder of Invisible Borders, as the premiering photographer featuring on the 22nd of April 2013. George will feature in the 3rd week which is the 6th of May 2013.

Others include South African Neo Ntsoma, Congolese Baudouin Mouanda, Kenyan fashion photographer Barbara Minishi and Mario Macilau from Mozambique.

The documentary will end on the 27th of May 2013.

 


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Hot Topics Of The Day!

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Eniola Abiola, a 200-level student of the Department of Dentistry, School of Medicine, University of Lagos, Unilag, Idi-Araba, has drowned.

Opemipo Jaji, a Nigerian teenager who was alleged to have raped an 11-year-old schoolgirl in November 2012 at a North London park, has been found guilty of rape and will face life imprisonment in the UK.

Dr. Datti Ahmed, has rejected membership of the newly constituted Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North.

Two men suspected in the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people this week terrorized Boston, Massachusetts in USA overnight killing one police officer and wounding another.

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200 Level Unilag Student Drowns At Elegushi Beach
Eniola Abiola, a 200-level student of the Department of Dentistry, School of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, has drowned.
The incident occurred at the Elegushi Beach, Ikate, in Eti-Osa Local Government Area, of Lagos, southwest Nigeria, where the deceased was attending a friend’s birthday party.

Abiola was reported to have got to the party at 8:15 p.m. and later joined her friends a few meters away from the shoreline to take photographs, while they were posing for a snapshot, a heavy wave which rolled to the shore about thrice swept her away.

Life guards which had closed around 5pm were nowhere in sight when the incident happened which made rescuing her impossible.

Effort to get the university to officially comment on the matter was abortive but an official, who pleaded not to be named because he was not authorised to speak, said the university cannot bear  responsibility for Abiola’s  death since it occurred outside the school environment.

18-Year-Old Nigerian To Face Life Imprisonment In UK For Rape
Opemipo Jaji, a Nigerian teenager who was alleged to have raped an 11-year-old schoolgirl in November 2012 at a North London park, has been found guilty of rape and will face life imprisonment in the UK.

During the probe yesterday, it was discovered that 18-year-old Opemipo Jaji, a serial sex offender who was on probation at the time of the attack for possessing child porn, was not a registered sex offender despite assaulting a 12-year-old in 2011.

He followed the victim as she took a bus home from school, according to the UK Daily Mail, Opemipo took the girl to Jubilee Park in Enfield where he repeatedly raped her for three hours. It was learnt that he stuffed a school tie and gloves into her mouth to stop her from screaming.

Opemipo however denied being the attacker, telling police he had seen the girl on the bus but nothing had happened. “I am just not capable of doing something as despicable and heartless as this,” he told the court but his victim&#39s blood was found on his clothes, also, CCTV footage also captured him in the same bus with the girl and he fitted the girl&#39s description of her attacker.

He admitted he was at the park that evening but only to compose music. He was found guilty and will be sentenced on June 7.

Dr. Datti Ahmed Rejects Boko Haram Amnesty Committee Membership
The effort of the Federal Government to create a committee that will look into the amnesty plan for Boko Haram members suffered another setback on Thursday as the President of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria, Dr. Datti Ahmed, rejected membership of the newly constituted Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North.

His action came less than 24 hours after  the Executive Director of the Civil Rights Congress, Mallam Shehu Sani, turned down his membership of the committee on the grounds that he was neither consulted nor informed by the Presidency.
Ahmed, a medical doctor, said he rejected  membership of the committee because of the bitter experience he had with the government when he voluntarily tried to mediate between the authorities and members of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, last year.

Alleging insincerity on the part of the government during an interview with the Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation, he said the composition of the amnesty committee was faulty.

Police Spots Boston Marathon Bomb Terrorists, Kills One
As the day breaks in Boston, Massachusetts in USA, Police have had a long night as two men suspected in the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people this week terrorized the area. One is dead, but the other is on the loose, police say, and he&#39s armed and dangerous.

Police pursued two men early Friday who shot a police officer to death, stole a vehicle and threw explosives at law officers pursuing them. Authorities believe they are the same two men sought in the marathon attacks.

One died of injuries suffered while battling police early Friday, and the other is on the run in a nearby suburb, authorities said.

Police believe the man at large is “suspect number 2” in Monday&#39s bombing. Federal, state and local law officers are swarming through the Boston suburb of Watertown, going door-to-door to track him down, said transit police spokesman Paul MacMillan.

Sources:
PM News
Punch
CNN

 


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A suspected bomber was apprehended and killed by an angry mob near the Emir of Kano’s palace yesterday, Wednesday 17th April.

Human rights activist, Shehu Sani, has declined to serve in the 26-member Presidential Committee empanelled by President Goodluck Jonathan to constructively engage key members of the extremist Boko Haram sect.
The Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was interviewed by Christiane Amanpour on CNN, Tuesday, during her visit to New York for Women in the World Summit.

A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant on the edge of a small town in West Texas, USA  killed at least 15 people, wounded more than 160, leveled dozens of homes and prompted authorities to evacuate half their community of 2,800.

Read News in Full Below:

Angry Mob Kills Suspected Bomber In Kano
A suspected bomber was apprehended and killed by an angry mob near the Emir of Kano’s palace yesterday, Wednesday 17th April.

He was said to have set off an Improvised Explosive Device near a Mosque very close to the palace of the Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero on Wednesday night when he was apprehended.
The aggrieved residents were said to have defied the explosion, which went off at Kofar Fatalwa by the Kano Central Mosque, and arrested one of the bombers, who had arrived on a tricycle to set off the bomb.
It was learnt that the residents pursued the terrorists after the blast, and burnt one of the men before handing over the other to security operatives.

The spokesperson for the Joint Task Force in Kano, Ikedioha Iweha, confirmed the explosion.
He also confirmed that no one died from the explosion, itself.

It will be recalled that the Emir escaped an assassination attempt on January 19 when gunmen threw an IED at his convoy.

Shehu Sani Rejects Appointment To Serve In Amnesty Committee
Human rights activist, Shehu Sani, has declined to serve in the 26-member Presidential Committee empanelled by President Goodluck Jonathan to constructively engage key members of the extremist Boko Haram sect.

The committee is also to define comprehensive and workable framework for resolving insecurity in the country.

However, in a post on his Facebook page on Wednesday night, Mr. Sani suggested he was not consulted before the appointment and announced he won’t serve on the committee.

 “My friends called me this afternoon to inform me that they saw my name on the list of the Presidential committee on Amnesty,” Mr. Sani said. “This is to thank our president for giving me such an honour and consideration. However, I humbly and respectably wish to decline to serve as member.

 “My advice remains: Reach out to the persons I mentioned their names in my interviews in the dailies to discreetly consult with the group to get their input on the  idea. Thanks.”

President Jonathan had on Wednesday constituted the Presidential Committee following months of pressure on him to grant amnesty to members of the group.

Mr. Sani has repeatedly criticized the federal government over its handling of the Boko Haram insurgency. He had suggested that journalist Ahmad Salkida, who had reported extensively on the insurgency, should be engaged to reach out to the leadership of the violent sect.

Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Answers Christiane Amanpour’s Questions On CNN
The Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was interviewed by Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent and anchor of Amanpour, a nightly foreign affairs program on CNN, Tuesday, during her visit to New York for Women in the World Summit.

The minister who strongly defended the Jonathan’s administration answered questions on corruption, oil theft and the un-ending power sector problems.

Speaking on power, she confirmed what the analaysis that was produced last week on power read, also defending President Goodluck Jonathan’s claim on CNN in the process, she said: “That month, when you interviewed the president, the polls showed, independently, scientifically (inaudible) that they are in technical partnership with dialogue. That 54 percent of Nigerians felt there was some improvement. They do it monthly. Now this month, they’ve surveyed and they’ve showed this going down, because 800 megawatts has been taken off the grid, which is while they are maintaining the grid.”

Speaking on corruption, she admitted that the country has a problem in that aspect but proffered solutions and linking it up with oil theft.
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Fertilizer Plant Explodes In West Texas
A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant on the edge of a small town in West Texas, USA killed at least 15 people, wounded more than 160, leveled dozens of homes and prompted authorities to evacuate half their community of 2,800.

“It was a like a nuclear bomb went off,” West Mayor Tommy Muska said. “Big old mushroom cloud.”
The Wednesday night blast shook houses 50 miles away and measured as a 2.1-magnitude seismic event, according to the United States Geological Survey.
 Fire officials fear that the number of casualties could rise as high as 60 to 70 dead.
Dr. George Smith, the emergency management system director of the city however said it’s a rough estimate. “We have two EMS personnel that are dead for sure, and there may be three firefighters that are dead,” he added.

What caused the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. was not immediately known.

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde Makes Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People

Renowned international magazine TIME presents its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world and Nigeria’s Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde has made the list.

Omotola was enlisted alongside some of the world’s most famous people including Barack Obama, Sean “Jay Z” Carter, Christina Aguilera, Steven Spielberg, Frank Ocean, Michelle Obama, Beyonce and many more.

TIME described the delectable actress as “the Queen of Nollywood” and also said “Success hasn’t spoiled Africa’s most renowned leading lady. Rather than going Hollywood, Omotola wants to stay Nollywood.”

Sources:
CNN
Premium Times
Punch
Sahara Reporters

 


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A faction describing itself as being “under the leadership of Comrade Henry Okah” has disowned MEND’s spokesperson named Jomo Gbomo and the activities called “Hurricane Exodus” and “Operation Barbarossa.”
The Chairman, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Lagos State was kidnapped by armed men on Monday night and the kidnappers have demanded $1m ransom for his release.

Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, plans to invest up to $8bn to build a Nigerian oil refinery with a capacity of around 400,000 barrels a day by late 2016.

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MEND Disowns Spokesperson Jomo Gbomo
A faction describing itself as being “under the leadership of Comrade Henry Okah” has disowned MEND’s spokesperson named Jomo Gbomo and the activities called “Hurricane Exodus” and “Operation Barbarossa.”

MEND had earlier released a statement signed by Jomo Gbomo announcing a crusade to save Christianity from extinction by destroying mosque, hajj camps, Islamic institutions, large congregations in Islamic events and assassinations of clerics in an operation tagged “Operation Barbarossa.” He also said “Hurricane Exodus” would continue, saying it was responsible for the April 13 destruction of Oil Well 62 in Bayelsa.

In yesterday’s statement signed by “Comrade Timi Azizi,” MEND said that neither members of its high command nor loyal foot soldiers of “MEND-OKAH” are associated with the operations referred to by Jomo Gbomo.

“Our primary objectives at present are as follows (a) to secure the release of our leader (Comrade Henry Okah) and other members of our fraction in various detention centers in the country, Compensate families of our members killed by the security agencies, Withdraw all military personnel (JTF) and tanks in the region…

“I wish to assure Niger Deltans and Nigerians at large that the operation Barbarossa is an imagination of the “old brigade” trying to gain relevancy hence we strongly advise this so called Jomo Gbomoto desist from this acts and stop using the name of Henry Okah as a reason(s) for their criminal activities or else we will fish them out and hand them over to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution,” the statement warned.

Kidnappers Of Ejigbo LCDA Chairman Demand $1m As Ransom
The Chairman, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Lagos State Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan was kidnapped by armed men on Monday night and the kidnappers have demanded $1m ransom for his release.

Bamigbetan, a former Chief Press Secretary of ex-Governor   Bola Tinubu, was kidnapped  at about 11.30pm on  Monday  while returning from office with his driver. The driver escaped the four kidnappers with some injuries.

The kidnappers later established contact with his wife at about 2:30am on Tuesday demanding for $1m equivalent to N160m. After that call, the family tried the number they used in calling but it indicated it was switched off.

It was learnt that council chairmen in the state met today (Tuesday) and  resolved that they should rally round Bamigbetan and raise  the  sum. However, President and Founder, Oodua People’s Congress, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, has ordered members of the group in Lagos and other South-West states to collaborate with security operatives to find Bamigbetan.

He said, “We just heard about this unfortunate incident, which has filtered through Lagos State and is all over the Internet. Kehinde Bamigbetan is our son, a Yoruba man.

“Whoever touches any Yoruba man touches the apple of OPC’s eye and will pay dearly.”

Dangote Plans To Invest $8bn Building Oil Refinery In Nigeria
Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, plans to invest up to $8bn to build a Nigerian oil refinery with a capacity of around 400,000 barrels a day by late 2016, the tycoon told Reuters on Tuesday.

This will almost double Nigeria’s current refining capacity.

“This will really help not only Nigeria but sub-Saharan Africa. There has not been a new refinery for a long time in sub-Saharan Africa,” Dangote said in a telephone interview.

The country currently has the capacity to produce some 445,000 barrels per day among four refineries, but they operate well below that owing to decades of mismanagement and corruption in Africa’s leading energy producer.

Nigeria, the continent’s second-biggest economy, relies on subsidised imports for 80 per cent of its fuel needs.
Dangote said the country’s ability to import fuel would soon be challenged.

“In five years, when our population is over 200 million, we won’t have the infrastructure to receive the amount of fuel we use. It has to be done,” he said.

 

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Hot Topics Of The Day!

We deliver the most recent information on top stories in politics, sports, current affairs, foreign news and more in this segment.

Police has rounded the criminals who were involved in the abduction of Minister of Finance mother, Prof. Kamene Okonjo.

3 people have died while four others are missing as heavy downpour destroys homes and property in Onitsha, Anambra State on Sunday night.

A former Nigerian federal lawmaker, Dino Melaye, Monday night escaped assassination in FCT, Abuja.

An explosion on Monday at the annual event that celebrates thousands of runners from around the world, the Boston Marathon has killed an 8-year-old boy and two others.

Read News in Full Below:

I Gave Kidnappers Information On Okonjo-Iweala’s Mother – Palace Servant
Police has rounded the criminals who were involved in the abduction of Minister of Finance mother, Prof. Kamene Okonjo. It was learnt that they were also involved in some other kidnappings around the country.

A former servant at the palace of the traditional ruler of Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State, where the mother of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was kidnapped, has confessed that he gave the kidnappers the necessary information for the job.
The suspect, Chiejine Onochie, said although the kidnappers collected N13m as ransom before the 83-year-old Prof. Kamene Okonjo was released last December, he was not given any money and therefore, was not culpable.

Another suspect, Jideofor Ogbue, aka Marvelous, who claimed to be the leader of the gang, said they had no difficulty because Onochie had told us that the security around the palace was lax. Although 12 of us were involved in the operation, only eight actually went to the palace. He said he they did not force Okonjo out of the palace but she followed them willingly after they had told her that they were sent by President Goodluck Jonathan.

“We took her to Kwale and her family paid us N13m as ransom. They packaged the money in polythene bags and dropped it around an expressway in Benin. My share was N2m.”

The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, Umar Manko, identified other members of the gang as Michael Ojeabulu, Endurance Oke, Ibrahim Abubakar, Buhari Hamadora and Hassan Oseni.
Manko, while parading the suspects, said the suspects were arrested in different states comprising Edo, Enugu, Delta and Anambra.

Heavy Downpour Kills 3 In Onitsha, 4 Others Missing
3 people have died while four others are missing as heavy downpour destroys homes and property in Onitsha, Anambra State on Sunday night.

The four missing were feared to have been swept away by the heavy flood into the River Niger.

Two of the bodies found were that of the occupants of a Toyota Camry car, whose identities could not be determined. They were swept into a large drainage channel and their bodies recovered with the use of a crane.

The missing people were occupants of a tricycle, which was feared to have been swept into River Niger. There was another corpse near the Kate Bus stop.

The rainstorm caused serious flooding that swept away parked cars in the neighbourhoods.
Also affected were public power supply cables and pillars; telecommunications mast, one of which collapsed, and telephone cables.

Residents affected were mainly in the Woliwo, Nwangene, Silas Works, Housing Estate, Bida Road, Creek Road, and adjoining areas.

Former Lawmaker Dino Melaye Escapes Assassination In Abuja
A former Nigerian federal lawmaker, Dino Melaye, Monday night escaped assassination in FCT, Abuja.

Mr. Melaye, a staunch government critic, was attacked in the high-brow Central Business District of the city, while making his way home.

He said the attackers, driving in a Golf car, crossed his car near the NNPC towers and immediately began shooting at him.
He said two bullets hit his car before he managed to escape unharmed.

Melaye, a former member of the Peoples Democratic Party, shortly after leaving the National Assembly, switched to the opposition flank, actively leading the January 2012 fuel subsidy protest. He has since been on the fight against corruption.
“When you fight corruption, corruption fights back strongly,” he said, blaming the attack on his anti-corruption stance.

3 Dead, 144 Wounded As Mutiple Explosions Rock Boston Marathon
An explosion on Monday at the annual event that celebrates thousands of runners from around the world, the Boston Marathon has killed an 8-year-old boy and two others.

Both blasts happened in quick succession, near the row of international flags that led up to the finish line. The impact was so powerful, it whipped the limp flags straight out as if they were caught in a hurricane.

At least 144 people were hospitalized, with at least 17 in critical condition and 25 in serious condition, officials said. At least eight of the patients are children.

Several patients suffered from injuries to lower limbs that will require “serial operations” in the coming days, Trauma Surgeon Peter Fagenholz said at Massachusetts General Hospital on Monday night.

 

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We deliver the most recent information on top stories in politics, sports, current affairs, foreign news and more in this segment.

The former Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chudi Nwike, who was kidnapped on March 19, has been killed by his kidnappers.

In an audio recording on Thursday, Boko Haram has rejected the proposed Amnesty for its members saying its members had done nothing wrong to deserve pardon.

Former Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Cooperative in Oyo State, Kazeem Adedeji, and his wife Biodun were on Thursday arrested in Ibadan by men of the Special Anti-Fraud Unit, Lagos.

Read News in Full Below:

Kidnappers Kill Former Deputy Governor Of Anambra State Dr. Chudi Nwike
The former Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chudi Nwike, who was kidnapped on March 19, has been killed by his kidnappers.

The kidnappers had demanded a N30 million ransom and actually collected a negotiated amount.

The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) said that the body was identified at the Agbor Police Station in Delta State by the Anambra State Chairman of the party, Chief Amaechi Obidike, State Secretary Barr Emeka Ibe, and the victim’s brother, Dr. Bufo Nwike.

The statement noted that the family had negotiated and paid a ransom prior to the discovery of the body with Bufo Nwike handling the negotiations and arranging to pay to the kidnappers N5million at an undisclosed location in Delta State, after the ransom was paid on April 5, the kidnappers cut off all further communications.  The body was discovered thereafter.

“We are tremendously ashamed of the circumstances of his death and wish we could now erase from history that a former Deputy Governor of a State in Nigeria died in this manner,” ACN said in the statement.

Boko Haram Rejects Amnesty, Says “It Is We That Should Grant You Pardon”
In an audio recording on Thursday, Boko Haram has rejected the proposed Amnesty for its members saying its members had done nothing wrong to deserve pardon.

This was put forth by the sect leader Abubakar Shekau, in the said audio recording distributed by email to media organizations.

Shekau said it was the Nigerian government that was committing atrocities against Muslims and they are the ones who should be granting the government pardon.

“Surprisingly, the Nigerian government is talking about granting us amnesty. What wrong have we done? On the contrary, it is we that should grant you [a] pardon,” shekau said in Hausa.

The amnesty panel was set up by the president last week, of the seven members of the committee so far known, which the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa&#39ad Abubakar III, is heading, four are within the security apparatchik. They are the representatives of the Directors-General of the State Security Service (SSS) and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), while other members include a representative of the NEF and a former security chief in the regime of former Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar.

The terms of reference of the committee are: to consider the feasibility or otherwise of granting amnesty to the Boko Haram adherents; to collate the clamour arising from different interest groups who want the federal government to administer clemency on members of the religious sect; and to recommend the modalities for granting the amnesty, if necessary.

The committee has till next week to submit its report.

Former Oyo State Commissioner And Wife Arrested For Fraud!
Former Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Cooperative in Oyo State, Kazeem Adedeji, and his wife Biodun were on Thursday arrested at the wife’s office Enterprise Bank in Agodi, Ibadan by men of the Special Anti-Fraud Unit, Lagos.

They were to said to have been arrested over allegations of fraud.
One of Adedeji’s associates, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the former commissioner was at the bank earlier in the day to visit his wife.

He said, “As soon as he (the husband) left, the wife put across a distress call, informing him that a team of police officers were about to whisk her away from her desk.

“Honourable had to make a detour to know what was really the matter. On getting to the scene, the police team told him they were sent to Ibadan to effect the arrest of the two of them”.

It was gathered that there was a mild drama at the scene of their arrest as the bank manager tried to resist the police on the grounds that the arrest of Adedeji’s wife was effected without prior notice.

The couple was whisked to Iyaganku police station in Ibadan before being driven to Lagos.

Sources:
Thisday
Punch
Sahara Reporters

 

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The significant drop in power generation to 3,443MW from the peak of 4,517 megawatts attained on December 21, 2012 has been the cause of poor supply of electricity being witnessed across the country.
The bodies of 10 out of the 12 police killed in Bayelsa State have surfaced five days after the terrorist act was perpetuated.

The Independent National Electoral Commission has commenced a major reorganisation involving top members of its management team Ahead of the 2015 general elections which will affect 67 directors of the commission.

Read News In Full Below:

Nigeria To Experience More Outages As Power Generation Drops By 1,074MW
The significant drop in power generation to 3,443MW from the peak of 4,517 megawatts attained on December 21, 2012 has been the cause of poor supply of electricity being witnessed across the country.

The 1,074MW drop is, however, a slight improvement over the 2,987.6MW peak generation recorded on April 6, 2013, when a whopping 1,529.4MW was lost.

This resulted from low gas supply to thermal power plants. The statistical report shows that peak generation as of Saturday was 2,987.6 MW, while the peak demand forecast was 10,200MW. Energy generation was put at 68,953.24 megawatts hours, while the actual energy sent out was 67,360.24MWH. this has been considered by analyst has a huge break from the highest peak generation of 4,517 MW on December 21, 2012 and 98,580MWH energy on December 19, 2012, one of the highest ever sent out in the country.

The Assistant Director, Press, Power Ministry, Mrs. Pat Deworitshe, confirmed that power generation had dropped and ascribed the development to “general system collapse.”

10 Out Of 12 Bodies Of Slain Police Officers In Bayelsa Recovered
The bodies of 10 out of the 12 police killed in Bayelsa State have surfaced five days after the terrorist act was perpetuated.

The bodies, which were in various stages of decomposition, were recovered Tuesday by a combined team of soldiers and policemen along the creeks and waterways of the Azuzama community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.

The policemen, who were among a 50-member contingent deployed in Azuzama to provide security for high profile visitors going for the burial of the mother of an ex-militant, Kile Selky Torughedi, alias General Young Shall Grow, were killed in an ambush on Bayelsa waterways. Twelve policemen were said to have been killed in the attack.

The Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it carried out the attack in furtherance of its threat to resume hostilities following the conviction of its leader, Henry Okah, by a South African court for terrorism-related offences.

However, contrary to MEND’s claim, the police said the attack was carried out by some aggrieved ex-militants. The leader of the team of the aggrieved ex-militants has been identified as Commander Virus. He is said to be the commanding officer from the dismantled camp of Torughedi and they have fallen out over money issues.
To prevent a further breakdown of law and order in the region, the Joint Military Task Force (JTF), “Operation Pulo Shield” deployed in the area to maintain security, has placed its troops on red alert.

The bodies were conveyed in a Bayelsa State Government House ambulance to the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa mortuary.

INEC Embarks On Major Shakeup, 67 Directors To Be Laid Off
The Independent National Electoral Commission has commenced a major reorganisation involving top members of its management team Ahead of the 2015 general elections which will affect 67 directors of the commission.

Although details are still sketchy, Punch reported that the major shakeup will involve reshuffling, redeployment, transfer and retirement. This will be done in order to reduce INEC departments from 26 to 9 while the directorates are being reduced to 10. Directors, who have less than two years to retire have been given the option to voluntarily retire or face redeployment.

Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr. Kayode Idowu, confirmed the impending shake-up, adding that 26 departments had been reduced to nine.
“It is not a shake-up as you put it, but restructuring. It is a process which we started a long time ago but it is just unfolding by the day and involves the deployment of directors.  But we used to have a number of directors in INEC and with the new development, it has a new structure,” the Chairman said.

 

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Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta has claimed responsibility for killing the 12 policemen whose boat was ambushed in Azuzama, Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State.

Messages of condolence and tributes have started pouring for Mrs. Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka, the deputy governor of the western Nigerian state of Ekiti, who died on Saturday.

On April 4, 2013, the 2nd Edition of The Future Awards Symposium for Young and Emerging Leaders themed Project 2015: The Character of our Involvement took place at Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort, Ado- Ekiti, Ekiti.

Read News in Full Below:

MEND Claim Responsibility For Bayelsa Police Boat Attack
Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta has claimed responsibility for killing the 12 policemen whose boat was ambushed in Azuzama, Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State. This was on Sunday, haven perpetrated the terrorist act on Saturday, the group said the deaths were to teach the security forces a lesson for scorning its warning.
MEND announced last week that it would resume attacks in the oil rich Niger Delta by Friday to avenge alleged collaboration between the Federal Government and South Africa to jail its former leader, Henry Okah. Security agencies had dismissed the threat and said they were ready for MEND which tagged its resurgence of attacks, ‘Hurricane Exodus.’

MEND, in an online statement on Sunday, also disclosed that two of its fighters died in the exchange of fire with security agents. The crossfire lasted for 40 minutes.

According to the militant group’s statement signed by its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, MEND said it would remain resolute in its resumption of hostilities. It also expressed the hope that Saturday’s clash would serve as a lesson to the Joint Task Force and stop it from making ‘careless’ utterances.

“For dismissing Hurricane Exodus as an ‘empty threat’ heavily armed fighters from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, at about 17:00 Hrs., Saturday 06, April 2013, intercepted and engaged government security forces in a fierce gunfight lasting over 40 minutes at Azuzama, Southern Ijaw, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

“The clash which happened in the river left over 15 security forces dead as we also lost two (2) of our fighters in the battle. We hope this encounter will serve as a lesson to the Joint Task Force from making careless utterances that cannot be backed as we remain resolute in our resumption of hostilities.” The statement read.
The JTF however on Sunday said its operatives had now been placed on the alert to forestall further violence in the restive Niger Delta.

Tinubu, Ribadu, Fayemi Express Sadness Over Ekiti Deuty Governor Funmilayo  Olayinka’s Death
Messages of condolence and tributes have started pouring for Mrs. Funmilayo Adunni Olayinka, the deputy governor of the western Nigerian state of Ekiti, who died on Saturday.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the national leader of the Action Congress Party of Nigeria, in a statement issued by his media adviser, Sunday Dare said “the death of Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka the deputy governor of Ekiti State is a devastating loss to the family, the government and people of Ekiti State and the Action congress of Nigeria family”.

In Similar Story, Former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has expressed shock over the death of Ekiti State Deputy Governor.

Ribadu, a presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria in the 2011 elections in his condolence message said, “I am in shock, and deeply saddened, at the news of the death of the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka.

Mrs. Olayinka passed away on Saturday evening after a protracted battle with cancer at the age of 52. On Sunday, the deputy governor’s parents, Chief Festus Famuagun, and her wife, Grace, were inconsolable when Governor Kayode Fayemi and his wife, Bisi, visited the bereaved family at Isato area of Ado Ekiti on Sunday.

Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi; mother of the late Deputy Governor of the state, Mrs. Adetutu Famuagun; Governor Kayode Fayemi; and father of the deceased, Chief Festus Famuagun.

The deceased’s mother, who is 80 years old, rhetorically asked the governor, “Kayode, where is Funmi? Kayode, where is your deputy?”

The governor, who was moved to tears by the question, intermittently removed his glasses to wipe tears from his face with his handkerchief.

Governor Kayode Fayemi, Governor Rotimi Amaechi & More Gather For The 2nd Edition Of The Future Awards Symposium

On April 4, 2013, the 2nd Edition of The Future Awards Symposium for Young and Emerging Leaders themed Project 2015: The Character of our Involvement took place at Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort, Ado- Ekiti, Ekiti.


Chike Ogeah, Kayode Fayemi, Rotimi Amaechi and Pat Utomi  at The Nigeria Symposium for Young and Emerging Leaders

The event was anchored by the host of Rubbin’ Minds, Ebuka Obi- Uchendu and saw in attendance several dignitaries from around the country. Some of which were Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Professor Pat Utomi, Tonye Cole of Sahara Group, Kola Oyeneyi, Dr Oke Okechukwu of Thisday, Ajayi Olowu, Odia Ofeium, Chike Ogeah, Delta state commissioner for Information and many more.


Chike Ogeah, Rotimi Amaechi, Kayode Fayemi and Tonye Cole during the panel session  

Kicking of the event was a speech from Professor Pat Utomi, who later joined the panel of discussants and conducted a review on the state of Nigeria. The discussants with Professor Utomi were Kola Oyeneyi of the Venia Group; Japheth Omojuwa, a social media activist; Ajayi Olowu, Gbenga Sesan, Social Entrepreneur and Dr Oke Okechukwu of Thisday.


Kola Oyeneyi, Gbenga Sesan, Japheth Omojuwa, Prof. Pat Utomi, Ajayi Olowu and Oke Okechukwu 

Delivering a speech titled ‘Friends, Fellows, Countrymen- we have so much work to do’, was the Executive Director of The Future Project Chude Jideonwo. The second discussion for the day titled, ‘Getting your Hands Dirty: A Practical Guide to Political Participation’ had as discussants, Governor Kayode Fayemi, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, Tonye Cole, Chike Ogeah, Pat Utomi and Odia Ofeium, who all dished out nuggets aiding effective political participation.

The young attendees participated fully in the interactive sessions talks, exchanging ideas with the panellists and offering suggestions of their own.


Governors Amaechi and Fayemi exchanging pleasantries

The 2013 edition of the Nigeria Symposium for Young & Emerging Leaders, a platform leading from The Future Awards is presented by The Future Project, in partnership with EnoughisEnough Nigeria. It is sponsored by Etisalat and First Bank, with support from Paradigm Initiative Nigeria and the Nigeria Leadership Initiative.

For more information about this event, please visit the website or follow The Future Project on Twitter @TFANigeria and on Facebook

First UK Female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Dies Of Stroke At 87
The death has been announced of the first woman to become British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the towering figure in post-war British and world politics died at the age of 87.

She passed away earlier today, her spokeswoman said.

Thatcher retired from public life after a stroke in 2002 and suffered several strokes after that. In December 2012, she was hospitalized after a procedure to remove a growth in her bladder.

Thatcher served from 1979 to 1990 as leader of the Conservative Party. She was called the “Iron Lady” for her personal and political toughness. She was born in 1925.

Sources:
Daily Post
Punch
The Sun
CNN

 

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Hot Topics Of The Day!

We deliver the most recent information on top stories in politics, sports, current affairs, foreign news and more in this segment.

The Central Working Committee for The Future Awards has announced the sponsors for this year’s edition of The Nigeria Symposium for Young & Emerging Leaders 2013 as Etisalat and First Bank Plc.

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd), Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa&#39ad Ibrahim, and a representative of the State Security Service (SSS), among others have been named named as members of the amnesty committee on Boko Haram set up by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Read News in Full Below

First Bank, Etisalat Join Sponsors For The Future Awards Symposium In Ekiti
The Central Working Committee for The Future Awards has announced the sponsors for this year’s edition of The Nigeria Symposium for Young & Emerging Leaders 2013 holding from April 5-7, and hosted by the Ekiti State Government. The sponsors are Etisalat and First Bank. The event holds at the Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort.

The theme for this year’s event is Project 2015: The Character of Our Involvement.

“We are happy to welcome these partners to join this event that will mentor and build the capacity of a new generation of leaders for governance in our nation in Ekiti,” said the Governor of Ekiti, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. “We are excited that they will experience the beauty of the Ikogoai Warm Spring, and also that in its atmosphere of thought and perspective, the issues and actions that are important for our nation as we approach the 2015 elections are discussed purposively.”

Also joining the Speakers are the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Ekiti, who is representing Professor Attahiru Jega who is chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission and Executive Director of the Center for Values in Leadership, Professor Pat Utomi.

Apart from the Keynote Speaker, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is Coordinating Minister of the Economy, other already announced speakers are Executive Governor of Edo; Olusegun Mimiko, Executive Governor of Ondo, amongst others.

EnoughisEnough Nigeria is also presenting a seminar on politics and political participation by young people. Panelists include Head of SME Banking at Stanbic Akintunde Oyebode, blogger and activist Japheth Omojuwa, and Special Assistant on Advocacy to the Sports Minister Ohimai Amaize.

For more information about this event, please visit The Future Awards or follow The Future Project on Twitter @TFANigeria and on Facebook

Jonathan Set Up Boko Haram Amnesty Committee
After the Thursday meeting that emerged as a spillover of Wednesday meeting with the leadership of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), the National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd), Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa&#39ad Ibrahim, and a representative of the State Security Service (SSS), among others, were named as members of the amnesty committee on Boko Haram, set up by President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday to consider the feasibility of granting clemency to the group.

Jonathan who had said on Wednesday that he never ruled out amnesty for the sect, may have finally bowed to pressure to consider granting amnesty to members of the Islamic terrorist group, which informed his decision to set up the committee within the National Security Council (NSC), a source told Thisday.

Jonathan has been refusing calls for amnesty for Boko Haram members who have unleashed a reign of terror on the country since 2009, saying he would not have anything to do with the group until its leaders unmasked themselves but following the meetings with the NEF and NSC, the president decided to establish the committee that would recommend the feasibility of granting amnesty to Boko Haram members and work out the modalities to be adopted if the federal government should grant the group amnesty.

Super Eagles Coach Keshi Shuns Yobo Again
Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi has invited a total of 30 players for the team’s hectic mid-year schedule with the team captain Joseph Yobo still missing from the list. The Fenerbahce defender was not called for the match against Kenya last month – a development that brought about a public spar between the player and the coach.

The Nigeria Football Federation officials though have moved to settle the rift between them.

But while Yobo has still not been recalled, South Africa 2013 top scorer Emmanuel Emenike is back to the fold. He was also not called for the match in Calabar against Kenya but on account of the injury he sustained at the semi-final stage of the Africa Cup of Nations. Midfielder Kalu Uche also returns after 16 months on the sideline.
A notable fresh inclusion is Anthony Ujah who stars for FC Cologne of Germany. The striker is actually on loan to Cologne from Mainz of France.

Sources:
Leadership
The Punch

 

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board, JAMB, Thursday restated its commitment to conduct a hitch-free UTME examination on April 27, 2013, meanwhile, controversies have trailed the Federal Government’s decision to scrap the National Examinations Council, NECO, as well as the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations, UTME.

The Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) announced on Wednesday that it would resume hostilities in the country on Friday.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Azubike Ihejirika has disclosed that culprits of the plot to bomb about 16 landmarks in Lagos smuggled in explosives and the detonators in empty fuel tankers.

Read News in Full Below:

Controversies Trail Scrapping Of NECO, UTME – JAMB Reinstates Commitment To Conduct Exams
The Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board, JAMB, Thursday restated its commitment to conduct a hitch-free UTME examination on April 27, 2013, meanwhile, controversies have trailed the Federal Government’s decision to scrap the National Examinations Council, NECO, as well as the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations, UTME.

Professors Ralph Akinfeleye of University of Lagos, Florence Banku Obi of University of Calabar and Abayomi George Ojanuga of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, who are in support of the proposed scrapping said it would give true meaning to university autonomy, eliminate irregularities  and help universities capture the best students.

However, Prof. Olu Jegede of Obafemi Awolowo University’s, Vice Chancellor, Caleb University, Prof. Ayodeji Olukoju and Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie,  argued that the adoption of the White Paper’s recommendations would spell doom for our nation’s education sector which, they believe, would be thrown into a state of confusion.

Also the Dean, Faculty of Education, Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Olu Jegede, said this would cause a major setback for Nigeria’s education sector and universities will be far apart in technology due to lack of standard.

Upon the news of the presidential council to scrap the parastatals, members of staff of the National Examination Council, NECO, were yesterday gripped with fear as they contemplate what may become their fate should the government go ahead to abolish the council. When newsmen visited the council headquarters, yesterday, some staff who were at their duty posts were seen discussing the newspaper reports and their fate.

MEND Threatens Fresh Attacks
The Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) announced on Wednesday that it would resume hostilities in the country on Friday.

MEND in a statement signed by its spokesman, Gbomo Jomo, said the series of attacks codenamed “Hurricane Exodus” would begin at midnight.

The group described the planned attacks as “a direct repercussion of a forged threat letter contrived by the Nigerian and South African governments purporting to have originated from MEND”.

Terrorist Smuggled Exposives Into Lagos In Empty Fuel Tankers
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Azubike Ihejirika has disclosed that culprits of the plot to bomb about 16 landmarks in Lagos smuggled in explosives and the detonators in empty fuel tankers.

Ihejirika, made this disclosure yesterday at the second day of the interactive session on Military-Media Relations in Nigeria, held in Lagos, saying the plot was nipped in the bud through intelligence reports.

Guest speaker, Editor-in-Chief/Chairman of Thisday Newspapers, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, called on the military to revamp, restructure and properly fund its intelligence unit for optimal result in curbing the activities of the terrorist groups.
It was also gathered that the terrorists had chosen the route to avoid suspicion, thereby blending with other tanker drivers on the roads to beat security checkpoints.

Barack Obama To Trim Salary By 5% In Show Of Solidarity
President Barack Obama will return 5 percent of his salary to the Treasury in a show of solidarity with federal workers smarting from government-wide spending cuts.

Obama&#39s decision grew out of a desire to share in the sacrifice that government employees are making, a White House official said Wednesday. Hundreds of thousands of workers could be forced to take unpaid leave — known as furloughs — if Congress does not reach an agreement soon to undo the cuts.

A 5 percent cut from the president&#39s salary of $400,000 per year amounts to $20,000.

Obama will return a full $20,000 to the Treasury even though only a few months remain in the fiscal year, which ends in September. He will cut his first check this month, said the White House official, who was not authorized to discuss the decision publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Sources:
Vanguard
Thisday
Yahoo!

 

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The delayed approval of the Federal Government summer schedule has led to the contemplation to stop flight into Nigeria by the 24 foreign airlines entering the country.

The Benin edition of The Future National Enterprise Conference has been announced to hold on Friday, April 12 at the Main Auditorium if the University of Benin.

Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo has expressed his frustration over being shut out by the team coach Stephen Keshi soon after leading the team to the Africa Cup of Nations triumph in South Africa, saying he won’t beg to play for the national team.

Read News In Full Below:

FG Set To Scrap NECO, UTME & NAPEP
The Federal Government has finalized arrangement to scrap some of the nation’s parastatals.

The parastatals include the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UMTE), National Examinations Council (NECO), Public Complaints Commission, and National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), among others.

The government’s decisions, which would be made public soon via a White Paper, are based on the recommendations of the Stephen Oronsaye-led Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies.

President Goodluck Jonathan has been meeting with Vice-President Namadi Sambo and a few top government officials to take final decisions, upon the receipt of the report.

According to The Punch, authorities of all tertiary institutions would now be at liberty to conduct their entrance examinations as they had been doing for post-UTME, under the new arrangement. JAMB will however remain as a clearing house.

Foreign Airlines Worried Over Delayed Summer Schedule – May Stop Flights Into Nigeria
The delayed approval of the Federal Government summer schedule has led to the contemplation to stop flight into Nigeria by the 24 foreign airlines entering the country.

The summer season commenced on the 28th of March, the approval is usually given days ahead of the expiration of the current season’s schedule in order to avoid a situation where an airline has to ground its flight operations while waiting for approval and it is illegal for any airline to fly into another country without getting approval for its winter and summer seasonal schedules from the host countries.

Although most of the foreign airlines have begun implementing their winter schedule, which has yet to be approved by the Ministry of Aviation, a number of them are, however, worried that the delay in the approval process may put them in an unpleasant situation.

Reports from a manager of one of the foreign airlines, who spoke in confidence because of the sensitive nature of the subject said, “We are in dilemma whether to stop our flights to Nigeria or not because we don’t know why the summer schedule has been delayed up till now. We started implementing our summer schedule since March 31, but we are very worried.

It was gathered that one of the numerous implications of not getting approval for the schedule before flying was that in the event of a crash or major accident, insurance companies might refuse to pay compensation to the affected airline and its passengers because such would be regarded as an illegal flight.

The Future National Enterprise Conference Hits Benin This April
The Benin edition of The Future National Enterprise Conference has been announced to hold on Friday, April 12 at the Main Auditorium if the University of Benin.

Themed &#39Our generation needs to get to work&#39, the conferences kicked off on 26 January this year at the main auditorium of the University of Lagos to an audience of over 1500 young people.

Speakers/Mentors included Nestle Executive Director Iquo Ukoh, Microsoft Manager Ugochukwu Nwosu, media entrepreneur and presenter Mo Abudu, actors Stephanie Okereke and Rita Dominic amongst others.
“Our work is centred on inspiring leadership and building enterprise and this focuses on the latter,” said Chude Jideonwo, who is executive director of The Future Project. “Whether as entrepreneurs, or professionals, we need to build the capacity of young people entering the job market, as well as connect to opportunities to add value to Nigeria&#39s economy. We are grateful to MTN for helping us actualise our vision of engaging young people in Edo this year.”

Speakers include The Future Awards winner for Innovator of the Year (Science & Technology) Seun Onigbinde, winner for On-Air Personality of the Year (TV) Denrele Edun, Finalist for the Best Use of Advocacy Priscilla Usibaifo and Samson Aligba, CEO BE! Technology.

The event will also feature the Benin launch of TFESS.com (The Future Enterprise Support Scheme), an online app/community to help connect students, school-leavers and graduates to jobs and opportunities.

The Benin event is presented by The Future Project in conjunction with MTN and the Start-Up Hub with support from PANS and Congos Edo state.

For more information please visit the website

Joseph Yobo Complains About Lack Of Communication In The National Team, Says He Won’t Beg To Play For Eagles
Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo has expressed his frustration over being shut out by the team coach Stephen Keshi soon after leading the team to the Africa Cup of Nations triumph in South Africa, saying he won’t beg to play for the national team.

Yobo described the way he was shut out as disrespectful while speaking to Sports Radio 88.9 Brila FM on Tuesday. He also alleged that one of the assistant coaches to Keshi has made the national team quite uncomfortable for him.

Yobo was not called up for the game against Kenya in Calabar a fortnight ago and said he was not informed as he had expected.

He said, “I don’t know what happened. I felt we were celebrating the African cup together and working together. But since winning the cup, nobody has spoken to me. Keshi has never called me, so I just focused on my club career.

Source:
The Punch

 

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We deliver the most recent information on top stories in politics, sports, current affairs, foreign news and more in this segment.

The delayed approval of the Federal Government summer schedule has led to the contemplation to stop flight into Nigeria by the 24 foreign airlines entering the country.

The Benin edition of The Future National Enterprise Conference has been announced to hold on Friday, April 12 at the Main Auditorium if the University of Benin.

Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo has expressed his frustration over being shut out by the team coach Stephen Keshi soon after leading the team to the Africa Cup of Nations triumph in South Africa, saying he won’t beg to play for the national team.

Read News In Full Below:

FG Set To Scrap NECO, UTME & NAPEP
The Federal Government has finalized arrangement to scrap some of the nation’s parastatals.

The parastatals include the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UMTE), National Examinations Council (NECO), Public Complaints Commission, and National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), among others.

The government’s decisions, which would be made public soon via a White Paper, are based on the recommendations of the Stephen Oronsaye-led Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies.

President Goodluck Jonathan has been meeting with Vice-President Namadi Sambo and a few top government officials to take final decisions, upon the receipt of the report.

According to The Punch, authorities of all tertiary institutions would now be at liberty to conduct their entrance examinations as they had been doing for post-UTME, under the new arrangement. JAMB will however remain as a clearing house.

Foreign Airlines Worried Over Delayed Summer Schedule – May Stop Flights Into Nigeria
The delayed approval of the Federal Government summer schedule has led to the contemplation to stop flight into Nigeria by the 24 foreign airlines entering the country.

The summer season commenced on the 28th of March, the approval is usually given days ahead of the expiration of the current season’s schedule in order to avoid a situation where an airline has to ground its flight operations while waiting for approval and it is illegal for any airline to fly into another country without getting approval for its winter and summer seasonal schedules from the host countries.

Although most of the foreign airlines have begun implementing their winter schedule, which has yet to be approved by the Ministry of Aviation, a number of them are, however, worried that the delay in the approval process may put them in an unpleasant situation.

Reports from a manager of one of the foreign airlines, who spoke in confidence because of the sensitive nature of the subject said, “We are in dilemma whether to stop our flights to Nigeria or not because we don’t know why the summer schedule has been delayed up till now. We started implementing our summer schedule since March 31, but we are very worried.

It was gathered that one of the numerous implications of not getting approval for the schedule before flying was that in the event of a crash or major accident, insurance companies might refuse to pay compensation to the affected airline and its passengers because such would be regarded as an illegal flight.

The Future National Enterprise Conference Hits Benin This April
The Benin edition of The Future National Enterprise Conference has been announced to hold on Friday, April 12 at the Main Auditorium if the University of Benin.

Themed &#39Our generation needs to get to work&#39, the conferences kicked off on 26 January this year at the main auditorium of the University of Lagos to an audience of over 1500 young people.

Speakers/Mentors included Nestle Executive Director Iquo Ukoh, Microsoft Manager Ugochukwu Nwosu, media entrepreneur and presenter Mo Abudu, actors Stephanie Okereke and Rita Dominic amongst others.
“Our work is centred on inspiring leadership and building enterprise and this focuses on the latter,” said Chude Jideonwo, who is executive director of The Future Project. “Whether as entrepreneurs, or professionals, we need to build the capacity of young people entering the job market, as well as connect to opportunities to add value to Nigeria&#39s economy. We are grateful to MTN for helping us actualise our vision of engaging young people in Edo this year.”

Speakers include The Future Awards winner for Innovator of the Year (Science & Technology) Seun Onigbinde, winner for On-Air Personality of the Year (TV) Denrele Edun, Finalist for the Best Use of Advocacy Priscilla Usibaifo and Samson Aligba, CEO BE! Technology.

The event will also feature the Benin launch of TFESS.com (The Future Enterprise Support Scheme), an online app/community to help connect students, school-leavers and graduates to jobs and opportunities.

The Benin event is presented by The Future Project in conjunction with MTN and the Start-Up Hub with support from PANS and Congos Edo state.

For more information please visit the website

Joseph Yobo Complains About Lack Of Communication In The National Team, Says He Won’t Beg To Play For Eagles
Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo has expressed his frustration over being shut out by the team coach Stephen Keshi soon after leading the team to the Africa Cup of Nations triumph in South Africa, saying he won’t beg to play for the national team.

Yobo described the way he was shut out as disrespectful while speaking to Sports Radio 88.9 Brila FM on Tuesday. He also alleged that one of the assistant coaches to Keshi has made the national team quite uncomfortable for him.

Yobo was not called up for the game against Kenya in Calabar a fortnight ago and said he was not informed as he had expected.

He said, “I don’t know what happened. I felt we were celebrating the African cup together and working together. But since winning the cup, nobody has spoken to me. Keshi has never called me, so I just focused on my club career.

Source:
The Punch

 

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We deliver the most recent information on top stories in politics, sports, current affairs, foreign news and more in this segment.

Operatives of the Special Task Force on Anti-pipeline Vandalism, instituted by the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Abubakar on Monday arrested five suspected pipeline vandals in Lagos.

Professor Francisca Okeke the first female Head of Department, University of Nigeria Nsukka has bagged a prize of $100,000, as one of the winners of the 2013 L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards in Physical Sciences.

The White Paper on the report of the Presidential Committee on the Security Challenges in the North-east has rejected the recommendation that the federal government should pay compensation to victims of Boko Haram attacks.

Read News in Full Below:

5 Pipeline Vandals Arrested In Lagos By Special Task Force
Operatives of the Special Task Force on Anti-pipeline Vandalism, instituted by the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Abubakar on Monday arrested five suspected pipeline vandals in Lagos.

The suspects identified as Eugene Stanley, Kunle Ogushe, Oluwafemi Bamidele, Komuko Ayekede and James Awolowo, were arrested at 7th Avenue, FESTAC Town, one of the notorious spots for pipeline vandalism in the state.

Komuko Ayekede who confessed to the crime said he sells stolen petrol for as low as N48 – N60 per litre to customers, especially at the Apapa area of the state.

They were said to have been sighted after they had successfully vandalised and stolen 270 jerry cans of 120 litres of petrol from one of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines at Oke Agemo, Ijedodo area near Ijegun in Iba Local Government Council Development Area (LCDA), they were sailing across the canal behind 7th Avenue in FESTAC Town when they were surrounded, arrested and the stolen products recovered from them.

Komuko, 52, however pleaded with the police to release him and the other four suspects, Oluwafemi Bamidele, James Awolowo, Eugene Stanley and Kunle Ogushe, in the spirit of Easter.

Professor Francisca Okeke Bags UNESCO Science Laureate Award, Scoops $100,000
Professor Francisca Okeke the first female Head of Department, University of Nigeria Nsukka has bagged a prize of $100,000, as one of the winners of the 2013 L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards in Physical Sciences.

She won the 2013 Laureate award for her significant contributions “to the understanding of daily variations of the ion currents in the upper atmosphere which may further our understanding of climate change.”

UNESCO says Professor Okeke has made the study of the ionosphere her lifetime work. The ionosphere lies between 50km and 1000kms above the earth surface. “A very thick layer of charged particles, the ionosphere produces changes in the magnetic field on earth’s surface that affect the planet in a host of ways. Her research could lead to a better understanding of climate change and help pinpoint sources of dramatic phenomena like tsunamis and earthquakes”, a summary of her research published by UNESCO read.

Although, the awards were announced last year October, the award ceremony took place over the weekend in Paris. Four others also got awards in the Laureate category with each representing Europe, Latin America, North America and the Asia Pacific regions.
 
Also, The second Nigerian award recipient, Dr Eucharia Nwaichi, an environmental bio-chemist from the University of Port Harcourt joined 15 other young scientists in the “International Fellows’’ category.

Nwaichi, who was recognised for her research on “scientific solution to environmental pollution’’, stressed the need for increased motivation to support women in the field.

Boko Haram: Presidential Committee Report Rejects Compensation For Terrorist Victim
The White Paper on the report of the Presidential Committee on the Security Challenges in the North-east has rejected the recommendation that the federal government should pay compensation to victims of Boko Haram attacks.

It said rather than paying compensation to orphans and widows of terror victims, as recommended by the committee, government would only assist them. But it was silent on the form of assistance government would render to them.

It however recommended the regulation of preaching by Islamic clerics as one of the ways to curb the Boko Haram insurgency.

In addition, the White Paper, in its roadmap for peace, called on the government to address the porosity of the Nigerian borders, which it noted encourages the smuggling of arms, ammunition and explosive materials used in making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

The eight-member White Paper Drafting Committee, chaired by Comrade A. Moru, which submitted its report in May 2012, was constituted by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, to study and analyse the report of the presidential committee headed by Ambassador Usman Galtimari, which submitted its final report in September 2011.

The eight-member Galtimari committee, which was inaugurated by Anyim in August 2011, was set up to study the security challenges in the North-east and suggest steps the government should take to address the situation with a view to restoring permanent peace in the terror-stricken area.

The government accepted most of the recommendations of the Galtimari committee and rejected only a few, including one in which it recommended that compensation should be paid to victims of Boko Haram attacks.

Sources:
Thisday
The Punch
Sahara Reporters
PM News

 

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Operatives of the Joint Task Force on Sunday raided terrorist hideout in Unguwa Uku area of Kano, averting another major attack in the ancient city.

President Goodluck Jonathan was reminded of the epileptic state of the nation’s power supply while giving his Easter message during a service at Our Saviour’s Church (Anglican Communion), Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, when his speech was punctuated by an outage on Sunday.

Pope Francis delivered his first Easter Sunday Speech and has made a passionate plea for peace in Nigeria and the rest of the world.

Read News in Full Below:

JTF Invade Boko Haram’s Hideout, Kills 14 Members In Kano
Operatives of the Joint Task Force on Sunday raided terrorist hideout in Unguwa Uku area of Kano, averting another major attack in the ancient city.

The operatives, acting on a tip off, were said to have raced to the area around 4am and intercepted a Volkswagen Golf, primed with explosives, which some terrorists had wanted to use to wreck havoc during the Easter celebration in the city.

Residents of the area said the soldiers thereafter invaded a compound housing the suspected terrorists but were greeted with explosions. They added that the operatives who were not deterred exchanged gunfire with the terrorists for about four hours.

The spokesperson of JTF in Kano, Ikedi Iweha, was quoted as saying that the task force killed 14 Boko Haram suspects in the raid.

One of the residents said   it was unclear if most of the terrorists were killed by the Improvised Explosive Devices detonated by them or by the operatives.

He added that bodies were seen being carried out of one of the   buildings in the compound raided by the operatives while 14 AK 47 rifles, 10 peak milk-size IEDs, four drums of 50- litre  primed explosives  and   51 other items  in small drums were recovered.

The houses were thereafter demolished while the corpses were taken  to a morgue.

Power Outage Interrupts Goodluck Jonathan’s Easter Message In Lagos
President Goodluck Jonathan was reminded of the epileptic state of the nation’s power supply while giving his Easter message during a service at Our Saviour’s Church (Anglican Communion), Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, when his speech was punctuated by an outage on Sunday.

 Power supply to the church auditorium went off about six minutes into the President’s speech and lasted till he ended the message.
The President used battery-powered microphone to continue his speech which lasted for nine minutes, 40 seconds.

The service which ex-Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, also attended had earlier been interrupted by an outage for few minutes before the President mounted the podium to deliver his message.

Jonathan, however, made a joke of the situation, saying the power was deliberately put out in order to remind him of the urgent need to tackle the problem in the country.

“They know that I’m here; that’s why they took light, at least to remind me that I must not sleep until we stabilise power. God willing, next year they will not take light,” Jonathan said.

Pope Francis Uses First Easter Sunday Speech To Call For Peace In Nigeria And Other Countries
Pope Francis delivered his first Easter Sunday Speech and has made a passionate plea for peace in the world.

He appealed for a diplomatic solution to the crisis torn countries and regions of the world such the Korean peninsula, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Mail and the Central Republic of Africa.

The Pope decried the continued insurgent attacks in Nigeria when he prayed for Africa and and referred to Mali and Nigeria, “where attacks sadly continue.”

In his first “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message, Francis also called for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, an end to the civil war in Syria, and political solutions to conflicts in several African countries.

Sources:
The Punch
Yahoo!

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The police intercepted a Golf 3 Motor Vehicle with Reg. No. AG 701 KTN at an outskirt village in Kano averting a planned bomb attack On Tuesday at about 9:30pm, based on a tip-off.

Chief Oluwole Awolowo, Publisher, African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, the publishers of the Tribune newspapers died in a United Kingdom hospital on Wednesday at the age of 70.

The Central Working Committee of The Future Awards has announced the speakers for the 2nd edition of The Nigeria Symposium for Young & Emerging Leaders. They include Ngozi Okojo Iweala, Olusegun Obasanjo, Kayode Fayemi, Adams Oshimole and more.

Nelson Mandela, former South African president and anti-apartheid icon was admitted to a hospital in the country yesterday for treatment relating to a recurring lung illness, his second visit this year after a medical check-up earlier.

Read News in Full Below:

Kano Police Averts Terrorist Attack, Recovers Bombs And Ammunitions
The police intercepted a Golf 3 Motor Vehicle with Reg. No. AG 701 KTN at an outskirt village in Kano averting a planned bomb attack On Tuesday at about 9:30pm, based on a tip-off.

Other items recovered from the car include an AK 47 Rifle, Assault Rifle, 238 live ammunition of different caliber, Rocket Launcher, AK 47 Magazines, seven Turkey oil—stuffed with remote-control bombs, two cylinder remote-control devices, 14 hand grenades, four rolls of wire connector and 12 power source.

Commissioner of Police, Musa Daura, told reporters on Wednesday that the command, acting on intelligence, engaged a group of terrorists in a gun battle on the outskirts of the city, injuring some of them and recovering abomb-laden Golf 3 vehicle, as well as arms and ammunition.

Daura said the occupants of the vehicle instantly opened fire upon sighting a police patrol van and a gun battle ensued, with the militants retreating after receiving bullet wounds.
The CP claimed that no policeman was hurt during the attack.

Tribune Publisher Chief Oluwole Awolowo Dies At 70
Chief Oluwole Awolowo, Publisher, African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, the publishers of the Tribune newspapers died in a United Kingdom hospital on Wednesday at the age of 70.

A statement from ANN Plc on Wednesday said Oluwole, a son of the late Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, died as a result of the complications he suffered in a car crash about seven years ago.

The statement by the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of the company, Mr. Edward Dickson, said, “Chief Awolowo died 5.40pm Nigerian time at Wellington hospital, St Johnswood, London, following complications arising from a car crash that occurred on September 30, 2006.

“He had been in and out of hospital, home and abroad, since he was involved in the ghastly accident seven years ago on the Lagos- Ibadan Expressway.

“Despite his health challenges following the accident, Chief Awolowo devoted his life to the service of God and was deeply involved in evangelical activities.”

Ngozi Okojo Iweala, Olusegun Obasanjo & others Lead Conversation At The Future Awards Symposium
The Central Working Committee of The Future Awards has announced the speakers for the 2nd edition of The Nigeria Symposium for Young & Emerging Leaders. The event holds from April 5 – 7 at the Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort, Ekiti hosted by the State Government.

The committee has also announced the theme for this year&#39s event – Project 2015: The Character of Our Involvement.

 “The theme is crucial as young people define the nature of their engagement as we countdown to the 2015 General Elections,” said &#39Yemi Adamolekun, who is Executive Director of Enough is Enough Nigeria, partners for the event. “2015 is barely 2 years away, and politicians, civil society organisations, the media and citizens need to identify their active roles within the process. We are glad to partner with The Future Project.”

The keynote speech for the event is titled “The Cost of Involvement: Why Your Generation Must Get Involved” to be taken by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance/Coordinating Minister of the Economy.  Interactive session will see Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo leading the topic “It&#39s over to you guys: A New Generation Must Take Responsibility.”
Other speakers include Kayode Fayemi, Adams Oshimole, Rotimi Amaechi, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Tonye Cole amongst others.

Mandela Hospitalised Again For Lung Infection
Nelson Mandela, former South African president and anti-apartheid icon was admitted to a hospital in the country yesterday for treatment relating to a recurring lung illness, his second visit this year after a medical check-up earlier.

The Nobel laureate was hospitalized again at the beginning of the month but officials said it was only for a routine checkup.

“Doctors are attending to him, ensuring that he has the best possible expert medical treatment and comfort,” President Jacob Zuma&#39s office said in a statement.

Mandela, 94, has undergone treatment for the ailment before, including a Christmas hospital stay last year for gallstones surgery and a lung infection. He was also treated for an acute respiratory infection in 2011.

The former president suffered from tuberculosis while imprisoned, and has battled respiratory infections over the years.

Sources:
The Punch

 

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The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to immortalise the late Prof. Chinua Achebe by naming the National Library after him.

About 900 members of the National Youth Service Corps in the Batch A posted to Kano State for the 2012/2013 service year have been redeployed to other states due to the current security challenge in the commercial city.

The State Security Service on Tuesday intercepted a truck conveying scores of illegal immigrants into the state and arrested them.

Read News in Full Below:

House Of Representatives Tells FG To Immortalise Chinua Achebe
The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to immortalise the late Prof. Chinua Achebe by naming the National Library after him.

This was on Tuesday when the House also observed a minute’s silence in honour of the literary icon and condoled with his family over his death.

Achebe died in Boston, United States of America, on Thursday last week at the age of 82.

The House resolution followed a motion by the lawmaker representing Idemili-North/South Federal Constituency of Anambra State, Mr. Charles Odedo.

Odedo, in the motion, ‘Tribute to Prof. Chinua Achebe’, said the late novelist and poet, contributed immensely to education and the development of African literature in his lifetime.

He noted that his 1958 novel, Things Fall Apart, brought Nigeria fame by “attaining worldwide recognition.”
Odedo also added, “We urge the Federal Government to name the National Library under construction after Achebe or any other national monument.”

900 Corps Members Redeployed As Safety Measure Against Terrorism
About 900 members of the National Youth Service Corps in the Batch A posted to Kano State for the 2012/2013 service year have been redeployed to other states due to the current security challenge in the commercial city.

2,400 members of the Batch A were posted and most are now seeking redeployment. Salisu Yakasai, made this known during the closing ceremony of the Batch A orientation exercise in Kano on Tuesday.

The corps members were redeployed because of the recent bomb attacks in the state with the latest being the attack at a motor park in the city.

Most of the corps members expected to undergo their primary assignments in the state were initially reported to have declined to report to the orientation camp.

Traumatised by the recent attack at the bus park, majority of the fresh graduates sought to be redeployed to other parts of the country.

According to Yakassai, the remaining 1,500 corps members would be posted to the rural areas of the state, which are considered safer, according to report monitored on Channels TV on the Orientation.

Illegal Immigrants Arrested In Lagos By State Security Service
Security agents in Lagos State have become more cautious and vigilant following the raid and discovery of terrorist hideout in Ijora including a Chadian.  The State Security Service on Tuesday intercepted a truck conveying scores of illegal immigrants into the state and arrested them.

The arrest took place at the Berger area, which is a boundary spot between Lagos and Ogun states.

According to sources, the SSS arrested the occupants of the vehicle but released those who were later identified as being from northern Nigeria, while the illegal immigrants among them were transferred to the Nigerian Immigration Service.

However, it was learnt on Tuesday that the Malian illegal immigrants might not be deported due to the ongoing crisis in the West African country.

The Comptroller of the NIS, Lagos State Command, Rasheed Odupeyin said that illegal Malians resident in Nigeria would be handed over to the United Nations Refugee Agency, where they will be registered.

He said while parading 92 suspected illegal aliens in Lagos, “The Malians may not be deported because of the ongoing crisis in their country, so that it will not seem as if we are sending them to their grave. They will be adjudged as refugees.”

Sources:
The Punch
Channels TV

 

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Government of Akwa Ibom State releases press statement that contrary to earlier reports, Governor Akpabio never rigged Senatorial Election.

The Federal Government declares Friday, March 29 and Monday, April 1, 2013 as public holidays to mark the celebration of Easter.

To debunk rumors that were circulated via Blackberry Messenger and Social Media, the Ogun State Police have come forth to declare that there have been no female beheaded bodies.

Read The News In Full Below:

Governor Akpabio Never Rigged Senatorial Election
According to a Press Release signed by the Information Officer for Ministry of Information, the impression going round that Senator Alloysius Etok, representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District was imposed on the people of the area by Governor Godswill Akpabio, are false impressions.

In a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, which includes Governor Godswill Akpabio, presented Senator Alloysius Etok as the best candidate for the 2007 Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District election.

It has been explained that the choice of the Senator was the outcome of due political process. The release further explained that given that the Ini/Ikono, a minority part of the Senatorial District had never produced a Senator, Mr. Umanah said the party hierarchy, in the spirit of fairness and inclusiveness, supported the candidacy of Alloysius Etok.

Mr Umanah, who emphasized that Governor Akpabio was misunderstood in a video post on some websites and in the social media, enjoined all well meaning individuals and groups to ignore the attempt of mischief makers to malign the person and office of Governor Godswill Akpabio. He advised the media not to allow themselves to be used in a new wave of attack against the Governor.

Police Debunk’s Headless Bodies Broadcast
The Ogun State Police Command has debunked rumour that headless bodies of three suspected female students were dumped in an area in Ijebu Ode on Monday.

A message circulated via BlackBerry about the incident caused confusion in the town. It read, “Three headless bodies suspected to be that of females were thrown off a Range Rover Sport Jeep at Ijebu Ode-Ibadan Road just now. One is fair in complexion with University of Lagos identity card (Yetunde Ajao) inside her bag.

The second is an Olabisi Onabanjo University student, Oyindamola Esan, also fair in complexion and tall. The last one is short, plump and dark with no identity. Please kindly notify their families and friends if you know them before the bodies are run over by vehicles.”

But the spokesperson for the state police command, Muyiwa Adejobi, has stated that the rumours were mischievous and simply untrue.

FG declares Friday, Monday Public Holidays for Easter

The Federal Government has declared Friday, March 29 and Monday, April 1, 2013 as public holidays to mark the celebration of Good Friday and Easter Monday respectively.

Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, who made the declaration in a statement in Abuja on Monday on behalf of the government, urged Nigerians to use the occasion for sober reflection.

The statement signed by the Director, Citizenship and Business, Mr Adetoye Sode, Interior Ministry, enjoined Nigerians to remain committed to the exemplary attributes of love, tolerance and peaceful co-existence which Jesus Christ exhibited while on earth.  

Henry Okah Gets 24 Years In Jail For 2010 Independence Day Bombing
Henry Okah has gotten a total of 37 years in prison following his Independence Day bombings and threats made to the South African government after his arrest in October 2010.

A South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg has sentenced the convicted Nigerian terrorist and leader of the Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) Henry Okah to 24 years in prison.

This is coming after he was convicted on 13 counts related to terrorism for masterminding the October 1, 2010 twin bomb blasts that killed 12 people Abuja. The blast also injured 36 others.

According to reports that he was sentenced to 12 years for each for the two car bombs set off. Judge Neels Classen said the state had proven Okah’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt adding that Nigerian national’s failure to testify meant the evidence against him remained uncontested.

On January 21, the court found Okah guilty on 13 counts of terrorism, including engaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activities, and delivering, placing, and detonating an explosive device.

He was also sentenced to 13 years imprisonment for the threats made to the South African government after his arrest in October 2010. The 13 years would run concurrently with the 24 years.

Credits
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The Punch
The Nation
Guardian

 

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Nigerian Police beef up security against terrorist insurgence in Lagos.

Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio has confessed to manipulating the result of a 2007 Peoples Democratic Party senatorial primary election in the state by single-handedly replacing the winner with the name of his preferred candidate.

Eulogies continued to pour in for Professor Chinua Achebe following his death. Former governor of Lagos State, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu has described the death of the decease as a loss of a national treasure.

Read News in Full Below:

Police Beef Up Security Against Terrorist Insurgence In Lagos
With Last week raid carried out by security agents that resulted in Ijora, Lagos state that may have saved the city of possible terrorist attack, the Lagos State Police Command has tightened security in and around the state.

Places like Jakande Estate Isolo, Apapa, Ijora, Ikeja, Mile 2, Isolo, Okota and Oshodi, amongst several others on the mainland as well as the Third Mainland Bridge, Falomo and Bonny Camp have been placed under strict surveillance.

The raid, carried out by both operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) and Operation Mesa (OP Mesa), a combined security outfit comprising the police and the armed forces, led to the arrest of some suspects.
New details obtained showed that contrary to the initial information from security agencies that only two suspected Boko Haram members were arrested during the raid, over 14 persons were nabbed and are currently in custody undergoing interrogation.

A top security source confided in Newspaper outfit Thisday that it was during interrogation that the security operatives obtained details of the planned attacks on Lagos, which include the simultaneous bombing of 16 landmarks, including public utilities that would have exacted maximum casualties in the city.
This is the second time in one month security agents have foiled terrorist plots to bomb targets in Lagos.

Governor Apkabio Admits Rigging Party’s Primary Election, Splashes N36.5million On Super Eagles
Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio has confessed to manipulating the result of a 2007 Peoples Democratic Party senatorial primary election in the state by single-handedly replacing the winner with the name of his preferred candidate.

Akpabio, who is also the PDP Governors Forum chairman, made the confession when a delegation of the National Good Governance Tour visited the state on March 9.
The tour, which was recorded on video camera was led by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku. The video went viral on Sunday and was as of 8.47pm viewable on premiumtimes.com, the website of an online Nigerian news portal, Premium Times.

He was responding to a question that he had not impacted the lives of the people of the two communities, especially in the area of roads, schools and other public infrastructure when he said: “I used my own hand to strike out the name of the person who has won before, and I said it is important for me to give that region a Senator in 2007, and I produced Senator Aloysius Etuk for you; that’s where he comes from.”

See the impact of what he had said, Apkabio tried to defend himself stating an illogical explanation.

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In similar news, Governor Godswill Akpabio on Sunday doled out the sum of N36.5million to the players of the Super Eagles and technical staff of the team for winning the last Nation’s Cup in South Africa.

Akpabio who announced the donation at the Government House Banquet Hall, Uyo the state capital said  each of the twenty three players  were to get one million naira each  and that three Assistant coaches   one million naira each, while  the chief coach, Stephen Keshi got two million naira and  the seventeen back room staff  five hundred thousand each.

He also announced a donation of an already completed three bedroom apartment by the state government to the Eagle’s goal tender, Mr. Vincent Enyeama, an indigene of the state.  

Eulogies Pour In For Achebe: We Lost A National Treasure – Tinubu
Eulogies continued to pour in for Professor Chinua Achebe following his death. Former governor of Lagos State, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu has described the death of the decease as a loss of a national treasure.

Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State and former governor of Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige, described him as a literary giant.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State also described him as a scholar of distinction.

Tinubu said the death of Achebe was the loss of yet another national treasure who died unfulfilled in his dream to see a better governed, fully demorcratic and united Nigeria.

“Achebe’s words were like the arrows of God penetrating the fortresses of our leaders and striking their hearts to do good, unfortunately not many harkened and that is why we remain stuck as a people and a country.”

Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of Lagos State described Achebe as the father of modern African literature.

Fashola, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, recalled his meeting with Achebe last December at Brown University, Providence in Rhodes Island United States, where he had gone to deliver a keynote paper at the 2012 Achebe Colloquium on Africa, saying he was particularly saddened by the fact that there was nothing that indicated that the meeting would be the last.

Associate Professor of African and World Literature, University of Denver, Dr. Maik Nwosu, said Achebe interrogated the movement of African history with an uncluttered sophistication and a cultural sensibility that shaped modern African literature.

London-based Nigerian poet and playwright, Efemena Agadama, described the demise of Achebe as a great loss not only to Africa but to the entire world.

“Achebe is one of the world’s greatest writers that ever lived so we as Nigerians, especially writers, should avoid the classification of Achebe as one of Africa’s greatest writers. That is reductionist to a literary icon that gave birth to a new style of writing in the world”.

Sources:
Premium Times
The Punch
Leadership
Thisday
Naij.com

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Renowned evangelist and founder of the World Soul Winning Evangelical Ministry, Prophet Timothy Obadare, died in a private hospital on Thursday in Akure, at the age of 85.

Troops numbering about 100 stormed terror suspects’ hideouts in Ijora, a  densely populated part of Lagos.
World celebrated author Chinua Achebe has been said to have passed on after battling an ailment which had lingered for a while.

Read News In Full Below:

Breaking News: Chinua Achebe Reportedly Dead At 82
World celebrated author Chinua Achebe has been said to have passed on after battling an ailment which had lingered for a while.
 
Chinua Achebe is the writer of the classic novel Things Fall Apart and also David and Mariana Fisher Professor of Literature at Brown University

According to SaharaReporters, Achebe died last night in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He was 82 years old.
More reports on this soon…

Prophet Timothy Obadare Passes On At 85
Renowned evangelist and founder of the World Soul Winning Evangelical Ministry, Prophet Timothy Obadare, died in a private hospital on Thursday in Akure, at the age of 85.

Baba, as the late prophet is often being referred to, died of old age related ailment. His aide, Pastor Michael Awe confirmed.

He said, “Baba had worked tiredlessly as a general in the army of Jesus Christ. He travelled widely within and outside the country for serious and rigorous evangelical activities for many years. These definitely took a toll on his health, considering the fact that he also fasted and prayed a lot, apart from engaging in long sessions of counseling.”

Also, Chairman of Ondo State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Bishop Joshua Ketiku, confirmed that doctors at the private hospital, where the octogenarian man of God breathed his last, pronounced him dead around 4.45pm.

The Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko has described the death of Obadare, as an example of the marching on of a saint.

Mimiko stated this in a statement made available to journalists in Akure saying Obadare’s life, ministry and influence could be likened to those of saints that were rare and uncommon.

Troops Storm Terrorist Hideout In Lagos
Troops numbering about 100 stormed terror suspects’ hideouts in Ijora, a  densely populated part of Lagos.

The soldiers, who were assisted by men of the State Security Service, were believed to have acted on a tip-off.

They were said to have arrived in the area around 7am in search of the suspects said to be members of an Islamic fundamentalist sect, Boko Haram, their search yielded fruits  when  two persons were arrested at 24 Aromire Street and three others at a location in an adjacent street.
A bomb kept in a cooler and hidden inside the ceiling of one room by one Ibrahim Musa who occupies 5 rooms was recovered. Other items found were AK-47 rifles, cartridges and daggers.

“Security agents got information a month ago that there was a terrorist hideout in  the Seven-Up area of  Ijora. Although we were not sure if they were Boko Haram members or not, we did not want to take any chances so we decided to go and raid the place.” One of the security agents who pleaded anonymity said.
He added, “it was discovered that the place was being run by a Chadian and arms were recovered during the raid, including AK-47 riffles. Investigations are ongoing and those who are found not culpable will be released.”

Sources:
The Punch
Sahara Reporters

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Hot Topics Of The Day!

Funmi Odegbami, Michelle Obama, Folorunsho Alakija and other inspiring women have been listed amongst 100 Most Inspirational Women in the World.

Ex-Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has called for the granting of amnesty to Boko Haram militants.

Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have warned President Goodluck Jonathan against another petrol price hike on Wednesday.

Read News in Full Below:

Funmi Odegbami, Michelle Obama, Folorunsho Alakija Listed Amongst 100 Most Inspirational Women In The World.
Fresh from being nominated for two awards by the prestigious Women4Africa Awards 2013, the award-winning and internationally renowned makeup artist Funmi Odegbami – sister of Afrobeats queen May7ven and daughter of Nigerian football legend Segun Odegbami – has recently been honoured as one of the 100 Most Inspirational Women in the World.

Funmi Odegbami, who is the CEO of MiNK London, founder of Makeup Show Live and a member of the Black Women in Europe Power list, was honoured and placed at #25 on the list of 100 Most Inspirational Woman in the World which also included the likes of the First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama, Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, Hon. Abike Dabiri, Dr. Joe Okei Odumakin, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, Folorunsho Alakija and Oprah Winfrey among several hugely inspiring women.

The list was compiled as part of the commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day by Nigerian-based online tastemaker Olori Supergal and to celebrate “women who have driven a cause one way or the other.”

Ex-Governor Of Lagos State Bola Tinubu Supports Amnesty For Boko Haram
Ex-Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has called for the granting of amnesty to Boko Haram militants in Kano, insisting that they are not ghosts as alleged by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Tinubu, the National Leader of Action Congress of Nigeria, who was in Kano to commiserate with the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, over the attack on him and his convoy recently, explained that the amnesty must be based on justice, particularly for those with no blood stains on their hands.

He however said those involved in criminal activities among them must be made to face justice.

He said: “Are those people in prison ghosts? If they are, why are prison officials looking after them? Are JTF operatives fighting ghosts, do they possess magic power to see ghosts?”

Tinubu condemned the attack on the Emir describing it as unfortunate.

Nigeria Labour Congress And Trade Union Congress Warn Jonathan Against Another Fuel Hike
Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have warned President Goodluck Jonathan against another petrol price hike on Wednesday.

They said in their reactions to Jonathan’s statement on Tuesday that petrol price would go up, that he (the President) would be courting trouble if he did so.

The Federal Government had in January 2012 increased petrol price from N65 per litre to N141 per litre. But following protests that greeted the action, the goverment made a  U-turn by reducing  it to N97 per litre. Petrol, however, still sells above N110 per litre in some parts of the country, especially the South-East.

Jonathan, at the Nigeria Summit in Lagos on Tuesday, said  his administration would still remove fuel subsidy after due consultations with Nigerians.

He had said, “We cannot continue to waste resources meant for a greater number of Nigerians to subsidise the affluent middle class, who are the main beneficiaries (of fuel subsidy).”

But the two major labour groups  in the country –  the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress – reminded the President that the opposition by majority  of their members and  other Nigerians to fuel subsidy removal had not changed.

Source:
The Punch

 

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We deliver the most recent information on top stories in business, politics, sports, current affairs and more in this column.

A boat has has been said to have capsized some 40 nautical miles off the coast of Calabar killing almost all the 170 passengers on board in the early hours of Tuesday.

Security  sources, who were among those taking a tally of the  victims has said the death toll of the Kano bus park blast has risen from 30 to about 75

In a new video on Monday, Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau poured out threat to JTF Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa and also accused him of misinforming the public about the sect&#39s attack on Monguno military barracks in Borno State.

Read News in Full Below:

Boat Capsizes Off The Coast Of Calabar Killing Passengers
A boat has reportedly capsized some 40 nautical miles off the coast of Calabar killing almost all the 170 passengers on board in the early hours of Tuesday.
 
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Nigeria had earlier reported nine people dead and two survivors however eyewitnesses told our correspondent that the passengers were traveling in a massive wooden boat that took off from Oron, Akwa Ibom State, and headed for the French-speaking west African nation of Gabon. The boat capsized off the waters in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

A source at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) confirmed that the corpses of 45 victims of the disaster had been deposited at the hospital’s morgue. He added that the hospital and other hospitals in the area were getting ready to receive more bodies as they were discovered.

Frantic efforts are underway at the scene of the disaster to recover corpses and perhaps, rescue any survivor.
David Akate, the assistant director for information at the Cross River Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), also confirmed the incident, but did not give further details.

The recovered corpses were deposited at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital instead of Malabo, where the mishap occurred, because the dead were believed to be Nigerians, mostly Igbo traders who travelled to Oron to board wooden boat to Garbon because it was cheaper.

Kano Bus Park Blast: Death Toll Rises To 75
Security  sources, who were among those taking a tally of the  victims has said the death toll of the Kano bus park blast has risen from 30 to about 75, although, the Kano State Police Command gave a much lower number of 22.

The blasts, which injured scores of passengers, drivers, hawkers  and visitors,  also destroyed five Marco polo  luxury buses. A Marco polo  bus  belonging to Gobison Motors  had on board  over 70  passengers when it was attacked by the suicide bombers as it was about  departing the ever-busy park for Lagos.

Meanwhile some of the survivors who were lucky to be alive to tell their stories, on Tuesday recalled moments before the bomb went off.

One Mr. Emmanuel Bassey who works at the bus park said he had approached the “small car” with two occupants when it came to the park to ask where they were going but they told him they were yet to decide. His colleagues had approach the vehicle when they saw he did not succeed with them but the vehicle sped towards the Luxurious buses and there was a big bang. His colleagues did not survive the blast.

Boko Haram Threatens JTF Spokesperson Sagir Musa
In a new video on Monday, Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau poured out threat to JTF Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa and also accused him of misinforming the public about the sect&#39s attack on Monguno military barracks in Borno State.

Sagir Musa in response has said that the personal threats of Boko Haram will not distract him or stop him from performing his duties.

In the statement, Shekau said: “To the little brat called Lt Col Sagir we heard of your claims that your troops, JTF, had ambushed our men on the way to Monguno, killed several of our men and even retrieve four of our vehicles,” Shekau said.  “These are all lies unbecoming of a soldier. It is a shame.”

Shekau said that contrary to Musa’s account, members of his sect “easily invaded” the army barracks in Mungono and killed an unknown number of soldiers.  

“We packed unknown quantum of arms and ammunition which was filled in two trucks, we burnt down the excess from the armoury. We left with gallantry chanting Allahu Akbar.  Here are the arms in display. We have 15 Browning rifles in our armoury now, all from Monguno barracks.”

He bragged: “The arms we have is enough for us to bring down the entire Borno state.  None of our members died as claimed by soldiers except for three persons.  But the soldiers we killed in Monguno barracks. But Sagir Musa should continue to deceive the world, one day he would fall in our trap and we will deal with him, since we have his photograph with us. We know all your movement around Maiduguri in a small car.”

He warned Musa to leave Maiduguri because he will have no place to hide from his group, saying, “You shall see, and you shall see.”

In a terse response, Musa said the Nigerian Army does not produce cowards and that what he enjoys most is serving humanity through protecting lives and property.   “I strongly believe that is the noblest act on earth, which no amount of threat will distract, weaken or stop me from performing. The lives of all creatures are in the hands of ALLAH – He gives and takes from whoever he wills.”

Shekau, who on the video is shown surrounded by several hooded gunmen standing upon a pile of different shapes and sizes of arms and ammunition, said the weapons were those his group took away from the military armoury after they bombed Monguno Barracks.

The Kanuri-born Boko Haram leader, who spoke in Hausa and Arabic, said they still have the seven kidnapped French nationals in custody and would continue to keep them until the governments of Cameroon and Nigeria released their members and family detained in the two countries.

The seven French tourists, members of one family, were snatched last month in a neighbouring Cameroonian community before they were transported to Nigeria.  The group had earlier released a video of the victims.

Mr. Shekau also warned journalists to avoid phantom groups parading themselves as Boko Haram, even as he officially declared one Abu Zinnira to be the new spokesperson that journalists should deal with henceforth.  The group’s previous spokesman, Abu Qaqa, was reportedly killed last year.

 Sources:
Sahara Reporters
The Punch

 

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We deliver the most recent information on top stories in politics, sports, current affairs, foreign news and more in this segment.

Over 60 passengers, drivers and visitors lost their lives to explosions at an inter-state luxury bus park in Kano on Monday.

As a result of the unfolding diplomatic fallout between Nigeria and United State of America due to the state pardon granted to VIP ex-convicts Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and Shettima Bulama, United States richest man and philanthropist, Bill Gates, has cancelled his scheduled official visit to Nigeria for March 27.

The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio on Sunday gave N1 Million each to the six Chairmen of the Peoples’s Democratic Party (PDP) from the South-South geopolitical zone who had converged in Port Harcourt for a party reconciliation session.

Pope Francis opts for a simple inauguration.

Read News in Full Below:

Over 60 Killed And 5 Buses Burnt In Kano Bus Park Explosion
Over 60 passengers, drivers and visitors lost their lives to explosions at an inter-state luxury bus park in Kano on Monday.

 Hours before the blasts, an Islamic militant group, Boko Haram members laid siege to some schools in Maiduguri, Borno State, killing four teachers and injuring several others, including pupils.

The explosion in Kano left many injured and some buses destroyed in the park located in the Sabon Gari, an area mostly inhabited by non-indigenes. While some eyewitnesses attributed it to improvised explosive devices planted in a luxury bus in the ever-busy park, others said it was carried out by three suicide bombers.

President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned the explosion describing it as barbaric.

Reuters correspondent at the scene said he counted over 30 bodies that were affected by the explosions which occurred around 4.30pm. But one of the eyewitnesses put the casualty figure at more than 60.

Chairman of the Kano chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Tobias Idika, said records available to him showed that more than 60 persons died and five luxury buses burnt.

While an eyewitness claim that IEDs were kept in the busses, another claimed that the bombers that carried out the attack had arrived close to the park in a Volswagen Golf laden with explosives.

He said that as the 59-seater luxury bus was about to leave the park on New Road garage, the bombers threw the devices into it.

Policemen, operatives of the Joint Task Force and officials of the National Emergency Management Agency who raced to the scene cordoned off the area.

In Maiduguri, virtually all the schools in the city were hastily shut as news of the killing of four teachers and wounding of pupils in the city spread.

Presidential Pardon: Bill Gate Cancels Polio Eradication Campaign Trip To Nigeria
As a result of the unfolding diplomatic fallout between Nigeria and United State of America due to the state pardon granted to VIP ex-convicts Diepreye Alamieyeseigha  and Shettima Bulama, United States richest man and philanthropist, Bill Gates, has cancelled his scheduled official visit to Nigeria for March  27.

Bill Gate was scheduled to   meet President Goodluck Jonathan, state governors and officials of the Federal Ministry of Health on the  polio eradication campaign  of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Diplomatic sources said the trip was cancelled, two days after the US government expressed disappointment with the Federal Government for pardoning convicted money launderers.

Gates was reported to have already instructed his staff to inform the Nigerian Presidency, the secretariat of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the Federal Ministry of Health that he was no longer coming.

The controversial pardon granted Messrs Alamieyeseigha and Bulama had on Friday sparked fierce diplomatic row between Nigeria and the United States,  with the Americans threatening to punish Nigeria over  Jonathan’s action and Nigeria accusing the Americans of meddlesomeness.

The presidency has however denied that the scheduled visit was cancelled because of the US opposition to Alamieyeseigha’s pardon.

Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, said this in an interview that contrary to the reports, his interaction with the Bill and Melinda Foundation showed that the planned visit was put off because of the unavailability of some partners.

Governor Apkabio Continues Spending Spree: Donates N1 Million Each To 6 PDP State Chairmen For “Mr Biggs”
After giving 2face and Annie Idibia a Toyota SUV and promising to sponsor 20 members of Annie’s family to the wedding in Dubai, The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio on Sunday gave N1 Million each to the six Chairmen of the Peoples’s Democratic Party (PDP) from the South-South geopolitical zone who had converged in Port Harcourt for a party reconciliation session.

Mr Akpabio’s cash gift followed a speech by the Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, who had said that poverty is widespread among party members in the zone and that action needed to be taken to reduce the hardship faced by party members “If you want to prevent our members from straying to other parties.”

Shortly after the speech, Governor Apkabio announced he would distribute N1million each to party chairmen at the venue as lunch money to encouraged them and keep them in the party.

“My brother Governor, Uduaghan, said our members are hungry and that we must put food in their stomach so that they don’t stray to other parties. I am giving all the state chairmen of the party N1 million each for Mr Biggs. Our members must not be hungry.” Governor Apkabio said.

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Pope Francis Opts For A Simple Inauguration
Pope Francis inauguration held at St. Peters Square in the Vatican City, Rome. The new Pope had made his way atop an open-top vehicle to a Mass that will officially inaugurate him Bishop of Rome.


He wore the simple iron cross he wore as a cardinal and which he had on when he first appeared to the world as pope.

He stepped out of his sports utility vehicle to kiss the head of a man with a physical disability.

When the gathered faithful at St. Peter&#39s Square held up babies and young children for him to kiss, he obliged.
Unlike his two predecessors, the new pope shunned the Mercedes Benz G-Class SUV often called “Popemobile” although at least a dozen security officers in suits walked alongside the SUV as he circled the square.

The open-top vehicle afforded him the kind of direct contact with people he has embraced since becoming pope.

The inauguration was short “in keeping with the spirit of simplicity embraced by the new Holy Father,” the Vatican has said, “lasting about two hours.”

Sources:
Reuters
Naij.com
Channelstv.com
The Punch
CNN

 

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Hot Topics Of The Day!

We deliver the most recent information on top stories in politics, sports, current affairs, foreign news and more in this segment.

Former Aviation Minister Femi Fani Kayode has tweeted directly at the Special Adviser to the President Goodluck Jonathan Reuben Abati suggesting that he is a product of same sex marriage.

The Federal Government has once again suspended the operating licence of Dana Air pending the resolution of certain safety issues.

A diplomatic source has said that There was indication that United States might  slam  visa restrictions on some Nigerian government officials in protest against the state pardon granted a former Bayelsa State Governor Dieprieye Alameiyeiseigha, and an ex-Managing Director of  the defunct Bank of the North, Mr. Shettima Bulama.

The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) has suspended the Lagos Commandant Mr. Obafaiye Shem over the channel’s interview that brought about the raved “My Oga At The Top” phrase.

A 46-year-old petty trader has been mistaken for a robber and killed by the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Ijaye-Ojokoro, Lagos State.

Read the News in Full Below:

Reuben Abati Is A Product Of Same Sex Marriage – Femi Fani-Kayode Tweets
In reaction to Reuben Abati’s comments on the presidential pardon been given to Former Bayelsa State Governor Diepreye Alameiyeiseigha and Mr. Shettima Bulama, former Aviation Minister Femi Fani Kayode has took to Twitter to voice his opinion about Reuben.

In a recent tweet posted by the Nigerian lawyer/politician Femi Fani-Kayode regarding his opinion on the Special Adviser to the President Goodluck Jonathan Reuben Abati,  Fani tweeted:

“I am beginning to suspect that @abati1990 is the biological product of a same sex marriage. He looks and sounds like a missing link.”

The blunt Fani Kayode who has on more than an occasion used Twitter as a medium to voice his opinion directly tweeted at Reuben Abati.

FG Suspends Dana Air’s Licence Again
The Federal Government has once again suspended the operating licence of Dana Air pending the resolution of certain safety issues, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has said.

This is coming barely three months after the airline resumed operations following a seven-month suspension after its Boeing Md-83 crashed in Lagos, killing 163 people.

The Acting Director-General, NCAA, Mr. Joyce Nkemakolam, who confirmed the development in a telephone interview with Sunday Punch correspondent, said the suspension, which took effect on Saturday morning, would last until the safety issues were rectified by the carrier.

He said the suspension followed a directive from the Ministry of Aviation, asking the airline to stop operation until “some safety issues that cropped up over the weekend were resolved.”

U.S Considers Visa Restriction On Government Officials And Sanctions Over Presidential Pardon
A diplomatic source has said that There was indication that United States  might  slam  visa restrictions on some Nigerian government officials in protest against the state pardon granted a former Bayelsa State Governor Dieprieye Alameiyeiseigha, and an ex-Managing Director of  the defunct Bank of the North, Mr. Shettima Bulama.

The source made it known that the U.S was miffed by  the Federal Government’s decision to summon its Deputy Head of Mission  for flaying  the reprieve granted the two men.

He said if the Nigerian government does not resolve the issue, “Washinton” will place visa restrictions on government officials and then follow it up with other sanctions recognised within international law. According to him, financial crime can be likened to Drug trade which can be likened to terrorism, the U.S is concerned because the whole world is affected by terrorism, not just Nigerian as it pertains to this issue.
 
NSCDC Suspends Lagos Commandant Obafaiye Shem Over “My Oga At The Top” Issue
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) has suspended the Lagos Commandant Mr. Obafaiye Shem over the channel’s interview that brought about the raved “My Oga At The Top” phrase.

Shem was a guess on the morning show on Channels Television where he was asked about the Corp’s website. He tried to shy away from the question but when probed further made the comment that became infamous.

It was also learnt that the wife of Mr. Shem made her way into Channels Television studio where she complained to the chairman about the embarrassment the viral video is causing her household. She said Mr. Shem no longer sleep at night as a result of the weight of the embarrassment on him.

Police Mistakenly Kills Trader During Operation
A 46-year-old petty trader has been mistaken for a robber and killed by the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Ijaye-Ojokoro, Lagos State.

The deceased, Eze Okoro, was killed last Friday while the policemen were on an anti-robbery operation. His wife alleged that he was killed by the squad few metres from their home at 1 Oguntolu Street, Ijaiye-Ojokoro where he had gone to relax with his friend after his dinner.

She said he always go and relax with his friend when there is power outage and that night was no different.

“A few minutes before 11pm, we heard sporadic gunshots and out of panic, I held unto my seven-year-old son and ran for cover. Few minutes later when the shooting abated, I tried to reach my husband on his mobile phone but he was not picking it up.”

She was later told by neighbours that they saw some policemen carrying a man whom they suspected was lifeless into their vehicle after she summoned courage to go out and search for her husband.

Her search that night was a wild goose chase as it was to no avail. The following day, some employees of a hotel in the area told her that the policemen who had come to operate the previous night were from the Federal SARS.

She said she was told by a senior officer that her husband was killed in error and that his corpse had been taken to Yaba Military Hospital’s morgue.

“On getting to Federal SARS command, some junior officers apparently wanting to cover up their colleagues’ error denied the command’s complicity in the killing. However, a senior officer intervened by not only admitting that they killed Eze in error, but informed that his corpse was deposited at the Yaba Military Hospital’s morgue.”

A resident, who craved anonymity, said “When the shooting started, Eze and his friends were running helter-skelter. The policemen first of all approached Nneka but she immediately shouted ‘please don’t shoot me, I am pregnant’. That was how she and her husband were spared.

“After Nneka and Chinedu got inside, we heard Eze begging the policemen and shouting that he was not a thief but the policemen obviously did not believe him because we heard gunshots soon after.”

Eze’s widow called on the police authorities to make sure that her husband’s killers were brought to justice.

Sources:
The Punch
Osun Defender

 

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Hot Topics Of The Day!

We deliver the most recent information on top stories in politics, sports, current affairs, foreign news and more in this segment.

The presidency in its bid to defend the pardon granted to the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepriye Alamieseigha and the former Managing Director, Bank of the North, Mr. Shettima Bulama has said that Alamieseigha is crucial to the economy of the nation.

A third political group has laid claim on the APC acronym rekindling the fire already burning between the All Progressives Congress and the African People’s Congress.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has commenced nationwide training of police personnel following a request to that effect by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Abubakar Mohammed.

Read News in Full Below:

Presidency Defends Pardon – Says Alamieseigha Is Crucial To The Economy
The presidency in its bid to defend the pardon granted to the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepriye Alamieseigha and the former Managing Director, Bank of the North, Mr. Shettima Bulama has said that Alamieseigha is crucial to the economy of the nation.

It said that Alamieseigha is responsible for the high volume of crude oil being exported by the country.

The presidency further added while defending the pardon that Alamieseigha has become remorseful after serving his jail term. The Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe, stated this at a press briefing in Abuja.

He said since his release from prison, the former governor had been a major player in making sure that the economy was not grounded.

Meanwhile, Nigeria Labour Congress on Thursday urged the Federal Government to rescind the state pardon granted to Alamiesiegha, and the former Managing Director, Bank of the North, Mr. Shettima Bulama saying it would send a wrong signal about the nation’s commitment to the eradication of corruption in the polity.

Confusion Over The Use Of APC Acronym As 3 Political Groups Battle
A third political group has laid claim on the APC acronym rekindling the fire already burning between the All Progressives Congress and the African People’s Congress.

The All Patriotic Citizens joined the battle on Thursday when they also announced that the party had already submitted their application.

The All Progressives Congress and the African People’s Congress had earlier engaged in a war of words over the ownership of the acronym.

The All Patriotic Citizens and the African People’s Congress said they had submitted their registration applications to the Independent National Electoral Commission for registration as political parties.

But the merger committee of the sponsors of the All Progressives Congress – the Action Congress of Nigeria, the Congress for Progressive Change, the All Nigeria Peoples Party and the All Progressive Grand Alliance – said there was no going back on the decision by the group to use the acronym.

Nigerian Police Undergoes Training On Fundamental Human Rights
Following a request by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Abubakar Mohammed, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has commenced nationwide training of police personnel.

The Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe, who disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday, said that police officers are being trained on Fundamental Human Rights as contained in Chapter 4 of the Nigerian constitution, the Convention Against Torture, as well as other human rights instruments which highlight international human rights standards in policing.

Other areas of the training, according to Professor Angwe, include the “rights of suspects to be treated with dignity” and “respect and proportionality in the use of force during arrests and while monitoring protests”.

He said the training of officers on human rights is part of the efforts of the commission and the Police to proactively address the frequent incidents of human rights violations in police operations in the country.
Angwe also disclosed that the commission has developed a comprehensive training manual which will be used for training in police colleges throughout the country.

The training sessions, are being conducted in 14 centres across the country and it is part of the prerequisite for promotion.

Sources:
The Punch
Sahara Reporters

 

 

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Armed robbers stormed the departure lounge of Nigeria&#39s busiest commercial airport, the Murtala Muhammed International airport in Lagos killing at least two armed police officers in the process.

The Lagos State Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) Obafaiye Shem practically embarrassed himself on national TV.

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been elected as new Pope.

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Armed Robbers Kill Two In Murtala Muhammed International Airport Raid
Armed robbers stormed the departure lounge of Nigeria&#39s busiest commercial airport, the Murtala Muhammed International airport in Lagos killing at least two armed police officers in the process.

The armed robbers, arrived at the airport around to 9, according to reports, trailing a large amount of money transported in a bullion van en route to Dubai to the departure lounge, they struck as soon as the monies were carried in bags to the departure lounge shooting sporadically.

The gun battle resulted in the death of one of the robbers and two policemen.

Eyewitnesses said the unprecedented raid led to complete pandemonium in the lounge with several passengers injured as they made to escape the attack. Many passengers were checking in to catch their flights to different parts of the world when the robbers struck on Wednesday evening.

Eyewitnesses said the robbers came in from the car park. The attack has shown the lapses in the security system of the nation’s flagship airport.

Lagos Commandant Of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp Embarrasses Himself On TV
The Lagos State Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) Obafaiye Shem practically embarrassed himself on national TV last week.

Shem admitted that he has never visited his organisation’s website.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Shem said the website opened by impostors to defraud unsuspecting job seekers would be automatically closed.

Asked to mention the NSCDC’s web address, Mr Shem said “I cannot categorically tell you one now… the one that we are going to make use of, is going to be made known by my oga at the top.” Probed further to name the organisation’s website, the commandant said the address is: www.nscdc.

A Channels Television’s reporter checked the web address and noticed that it was incorrect. Further search on the internet showed that the correct web address for the Civil Defence Corp is www.nscdc.gov.ng

Watch the video:
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Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio Elected As New Pope
Yesterday evening, white smoke from the Sistine’s Chapel chimney announced the new Pope’s election.

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio greeted crowds in Rome’s St Peter’s Square after his election as the Catholic Church’s new Pope.

Appearing on a balcony in a white cassock over the square, he asked the Catholic faithful to pray for  him. Cheers erupted as he gave a blessing.

Bergoglio is the first Latin American and the first Jesuit to be Pontiff.  He will be called Pope Francis I.
Pope Francis, 76, replaces Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned last month at the age of 85, saying he was not strong enough to continue as  head of  the church.

French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran announced his election with the Latin words “Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum. Habemus Papam” (“I announce to you a great joy. We have a Pope”).

The election was met with thunderous applause at the cathedral in Buenos Aires,  the new Pope’s home city.
Pope Francis was a surprise choice  as he was not among a small group of front-runners before the election, the BBC reported.

Sources:
Sahara Reporters
The Punch
Channelstv.com

 

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A-72-hour ultimatum has been given the police authorities a to produce the policeman that killed Seyi Fasere, a 400 level student of Business Administration and Management Department of Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti at Oye Divisional Police Station after a robbery incident.

Indications on Tuesday showed that the National Council of State presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan might have approved a presidential pardon for former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Dipreye Alamieyeisegha and some other VIP ex-convicts.

A High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State has sentenced a former police officer, Corporal Umaru Mohammed to death by hanging over the killing of his colleague, Clement Amaechi, in 2011.

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Student Murder: NANS Gives Police 72-Hour Ultimatum To Produce Killer Cop
A-72-hour ultimatum has been given the police authorities a to produce the policeman that killed Seyi Fasere, a 400 level student of Business Administration and Management Department of Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti at Oye Divisional Police Station after a robbery incident.

This was at a press conference on Tuesday by the Joint Campus Committee over the killing of Fasere.  

The chairman of NANS, Ekiti chapter, Damilare Bewaji, who read a petition written to President Goodluck Jonathan, and copied the National Security Adviser and the Inspector General of Police, described it as “senseless and provocative.”

The student said if the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Sotonye Wakama, failed to produce the killer cop, identified as Akobi Esu (Devil’s first child), dismiss and prosecute him for murder, he should be ready for  a war with the students in the state.

Presidential Pardon For VIP Ex-Convicts Spark Controversies
Most Nigerians had questioned the rationale behind the purported pardon for a former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeisegha.

Indications on Tuesday showed that the National Council of State presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan might have approved a presidential pardon for the ex-governor.

While some sources at the meeting denied the claim of a pardon granted to an ex-governors, others including Murtala Nyako stated that no former governor’s name was mentioned.

Meanwhile, the National Publicity Secretary of the Congress Progressive Change, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, said the pardon was an invitation for people to engage in corruption.

Most Nigerians had questioned the rationale behind the purported pardon, wondering if such initiative would not encourage others to perpetrate fraud, believing that he would also be able to get a state pardon.

Alamieyeseigha, was convicted of corruption in the UK in 2005 and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment in July 2007, by a Federal High Court in Lagos for money laundering and corrupt enrichment.

His removal from office by the state House of Assembly led to the emergence of Jonathan who was his deputy, as the Bayelsa State governor.

Others, who were said to have been granted pardon at the meeting included Gen. Oladipo Diya, who was the Chief of General Staff during the reign of military dictator, Gen Sani Abacha; former Managing Director of the Bank of the North, Mr. Shettima Bulama, who was also convicted of fraud; and former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, the late Gen Musa Yar’Adua; the former Minister of Works, the late Maj.-Gen Abdulkareem Adisa, who was also found culpable in the alleged coup that landed Diya in prison.

The pardon is causing an outrage on social media and the implication has been said – could go beyond the shores of the nation.

Police Officer Sentenced To Death By Hanging
A High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State has sentenced a former police officer, Corporal Umaru Mohammed to death by hanging over the killing of his colleague, Clement Amaechi, in 2011.

Both of them were officers in the Abia state police command.

Immediately after the delivery of the judgment, Mohammed refused to be handcuffed and taken away as he warned all the prison warders to stay away from him.

He was eventually subdued by armed officers in the courtroom, this was after he attempted to snatch a gun from one of the warders that brought him to the court.

Delivering judgment on the matter Justice Agwu Umah Kalu said the prosecution proved unequivocally that the gunshots fired by the accused person at close range killed the deceased, adding that it is an offence that is punishable under section 319, cap 1 of the criminal code in the state.

Justice Kalu said the accused deserves no sympathy and ordered that he should be hanged by the neck until he is confirmed dead, stressing that it should serve as a deterrent to those who may want to embark on such senseless venture.

Source: The Punch

 

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Josephine Okei-Odumakin, democracy activist and women’s right advocate in Nigeria has been honoured, alongside nine other women, with the United States Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award.

The splinter group from the Boko Haram Islam sect Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladis Sudan has released a video to back up the claim that the seven construction workers abducted in Bauchi had been assassinated by the group.

The Federal Government has ordered the removal of the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Dr. Harold Demuren.

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Women’s Right Activist Joe Okei-Odumakin Honoured At The US International Women Of Courage Award
Josephine Okei-Odumakin, democracy activist and women’s right advocate in Nigeria has been honoured, alongside nine other women, with the United States Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award.

Joe Okei-Odumakin’s award was presented by the U.S. First Lady, Michelle Obama, and Secretary of state, John Kerry at a ceremony in the Dean Acheson Auditorium of the US State Department.

The ceremony coincided with the International Women’s day. Joe Odumakin heads the Campaign for Democracy and has been involved with a lot of initiatives to broaden Nigeria’s democracy.

Other recipients of the award are Malalai Bahaduri, First Sergeant, Afghan National Interdiction Unit (Afghanistan); Samira Ibrahim, Coordinator, Know Your Rights (Egypt); Julieta Castellanos, Rector, National Autonomous University of Honduras (Honduras); and Elena Milashina, journalist, human rights activist (Russia).
Others include Fartuun Adan, Executive Director, Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre (Somalia); Tsering Woeser (Wei Se), Tibetan author, poet, blogger (China); Razan Zeitunah, human rights lawyer and founder, Local Coordination Committees (Syria); Ta Phong Tan, blogger (Vietnam); and Nirbhaya “Fearless,” champion for justice (India).

JAMBS Displays Bodies of 7 Foreign Hostages Murdered In Bauchi
The splinter group from the Boko Haram Islam sect Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladis Sudan has released a video to back up the claim that the seven construction workers abducted in Bauchi had been assassinated by the group.

The group had said the British and the Nigerian government had tried to rescue the hostages and this was what resulted in the killing of the hostages.

The British government denies the allegation claiming its planes spotted in Nigeria were only engaging in transportation of Nigerian troops to Mali.

The Seven foreign construction workers from the UK, Lebanon, Greece and Italy were kidnapped on February 16th 2013 from a construction site in Bauchi state.

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Jonathan Sacks NCAA Director-General Dr. Harold Demuren
The Federal Government has ordered the removal of the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Dr. Harold Demuren.

A terse statement issued on Monday night by the Special Assistant to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (Media), Mr. Sam Nwaobasi, referenced PPR/OSGF/PR/02, said the decision was approved by President Goodluck Jonathan after “a careful consideration” of Demuren’s “unsatisfactory response to the numerous concerns of stakeholders in the aviation sector.”

The government was, however, silent on his successor.
Both the Senate and House of Representatives had called for the sacking of the NCAA DG following last year’s crash of a Dana Air plane in Ishaga area of Lagos that claimed 163 lives.

The House of Representatives had on Wednesday, December 19, 2012, blamed the June 3, 2012 crash on negligence by the regulatory authorities and recommended the dismissal and prosecution of Demuren.

The Joint Committee on Aviation of both chambers of the National Assembly had investigated the crash.
The recommendation that Demuren should be sacked followed the consideration and adoption of the report of the committee.

Sources:
PM News
Sahara Reporters
The Punch

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Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladis Sudan, otherwise known as JAMBS, on Saturday announced the murder of seven foreign expatriates that were abducted in Bauchi State, on February 16, 2013.

Four people have been killed in a drive-by shooting by terrorists in Kano on Sunday.

The one-year-old baby who was shot during a series of robberies in Lagos on September 9, 2012, has died.

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JAMBS Kill Briton, Greek, Italian, Filipino And 3 Lebanese Hostages To Stop Rescue
Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladis Sudan, otherwise known as JAMBS, on Saturday announced the murder of seven foreign expatriates that were abducted in Bauchi State, on February 16, 2013.

The splinter group from the Boko Haram Islam sect said they murdered the expatriates because both British and Nigerian Forces have disregarded their earlier warning and have proceeded to conduct rescue mission – an attempt which was evident by unusual military activities in the area where the hostages were being kept. The leader of JAMBS, Abu Usamatal Ansary, stated in a message posted on an Islamic website.

The expartriates who were kidnapped from a Lebanese Construction Firm, Setraco, at Jama’are, in  Bauchi , were three Lebanese, and a citizen each from Britain, Greece, Italy and the Philippines.

Ansary stated specifically that the group executed the expatriates because President Goodluck Jonathan contravened the sect’s warning by issuing a directive to security agents to rescue the abducted expatriates.
He stated also that the hostages were killed because five jet bombers belonging to the British Government, soldiers and intelligent agents were sighted in Bauchi by journalists thereby giving the indication of an operation to free the hostages by force.

The group’s leader further alleged in the statement that security operatives arrested several people including women some of whom were killed.

Gunmen Kill 4 In Kano Drive By Shooting
In what seems to be another terrorist attack, Four people have been killed in a drive-by shooting on Sunday in Kano.

The gunmen drove around on a tricycle  in an area of Kano.

It was learnt that the gunmen first struck at Dakata Bus Stop before moving to Dakata Kawaji area opposite a graveyard near the Custom’s barrack, where they shot two persons.

One of the gunmen, it was learnt, carried an AK 47 assault rifle wearing a dark blue kaftan.

Security agencies were said to have arrived the scene about 10 minutes after the gunmen had fled to evacuate the victims.

The identities of the victims are yet to be ascertained.

One Year Old Baby Shot By Robbers Dies After 7 Months
The one-year-old baby who was shot during a series of robberies in Lagos on September 9, 2012, has died.

The baby had battled complications from the head injury he suffered from the gun shot for seven months before finally losing the battle for his life.

It had been reported by Punch last year that Taiwo was shot at his parents’ home in Gbagada during the robberies which occurred simultaneously in various parts of the state, an incident now remembered as Black Sunday.

After the incident, telecommunications firm, MTN Nigeria, donated N500,000 for the baby’s treatment at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba.

The story also drew public interest as concerned members of the public also donated undisclosed sums of money.

Sadly, Taiwo gave up the ghost on March 7, 2013 at Ward E of the hospital, leaving behind his twin Kehinde and two other siblings.

Source:
Punch

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President Goodluck Jonathan has said on Thursday that the notorious sect Boko Haram will not be granted Amnesty.

Fire has razed the plank Market in Alapere, Ketu, Lagos on Thursday evening destroying a number of houses in its path.

Of two electricity generators serving Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA have packed up complicating the already serious power surge situation at the airport.

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We Cannot Declare Amnesty For Ghosts – Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan has said on Thursday that the notorious sect Boko Haram will not be granted Amnesty.

The president said this in response to Tuesday’s call by Sultan Saad Abubakar III of Sokoto for “total amnesty” for members of the sect in order to promote peace in the country.

This was while he spoke at a Town Hall in Damaturu during his official visit to Yobe State.

The president argued that in contrary to the Sultan claim that granting amnesty to one member of the Boko Haram can cause the rest of the sect to lay down their arms and thereby enforce peace, the Federal Government cannot grant amnesty to Boko Haram because amnesty cannot be granted to”ghost.”

Jonathan said, “We cannot declare amnesty for Boko Haram because we cannot declare amnesty for ghosts. You cannot liken Boko Haram to what happened in the Niger Delta.

“Some of these names you hear, Asari Dokubo, Ateke Tom, when I was a deputy governor, I went to a meeting with President Olusegun Obasanjo and I saw Asari and Tom in the Presidential Villa.

“…But in the case of the Boko Haram, you don’t see anybody who will say he is a Boko Haram member, so we cannot declare amnesty.

“For us to declare amnesty, we must be communicating with people. We cannot declare amnesty for people that are operating under a veil.”

The Sultan’s call for amnesty has been greeted by all sorts of opposition including Christian Association of Nigeria and Afenifere.

Fire Outbreak In Ketu Plank Market Destroy Houses
Fire has razed the plank Market in Alapere, Ketu, Lagos on Thursday evening destroying a number of houses in its path.

The fire was said to have started around 9pm.
The cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained and witnesses say some residents might have been killed by the rampaging inferno.

One of the witnesses who spoke to Punch said “The fire has destroyed over four houses already and it is still spreading. The fire service brought three tankers of water but the water has been exhausted and the fire has still not been put out.

“The fire started late at night when many people had already retired to their rooms and many might have been trapped in their houses by the fire.”

Power Generators Break Down At Murtala Muhammed International Airport
What started as power outages at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, causing near-tragic landings for airplanes has now resulted into the breakdown of two electricity generators serving the airport.

It can be recalled that OnoBello.com brought you news about Emirates Flight EK781 plight at the airport when the plane had to divert landing to Togo, the incident was also similar to that of Kenya Airways that arrived the Lagos airport at about 9p.m, on Saturday in complete darkness.

When contacted, the spokesperson of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Datti, said that rain storms were to blame.

He also admitted that since the generator house was blown off last year, it had not been fixed and the water penetrated the panels.

He said: “The heavy rain storm that occurred in Lagos yesterday, March 4, disrupted power supply to the Murtala Muhammed Airport for about six minutes due to a power surge from the two main PHCN power supply sources (Ejigbo and Egbin power stations) to the airport.”

Sources:
Punch
PM News

 

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Soldiers evaded and discovered a bomb factory at the home of former ANPP chairmanship aspirant in the FCT Mr. Husseni Dei Dei following a cordon-and-search operation carried out in the area by soldiers from One Division of the internal security force.

Rapists will face life imprisonment if the bill that has now been approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday becomes law.

Two major Nigerian cities, Lagos and Abuja, have been named amongst African cities with the best opportunities for growth in 2013 and beyond according to the latest Economist Intelligence Units report.

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AK 47 Rifles, Machine Gun And Bombs Discovered In Politician’s House
Soldiers evaded and discovered a bomb factory at the home of former ANPP chairmanship aspirant in the FCT Mr. Husseni Dei Dei following a cordon-and-search operation carried out in the area by soldiers from the internal security force at about 5.30 pm on Tuesday.

The building is located a few meters from the One Division Army Headquarters at Sabon Birni Road, Kawo in Kaduna North Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The soldiers from One Division internal security force were tipped off by some unidentified members of the public.

Husseni Dei Dei has been arrested in the raid along with two women and five children. The Commander One Division internal security force, Brigadier General Tagbo Chuks Ude said the building will be demolished in alignment with the army’s determination to completely curb terrorist activities.

During the operation, six AK 47 rifles, one light machine gun, 20 loaded and 17 empty AK 47 magazines and 58 rounds of 9mm ammunition were recovered. Other weapons recovered during the operation include 275 rounds of 7.62 mm NATO ammunition, one loaded light machine gun, nine prepared cans of improvised explosive device (IED), one reel of firing cord and 125 pieces of detonator.

The recovered weapons were buried in the ground within the building.

The commander commended the efforts of well meaning Nigerians who reported the matter and further urged the public to emulate the act when there is a reason for serious suspicion.

House Of Rep Approve Life Imprisonment For Rapist And Jail Terms For Closely Related Offences
Sponsored by Abike Dabiri-Erewa (ACN-Lagos) amongst others, rapists are now bound to face life imprisonment if the bill that has now been approved by the House of Representatives on Tuesday becomes law.

The decisions followed the adoption of a report on the Bill for an Act to Eliminate Violence in Private and Public Life; Prohibit all Forms of Violence, Harmful Traditional Practices against Persons.
Also persons convicted of gang raping shall be liable jointly and severally to a minimum of 20 years imprisonment without the option of fine.

The bill also approve a jail term of 25 years for anyone convicted of using harmful liquid, chemical or biological substance  on another person.

Furthermore a person who performs or aid female circumcision is liable to a jail term of two years or N100, 000 fine – or both.

Any person who is convicted of frustrating investigation and prosecution of offenders is guilty of felony and liable on conviction to imprisonment three years or a fine not exceeding N500, 000.

The bill will only become law after the Senate concurs to it and the President signs it.

Lagos And Abuja Named Among Africa’s Best Cities For Investment
Two major Nigerian cities, Lagos and Abuja, have been named amongst African cities with the best opportunities for growth in 2013 and beyond, the latest Economist Intelligence Units report revealed.

The report, released on Tuesday, identifies 25 African cities across 19 countries that represent some of the best opportunities for growth in 2013 and beyond. Abuja featured as the second most expensive city with extremely high cost of living.

Johannesburg, according to the report, is investors’ most preferred destination, with its high expenditure per capita of USD7, 436 while Tripoli, Libya’s capital city, recovering from war, is investors’ second best, with its expenditure per capita of USD7,237.

Abuja featured as the second most expensive city with extremely high cost of living with Luanda, the capital of Angola as Africa’s most expensive city with official prices “extremely expensive.” Lagos is rated as the fourth most expensive city.

The report was produced to give investors insight into cities level information that will guide company expansion and new business investments decisions this year and beyond.

“Africa is urbanizing fast and cities are attracting more and more migrants. As a result we are witnessing the emergence of “super cities”- each bringing considerable opportunities,” Robin Bew, the Chief Economist of EIU said.

Sources:
Vanguard
Premium Times

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Three former Bayelsa State Government officials have asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to quash the six-count charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in 2010.

Two  toddlers Toheeb Adedokun (3) and Tajudeen Falilu (3) in Ketu, Lagos State, who were declared missing on January 25, 2013 have been found dead in an abandoned vehicle  on  the premises of a building next to theirs on Taike Street.

Socialist leader and Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, 58, has died from cancer, Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced on Tuesday.

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Former Bayelsa Government Officials Want FG Case Against Them Quashed.
Three former Bayelsa State Government officials have asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to quash the six-count charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) in 2010.

 
The trio is standing trial for allegedly conniving with others at large to squander the sum of N2 billion loan secured by the then government of Timipre Sylva from Union Bank Plc purportedly for the augmentation of the salary of the state&#39s civil servants.
 
Their lawyers, in their applications, urged the court to quash the charges against the ex-government officials.
 
Moving the application on behalf of Mr. Abbot Clinton, former official in the Treasury Department at the state, Mr. Chris Uche, SAN, told the court that there was nothing to link  his client to the alleged crimes as contained in the charge.

Uche also said that the accused persons were charged to court over the alleged crimes as scapegoats, since the main suspect in the alleged crime, former Governor Timipre Sylva, could not be arrested and arraigned at that time due to the constitutional immunity he enjoyed as a governor. He said the charge against his client had become an abuse of court process which ought to be struck out.

In his submission, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, who represented one of the accused, Dr. Charles Opuala  a former Commissioner of Finance, said there was no atom of evidence in the proof of evidence attached to the charge that linked his client in any way with the crimes allegedly committed.

Arguing  that the court could not convict his client for an offence possibly committed by another person.

Referring to the charge as a fabrication against his client who was not linked in any way to the alleged crimes from the proof of evidence filed by the EFCC, Mr. Josiah Daniel Abule, who represented the third accused person, Mr. Anthony Ikhobo Howels, said the prosecution appeared to be confused as to who committed the crime having charged separate parties for the same crime before two different courts.

After hearing all the applications and submissions, Justice Elvis Chukwu adjourned till 22nd of April to deliver his ruling.

Missing Toddlers Found Dead In Abandoned Vehicle
Two  toddlers Toheeb Adedokun (3) and Tajudeen Falilu (3) in Ketu, Lagos State, who were declared missing on January 25, 2013 have been found dead in an abandoned vehicle  on  the premises of a building next to theirs on Taike Street.

The toddlers were found in a  Honda Pilot Sports Utility Vehicle, which was used as collateral.

The family as well as the police had  suspected that  they were  kidnapped before the  discovery of their remains on Monday.

According to a police theory, the children went into the vehicle but were trapped inside, causing them to suffocate. However the residents of the said street suspect foul play.

The Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Police Command, Ngozi Braide, said the corpses were discovered by bank officials, who had   gone to redeem the vehicle.

She said, “On Monday, at about 4:30pm, one Phillip Odi in company  with  Julius Odetola, both of whom are employees of Berachah Microfinance Bank, reported that on the same day, they received a text message from Macdonabi Jones Enterprise Limited, a customer of the bank, who pledged his Honda Pilot as collateral.

“The bank employees said on reaching the house located at 20 Taike Street, where the vehicle was parked, they discovered the corpses of the two children.”

The occupants of the house where the corpses were found had fled for fear of being attacked.

One of the residents of the street, who identified herself as Iya Basira said, “How could two corpses be in a compound for over a month and no one smelt  any odour?

“We looked for these children for weeks and even the occupants of that building were aware that the children were missing.”

It was learnt that earlier, an occupant of the building had to come with two policemen to be able to take some of her properties from her apartment.

It was also learnt that the vehicle had been taken to the Special-Anti Robbery Squad, Ikeja.

The parents of the toddlers and other members of the family said they planned pursuing the case to a logical conclusion.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Is Dead
Socialist leader and Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, 58, has died from cancer, Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced on Tuesday.


According to Reuters, Hugo Chavez died after a two-year battle with cancer, ending the socialist leader&#39s 14-year rule of the South American country, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised speech.

The flamboyant 58-year-old leader had undergone four operations in Cuba for a cancer that was first detected in his pelvic region in mid-2011. His last surgery was on December 11 and he had not been seen in public since.

“It&#39s a moment of deep pain,” Maduro, accompanied by senior ministers, said, his voice choking.

Chavez easily won a new 6-year term at an election in October and his death will devastate millions of supporters who adored his charismatic style, anti-U.S. rhetoric and oil-financed policies that brought subsidized food and free health clinics to long-neglected slums.

Detractors, however, saw his one-man style, gleeful nationalizations and often harsh treatment of opponents as evidence of an egotistical dictator whose misplaced statist economics wasted a historic bonanza of oil revenues.

Chavez&#39s death paves the way for a new election that will test whether his socialist “revolution” can live on without his dominant personality at the helm.

Sources:
The Will
Punch

 

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What was supposed to be a fatal landing was averted on Monday as electricity supply at the at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos suddenly went off  forcing Flight EK781, an Airbus A340-500 from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to abort landing.

Former Director of Police Pension, John Yakubu Yusuf who is facing trial in the multi-billion Naira pension scam, caused a stir in court on Monday as he slumped in the dock while proceedings were on-going.

An Anambra Chief Magistrate Court has accused Senator Margery Okadigbo of forging the documents she tendered to support her claim that she was the genuine Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) candidate for the Anambra North Senatorial District.

Dangote has moved up Forbes list to become 43rd richest man in the world from 76 in 2012 with a net worth of $16.1bn as of March 2013.

A 2-year-old Mississippi girl has been “functionally cured” of HIV.

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Power Outage At Lagos International Airport Forces Emirate To Divert Flight
What was supposed to be a fatal landing was averted on Monday as electricity supply at the at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMA) Lagos suddenly went off  forcing Flight EK781, an Airbus A340-500 from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to abort landing.

The aircraft scheduled to land at 7.44pm was about to touch down with its tyres already rolled down for landing and the passengers ready for the final exercise when the power supply suddenly went off, the pilot was left with no choice than to abort the landing on realising that the runway was in total darkness and the rain falling heavily.

After hovering around the airport for about 20 minutes without any sign of the light being restored, the flight was diverted to Lome, the Togolese capital, where it landed safely as it awaited instructions on the electricity situation from Lagos.

 The plane eventually returned to MMIA Lagos at about 11pm and landed safely only for the airport to be thrown into total darkness again few minutes after the landing.

 Airport sources said that foreign carriers faced severe delays following an earlier blackout that lasted for about two hours with severe delays at the immigration desk with untold hardship and danger to the passengers.

Pension Scam: Former Director of Police Pension John Yakubu Yusuf Slums During Court Procession
Former Director of Police Pension, John Yakubu Yusuf who is facing trial in the multi-billion Naira pension scam, caused a stir in court on Monday as he slumped in the dock while proceedings were on-going.

The incident however led to the adjournment of the proceedings to April 22 while ruling on his bail application was fixed for March 11.

Yusuf is currently standing trial for alleged false declaration of assets, Yusuf is being prosecuted for not disclosing his interest in a N250 million fixed deposit which was placed at Zenith Bank International Plc. in the name of a company, SY-A Global Services Limited, incorporated by him and solely owned by him and members of his immediate family .

He is also alleged to have a N10 million fixed deposit in an account his company maintains at First Bank of Nigeria Plc and another N29 million fixed through one Mr. Danjuma Mele, who is also expected to testify as a witness in the trial.

Yusufu&#39s lawyer, Mr. Maiyaki,had moved an application for his bail however, the application was opposed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)&#39s  lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacob, a senior advocate of Nigeria, who asked the court to take into cognizance the recent conviction of the accused on the charge of criminal breach of trust which clearly shows that Yusuf&#39s antecedent does not encourage the court to exercise its discretion in his favour.

Senator Okadigbo Indicted For Forging Affidavits
An Anambra Chief Magistrate Court has accused Senator Margery Okadigbo of forging the documents she tendered to support her claim that she was the genuine Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) candidate for the Anambra North Senatorial District. The court maintained that the 183 affidavits tendered in evidence were forged basically to mislead the court.
 Also, some human right groups have called for the investigation and prosecution of the senator over allegations of forging the documents and stamp of an Anambra State High Court which she used to obtain the judgment of the Supreme Court which had declared her as the PDP candidate representing Anambra North Senatorial District.
 
In a petition to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, (CJN) Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, the groups alleged that Okadigbo had been using her influence to evade police invitations and summons just as they called on the authorities to ensure that she was brought to book.

According to a police report on the matter dated November 12, 2012 and signed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, D Department, State Criminal Investigation Department, Awka. “The assertion and evidence already gathered shows that the affidavits were forged.”

The report recommended that a warrant be issued for the arrest of Mrs, Okadigbo.

Dangote Moves Up Forbes List To Become 43rd Richest Man In The World
According to the latest Richest People ranking released by Forbes, the President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has moved up to number 43 from 76 in 2012 with a net worth of $16.1bn as of March 2013.

The Forbes list which was released on Monday also shows that Dangote and the Chairman of Globalom, Dr. Mike Adenuga were the only Nigerians on the list.

While Dangote, 55, retained his position as the richest man in Africa and the richest among manufacturers in the world with a net worth of $16.1bn, Adenuga, 59, on the other hand, ranked 269 on the list with a net worth of $4.7bn.

The world billionaires, list presented Carlos Slim Helu, a Mexican as the world richest man with a net worth of $73bn, while Bill Gates of United States came second with a net worth of the $67bn.

Forbes said, “To compile net worth, we value individuals’ assets, including stakes in public and private companies, real estate, yachts, art and cash – and account for debt.

Dangote has attained great height in the past years. In October 2012, he sold off a controlling stake in his flour milling company to Tiger Brands of South Africa and pocketed $190m in cash.

In February, his Dangote Sugar Refineries acquired a 95 per cent stake in Savannah Sugar in a bid to maintain its dominant position in the Nigerian sugar industry.

Dangote started building his fortune more than three decades ago when he began trading in commodities like cement, flour and sugar with a loan he received from his maternal uncle. Amongst his ventures in recent years include sugar refineries, salt processing facilities and Dangote Cement.

2-Year-Old Child Cured Of HIV In Mississippi
A 2-year-old Mississippi girl has been “functionally cured” of HIV making her the first to be cured thus, researchers announced Sunday.

Researchers said they believe early intervention — in this case within 30 hours of birth — with three anti-viral drugs was key to the outcome.

A “functional cure” is when the presence of the virus is so small, lifelong treatment is not necessary and standard clinical tests cannot detect the virus in the blood.

The finding was announced at the 2013 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta.

The unidentified girl was born HIV-positive to a mother who received no prenatal care and was not diagnosed as HIV-positive herself until just before delivery.
 

 

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Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar has directed the police homicide squad to fish out the gunmen who waylaid and killed Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chinwike Asadu.

A 67-year-old woman from Australia has been found dead in South Africa where she travelled to meet a 28 year-old Nigerian she had met on an online dating site.

Queen Elizabeth has been reported to have been hospitalized on Sunday after she experienced symptoms of gastroenteritis.

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IG Directs Homicide Squad To Fish Out Asadu’s Killer
Following the killing of Kwara State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chinwike Asadu, in Enugu, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar has directed the police homicide squad to fish out the gunmen who waylaid and killed   Asadu on Saturday night while on a visit to his home in Enugu.

 “The killers have murdered sleep and they will not know sleep,” Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, who spoke for Abubakar said.

Mr. Chinwike Asadu was killed at about 9.45pm on Saturday in Abakpa Nike, Enugu East Local Government Area, by the gunmen who trailed him to his street.

Asadu’s police orderly, Aloha Olaniyi and driver, Oliver Omeh, were critically injured by the bandits. The duo are said to be receiving treatment at the National Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu.

Olaniyi was shot in the chest, stomach, hands and leg. His service rifle was also said to have been taken away by the gunmen.

 Enugu State Police Command spokesman, Ebere Amaraizu, had before the IG’s directive said, “The people responsible for the act shot at him (Asadu) several times when he was entering his residence at Abakpa Nike.”
Asadu had in company with Olaniyi and Omeh   reportedly escorted a visitor, leaving behind his official escort team that came with him from the Kwara State Police Command when the gunmen struck.

They (Asadu, omeh and Olaniyi) were said to have noticed a bus trailing their vehicle as they drove into the street.

The gunmen, who were in the bus were said to have shot sporadically at the rear of the CP’s car.

67 Year-Old Australian Woman Found Dead After Meeting With 28 Year-Old Nigerian Online Lover
A 67-year-old woman from Australia was found dead in South Africa where she travelled to meet a 28 year-old Nigerian she had met on an online dating site.

The woman, Jette Jacobs, said to be a grandmother was found dead in a Johannesburg guest house in February, two days after she met with a Nigerian man who goes by the name of Jesse Orowo Omokoh.

The pair was said to have struck up an online relationship three years ago. In 2010, Jacobs travelled to South Africa to meet him. She has been sending money to him ever since, up to the tone of over $100,000. He proposed to her late last year.

She had wanted to settle in Nigeria but her children had begged her to stay in Australia. Omokoh was the last person to see Jacobs alive and told police he found her body but he has since disappeared. Yahoo News reports that her money, credit cards, laptop computer and jewelleries were missing.

Although an empty pill bottle was found near her body and the South African police initially thought she had committed suicide, her children believe she was murdered.

“Anybody who knew my mother would know that there is no way that she would do that,” her daughter told 6PR.

A joint operation between West Australian Police and Consumer Protection tracks large amounts of money being sent from West Australia to West African countries. A letter was sent to her son who simply identified himself as Mr. Jacobs, warning him she might be a victim of fraud but it arrived shortly after she had left Australia.

Detective Senior Constable Robert Martin, from the Major Fraud Squad, says the circumstances surrounding her death are suspicious. He told Yahoo News that the rising number of tragic occurrences from meeting a person online is alarmingly high. “My warning is that unless you have met the person face-to-face you do not know what you are dealing with when you are talking to somebody online. It is absolutely fraught with danger and we would say don’t sent money to anybody that you have met on the computer. We also strongly urge people not to travel overseas to meet someone they have met on the computer.”

The Police are still searching for Omokoh.

Queen Elizabeth II Hospitalised!
Britain&#39s Queen Elizabeth II was reported to have been hospitalised on Sunday after she experienced symptoms of gastroenteritis that had already sidelined her weekend plans according to reps of Buckingham Palace.

The 86-year-old monarch was taken to King Edward VII&#39s Hospital in London “as a precautionary measure” and is expected to stay for two days, said a palace spokesman, speaking with customary anonymity.
“She is otherwise in good spirits and good health,” the spokesman said.

 

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10-year-old JSS 1 pupil of Valencia College, Ibadan, Oyo State Seyi Ojo Anjolaoluwa has emerged Nigeria’s Youngest Microsoft Certified Professional.

Some suspected cult members operating on a motorcycle allegedly shot and killed a student of the Lagos State University while the he was leaving the school through the Iba Gate on Thursday.

John Abba Ogbodo, a Political Editor at Nigeria’s daily, The Guardian has been killed in an auto crash around Anyigba, Kogi State.

A Mozambican immigrant became a victim of police brutality in South Africa when he was handcuffed to a police vehicle and dragged on the road at full speed.

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10-Year-Old Valencia College Pupil Seyi Ojo Anjolaoluwa Emerges Nigeria’s Youngest Microsoft Certified Professional
10-year-old JSS 1 pupil of Valencia College, Ibadan, Oyo State Seyi Ojo Anjolaoluwa has emerged Nigeria’s Youngest Microsoft Certified Professional making him one of the youngest in the world to achieve this.

Seyi who was born on 21st July 2002 participated in the MCIP test on 24th July 2012 scoring 869 out of possible 1,000. Due to his performance, he was adjudged by Microsoft as a Certified Professional in Microsoft Windows XP (Administration Management and Configuration, Exam 70 – 270).

Although Seyi is not the only young Nigerian who has achieved such a feat, others who have did not perform as high as Seyi did. This include Nwaiwo Favour of Royal Family Academy, Abuja; and Osaremen Davidson & Olanrewaju Shittu, both of Doregos Private Academy.

While one will imagine the young chap to pursue a career in information technology, Seyi told Nigerian Newspaper Punch that his aspiration is to become a medical doctor. His mission in life is to make his school and country proud.

Apart from him, five pupils of Valencia College, Ibadan sat for and passed the certification examination. They are Adeyinka Oreoluwa, Odunsi Nicholas, Ajao Blessing, Ololade Toluwanimi and Agbele Oluwaloniope.

The Microsoft Certified Professional is an internationally recognised certification programme provided by Microsoft cooperation. The certification is tailored towards building skills on Microsoft business solutions, focusing on client-end operating systems such as windows XP, Vista, Windows7 among others.

Upcoming Nigerian Artiste Shot Dead By Cultists At LASU
Some suspected cult members operating on a motorcycle allegedly shot and killed a student of the Lagos State University while the he was leaving the school through the Iba Gate on Thursday.

The deceased, Damilola Olaniyan, was an upcoming Hip Hop artiste who went by the pseudonym Damino Damoche.

According to reports, Olaniyan, a student of Banking and Finance, was killed after writing a test at Faculty of Management Science.

A student of the institution, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the deceased had a misunderstanding with some members of a cult group over an undisclosed issue.

 The source added that after shooting the deceased, the attackers also stabbed him repeatedly.

He said Olaniyan, a native of Ogun State, was popular on campus having produced songs with DJ Zeez and Konga in the past which had received considerable airplay.

He said, “The incident happened around 4pm when Damoche (Olaniyan) was leaving school. Some guys wielding guns and machetes on a bike started shooting at him and even after he fell to the ground, they stabbed him repeatedly before fleeing.

“At this point, everyone took cover for fear of being hit, but it was obvious that Damoche was the target.”
Asked if the deceased was a cult member, the source said it could not be ascertained immediately saying, “It is very hard to identify a cult member but Damoche was very popular, sociable and was always at every social gathering involving students.”

Meanwhile, it was learnt that policemen attached to Igando Division had evacuated the corpse.

The Guardian Editor John Abba Ogbodo Dies In Auto Crash
John Abba Ogbodo, a Political Editor at Nigeria’s daily, The Guardian has been killed in an auto crash around Anyigba, Kogi State.

The deceased, who was also the Senate Correspondent of the paper, was travelling from Abuja to Awka, the Anambra State capital alongside some other journalists to cover the convocation of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University where Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu is scheduled to deliver a convocation lecture.
 
Witnesses say the crash occurred when the Toyota minivan they were travelling in lost a tire and summersaulted into the woods.
 
He is believed to have died at the scene of the crash while others sustained various degrees of wounds.

South African Police Drags And Kills Man – Sparks Outrage  
A Mozambican immigrant became a victim of police brutality in South Africa when he was handcuffed to a police vehicle and dragged on the road at full speed.

A South African Newspaper The Daily Sun, posted video the footage Thursday and it was quickly picked up by other South African news outlets and carried on the Internet. It sparked immediate outrage.

The police watchdog agency said the incident started just before 7 p.m. on Tuesday when the cab driver was allegedly obstructing traffic with his vehicle. Then Mido Macia, a 27-year-old from neighboring Mozambique allegedly assaulted a constable and took his weapon before he was overpowered, the police investigative unit said.

Some of those in the crowd who watched the scene unfold in the Daveyton township east of Johannesburg shouted at the police and warned that it was being videotaped. The police did not seem at all concerned by all the witnesses and the presence of cameras as they tied Mido Macia to the back of a police vehicle, his hands behind his head. At least three policemen participated in the incident.

At first, Macia, dressed in jeans and a red T-shirt, is dragged along the road by the vehicle at slow speed, the footage shows. He awkwardly tries to keep step even though he is almost horizontal above the ground. Then the van stops, two policemen pick up the legs of the taxi driver and drop them to the ground as the van picks up speed and drives off, beyond the view of the camera.

Macia was found dead in a cell over two hours later by another policeman, according to the watchdog agency.
Watch the video posted by The Daily Sun:

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Vwamhi Longji Felix has filed a lawsuit against Covenant University challenging his illegal expulsion by the University Allegedly watching pornography and listening to circular music on his laptop.

Met police are considering the possibility that Nigerian Naomi Oni, 20-year old acid-burn victim from last year’s case in East London, might have inflicted the injury on herself.

Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, on Wednesday, stirred up a hot debate among social media users following his tweet about the act of sex.

Female students from Brazil who are part of a one year exchange programme at the University of Lagos refused to stay in the hostel accommodations provided for them on campus even after school authorities provided them with basic amenities.

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Student Sues Covenant University For Expulsion Over Pornography Content On Laptop  
Vwamhi Longji Felix has filed a lawsuit against Covenant University challenging his illegal expulsion by the University Allegedly watching pornography and listening to circular music on his laptop.

 Justice Mobolaji Ojo of Ogun State High Court sitting in Otta has fixed March 27, 2013 for judgment in the suit.

At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, the prosecuting counsel Segun Fatoki, told the court that Felix was allegedly expelled without an opportunity of a proper hearing or viewing the evidence in accordance with the standard practice as guaranteed by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, for the determination of such matter.

Felix, in his 24 paragraphs affidavit to support his claim, stated that before he was expelled his parents had spent not less than N10 million on his school fees and other expenses.

The school in its counter affidavit stated that in the school hand book it was stated there that students are not allowed to be in possession of unholy films and home video or circular music tapes, either stored or directly in the computer or listen through the use of computer radio or any other electronic device when on campus during an academic session.

Also, the school claimed that it is an offence that will attract punishment of expulsion for any student who indulges himself or herself in public display of or be in possession of pornographic films or photographs, exploring or viewing pornographic websites on the internet.

The other respondents in the suit are the Vice Chancellor Covenant University, The Chancellor and Chairman, Executive Council, Covenant University.

Concluding the hearing, Justice Ojo said they should allow every individual to grow the life that they need to live, if at age 15 to 17, they don’t live that life, they would live it when they are 30 to 35 because of too much rules.

“Children as adolescents must live as adolescents and as a youth, people must grow and we must allow them.”
However the Judge adjourned Judgment till March 27, 2013.

London Police Suspect Nigerian Acid Victim Of Burning Herself
Met police are considering the possibility that Nigerian Naomi Oni, 20-year old acid-burn victim from last year’s case in East London, might have inflicted the injury on herself.

Naomi stirred up a UK-wide fundraising appeal after she was left scarred for life in a random acid attack. But officers are now said to be considering the possibility Oni did it herself after they discovered she had researched acid attacks online before she was maimed at the end of last year.

The Victoria’s Secret shop assistant – Naomi claims a woman in a niqab threw the unidentified liquid over her as she walked home in Dagenham, East London, on December 30, 2012 but report has it that she had looked up information on Katie Piper, the former model who has campaigned for facial disfigurement victims since she was scarred in an acid attack in 2008.

She suffered full thickness burn to her face, arm, hand and leg and was blinded for two days. After spending nearly a month in hospital, she made an emotional plea for her alleged attacker to come forward. Naomi said: “I just want this person to come forward. How can they sleep at night knowing they have done this?”

Detectives have quizzed her family members on whether Oni could have hurt herself. Naomi’s law student boyfriend Ato Owede, 23, said: “The police are not doing enough to catch the person. I think they did ask her mum if she did this herself — that’s just crazy. They need to keep on investigating.”

The Met Police confirmed they had seized a number of items from Oni and said they were following a number of lines of inquiry. A spokesman said: “Inquiries are ongoing. “A number of items have been seized during the course of the investigation and they are being examined as part of ongoing inquiries.”

Femi Fani-Kayode’s Sex Tweet Stirs Debate
Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, on Wednesday, stirred up a hot debate among social media users following his tweet about the act of sex.

Fani-Kayode, in the tweet, gave lessons on sex, painting the picture of how people reach orgasm during sex.

He tweeted, “Sex is powerful. It is an act of worship. That is why people shout things like “Oh my God” when they are at the height of orgasmic pleasure.”

This prompted concerns that his account might have been hacked.

One of his friends, Michael Sawyer, using the Twitter handle, @ademolasawyer, tweeted at him, asking, “Hmm, has this account been hacked?”

But Fani Kayode replied saying, “No it has not.”

Another friend of his, Viva Runor-Ifeoluwa,  using @VivaRunor,  stated, “ LOL! Mouth sealed. I guess you just had a great one lately, sir.”

Fani-Kayode replied, “Not so.”

Consequently, some Nigerians on the social media and those who were privy to the tweet on other social media platforms have condemned the former minister for the message while others applauded him.

Brazilian Exchange Students In Fear Of Nigerian Girls – Refuse to Sleep in Unilag Female Hostel
Female students from Brazil who are part of a one year exchange programme at the University of Lagos refused to stay in the hostel accommodations provided for them on campus even after school authorities provided generating sets, installed air-conditioner units, water purifiers, DSTV, internet access and working telephone lines for the rooms.

The foreign students contacted their Embassy claiming that they were in fear for their lives and this led to Interpol agents being called in to &#39rescue&#39 the Brazilians from Unilag which has now resulted in a tense exchange of words between officials of the two countries.

Speaking from the Brazilian embassy in Lagos, one of the rescued girls explained why she and her fellow exchange students were afraid for their lives. According to her, during their induction, when they first arrived in Unilag, they noticed that a lot of Nigerian girls had Brazilian hair on their heads but this did not alarm and they even found it amusing the cost Nigerian girls were willing to pay for the hair.

What gave them concern however, was when they learnt that Nigerians are fond of using black magic to remove such intimate body parts as sex organs from their fellow Nigerians – for the sake of money. And to make matters worse, when they started mixing with their hosts, they noticed that more than a few Nigerian female students demonstrated &#39more than casual&#39 interest in their hair. At this point they really became afraid.

They reasoned that if Nigerians can steal each other’s sex organs and if Brazilian hair is an expensive and highly sort after commodity, then sleeping in a Nigerian female hostel can only be asking for trouble.

Efforts are now being made by school authorities to allay the fears of the Brazilian students and to avert what could become a major international incidence.

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Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday that France will not negotiate with the Islamist rebels who kidnapped a French family in Cameroon.

President Goodluck Jonathan has signed the N4.987tn 2013 Appropriation Bill into law in private on Tuesday.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday February 26, 2013, arraigned seven suspected oil thieves before Justice A. M. Liman of the Federal High Court 1, Benin City.

Pope Benedict XVI Twitter presence as @Pontifex will come to an end as he leaves office, says Vatican Radio.

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We Will Not Negotiate With Boko Haram – French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian
France will not negotiate with the Islamist rebels who kidnapped a French family in Cameroon, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday.

“We do not negotiate on these bases, with those groups,” Le Drian said on French radio station RTL. “We will use all possible means to secure the release of hostages.”

The radio announcement comes a day after rebels in Nigeria released a video of the family that was abducted in neighbouring Cameroon.

The seven-member family was flanked by armed fighters from the Boko Haram movement in the brief video. One of the men read a statement demanding that Nigeria and Cameroon free jailed members of Boko Haram, which is battling to establish Islamic rule in northern Nigeria, and their families.

“Meet all the demands we have mentioned, and if you leave out one of them, we will kill these hostages,” the masked man says.

France blasts ‘cruelty’ as Boko Haram displays kidnapped family.

The family – a couple, their four children and an uncle – were seized in a national park in remote northern Cameroon on February 19.

Authorities in Cameroon said they were quickly spirited across the border into Nigeria.

“This is the first time there are children hostages,” Le Drian said.

“This is an unacceptable situation.”

The kidnapping has raised fears of Westerners being targeted by Islamist militant groups in Africa in the wake of the French military intervention against other Islamist rebels in Mali.

Finally President Goodluck Jonathan Signs 2013 Budget… In Private
President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday signed the N4.987tn 2013 Appropriation Bill into law thereby putting an end to the bad blood between the Executive and the legislature over their differences on the budget.

However, the president signed the budget in private despite the fact that State House correspondents, were earlier mobilised for the signing ceremony, which in previous years had been done in full public glare.

Tuesday’s drama started at about 5.30pm when journalists, most of who had already left the Presidential Villa, were quickly mobilised to come and witness the signing ceremony, which was not included in the President’s schedule for the day.

While journalists were waiting for the event to start, the President was meeting the President of the Senate, David Mark; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwwal, in his office. They were later joined by other ministers.

Photo journalists and television cameramen, who were already gearing up for the annual ritual of recording the President while signing the budget, were asked to leave.

No sooner had the journalists returned to their base near the Council Chambers than Mark and Tambuwwal were sighted coming out of the President’s office but before the journalist could approached them for questions, they disappeared in their cars.

Other Ministers that followed also refused to comment on the matter and when Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was asked why she wasn’t giving any comment she simply replied: “I Smile” and left the premises too.

The President’s spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, later issued a statement that Jonathan has signed the budget after consultations and an agreement between the two arms of government.

br />The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday February 26, 2013, arraigned seven suspected oil thieves before Justice A. M. Liman of the Federal High Court 1, Benin City, on separate charges bordering on conspiracy and illegal dealing in Petroleum Products.

The accused persons: Paul Ojo, Oduwere Edobor, Lucky Okorie, Andrew Anthony, Kadiri Aloysious, James Aker and Lucky Egbede who were arrested at locations and dates, had in their possessions a truck, bus and kegs loaded with litres of substance suspected to be Automotive Gas Oil (AGO). They all pleaded not guilty to the charges respectively.

One of the charges against them reads:
“…that you Paul Ojo and Oduwere Edobor and others now at large on or about the 21st day of January, 2013, along Sapele Road, Benin City, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire with each other to commit felony to wit dealing in Petroleum Products without appropriate authority and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act. 2007 and punishable under section 1(17) of the same Act.”

The charges against others read:
“that you Lucky Okorie, Andrew Anthony, Kadiri Aloysious and James Aker and others now at large on or about the 22nd day of December, 2012, at Ekewan Road, Benin City, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit dealing in Petroleum Products without appropriate authority and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) Act. 2007 and punishable under section 1(17) of the same Act.”

Justice Liman granted them bail in the sum of N500, 000 (five hundred thousand naira) and a surety in like sum respectively. Sureties must have landed property which title deed must be sighted and verified by the bailiff of the court.

The matter has been adjourned to 26th March and 17th April, 2013 for trial respectively.

Pope’s Twitter Account To Be Closed As He Leaves Office
At the same time as Pope Benedict XVI leaves office on February 28, his Twitter presence as @Pontifex will also come to an end, according to Vatican Radio.


Pope Benedict XVI

About 1.5 million of those people follow the English language feed, with nearly 700,000 following him in Spanish and just short of 335,000 in Italian. About 22,500 people follow @Pontifex in Latin.

The account will be closed to coincide with the 85-year-old pope&#39s formal departure from office at 8 p.m. local time, Vatican Radio said.

The Vatican Radio said there is no way that such powerful tool of communication will be left for use during the &#39sede vacante&#39 period where the seat of the Pope will be vacant.

It&#39s not yet clear whether whoever is chosen to succeed Benedict, who cited the frailty of age as the reason for his departure, will also use Twitter to reach out to some of the 1.5 billion Roman Catholics around the world.

 

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Tobechi Enyinna Onwuhara, one of the FBI’s most wanted men, allegedly a fraudster who scammed at least $44 million through cyber crimes has been caught in Sydney and sent back to the US to face a string of fraud charges.

Influential business magazine, Forbes has named Nigerians; Jobberman founders Opeyemi Awoyemi, Olalekan Olude, Ayodeji Adewunmi and Nairaland Founder Oluwaseun Osewa alongside 30 others as Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneurs.

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc in collaboration with MoneyGram International has donated a fully branded children playroom and center for the Pediatric ward of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).  

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Nigerian ‘Yahoo Boy’ On FBI’s Most Wanted List Apprehended In Australia For $44 Million Scam
Tobechi Enyinna Onwuhara, was one of the FBI’s most wanted men, allegedly a fraudster who scammed at least $44 million through cyber crimes, he fled Florida in August 2008 amid an intense FBI investigation but the sophisticated con artist has been caught in Sydney and sent back to the US to face a string of fraud charges.

He owned a hip hop record label and he lived the high life of luxury hotels, gambling, strippers and ‘bling.’ But behind the glitz and the glamour is one of the most wanted men by the FBI.

The Nigerian-born Tobechi Onwuhara, 33, was “provisionally arrested in response to a request from the United States Government” in December last year, according to a spokeswoman for the Australian Attorney-General’s department.

Mr Onwuhara is to face prosecution in the US for fraud related offences, including identity fraud and computer fraud, the spokeswoman said.

“On January 29, the Minister for Justice Jason Clare made a determination to surrender Mr Onwuhara to the US.

“As a matter of long standing practice, the Australian government does not comment on operational matters,” she said.

Fairfax Media understands Mr Onwuhara had been “living it up” in Sydney after disappearing in August 2008.
The FBI’s website now lists Mr Onwuhara as captured, but with scant detail of the arrest. They were offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

The source who tipped off Fairfax said Mr Onwuhara had been making regular trips to The Star casino as well as splashing cash at numerous popular night clubs.

“He would bet at the Star under a different name, he was a regular, then one day he just disappeared and someone told us he’s wanted by the FBI,” a source said.

According to the FBI’s most wanted list Mr Onwuhara is wanted for his alleged involvement in an elaborate scheme that defrauded the financial industry out of tens of millions of dollars.

“Onwuhara is a key member of a group of Nigerians who allegedly have been conducting fraudulent banking activities from Florida and Texas, since 2005,” the FBI’s most wanted website states.

Some of Onwuhara’s alleged co-conspirators have been arrested, inside and outside of the United States, the FBI’s website states.

Forbes Names Jobberman, Nairaland Founders Amongst 30 Under 30: Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneurs
Influential business magazine, Forbes has named Nigerians; Jobberman founders Opeyemi Awoyemi, Olalekan Olude, Ayodeji Adewunmi and Nairaland Founder Oluwaseun Osewa alongside 30 others as Africa’s Best Young Entrepreneurs.

The Jobberman Trio built Nigeria’s biggest job search engine and aggregator. Jobberman went live in August 2009, and today the site attracts over 50,000 unique users each day. Through simple, yet cutting-edge technology, Jobberman helps link qualified personnel to the right job opportunities.

Also Oluwaseun Osewa, Founder 0f Niaraland – Africa’s largest online forum – founded the site in March 2005 as a general purpose discussion forum with a bias towards issues of interest to Nigerians, the site is said to have more views than Wikipedia in Nigeria. Nairaland has close to 1 million registered users and earns its revenue through its ad inventory.
 
Other Africans in the category include South African Ashley Uys, Founder, Medical Diagnostech, Malawian Inventor William Kamkwamba, Ghanaian Co-founders of Face2Face Africa Sandra Appiah and Isaac Boateng amongst others.

 

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Former President of America, Bill Clinton; President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan; Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu and the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola all attended at the inaugural ceremony of the first phase of the Eko Atlantic City.

The Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp/Woodrock Mr. Tony Elumelu has said with the signing of transaction and industry agreements for the Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s successor companies, the stage was set for the citizens to enjoy uninterrupted power supply.

Former Nigeria defender, Taribo West, has reacted to West Brom forward, Osaze Odemwingie’s tweet, that ridiculed the state of the country’s ex-internationals, saying the player should focus on his career rather than using social network site, Twitter, to ‘abuse’ his elders.

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Bill Clinton, Goodluck Jonathan, Babatunde Fashola And More At The Inaugural Ceremony Of Eko Atlantic City In Lagos
Former President of America, Bill Clinton; President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan; Former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu and the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola were all at the inaugural ceremony of the first phase of the Eko Atlantic City.

The city, a planned district of Lagos constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean is anticipated to harbor about 400, 000 residents and a daily flow of 250,000 commuters. Fashola in his remark commented that the construction of the Eko Atlantic City is prove of man’s ability to outwit nature.

The walls of the city has been said to be built not only to protect the city from overflow of the atlantic ocean but also to protect the whole of Lagos Island. One square metre of land on the Island goes for 700,000 naira – about $4,000. (South Energyx Limited says prices actually start from $850 per square meter, with plot dimensions starting from a minimum of 2,000 square meters).

Eko Atlantic City is plugged as a public-private partnership between the Lagos State Government and the Chagoury Group, which owns South Energyx. The main purpose of the Eko Atlantic City is the preservation of Lagos State, especially from natural disaster.

Nigerians Will Enjoy Uninterrupted Power Supply Soon – Tony Elumelu
The Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp/Woodrock, the consortium that won the bid for Ugheli Power Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu, on Thursday said with the signing of transaction and industry agreements for the Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s successor companies, the stage was set for the citizens to enjoy uninterrupted power supply.
Elumelu spoke with State House correspondents shortly after his firm, which emerged the preferred bidder for the Ugheli plant, signed a Power Purchase Agreement with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company Plc.

The NBET signed similar agreements with five other firms in respect to Geregu Power Plc, Sapele Power Plc, Kainji Hydro Electric Plc, Shiroro Hydro Electric Plc and Egbin Power Plc.

“Today is a very significant day for Nigeria, significant because this is the issue of public-private partnership in action. The government of President Goodluck Jonathan promised Nigerians that they will have power, let there be light and with what we are doing today, there is going to be light,” Elumelu said.

He said it was his firm’s conviction that once the country could get its power sector right, economic and social development would follow.

Taribo West Blasts Odemwingie Over Controversial Tweet
Former Nigeria defender, Taribo West, has reacted to West Brom forward, Osaze Odemwingie’s tweet, that ridiculed the state of the country’s ex-internationals, saying the player should focus on his career rather than using social network site, Twitter, to ‘abuse’ his elders.

The Edo-born player of late has used the social network site to unleash his rage at several ex-Eagles players and the Nigeria Football Federation. He also unleashed his anger at West Brom and their fans via the same channel when his transfer bid to Queens Park Rangers fell through.

Osaze twitted that football administrators had failed to “treat former internationals right” citing late striker Rashidi Yekini, Femi Opabunmi and Taribo as examples.

“Yekini, (may his soul RIP) our legend died in poverty…Femi Opabunmi lost his sight and struggling to feed now…T. West I heard not so comfortable and few others,” Osaze twitted.

But Taribo, who has now turned pastor, replied the England-based player on Thursday saying, “It is embarrassing to read such comments about me in the newspapers. The last time he probably saw me was in 2008, so what does he know about me?

““He should shut up and focus on his career instead of insulting his seniors all the time.”

Taribo, who played for Italian giants AC Milan and Inter Milan, during an illustrious career, said comments on Twitter was not the best way to fight the cause of Nigeria’s ex-footballers.

 

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President Goodluck Jonathan will stop over in Lagos today on his way to the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of Africa and South America in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

The State Security Service said that it had uncovered a terror network, coordinated by Iranians, in Lagos.
Three civilians have been killed by a suicide bomber in Maiduguri, Borno State.

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President Goodluck Jonathan, Bill Clinton Expected In Lagos Today
President Goodluck Jonathan will stop over in Lagos today on his way to the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of Africa and South America in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.


The president’s stop over is aimed at meeting with former US President Bill Clinton to inspect the Eko Atlantic City Project.

Spokesman for the president Reuben Abati said in a statement that the President is listed among the keynote speakers at the summit, which will take place on Friday, February 22, 2013.

Other speakers include the Presidents of Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former President Lula Da Silva of Brazil and the current Chairman of the African Union.

“President Jonathan will be accompanied to the Summit which has the objective of promoting political and economic cooperation between the two continents by the Minister of Transport, Alhaji Idris Umar, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr. Edem Duke and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri,” Reuben Abati said.

Jonathan is expected back in Abuja on Friday, Abati said in the statement. He will also be meeting with Nigerians in Equatorial Guinea on the sidelines of the summit.

As anticipated, the President’s visit to Lagos is expected to make commuting within the Ikoyi and Victoria Island axis difficult because of the deployment of heavy security.

State Security Service Uncovers Iranian Terror Cell In Lagos
The State Security Service said that it had uncovered a terror network, coordinated by Iranians, in Lagos.
The SSS said this in Abuja on Wednesday while parading a leader of an Islamic sect, Abdullahi Berende, and two others said to be operators of the Iranian terror cell gathering information about Israelis and Americans living in Nigeria, Paraded alongside 50-year-old Berende were Sulaiman Saka and Saheed Adewunmi. The three were said to be working for Iranian terrorists planning to attack Americans and Israelis in the country.

A third suspect, Bunyamin Yusuf, is yet to be captured.

“Berende who is said to be a leader of the Shi’a Islamic sect in Ilorin, Kwara State, told journalists that he was employed by ‘people who were ready to capitalise on my weakness,” though he denied being part of a terrorist network,” according to Punch Newspaper.

The Islamic teacher, and local leader of the Shiite sect, Berende, was observed to have made several suspicious trips to and fro Iran where he interacted with some Iranians known to operate a high profile international terrorist network.

Deputy Director Public Relations, SSS, Marilyn Ogar, told journalists that Ogar said that in the course of interrogation, Berende confessed that in 2006, he gained admission to study a six-month course in modern Shi’a Islamic teaching (Da’awa) at Imam Khomeini University, Iran.
He denied working for any terror network at home or internationally saying he only source for information for his handler.

Suicide Bomber Kills Self And Three Others In Maiduguri
Three civilians have been killed by a suicide bomber in Maiduguri, Borno State.
The Joint Task Force (JTF) spokesman Lt. Col. Sagir Musa on Wednesday confirmed the killing of three persons after an explosion in Maiduguri.

“An explosive device targeted at the JTF patrol team exploded at the Post Office round about in Maiduguri at about 1.00 p.m. on Wednesday.
The explosion led to the death of three civilians, comprising the bomber and two others, and a JTF vehicle was damaged.”
He assured the public that the JTF was on top of the situation in the state, in spite of the development.

Musa also urged residents to disregard leaflets being circulated by suspected terrorists on impending attacks in Maiduguri containing a message from their leader Abubakar Shekau.

JTF advised “law abiding members of the public to disregard such publications and consider them as part of the terrorist’s propaganda strategy to keep the civil populace in captivity.”

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An explosion has occurred under the Linked Bridge in Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Lagos State, killing a sand dredger and leaving a police inspector badly injured.

The new infamous terrorist group, Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis- Sudan (a.k.a JAMBS), on Monday claimed responsibility for Sunday’s seizure of six foreign workers in Bauchi.

The embattled chairman of the Presidential Task Force Team on Pension, Abdulrasheed Maina, has lost the bid to stop his arrest for the second time in less than a week, by the police who had declared him wanted for his failure to honour the summon by the Senate.

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Explosion Kills Sand Dredger, Injures Police In Festac
An explosion has occurred under the Linked Bridge in Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Lagos State, killing a sand dredger and leaving a police inspector badly injured.

The sand dredger identified as Oladele Pius was reported to have been torn apart by the explosion, while the police inspector, Akin Sunday sustained serious injuries in the explosion that caused panic in the Local Government Area.

According to eyewitnesses, rescue workers found it difficult to carry Pius’ remains and had to use shovels to pack them in different body bags.

They (eyewitness) said the inspector’s legs were shattered, while his eyes and hands were affected by the explosion.


Pius had returned to the work with the inspector haven drove out shortly after resuming work in the morning. The policeman was leaving the area when the explosion occurred, killing Oladele on the spot and seriously injuring the policeman who had moved a few steps away before the device, connected with dry cell batteries and wires, detonated.

It could not be ascertained who planted the explosive, but the police denied that it was a bomb. Commissioner of Police for the state Police Command, Umar Manko said preliminary investigation revealed that the explosion was caused by an electrical fault and not a terrorist attack.

He said, “Contrary to people’s fear that it was a bomb blast, it was a mere electrical fault at the Amuwo Odofin Bridge. Anti-bomb experts have been called in to assess the situation and I will be adequately briefed later.”

New Terrorist Group Claims Responsibility For Bauchi Kidnapping
The new infamous terrorist group, Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis- Sudan (a.k.a JAMBS), on Monday claimed responsibility for Sunday’s seizure of six foreign workers in Bauchi.

A guard was also killed during the raid on the company’s premises where the expatriates were kidnapped.

The victims are believed to include an Italian, a Filipino, a Briton, one Greek and a Lebanese.

They were working on a construction project when the militants attacked on Sunday, reports say.

According to a BBC report, the group made the announcement that it was behind Sunday’s kidnapping in an email, saying it had “the custody of seven persons, which include Lebanese and their European counterparts” working with a construction firm, Setraco.

JAMBS, believed to be a breakaway faction of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, had similarly claimed responsibility for the attack on Nigerian soldiers on their way to Mali last month.

In the attack on the soldiers on Okene-Lokoja Road, in Kogi State, two soldiers and many others were said to be injured during a gunfight that ensued.

Maina Loses Bid To Stop Arrest For The Second Time
The embattled chairman of the Presidential Task Force Team on Pension, Abdulrasheed Maina, has lost the bid to stop his arrest for the second time in less than a week, by the police who had declared him wanted for his failure to honour the summon by the Senate.
This is as Justice Adamu Bello of a Federal High Court Abuja, Monday, once again, disregarded the application seeking to stop his arrest. Maina’s lawyer, Mahmoud Magaji (SAN), at the resumption of the hearing of the application, Monday, had made an oral case asking the court to direct parties in the suit to maintain the status quo pending the hearing and determination of the suit before it.

Maintaining that the applicant had refused to place before the court any material alleging that any of the respondents was working or planning to do anything to vitiate the proceedings of the court, the counsel to the respondents also argued that such application brought by the applicant should be made formally and not orally.

Justice Adamu Bello, in his ruling, held that the he could not sit over an appeal against his own ruling and that only the Court of Appeal could do so. While refusing Maina’s application, Bello maintained that he could not set aside the ruling he earlier delivered on Friday, refusing to make an order for status quo.

Maina had applied for the enforcement of his fundamental human rights at the court. On Monday, one of the counsel to the respondents, Ken Ikonne, brought an application seeking an extension of time to file his counter affidavit, written address and to enter a conditional appearance.

Counsel to the Inspector General of Police, who is the sixth respondent, Ngosoo Uchendu, did not oppose the application neither did counsel to Maina also. The court therefore granted the application as prayed.

The court also granted the Senate an extension of time to file a counter-affidavit  written address and to enter a conditional appearance.
 
 The court further gave the respondents three days to file their response and another three days for the applicant to file his reply on points of law.

The court later adjourned till February 26 for adoption of addresses.
 
Maina had applied to the court via an exparte, to stop the Senate from ordering his arrest because he had already filed a suit.

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The First Lady of Nigeria Patience Jonathan on Sunday in Abuja narrated on how a debilitating sickness almost took her life but God brought her back after 7 days.

Gunmen have kidnapped 7 workers from a construction company in Northeastern Nigeria, shooting a security man dead on Saturday.

Former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Audu Ogbeh, disclosed on Saturday that his decision to call the bluff of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo precipitated his removal as the party boss.

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I Was Dead For 7 Days – Patience Jonathan
The First Lady of Nigeria Patience Jonathan on Sunday in Abuja narrated how a debilitating sickness almost took her life at a time the Federal Government was telling Nigerians that the President’s wife was in perfect condition.

The President’s wife said she passed out for over seven days and that her aides, believing that she was dead, pilfered her personal effects before God “miraculously” brought her back to life.

Punctuating her testimony with praise songs, Patience, who refused to read from a speech prepared for her, narrated to a congregation at a thanksgiving service held at the Presidential Villa how she underwent nine surgeries within one month in London at a time the Presidency was assuring the citizens that she had merely travelled to rest after the rigours of the 2011 elections and hosting the African First Ladies Summit.

At a reception later in the day, Jonathan said his wife’s “miraculous healing” had put an end to the superstition about deaths in Aso Rock.

The First Lady left Nigeria unannounced in August last year and spent about seven weeks abroad. Her media aides claimed she was resting abroad after the rigours of hosting the African First Ladies Summit but media report had it that she was admitted at a German hospital during the period.

Throughout her period of absence, the Presidency was mute on her state of health and the nature of her sickness which still remain unknown.

Gunmen Kidnap 7 Workers Including Foreigners In Bauchi
Gunmen have kidnapped 7 workers from a construction company in Northeastern Nigeria, shooting a security man dead on Saturday.

The workers include one Italian citizen, one Greek citizen and two Lebanese citizens, Nigerian police said a Briton was also kidnapped; the workers were taken Saturday night from the offices of Setraco, a construction company in Jama&#39are, in Bauchi State.
The same gunmen had earlier attacked the prison and a police station in Jama’are, which lies about 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the state capital Bauchi city but were repelled, State Police Chief Mohammed Ladan said.

“They killed the security guard at the site.” Ladan added.

Setraco Nigeria, a construction and civil engineering company, is a subsidiary of Setraco International Holding group.

The Nigerian company, which was established in 1977, is currently working on expanding a major road in northern Nigeria.

“Obasanjo Sacked Me Because I Told Him I’m Not His Cook” – Audu Ogbeh
Former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Audu Ogbeh, had disclosed on Saturday that his decision to call the bluff of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo precipitated his removal as the party boss.

Ogbeh, now a stalwart of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), disclosed this at a meeting of the Benue State expanded executive council of the party in Makurdi, that on one occasion, he told the former president after a confrontation that he was not his boy and must be treated as the then party Chairman.
According to him, “One day, I summed up courage and confronted Obasanjo at a meeting. I told him point blank that Mr. President, I am not your cook but your party chairman, so you talk to me with respect.”

At the meeting which was held to discuss the merger of ANPP, ACN, APGA and CPC, Ogbeh said he asked Obasanjo to show the party leadership some respect, reminding him that when others were building the party, he was in prison and should stop kicking people around.

This, according to Ogbeh, did not go down well with the former President who later masterminded his removal as the PDP Chairman.

He assured ACN members that its merger with APGA, CPC and ANPP will work and that APC will be sure of victory over the PDP come 2015.

 

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The Senate has given President Goodluck Jonathan a two-day ultimatum to sack the Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, from the Federal Civil Service.

Olympic “Blade runner” Oscar Pistorius has been arrested after a woman identified as Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead in his house. 

English club Chelsea has dropped Victor Moses from the squad to face Sparta Prague in their Europa League tie on Today

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Senate Gives Goodluck Jonathan two-day ultimatum To Sack Abdulrasheed Maina
The Senate has given President Goodluck Jonathan a two-day ultimatum to sack the Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, from the Federal Civil Service.

The senate had invited Maina, the Acting Director of Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pensions Office to account for the administration and management of CIPPO. The Senate President David Mark said the committee after sitting for seven days, invited Maina in line with its constitutional powers to appear before it to give account of his tenure as well as the management of pension funds, but that Maina, had on all occasions neglected and refused to honour the invitation.

The Upper Legislative chamber with Mark in the fore front said Jonathan risked dire consequences if he failed to end Maina’s stay in office. Mark said this after a debate on a motion entitled, “Dismissal of Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina for refusal to appear before the Senate.”

He said the Senate as an institution has been pushed to the wall and can no longer tolerate the insolence of public officials working for the executive.

“The Senate is not lacking in ideas on what to do. Nobody in this country is bigger than our democracy. I have been extremely patient with Maina, so that when we react, they will know that we have been fair.” Mark said.

Oscar Pistorius Arrested Over Reeva Steenkamp Shooting
A woman identified as Reeva Steenkamp has been shot dead in the house of Olympic “Blade runner” Oscar Pistorius.  She was found dead after a neighbor alerted the police of the shooting.

Pistorius was taken into custody after the shooting early Thursday morning at his home in a gated complex in the country’s capital, Pretoria.

The South African Press Association identified the victim as Pistorius&#39 girlfriend who may have tried to surprise the athlete in the early hours of Val’s Day but was mistaken for a burglar and was shot.

Police said Pistorius was cooperating with them.
Pistorius made history at the London Olympics last year when he became the first double-amputee runner to compete on the track at the Games and is one of South Africa’s most famous sportsman.

Pistorius will appear in Pretoria magistrate court sometime Thursday.

AFCON Aftermath: Chelsea Drops Victor Moses
English club Chelsea has dropped Victor Moses from the squad to face Sparta Prague in their Europa League tie on Thursday. The Super Eagles’ team member had been quickly recalled for the trip to the Czech Republic which forced him to travel back to England from South Africa instead of heading to Abuja with his teammates.

But Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has carefully avoided making the same mistake as Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, who played Efe Ambrose against Juventus two days after the Africa Cup of Nations final match against Burkina Faso in South Africa. Ambrose, who only arrived in Glasgow on match day, turned out a huge deficit to Celtic despite his sterling performance for Nigeria in South Africa. Lennon later admits on Wednesday that he took “a gamble” by fielding Ambrose.

Even though Mikel Obi and Moses were initially in the game plan, Chelsea later exempted Mikel but finally left out Moses who arrived in London on Tuesday for the Wednesday flight to Prague.

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Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State has admitted to being treated for cancer in the United Kingdom

A Filling Station Security guard Joseph Ogbor has killed an armed robber with the bandits’ gun

The Super Eagles of Nigeria, Coach Stephen Keshi and officials of the Super Eagles team were on Tuesday splashed with millions of naira, plots of land and national awards for lifting the Africa Cup of Nations.

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Governor Sullivan Chime Admits Suffering From Cancer
Haven returned to the country killing speculations and rumours, Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu State has admitted to being treated for cancer in the United Kingdom. At a press briefing in Enugu two days ago, the governor told journalists that he had received treatment for nose cancer after cancerous lumps were detected in his neck and nose.

Mr. Sullivan, who had been outside of his state for close to 150 days and raised a lot of controversies had been diagnosed with cancer and was receiving treatment in the UK. The governor confirmed this and put the lies peddled by his aides that he had been on vacation to rest to rest.

Speaking on his journey the Governor revealed extensive details, he said:

“In August last year, I was privileged to be one of those nominated by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to go to Germany to study their federalism, I was to represent the south east zone; I had to use the opportunity of the trip to pass through London to do my medicals since it was the only opportunity I had to do that. After my medicals, I was certified fit by the doctors, but I noticed that I had a little growth beneath my jaw.

Ordinarily, nobody could see it but I felt it seriously and asked the doctors to further investigation on it.”
He said he left for Germany but had to return to London for further screening of the growth. “It was after the screening that it was discovered that the growth in question was cancerous. It was also discovered that the main tumour was behind my nose; it was simply called cancer of the nose.”

The governor said the treatment ended on December 14th and commended the deputy Governor who stood in for him saying they were in close contact all through his absence.

Brave Security Guard Kills Robber With Bandits’ Gun In Cross River State
A Filling Station Security Man has killed an armed robber with the bandits’ gun. Joseph Ogbor who works for Tonimas Filling Station in Ogoja Cross River killed the armed robber after being beaten by the bandits.

Manager of the station, who identified himself simply as Sunny, said some the robbers came in at about 2am last Friday, armed with machetes and guns to cart away the money made for the day. He said Joseph fractured his skull and leg when he confronted the robbers who got angry and descended on him heavily.

He further explained that after the beating, the robbers thought the watchman was dead as they abandoned him on the floor, forgetting to pick their gun, a pump action rifle in the process.

Sunny said, “After they left, the watchman regained consciousness and saw the gun on the floor. He crawled and picked it up.

“Half an hour later, the hoodlums came back for their gun apparently after they had discovered that it was missing. As they approached the place where the security man was lying with his broken limb, the man fired and killed one of them.

“As the others made to escape, he shot again and got another on the leg but he managed to scale through the fence and escaped along with the others.

“We called in the police and handed over the gun to them.”

Police are investigating the matter although the name of the deceased hoodlum has not been made public in order to aid investigation.

Super Eagles, Coach Keshi Bags National Honours, Cash, And Plots Of Land
The Super Eagles of Nigeria along with Coach Stephen Keshi were treated to a warm welcome by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Tuesday. The president splashed millions of naira, plots of land and national awards on the players and officials of the team for lifting the Africa Cup of Nations.

While the Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, was given N10m, members of the technical crew were also given N2m each.
Keshi also bagged the national honour of the Commander of the Order of Niger while his three assistants and the team captain, Joseph Yobo, were conferred with Officer of the Order of Niger.

The remaining players were conferred with Member of the Order of Niger.

Jonathan made the announcement amidst loud ovation from the lucky players during a state dinner he organised in their honour at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, few hours  after their arrival in the country.

The President said two sets of Nigerians youths, musicians and footballers, had been placing the nation on the world map.
He described the players as super heroes, saying their victory was an inspiration to  million of Nigerians.

He said the trophy was the most precious centenary gift presented to the nation by the team saying the victory was an indication that his administration will work even as he continues to work hard. He assures the chief coach of his full support and told him to ensure the success of the World Cup qualifiers.

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President Goodluck Jonathan&#39s motor convoy was yesterday involved in an accident in Paris as the Nigerian president was traveling with his aides to a meeting with the French President Francois Gerard Hollande.

The Lagos State Government has sealed off 43 spare parts shops, arresting eight dealers in the process over failure to register their businesses with the government.

The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has commenced cargo operations after 10 years with the first haulage of goods from Ogun State to Niger State last week.

Coach Stephen Keshi has reconsidered his resignation after the intervention of NFF and Presidency.

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President Goodluck Jonathan’s Paris Convoy In Auto Accident
President Goodluck Jonathan&#39s motor convoy was yesterday involved in an accident in Paris as the Nigerian president was traveling with his aides to a meeting with the French President Francois Gerard Hollande.

According to Sahara Reporters, the accident occurred 15 minutes away from the Elysee Palace, the venue of the official meeting with the French leader.
A French police source confirmed this and said: “The car involved in the accident was the fifth car behind that of President Jonathan.”

Jamilu Waziri, a presidential liaison officer (PLO), was injured in the accident and had to be taken to a Paris hospital where he received treatment for a broken ankle. As a result of the accident, Mr. Waziri was unable to attend the meeting.

Mr. Waziri later flew with President Jonathan who was Abuja bound. The wounded officer walked with aid of a pair of crutches.

Lagos State Seals Off 43 Spare Parts Shops, Arrest Traders In Lagos
The Lagos State Government has sealed off 43 spare parts shops, arresting eight dealers in the process over failure to register their businesses with the government.

The shops, which are located in Maza Maza, Mile 2 area of the state, were shut by the enforcement unit of the Lagos State Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, in conjunction with officials of the state’s task force.

A statement on Sunday by the agency said the MVAA had earlier closed the spare parts shops, adding that their owners broke the seal and resumed their trade.

Spare parts dealers are supposed to pay an annual registration fee of N50, 000 while auto dealers are to pay an annual registration fee of N100,000.

The statement said, “It has been observed that many spare parts and auto dealers have been defaulting in the payment of the annual registration fees, while a series of sensitisation and talks to get many of them pay the annual fees had been unsuccessful.

“When the MVAA officials got to the shops to re-effect the closure of the shops, they were attacked by some spare parts dealers.

“Task force officials came to the rescue of MVAA personnel as they arrested eight people for breaking government’s seal and assaulting its officials.

“Other attackers fled on sighting task force officials. The shops were later sealed off.”

The Chairman of the task force, Superintendent of Police Bayo Sulaiman, said the arrested dealers would be arraigned at the state Special Offences Court.

Nigerian Railway Corporation Begins Cargo Services After 10 Years
The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has commenced cargo operations after 10 years with the first haulage of goods from Ogun State to Niger State last week.
The first cargo operation in ten years commenced several days ago with 675 tonnes arriving Minna from Ogun State after 48 hours journey, about twelve hours quicker than its usual operation in the past.

The manager public relations of North Western District of the railway corporation, Abdulraouf Akinwuye said the cement transported was contracted from Luferage Company makers of WAPCO cement at Ewekoro in Ogun State. Akinwuye said that apart from less cost intensive nature of the train haulage services, the cargo train had the capacity to create job opportunities for the youths in the state and also enhance economic activities.

He explained that 50 youths were expected to benefit from the loading, off-loading and transportation of the goods in terms of employment.

Coach Stephen Keshi Reconsiders Resignation
Nigerians were given a rude awakening just as they begin to savour the joy of being African champions, with the coach of the Super Eagles Stephen Keshi announcing his resignation on Monday.

Keshi had highlighted his displeasure with the way the team had been treated during the AFCON 2013 which the super Eagles surprisingly won. He pointed out the fact that the NFF before the match against Zambia had gone ahead to book the team’s return ticket, a gesture that shows the authority’s disbelief in the Super Eagles.

Keshi who is billed to return with his players to Nigeria Tuesday (today) was first quoted in South Africa as having resigned his position as the manager of the Nigerian team, however,  a very highly placed official in the Presidency told Nigerian newspaper Punch on Monday that the matter had been taken up immediately. The source added that after the discussion with Keshi, he agreed to withdraw his resignation and continue his job with the team.

In respect to the reconsideration, Coach Stephen Kechi has released a statement that read thus:

My attention has been drawn to reports in the media that I have resigned my appointment as the Head Coach of Super Eagles of Nigeria. While I have had cause to express my displeasure over some issues that happened in the course of our participation in the AFCON 2013, which my team won by the grace of God, especially concerning my relationship with the Nigerian Football Federation, I have since had opportunity to discuss the various issues with all concerned. I am therefore pleased to say that I have reconsidered my position and have decided to continue with my job.

I want to thank the Honourable Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, for his swift and kind intervention.

Signed
Stephen Okechukwu Keshi
12th February 2013

 

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed his commitment to tackle human security in Africa, as he inaugurated the ‘Obasanjo Foundation’ in London.

Channels TV Head of Sports Joe Ighile collapsed and died on Friday night while the live sports programme at 9pm was on.

Vatican has announced that Pope Benedict XVI is to resign on the 28th of February 2013.

As the super eagles of Nigeria end 19 years wait defeating Burkina Faso in the final match of the AFCON 2013, The Confederation of African Football has selected five members of the Super Eagles for the Best Eleven.

Read All Highlights Below:

Obasanjo Launches Foundation In London, Targets Social, Economic Security In Africa
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed his commitment to tackle human security in Africa, as he inaugurated the ‘Obasanjo Foundation’ in London.

President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan was there with his wife Patience, President of Liberia -Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Ghana – John Mahama and President of Benin Republic – Yayi Boni also graced the occasion, Aliko Dangote, Edo state Governor – Adams Oshiomhole, Alao Akala were all at the launch.

“The Foundation is aimed at advancing human security in Africa within the context of tackling critical problems in the areas of  food, economy, health and security, as well as gender equality,’’ Obasanjo stated during the launch.

According to him, these challenges which are impeding economic growth of the continent will be addressed through the feed Africa initiative, girl child education, youth empowerment, and employment as well as health improvement initiative under the foundation.

Channels TV Sport Presenter, Joe Ighile Collapses On Set, Dies In Hospital
Channels TV Head of Sports, Joe Ighile collapsed and died on Friday night while the live sports programme at 9pm was on.

After introducing the programme, he told the crew that he was feeling uncomfortable and asked to take a break. He stepped out of the studio for some fresh air and collapsed a few minutes later. Few minutes after getting to the hospital, he was pronounced dead.
In a report by Channels Television, Channels Television, Joseph Ighile, was a staff of the station for nine years. Mr Ighile only just returned from South Africa where he had been covering the on-going 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The late Ighile is a multiple awards winner and member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) media and publicity committee as well as the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), he is survived by his wife, Ngozi, and 2 children, Favour and Mercy.

Burial arrangements will be announced by his family.

Breaking News: Pope Benedict XVI To Resign

CNN reports have it that Vatican has announced that Pope Benedict is to resign on the 28th of February 2013.

Although the reason for his resignation remains uncertain, reports from Reuters says the Pope strength can no longer carry him through the office. The pope said he is “fully aware of the gravity of his gesture” and has not been forced out of office but he is resigning in full freedom.

“I am no longer able to fulfill my ministry,” the Pope was quoted on CNN.

Pope Benedict XVI became pope after being elected by College of Cardinals in April 2005. The Pope who will turn 86 in April said he will go into a life of prayer after his resignation.

 Five Nigerians Make CAF Best XI Following AFCON 2013 Win
As the super eagles of Nigeria end 19 years wait defeating Burkina Faso in the final match of the AFCON 2013, The Confederation of African Football has selected five members of the Super Eagles for the Best Eleven.

Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, defender Efe Ambrose, midfielder Mikel Obi and forwards Victor Moses and Emmanuel Emenike were selected to complete a team which also has Cape Verde Island’s Nando Maria Neves, Mali’s Seydou Keita, Burkina Faso’s Jonathan Pitroipa, Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan and Ivory Coast’s Arouna Koné and Siaka Tiéné.

Emenike, who won the Top Scorer award with four goals, was elated after the victory despite not playing in the final game due to injury.

“Even though I did not play, I felt the pressure as if I was on the pitch. Starting from the beginning, Nigerians didn’t believe in us but I thank God today that we’re the champions. I’m so excited right now. I just want Nigerians to give us more time to get stronger.” Emenike said.

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President Goodluck Jonathan has posted a message of hope and promise on facebook in a bid to regain the people’s confidence following Amanpour’s viral video.

Anxiety over the possibility of being moved to less “significant” ministries gripped ministers days ahead of today&#39s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting where a shake-up in the cabinet could be announced.

The Nigeria Football Federation has promised to give each player $20,000 if they beat the Eagles of Mali in today’s match.

Read All Highlights Below:

President Goodluck Jonathan Promises Improved Power Supply, Employment, Rehabilitation And More On Facebook
Following CNN Amanpour’s Video that compared Nigerian’s incessant power outages to the Super Bowl Snafu 35 minutes blackout which went viral online, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has tried to regain the people’s confidence by sending a message via his Facebook page which made a lot of promises.

The president posted the message yesterday afternoon and mentioned that General Electric has announced a decision to invest $1 billion in setting up a manufacturing plant to support power generation and oil production in Nigeria; an investment which would create more jobs for Nigerians among other things.

The 2nd paragraph of the extensive message read:
“The determination of this administration to create wealth in Nigeria and for Nigerians has led us to focus our investment drive towards attracting Foreign Direct Investments in manufacturing and the service sector to ensure that jobs are created. And this drive is not an exercise in futility as Nigeria is becoming the preferred destination for FDI. Just last week, General Electric announced a decision to invest $1 billion in setting up a manufacturing plant to support power generation and oil production. Their plant, to be situated in Calabar, will provide jobs for thousands with multiplier effect for tens of thousands more and will make Nigeria a hub for power equipment in the region. The end result of this investment is that Nigeria’s power generating infrastructure will be expanded meaning more power for Nigerians which translates to even more jobs.”

Anxiety Grip Ministers Ahead Of Cabinet Reshuffle Announcement
Anxiety over the possibility of being moved to less “significant” ministries gripped ministers days ahead of today&#39s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting where a shake-up in the cabinet could be announced.

Signs that President Goodluck Jonathan would reconstitute his cabinet were strengthened yesterday with the announcement of portfolios for the two ministers – Professor Chinedu Nebo and Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (SAN) – who were sworn in on Monday.

While Nebo, from Enugu State, has been assigned the power ministry portfolio to replace his kinsman, Prof. Bart Nnaji, who resigned from the cabinet last August, Turaki will not be going to the Ministry of Defence. He has been named the Minister of Special Duties in the presidency.

Turaki’s kinsman from Kebbi State, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed, was sacked from the defence ministry last June.

It was gathered that with the allocation of a different portfolio to Turaki, the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade (rtd), is now under consideration to take over as the Minister of Defence, while the Minister of State, Mrs. Olusola Obada, who has been holding the fort since Mohammed’s sack, may be reassigned in a cabinet change.

Confirming the possibility of a cabinet shake-up, a source in the presidency said if the announcement reshuffling portfolios is not made today at FEC meeting, it would most likely be made when the president returns from his trip to the United Kingdom and France.

It was also learnt that many ministers spent the better part of yesterday making calls trying to ascertain their fate.

Although the president has kept his decision on the cabinet a closely guarded secret, those close to him say he is resolute about making changes that will bring a breath of fresh air and deliver on his programmes.

AFCON 2013: Super Eagles to Receive $20,000 Each For A Win Against Mali
As Nigeria’s Super Eagles prepare for the showdown against Mali, the Nigeria Football Federation has promised to give each player $20,000 if they beat the Eagles of Mali. The NFF opened the trips to the banks with the $15,000 bonus for the quarter final victory over Ivory Coast before the officials reconfirmed the bonus earmarked for the today’s match.
Although, doubts were initially raised over the shortfall in their budget, the federation officials have said in Durban that they are sticking to their initial plans to pay them graduated bonuses as the competition enters the final stages.

NFF’s assistant director, media and publicity, Demola Olajire said on Tuesday that the bonus was a graduated gesture to ensure that Nigeria win the trophy.

The Eagles of Nigeria will meet the Eagles of Mali in the semi-final of the tournament at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Wednesday, with eyes on the final. Nigeria last won the Nations Cup in 1994 and after much struggle to convert several third place finishes to trophy, it got to a head in the last edition as Guinea edged out Nigeria in the qualifying stage.

 

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Nigerian television station Arise News has begun broadcasting internationally with the plan to create a global news network to rival the likes of Al-Jazeera, CNN.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour compares the blackout at the Superbowl Snafu to the persistent power outage in Nigeria.

A forty-year-old man, Moshood Ismail, on Sunday collapsed and died at a viewing centre in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while watching the match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Elephants of Cote.

Read All Highlights Below:

Nduka Obaigbena’s Arise News TV Kicks Off Operation
Nigerian television station Arise News began broadcasting internationally yesterday the 4th of February with the plan to create a global news network to rival the likes of Al-Jazeera, CNN.

Arise News will have a strong African footprint. A sister channel, Arise 360, which will be entertainment – based with fashion, music sport and pay per view films, will start broadcasting towards the end of this year.

The chairman of the Arise Networks, Nduka Obaigbena who is also the chairman of Nigeria&#39s ThisDay Newspaper, the glossy magazine Arise and several other titles said “We will attract a global audience interested in emerging markets, developing countries and evolving politics. With headquarters and bureaux throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and theAmericas, we are ready to speak to our audience and give them a voice as well.”

Nigerian-born John Chiahemen, a former Reuters bureau chief is its Managing Editor and Head of Africa and Jeff Koinange, an Emmy award winning reporter and formerly CNN’s star Africa reporter will be based in Johannesburg as an anchorman and correspondent.

While a full broadcast operation is expected in March 2013, ARISE News is broadcasting across Europe on SKY Channel 234, while the company is currently negotiating other major distribution deals across the globe.

CNN Christiane Amanpour Compares Power Outage At The Super Bowl To Nigeria’s Incessant Blackout
The 35 minutes power outage at the Super Bowl Snafu on Sunday 3rd of February 2013 has caused an uproar in the media with a number of tweets coming from Nigerians which made CNN’s Christiane Amanpour compare the blackout at the Superbowl to the persistent power outage in Nigeria.

Nigeria has been plagued by rolling blackouts that last hours, sometimes even days, so as the television audience worldwide waited for the power to come back on, Nigerians took to social media with such tweets as below:
“Power outage at the Super Bowl on Sunday. Suddenly, Nigeria doesn&#39t look as dark anymore,” a Nigerian tweeted.
“If they had the Super Bowl in Nigeria, the power coming back on would be the real surprise,” another tweeted.

Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, recently told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the country’s power outage situations have been improving. Many Nigerians, after the statement tweeted at Amanpour to relate their continued frustration as it concerns the aspect and having to rely on back-up generators for power.
Amanpour concluded her report with this funny tweet from a Nigerian:

 “Nigeria should bid to host the next SuperBowl. At least we have standby generators. #JustSaying”
Watch Amanpour’s report below:

40-Year-Old Fan Dies Watching Nigeria/Cote D’ Ivoire Match
A forty-year-old man, Moshood Ismail, on Sunday collapsed and died at a viewing centre in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while watching the match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Elephants of Cote.

Ismail, a father of two and an engineer with the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, caused a commotion inside the viewing centre when he suddenly collapsed in the early minutes of the game.
An eyewitness said that Ismail became agitated and later collapsed when an Ivorian defender deflected a goal-bound shot from Victor Moses.

Ismail’s neighbor, Taiwo Adebayo, who was also at the viewing centre when the incident occurred, said, “He fell on the ground and immediately started foaming in the mouth before he later died.”

It was learnt that he was immediately rushed to Success Medical Clinic where no doctor was available to attend to him.

 Adebayo said that Ismail was, however, given some first aid treatment before he was taken to another hospital.

He added that Ismail died on the way to the hospital he was referred to.

 

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The Lagos state government in partnership with Ropeways Transport is set to launch a cable car mass urban transit system in some parts of the state.

Embattled member of the House of the Representatives, Hon. Farouk Lawan on Friday passed his first day in Kuje Maximum Prisons and enjoyed some level of special treatment.

The Federal Government will soon submit an anti-graft bill that rules out the option of fine for people convicted of corruption to the National Assembly.

The Nigerian Blogger Forum hosted by Google Nigeria held on the 1st of Feruary 2013, Radisson Blu Hotel, Victoria Island.

Players in the Nigerian Super Eagles team are to receive $15, 000 each for victory over Cote d’Ivoire.

Read All Highlights Below:

Lagos State To Introduce Cable Mass Urban Transit System
In a bid to alleviate the struggles of the masses caused by the ban placed on okada, the Lagos state government in partnership with Ropeways Transport, a foremost cable car company, is set to launch a cable car mass urban transit system in some parts of the state.

Consequently, the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, LAMATA, on behalf of the state and Ropeways Transport Limited have reportedly signed a 30-year Franchise Agreement to that effect.

Ropeway is expected to begin the construction of towers, stations and connecting network cables along various routes beginning from November 2013.

The first phase of the project will cover Ijora–Iddo, Iddo–Adeniji, Apapa–Oluwole, Oluwole–Adeniji, Adeniji–Obalende, Obalende–Falomo, and Falomo–Victoria Island.

And if all goes well, the project should be fully completed and ready for commissioning by early 2015.

“The Lagos cable car transit system would provide an alternative means of mass transportation in the city and it will help ease the current transportation hassles in the city of Lagos and help restore dignity to commuting.” Said Dapo Olumide, Chief Executive Officer of Ropeways Transport.

Farouk Lawan, Boniface Emenalo Gets Special Treatments In Prison
Embattled member of the House of the Representatives, Hon. Farouk Lawan on Friday passed his first day in Kuje Maximum Prisons, Abuja amid tight security provided by the military and mobile policemen.

His presence in the prison has also turned it to a beehive of activities as dignitaries, especially his associates thronged the prison yesterday to empathize with him.

Contrary to stories going round, sources in the prison said that Lawan upon arrival in the facility was not accorded any VIP treatment He was allegedly ushered into the prison yard to rousing welcome of inmates.

According to the sources, Lawan only stared into space and shook his head in disbelief.

Asked if he was allocated a special room, one of the sources, who refused to disclose the hall and room number for security reasons, acknowledged that Lawan was allocated a bed in the “important personalities” block in the prison yard. It could not be established if the lawmaker shares the cell with his co-accused, Mr. Boniface Emenalo.

The former chairman, House of Representatives Ad- hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy was remanded in prison custody on Friday by Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi of the Abuja High Court over his alleged receipt of $620,000 bribe from businessman, Mr. Femi Otedola.

The lawmaker who was remanded alongside the secretary of the ad-hoc panel, Mr. Boniface Emenalo, was in high spirit as he received his political associates, according to sources.

The two lawmakers will remain in the prison till February 8, 2013 when the matter would come up for hearing.

FG Proposes New Law To Ban Fine Options For Important Persons Convicted Of Corruption
The Federal Government will soon submit an anti-graft bill that rules out the option of fine for people convicted of corruption to the National Assembly.

The bill, which is aimed at ensuring that only proportionate punishments are meted out to very important persons convicted of corruption, will be sent to the National Assembly before the end of the first quarter of the year.

The initiative was spurred by the light sentence given to an assistant director of the Police Pension Office found guilty of by an Abuja Federal High Court.

The court, on Monday, had sentenced John Yakubu Yusuf to a two-year jail term or a fine of N750, 000 for his involvement in fraud totaling N27.2bn. He was, however, given an option of fine in the sum of N750, 000 for the three offences he pleaded guilty to.

Investigations into the matter showed that the presidency was concerned by Talba’s verdict and its impact on the image of the country.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, confirmed that a new bill was in the works.

Similarly, the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the President, Dr. Reuben Abati, said “ongoing reforms” would be extended to the judiciary.

Top Nigerian Bloggers Gather In Lagos For The Google Blogger’s Forum
Nigerian bloggers gathered at Radisson Blu Hotel, Victoria Island on Friday February 1, 2013 for the Bloggers Forum hosted by Google Nigeria.

In attendance were Nigerian social networks and web masters such as Oye Akindeinde, Lanre Aina, Uche Eze, Laide Olabode, Tolu Ogunlesi, Bunmi Banjo and many others.
The Forum which admitted participant based on invitation is aimed at exposing bloggers to effective blogging techniques and more.
This forum has provided the Nigerian bloggers the avenue to feature in the upcoming Google Bloggers Forum that is set to hold in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on the 19th of February 2013.

Nigerian Super Eagles Grab $15, 000 Each As Reward For Victory Over Cote D’Ivoire
The Nigerian Super Eagles have a reason to laugh to the bank with the victory over the Ivorians. The players were promised $15,000 each if they secured a semi-final ticket over their fellow West Africans. The amount does not include the $100,000 donated to the team by Rivers Governor Rotimi Amaechi and the pledge made by billionaire businessman Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

Meanwhile the super eagles coach Steven Kechi who is still basking in the euphoria of a big victory over Africa Nations Cup favorites, Cote d’Ivoire has said that Nigerian are too impatient highlighting the fact that his team did not enjoy the needed support before the Eagles game against Elephants on Sunday. Keshi said he had no doubt that Nigeria would win even after the Eagles conceded the equalizer while avoiding singling out any individual player as hero of the game.

Nigerians will meet with the Malians on Wednesday in the semi-final rounds of the AFCON 2013. The final match of the competition is billed for Sunday in Johannesburg.

 

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested twenty suspected internet fraudsters in Benin City.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other-Related Offences Commission will today arraign a member of the House of Representatives, Farouk Lawan, over a seven-count charge bearing on corrupt enrichment.

The proposed construction of a N4 billion First Ladies&#39 Mission House in Abuja has been condemned by senators on Thursday

Read All Highlights Below:

EFCC Nabs Suspected Yahoo Boys In Benin
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested twenty suspected internet fraudsters in Benin City. The arrest was carried out in a joint operation with officers of the 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Benin, following an intelligence report on their activities. The raid on their Cyber office tucked in an old building located on Siluko Road, Benin City caught the suspects unaware.
The EFCC recovered seized (45) laptops of different makes, twenty eight (28) telephone sets, eight (8) internet mobile modems and one Nissan car with registration number USL 375 AG at the point of arrest.

The suspected fraudsters who are mostly in their twenties includes: Idehen Obabueki, Adesa Lucky, Usuagu Uche, Eloghosa Olikiabor, Larry Edomwonyi, Amowie Maike, Francis Ezegbede, Itua Samuel and Endurance John Egbeifo. Others are Amego Ovenseri, Iyen Ighodaro, Philip Agbodori, Lucky Robinson, Nnadi Obinna, Osabuohien Osahon, Chinenu Eze, Peter Sunday, Solomon Ogu, Niyi Femi and Osagie Aghedo.

The suspects have made useful statements. Most of them confessed to be engaged in online dating of foreigners particularly widows. They also confessed to using different pseudo names and faces to deceive their prospective victims. They will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.

Farouk Lawan Faces Trial Today For $620,000 Bribery Case  
The wait is at long last over as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other-Related Offences Commission will today arraign a member of the House of Representatives, Farouk Lawan, over a seven-count charge bearing on corrupt enrichment.

The charge stems from allegations by a businessman, Chief Femi Otedola, that Lawan demanded and received $620,000 as a bribe from him while he (Lawan) was   the chairman of the House AdHoc Committee on Monitoring of Fuel Subsidy Regime.

The arraignment of Lawan alongside the secretary of the AdHoc committee, Mr. Boniface Emenalo, seems an indication of the Federal Government sudden readiness to up the tempo of its anti-corruption campaign.

Lawan and Emenalo, will be arraigned before Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi of a Federal Capital Territory High Court today. Oniyangi had on Thursday granted the ICPC leave to file the seven counts  against them.

Lawan and Emanalo are to be tried for “Violation of the Corrupt Practices and Other-Related Offences Act, 2000.”

Senate Condemns Proposed N4 Billion First Ladies’ Mission House
The proposed construction of a N4 billion First Ladies&#39 Mission House in Abuja has been condemned by senators on Thursday 31st of January 2013.

The lawmakers argued that the Mission is unconstitutional and as such does not merit appropriation of a huge sum of money of such magnitude.

Also, the Senate passed for second reading, the N253billion Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Budget for the 2013 fiscal period amid criticism of the previous budget performance of the FCT.

The President of the Senate David Mark, while ruling on the bill, said the problem with FCT is getting its priority right. He pointed out that issues that needed to be de-emphasized were brought to the fore.

Mark, who said there is lack of plan in the initiation and execution of projects in FCT, advised the authority to complete ongoing projects before embarking on new ones so that they will be relevant to the people.

On the First Ladies Building, Senator Babafemi Ojodu pointed out that if the proposed N4 billion for First Ladies Mission House is approved, Nigerians will not take it lightly with the lawmakers.

He stated that the First Ladies Mission is not recognised by the constitution, adding that the project will have no impact on the lives of the Nigerians who are in dire need of schools, jobs, infrastructure, among other things.

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Members of civil rights groups marched on the premises of the Ministry of Justice, the National Assembly and the Supreme Court in Abuja on Wednesday as they protested the light sentence imposed on a former Assistant Director of the Police Pension Office, Mr. John Yakubu Yusuf.

The Christian Association of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja, condemned the allusion to Jesus Christ by a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, on a social media.

A top member of the fundamentalist Islamic sect, Jamaatul Ahjlil Sunna lidawati wal Jihad otherwise known as Boko Haram has dismissed any future dialogue with the Federal Government creating Confusion over the ceasefire declared by a faction of the sect.

See Sketches that look like digital pictures made by Kelvin Okafor, 27 year-old graduate from Middlesex University.

Read All Highlights Below:

Protesters Storm Ministry Of Justice Over N27b Pension Thief Sentence
Members of civil rights groups marched on the premises of the Ministry of Justice, the National Assembly and the Supreme Court in Abuja on Wednesday as they protested the light sentence imposed on a former Assistant Director of the Police Pension Office, Mr. John Yakubu Yusuf, who admitted conniving with others to defraud the PPO and pensioners of N27.2bn.

They demanded the investigation of Justice Abubakar Talba of an Abuja High, Court for sentencing Yusuf to only two years imprisonment with an option of N750, 000 fine.
Yusuf was, however, rearrested and rearraigned on Wednesday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for willfully “failing to disclose his interest in a private company known as SY-A Global Services Limited.”
Apart from being accused of not disclosing his  interest in  SY-A Global Services Limited, which he owns alongside members of his immediate family in his assets declaration form,  Yusuf, according to his charge sheet,  failed to disclose  N289m which the company had in its  bank account.

The offences are punishable under section 27(3) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act CAP E1 2004.

The protesters, who are members of the Anti-Corruption Network, National Association of Nigerian Students and Association of Unemployed Youths of Nigeria carried placards and banners with different inscriptions. Amongst which are: “Judiciary is the hope of the highest bidders,” “Egunje don spoil judges,” “Same Justice Talba did Kenny Martins fine,” “the blood of dead pensioners will hunt commercial judges” and “Talbanism: N32bn =N75, 000!!!” “Bad Maths,” among others.

The Executive Secretary of the ACN and former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dino Melaye, who led a convoy of power bikes, said President Goodluck Jonathan, members of the National Assembly, leadership of security agencies and others in leadership positions must realize that Nigerians are tired of corruption and in that light, they are collaborating with Nigerian students and others interested in fighting corruption.

CAN Condemn EL Rufai’s Blasphemous Jesus Tweet
The Christian Association of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja reacted to the allusion to Jesus Christ by a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, on a social media.

The body condemned el-Rufai, saying he was only trying to whip up sentiments around religion for a selfish agenda.
CAN urged religious leaders and political associates to advise him on the need to be sober and circumspect, in his comments to avoid setting the country on fire.”

The organisation, which also asked President Goodluck Jonathan to check the former minister, added that from his unbridled assault on the Christian faith, El-Rufai was capable of “setting the country on fire.”

The ex-minister had, in an attempt to discredit the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku; Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe; and Presidential Adviser on Media and Publcity, Dr.  Reuben Abati, tweeted, “”@zebbook: If Jesus criticises Jonathan’s govt, Maku/Abati/Okupe will say he slept with Mary Magdalene.”….LWKMD…..”

The sarcastic post elicited angry reactions from his followers on Twitter and Facebook friends, who saw his comment as blasphemous. The twitter post sparked public outrage on the social media so much that he had to offer an apology on Twitter and Facebook.

Confusion In Boko Haram’s Camp Over Ceasefire – Gunmen Bomb Police Station In Kaduna
A top  member of the fundamentalist Islamic sect, Jamaatul Ahjlil Sunna lidawati wal Jihad otherwise known as Boko Haram has dismissed any future dialogue with the Federal Government creating  Confusion over the ceasefire declared by a faction of the sect.

Further developments this morning revealed that heavily armed bandits took over the Police Station in Birnin Gwari town in Kaduna State and burnt it down after about two hours of gun battle with troops.

It is still unclear whether the Boko Haram sect is responsible for the attack Mujhahedeen Marwana, who claims to be another   second-in-command to the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, predicated  his  position on the fact  that federal troops had  of  recent allegedly killed at least 47 Boko Haram  emissaries in  failed dialogue efforts.

In the interview via audio device granted to news portal SaharaReporters, Marwana insisted that the four members of the group being held unjustly in Kano must first be released as a pre-condition for any future developments; he added that there were others also being held in Abuja, Maiduguri and other locations in the North.

Marwana told his interviewer,   “Many people have called us for dialogue many times but the government is fooling itself, thinking they are clever but [are] deceiving themselves. They are insisting they don’t know us…It is false.”

Incredible Sketches That Look Like Digital Pictures By Kelvin Okafor
Kelvin Okafor, 27, graduated from Middlesex University in fine art and is now making waves across the country.

His subjects include popular music artists Tinie Tempah, James Morrison and Adele.
He has also picked out tragic figures from actor Heath Ledger to the late King of Jordan, King Hussein – and with each, he tries to evoke an emotion in the viewer.

Finally, he has used friends and colleagues for the impressively accurate images, which look like soft focus digital photos.
Last year, the artist from Tottenham, north London, exhibited at numerous major art galleries and won a clutch of prestigious national awards for his remarkable work.
Each of his pieces takes around 80-100 hours to complete, over approximately three weeks in the studio.

 Mr Okafor creates each piece only in black and white – using graphite pencils, charcoal, black colored pencil and sometimes grey pastels.

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After about three years of attacks on security formations, public and worship places,   the Jamaatul Ahjlil Sunna lidawati wal Jihad otherwise known as Boko Haram, on Monday agreed to cease fire.

A former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, on Monday apologized to his followers on Twitter and Facebook friends over a post deemed insulting to Jesus Christ.

Surprise pervaded a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja on Monday when  a  director of the Police Pension Office, Mr. John  Yusuf, was handed down a two-year jail sentence or pay N750, 000 for conniving with others to defraud  the office and pensioners of N27.2bn.

Super Eagles will today play Ethiopia in what suddenly has become the country’s most important match in the ongoing Africa Cup of nations in South Africa.

Read All Highlights Below:

Boko Haram Agrees To A Cease Fire!
After about three years of attacks on security formations, public and worship  places,   the Jamaatul Ahjlil Sunna lidawati wal Jihad otherwise known as Boko Haram, on Monday agreed to cease fire.

The organization’s Second Commander (southern and northern Borno), Muhammed Abdulaziz, in a statement, cited dialogue with the Borno State Government as reason.

In the statement released to journalists in Maiduguri, Borno State the group  advised its members to lay down their arms.

But the Federal Government, in a swift reaction, said it would not make a formal pronouncement yet on the ceasefire.

Abdulaziz, who was said to have been in company with another top member of the sect while reading the statement, did not say when the dialogue with the Borno State Government took place.

Assuring that the group was serious about the ceasefire, Abdulaziz said security agencies could, once the ceasefire is fine-tuned, go ahead and arrest anyone that violates it.

 “We are going to comply with the cease- fire order and by the time we are done with that, then government security agencies can go ahead to arrest whoever they find carrying arms or killing under our name,”  he said.

Nasir El-Ruffai Apologises Over Blasphemous Jesus Tweet
A former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, on Monday apologized to his followers on Twitter and Facebook friends over a post deemed insulting to Jesus Christ.

His tweet on Sunday stated, “@zebbook: If Jesus criticizes Jonathan’s govt, Maku/Abati/Okupe will say he slept with Mary Magdalene.”….LWKMD…..”

The retweet of the sarcastic post which many Nigerians, especially Christians, took offence at was directed at defending a former Education minister, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, and attacking the Information minister, Labaran Maku; Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs Dr. Doyin Okupe; and Presidential Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati and invariably, the Jonathan administration.

Despite offering an apology on both Twitter and Facebook, El-Rufai’s comment still sparked public outrage.
His apology stated, “Hello Friends. I have been travelling and trying to catch some sleep in between the last 24 hours and missed all the furore arising from my retweet of Ogunyemi Bukola’s (@zeebook) joke, Maku et al and Jesus. I must say I am taken aback by the extent of desperate misrepresentation of what was an innocuous attempt to show the godlessness of the Jonathanians to denigrate anyone that dares to ask them to be accountable.

“To those who were genuinely offended by the retweet, I apologise. I did not meant to offend anyone, neither did the @zeebook I know and featured as one of the Young Voices in my Friday Column. Jesus or Isa Alaihis Salaam is a respected prophet of Islam. Every Muslim accepts this in addition to his miraculous virgin birth. It is therefore absurd for any Muslim believer to disrespect Jesus Christ.

“I hope those in this class will see my point of view and accept my apologies for any offense or disappointment caused. And I advise everyone to read @zeebook’s timeline and mine to read EXACTLY what was tweeted rather than the second-hand reports of certain people who ALWAYS twist whatever I write or not write to achieve their morally-repugnant objectives.”

But many of his Facebook friends and Twitter followers slammed him for the comment and for also shifting the responsibility for the blame on those he called “Jonathanians”

Ridiculous! Police Pension Director Gets N750,000 Fine For N27b Fraud
Surprise pervaded a Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja  on Monday when  a  director of the Police Pension Office, Mr. John  Yusuf, was handed down only a two-year jail sentence for conniving with others to defraud  the office and pensioners of N27.2bn.

Yusuf admitted to stealing N2bn of the money.
But he would not spend the two years in jail as  Justice Abubakar Talba gave  him an option of fine in the sum of N750,000 for the three offences he  pleaded guilty to.

Each of the three offences attracts a two-year jail term.
The sentences run concurrently.

Yusuf, who by his sentence becomes the first to be jailed in the ongoing trial of persons  involved  in the N38.8bn Police pension scam, will however forfeit 32 houses in the FCT  and Gombe as well as  N325m which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said were proceeds from the crime.

Many in the courtroom openly expressed their amazement with Talba’s judgment.

The lenient nature of the sentence was underscored by the reaction of Yusuf’s lawyer, Maiyaki Bala, who said his client was ready to pay the fine immediately after the sentencing.

With EFCC lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), noticeably close to tears, Bala told journalists that they intended to take up the option of fine immediately.
 A displeased Jacobs protested the option of fine given to the convict, noting that it mocked the anti-corruption campaign of the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

AFCON 2013: Nigeria To Take On Ethiopia Today
Super Eagles will today play Ethiopia in what suddenly has become the country’s most important match in the ongoing Africa Cup of nations in South Africa.

After drawing its earlier two matches first against Burkina Faso and Zambia, Nigeria now plays Ethiopia today in a must win match or it will bid the tournament bye at the group stage. The last time Super Eagles failed to qualify from the group stage of the Nations Cup was in Libya in 1982.

A draw could still get Nigeria into the last eight, provided Burkina Faso’s Etalons beat the defending champions in the other game of Group C at Mbombela Stadium.

Having not being impressive in its previous two matches, Super Eagles despite a better head to head meeting with Ethiopia-three wins, two draws and a loss from six meetings, has assured that it will not underrate the Ethiopians.

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The Federal High Court on Friday 25th of January 2013 convicted an accomplice in the October 1, 2012 terror bombing in Abuja, Edmund Ebuware, to life imprisonment.

Olusola Oladimeji, the driver of the Toyota Sienna that fell off the Third Mainland Bridge into the lagoon on Saturday, has described his escape as a miracle.

Another air disaster was on Sunday the 27th of January averted by whiskers as an Abuja-bound aircraft made a dramatic return to Lagos when one of its engines developed a mechanical fault mid-air.

American financial magazine Forbes has named Isabel dos Santos, the eldest daughter of Angolan President Jose Eduardo do Santos, as Africa’s first woman billionaire.

At least 232 people have been killed in a Brazilian nightclub fire sparked by what witnesses described as a flare or firework lit by members of a band performing onstage.

Read All Highlights Below:

Nigerian Court Sentences Independence Day Bomb Suspect To Life
The Federal High Court on Friday 25th of January 2013 convicted an accomplice in the Oct. 1, 2012 terror bombing in Abuja, Edmund Ebuware, to life imprisonment.

Edmund Ebiware was accused of having knowledge of the planned attack beforehand and failing to report it. His sentence comes days after the alleged mastermind, Henry Okah, was convicted in South Africa on terrorism charges.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, held that the prosecution was able to prove the allegations against the convict beyond reasonable doubt.

He said Ebiware “had foreknowledge that Mr Henry Okah was planning an attack against the government and to strike and cause mayhem in Nigeria.”

Ebiware will be eligible for parole after 32 years in prison.

Henry Okah was accused of being a key figure in MEND, the most prominent militant group in the oil-producing Niger Delta region.

He holds permanent residence in South Africa and was tried there, with a court convicting him on Monday of 13 terrorism charges. He faces a minimum term of life in prison when the court sentences him by February 1.
Three other suspects were also charged in Nigeria over the bombing, including Henry Okah’s brother Charles Okah, who along with a third suspect are awaiting trail, while the fourth suspect died in prison.

My Escape Was A Miracle – Says Olusola Oladimeji, Driver Of Toyota Sienna That Fell Off 3rd Mainland Bridge
Olusola Oladimeji, the driver of the Toyota Sienna that fell off the Third Mainland Bridge into the lagoon on Saturday, has described his escape as a miracle.

The father of three said contrary to reports by traffic and emergency officials, he was not on high speed when the incident occurred.

He said, “I work on the island and I left home for a meeting in the early hours of Saturday. After the monthly environmental sanitation, I started driving back home.

“I was driving at the speed of 60km/hr and was on the fast lane because the road was free. At Ebute Meta bypass, I saw two vehicles that had been involved in an accident but I kept on driving. Suddenly, everything went blank, I couldn’t see anything again, and I just found myself in the water.”

Oladimeji said he did not lose consciousness in the water and as such, was able to loosen the seat belt.

He said “After falling into the water, I unfastened the seat belt and noticed that one of the doors of my car had broken off, so I swam out of the vehicle to the surface of the water even though I don’t know how to swim.

“It was while I was waving my hand that fishermen saw me and quickly came to my aid. They took me away from the scene and took me to a clinic located on the water where they administered the first aid.”

Oladimeji was later taken to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital where an X-ray scan was conducted on him.

“The doctors said that my leg was not fractured. They, however, cast my leg with Plaster of Paris because I had a sprain,” he said.

A pastor at MFM, Berkeley Parish where he worshipped, Mrs. Praise Onanuga, said the incident was an indication of the existence of God.

She said the victim had just bought the car eight days before the accident.

She said, “Brother Oladimeji is the leader of prophetic group and a house fellowship coordinator. He was supposed to have been at a vigil with us the night before but he begged to be excused because of the meeting he was to have on Saturday.

“He bought the car just eight days before the accident and we were supposed to do the dedication today (Sunday) but we thank God that we were not put to shame.”

74 Passengers Escape Air Crash, After Abuja-Bound Plane Develops Fault After Take-Off
What would have been another air disaster was on Sunday, averted by whiskers as an Abuja-bound aircraft made a dramatic return to Lagos when one of its engines developed a mechanical fault mid-air.

On board the aircraft which belongs to Med-View Airline were 73 passengers including Mr. Donald Ojogo, the newly appointed Politics Editor, Abuja, of the Independent Newspapers Limited, publishers of Daily Independent, Saturday Independent and Sunday Independent.

 The Lagos-Abuja bound flight, VL2104, scheduled for 12 noon on Sunday had taken off at exactly 12.15 pm, 15 minutes behind schedule.

But at exactly 12.30, about five minutes after the seat belt signs were put off, there was a loud bang at the engine side of the aircraft forcing it to drop in altitude even as it became unstable, swerving slowly and steadily in left and right directions for about two minutes.

The development elicited instant prayers, wailings and cries from the passengers, most of whom were women with the silence of the Aircraft Crew, especially the Pilot, further heightening tension in the plane.

Forbes Names Eldest Daughter Of Angolan President Isabel Dos Santos As Africa’s First Woman Billionaire
Isabel dos Santos, the eldest daughter of Angolan President Jose Eduardo do Santos, is Africa’s first woman billionaire, according to research by American financial magazine Forbes. This report raises question about ventures Africa – an African Financial Magazine named Folorunsho Alakija as the World’s Richest Black Woman, pulling Oprah Winfrey from the position with a worth of at least $3.3 billion.

Isabel dos Santos bought shares in several Portuguese companies in recent years, including a bank and a cable television firm.

“Those stakes, combined with assets Isabel dos Santos owns in at least one bank in Angola, have pushed her net worth over the $1 billion mark … making the 40-year-old Africa’s first woman billionaire,” the magazine reported on its website late on Wednesday.

Dos Santos is the main shareholder in ZON Multimedia, Portugal’s largest cable television company. She owns 28.8 percent through two other companies, Kento and Jadeium, according to Forbes’ research.
Her 19.5-percent stake in Portuguese bank BPI, one of the largest trading on the country’s stock exchange, is worth $465 million.

Dos Santos also owns a quarter of Angolan bank BIC, estimated at $160 million, and a quarter of local telecommunications firm Unitel.

The Unitel stake alone is worth over $1billion, analysts told the magazine.

Brazil Mourns As Santa Maria Nightclub Fire Death Toll Rises To 232
At least 232 people have been killed in a Brazilian nightclub fire sparked by what witnesses described as a flare or firework lit by members of a band performing onstage.


Many of the victims died inhaling toxic fumes during the rush to escape through the venue&#39s single exit, according to local media reports in the southern city of Santa Maria.

Police Major Cleberson Braida Bastianello said officials counted 232 bodies brought for identification to a makeshift mortuary at the city gymnasium. He lowered the death toll from the 245 earlier believed killed.

Television images showed smoke pouring out of the Kiss nightclub as shirtless, young male party goers joined firefighters in wielding axes and sledgehammers, pounding at windows and walls to break through to those trapped inside. Teenagers sprinted from the scene desperately trying to find help others carried injured and burnt friends away in their arms.

“There was so much smoke and fire, it was complete panic and it took a long time for people to get out, there were so many dead,” survivor Luana Santos Silva told the Globo TV network.

Silva added that firefighters and ambulances responded quickly after the fire broke out, but that it spread too fast inside the packed club for them to help.

Michele Pereira, another survivor, told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that she was near the stage and that the fire broke out after band members lit flares.

“The band that was onstage began to use flares and, suddenly, they stopped the show and pointed them upward. At that point the ceiling caught fire. It was really weak but in a matter of seconds it spread,” Pereira said.

After the fire was extinguished, bodies were ferried by truck to the gymnasium. The Globo newspaper said the first truck carried 67 bodies and the second 70.

“People started panicking and ended up treading on each other,” a fire chief, Guido de Melo, told local media.

Fire department officials will issue a detailed report after a full investigation.

Many of the dead are likely to be students because Santa Maria is a university centre for the Rio Grande do Sul region and the usual class schedule had been disrupted by strikes.

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed that all domestic off-net Short Messaging Service (SMS) must be set at N4.00 per SMS from with effect from February 5th 2013.

The Nigerian Broadcast Commission (NBC) has debunked the claim that it placed a ban on certain Nigerian music videos.

Following rumors in some quarters that the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has pulled out of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Director of Communication, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Raulph Madu, has refuted the claim.

Nigeria will go up against Zambia in today’s second round match of Group C in a most anticipated clash of two great sporting countries in Mbombela.

Read All Highlights Below:

NCC Cuts Down Text Message Price To N4:00
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed that all domestic off-net Short Messaging Service (SMS) must be set at N4.00 per SMS with effect from February 5th 2013.

This directive was contained in a statement issued by the Head of Media and Public Relations, Reuben Muoka, and signed by the Director, Legal and Regulatory Services of NCC, Josephine Amuwa.

The new price cap is a 60 per cent reduction from the former price that was N10 per SMS for off-net and N5 per SMS for on-net text messages.

The NCC arrived at the new price cap after due considerations of the submissions made by the operators at various consultative meetings but will not place a price cap yet on International SMS.

“There was a general recognition that the cost of SMS is too high, especially in view of the interconnection rate of N1.02 for SMS as determined by the Commission in 2009. In accordance with the powers conferred on the Commission under Sections 4 and Chapter V11 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003, the Commission hereby sets a price cap of N4 for Off-net SMS,” Amuwa said.

The directive has been communicated to the operators since January 3, 2013 and will take effect from February 5, 2013.

We Didn’t Ban Any Video – NBC Claims
The Nigerian Broadcast Commission (NBC) has debunked the claim that it placed a ban on certain Nigerian music videos.

It was said earlier in the week that The Nigerian Broadcast Commission (NBC) placed a NTBB ban on some new sets of music videos recently. However, the story was said to be hoax as the body that monitors or censors these products has denied banning any video, owing to what was obtainable from the NBC quarters.

It was reported that the banned videos include P Square (Alingo), Wande Coal (Go Low), Timaya(Bum Bum), Flavour (Shake), D’Prince (Take Banana), Goldie (Ski Bobo), Chuddy K (Brazilian Hair) and Tillaman (Koma Roll). These videos were said to be banned for being ‘suggestive and provocative’.

According to Mrs. Dorothy of NBC, “NBC doesn’t ban videos; we can only instruct them to remove it being air. We didn’t ban any musical video as we speak.”

In response to the ban, Psquare’s publicist, Bayo Adetu said, ‘We also just saw the story online this morning and we do not think that the NBC’s ban is justifiable’.

He also added that the ban would not make any difference since the video has already gone worldwide and is definitely loved by the fans.

We Didn&#39t Pull Out From CAN – Catholic Bishops
Following rumors in some quarters that the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has pulled out of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Director of Communication, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Raulph Madu, has refuted the claim.

Madu maintained that the CBCN did not pull out of CAN, and that the body was only trying to sought out some issues with the national Christian body.

He mentioned that the body only withdrew temporarily from CAN, which will only last for few weeks, adding that there was no squabble between the two religious body.

Madu, who did not disclose the issues, said: “How can we pull out of CAN, we are just trying to iron out some issues with them, which are not palatable to us and it’s only going to last for few weeks”

We will always be in support of the national body; some of our bishops are heading CAN in some states,” he added.

Tickets Sold Out As Nigeria And Zambia Go Up Against Each Other Today
Nigeria and Zambia go up against each other in today’s second round match of Group C in a most anticipated clash of two great sporting countries in Mbombela.

Tickets are sold out already according to officials.
Speaking ahead of the game during Nigeria’s press conference,  captain Joseph Yobo said: “I played against Zambia when [Keshi] took over in a friendly game before they won the Nations Cup [in 2012]. It was a good game and we won 2-0, but it was a friendly game. They’re defending champions now and it’s going to be a special game.”

Team coach, Stephen Keshi says he has a lot of respect for the defending champions.

“There’s a great deal of respect I have for them, it’s a very good team. Zambia against Nigeria is always an interesting game. We will go out there with all we have.”

Nigeria hope today’s encounter helps them to regain confidence after conceding late to draw with Burkina Faso on Monday.
“The team is okay, we’re back focusing on the game
The atmosphere is good. We’re just waiting for tomorrow to come,” Keshi said on Thursday.

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John Amechi Eze, a 23 year-old Nigerian student studying in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has been sentenced to death by hanging after he was found guilty of drug trafficking.

President Goodluck Jonathan, in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday, warned that Boko Haram if not contained would be a threat, not only to Nigeria but Africa and the entire world.

Hillary Clinton’s quote “What Difference does it Make” which she made in a moment of outburst while being quizzed on Benghazi attack on U.S. consulate last year, went viral on twitter yesterday.

The Captain of the Super Eagles Joseph Yobo has said he was disappointed over the outcome of the first round match against Burkina Faso and as a result, the next match against Zambia on Friday is going to be like a cup final.

Read All Highlights Below:

Nigerian Student Sentenced To Death In Malaysia For Drug Trafficking
John Amechi Eze, a 23 year-old Nigerian student studying in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has been sentenced to death by hanging after he was found guilty of trafficking 16,936gm of cannabis two years ago.

Mohd Zaki Abdul Wahab, the Judicial Commissioner ruled that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against the Nigerian. The court, he said believed it when Eze claimed he was waiting to board an express bus at a restaurant in front of the Lye Huat Garden hall when he was arrested by police holds no water.

However, he said the court did not believe his claim that he did not own the luggage when witnesses had testified that he was with the luggage all the time.

The sentencing has elicited a range of reactions and warnings to Nigerians against trafficking drugs in countries where the stated penalty for such an offence is the death sentence.

Boko Haram Could Be A Threat To Africa – Jonathan Tells CNN
In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday, President Goodluck Jonathan warned that Boko Haram if not contained would be a threat to not only Nigeria but Africa and the entire world.

 “If Boko Haram is not contained, it would be a threat not only to Nigeria, but to West Africa, Central Africa and of course to North Africa and the world…
 
“Elements of Boko Haram link up with some of al Qaeda in northern Mali and other North African countries,” he said.
 
The President blamed the free flow of arms in the region on fall of ousted Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, saying Nigeria remains totally committed in the campaign to oust Islamic terrorists from Northern Mali.
The President insisted that the government is gaining control. He denied suggestions from the U.S. State Department that the Nigerian government has conducted a large quantity of arrests and killings that have been indiscriminate, possibly driving more people into the hands of Boko Haram.

“The United States of America is completely wrong,” he told Amanpour. “No security agency arrests anybody just for the love of arrest. We have intelligence that enables us to arrest the people who have been arrested.”
 
Jonathan also spoke on corruption, crude oil theft and electricity.
Watch the Interview Here:

Hilary Clinton’s Quote “What Difference Does It Make?” Goes Viral On Twitter
In a heated moment of anger, the secretary of state Hilary Clinton asked the question “what difference does it make?” as she fought back criticism before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday during a hearing on last year&#39s U.S. consulate attack in Libya. The question went viral on twitter has supporters and protesters took to the trend.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson grilled Clinton on the erroneous, initial talking points that claimed the attack stemmed from a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islam video, though the administration later defined it as a terrorist attack and said a protest never happened.

After beating back the repeated questions, Clinton erupted.
“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans,” she said. “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided they&#39d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.”

The Twitter-sphere quickly seized on the outburst with hashtag: #whatdifferencedoesitmake
Later Johnson, interviewed by CNN&#39s Erin Burnett, said he still did not think Clinton answered his question.
“The American people also have the right to be told the truth,” said Johnson. “They have an expectation that this administration, this president will be honest with them. And so it makes a big deal of difference. I&#39ll tell you what, I was surprised by Secretary Clinton&#39s reaction to that.”

“The Match Against Zambia Is Going To Be Like A Cup Final” – Joseph Yobo
Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo is still in pains after seeing his record outing with the national team at the continental stage end in disappointment.

The 32-year-old Fenerbahce defender was almost certain that Nigeria would overrun Burkina Faso in their first Group C game on Monday, but to everyone’s surprise, the Burkinabes waited until the last seconds to deny Nigeria of full match points.

Nigeria will play against Zambia in their next game on Friday and talking aboutv the game Yobo said:

“The match against Zambia is going to be like a Cup final because we want to make sure that we qualify for the next stage.

“We have to show character in next game against Zambia.

“We know what to expect in the game because they are the defending champions and we respect them for that, they know what we can do as well and know what we will come for in the match.

“It will be a difficult game because both teams need the three points.”

Meanwhile, Burkina Faso captain, Moumouni Dagano, revealed they were expecting Nigeria to play the way they did, saying the 1-1 draw was good for his side.

“It was a hard game against Nigeria as we expected but to get a draw is good for us. We know that as a team we can play even better, so we are going to work hard for the next games,” Dagano said.

 

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After months of controversies generated by the absence of the Governor of Enugu State Sullivan Chime, a picture has been released of him in the company of other members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum as prove of his state of health.

The House of Representatives has moved to ban the importation and sale of caffeinated drinks, popularly known as ‘energy drinks,’ in the country.

Guinness Nigeria Plc has unveiled the world’s largest jersey in the colors of Nigeria’s national team, the Super Eagles, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.

Read All Highlights Below:

Photo: Governors&#39 Forum Visit Ailing Enugu State Governor Sullivan Chime In London
After months of controversies generated by the absence of the Governor of Enugu State Sullivan Chime, a picture has been released of him in the company of other members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum as prove of his state of health.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Rotimi Amaechi, led two of his colleagues, on a visit to the ailing Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime. Mr. Chime is currently in a London hospital where he is being treated for an undisclosed treatment. There had been rumors spread about the governor’s death with opposition in the state calling for his outright replacement.

The Enugu Governor has been away from the state on health grounds for about three months during which period he has been in different foreign hospitals. Mr. Amaechi was in London for the visit alongside the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio and the Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam. The governors later took a photograph with the ailing governor, Mr. Chime, in London.

The picture was taken to prove to the opposition that Mr. Chime was indeed recuperating and would soon return to his post much to the delight of the citizens of Enugu State.

The House of Representatives Move To Ban Sale Of Energy Drinks
The House of Representatives on Tuesday moved to ban the importation and sale of caffeinated drinks, popularly known as ‘energy drinks’, in the country.

It directed its Joint Committee on Health/Commerce to investigate the importation and distribution of the drinks, following a motion sponsored by a member, Mr. Yacoob Bush-Alebiosu.

Bush-Alebiosu said the consumption of the drinks had “life-threatening effects on blood pressure, heart and brain function.”

He expressed concern that the drinks were first choice beverages among young people, especially on campuses, bars, clubs and social functions across the country.

Bush-Alebiosu added that many brands of the drinks had flooded the country, as consumers were also mixing them with alcoholic drinks.
He said, “These drinks are being mixed with alcoholic drinks and become more deadly as they tend to mask the level of intoxication already settled in the bodies of the consumers of this mixture, thereby allowing young adults to consume much more alcohol than normal, which often times lead to young people passing out after such in-take and also an increase in road accidents involving such people.”

The lawmaker listed Germany, Norway, France and Denmark among some of the countries that had banned the sale of the drinks in their jurisdiction “as a result of health risks caused by the consumption of energy drinks, including reported cases of deaths.”

AFCON 2013: Guinness Nigeria Unveils World Largest Jersey At Teslim Balogun Stadium
Guinness Nigeria Plc on Monday unveiled the world’s largest jersey in the colors of Nigeria’s national team, the Super Eagles, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

The unveiling is part of the company’s efforts to drum up support for the Eagles at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
The jersey, with a size of 275.5 by 249.9 square meters, is the largest jersey in football history.

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, who was represented on the occasion by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Dr. Abiola Awonuga, expressed confidence in the ability of the Eagles to emerge victorious in South Africa.

The governor, while praising Guinness Nigeria for their huge investment in Nigerian sports, also commended the company for boosting the support base of the Eagles.

“We are pleased to support Guinness Nigeria Plc in their quest to boost the Super Eagles’ dream of lifting the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa,” he said.

Guinness Marketing and Innovative Director, Mr. Austin Ofomba, said the jersey would be preserved for historical purpose.

He said, “The jersey will be transmitted to the Eagles. It’s going to be preserved because it is a big monument for us. We’re going to celebrate this jersey beyond the Nations Cup and I believe Eagles will continue to fly.
“For seven years, we have been the official beer of the Eagles. We have showed our commitment towards building the team into a world brand.”

 

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Four persons were killed on Saturday 19th of January as gunmen, believed to have laid ambush, opened fire on the convoy of the Emir of Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero who was on his way back to the palace after attending a Quranic competition in the city.

Unidentified bodies have been discovered in Anambra, floating on the Amansea River.

Suspected Niger Delta militant leader Henry Okah has been found guilty of terrorism by a South African court for masterminding two car bombs during Nigeria Independence Day celebration in 2010.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will today the 21st of January, take on Burkina Faso in the AFCON 2013 soccer games.

Read Major Highlights Below:

Four Dead As Emir Of Kano Ado Bayero Escapes Attack
Four persons were killed on Saturday 19th of January as gunmen, believed to have laid ambush, opened fire on the convoy of the Emir of Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero who was on his way back to the palace after attending a Quranic competition in the city.
Though Bayero, a highly revered traditional ruler in the North, survived the attack, he lost personnels in his entourage while others sustained serious injuries.

Among those who lost their lives is the interim Chairman of Kumbotso Local Government in the state, Alhaji Muhammad Kura. The three others are said to be palace guards.

Bala Salihu, Director of Press to the state&#39s Deputy Governor Abdullahi Musa Ganduje, said Kura&#39s remains, taken to the Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital Kano, had been collected for burial.

It was also reported that immediately the emir left the venue of the Quranic competition, a suspected bomb was reported to have gone off in an SUV vehicle before the emir&#39s vehicle could reach the main road. This was followed by gunshots from the suspect assailants.

Eyewitnesses at the competition venue said after shooting at the emir&#39s convoy, the gunmen began shooting sporadically into the air to scare away people but the policemen attached to the emir repelled the attack and conveyed Bayero to safety.

Confirming the attack, Spokesman of the Joint Security Task Force (JTF) Captain Ikedichi Iweha said, “It’s true the emir&#39s convoy was attacked but the emir is safe and healthy”.

Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, however, confirmed three persons dead.

The governor who made a broadcast to the people of the state on the incident also confirmed that the emir is hale and hearty.

The sudden pandemonium that followed the attack made some road users especially those plying Zoo Road and other adjoining roads in Kano to, out of the ensuing confusion and fear for their lives, be involved in accidents.

No group had claimed responsibility for the attack at press time but security operatives have swung into action.

House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal condemned the attack, describing it as callous and inhumane.
He said from all indications it was meant to shatter the resolve of peace-loving persons in the federation.

Also, Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda described the attack as barbaric and unfortunate.

Mystery Bodies Float On River In Anambra
The people of  Amansea and their neighbours in Awka, the Anambra State capital, were, yesterday, shocked when they woke up to floating bodies on the Amansea River  that runs into Anambra River from Agba Ogwudu River in Enugu State.

The bodies were discovered by people from the communities, who went to fetch water from the river in the morning, they were shocked to see bodies floating slowly while some were wedged on the banks of the river.

The people alerted their traditional ruler, Igwe Kenneth Okonkwo, who mobilized his cabinet for an emergency meeting after which the state government and the state police command were contacted.

The stench from the decomposing bodies could be picked from about one kilometer from the river and the development attracted many people to the area.

When reporters arrived the scene, indigenes of the communities bordering the river were seen in groups discussing the development, even as they said that nobody from their various communities was missing.

Governor Peter Obi, who was away from the state on official assignment, was immediately contacted and he directed members of the state executive council to move to the spot with a view to finding out the true situation of things.

The State Commissioner for Local Government, Mrs. Azuka Enemuo, who led the government delegation to the area, described the development as terrible.

Enemuo said: “Since our arrival, we have counted about 14 dead bodies floating on this river and we may not have seen the last. We were duly informed by the security agencies and we believe they will carry out investigations to tell us actually what transpired.

“We have already contacted our neighboring Enugu State government to find out if the bodies came from that state. The state government must get to the root of this matter.”

Igwe Kenneth Okonkwo said, apart from the mystery posed by the floating bodies, the worry of his people was that their main source of water supply may have been polluted.

According to him, the river is the only source of water for the five communities of Amansea, Ebenebe, Ugbenu, Ugbene and Oba-Ofemili and the development had caused a lot of discomfort to his people.

South African Court Finds Nigerian Oil Delta Militant Henry Okah Guilty Of Terrorism
Suspected Niger Delta militant leader Henry Okah has been found guilty of terrorism by a South African court for masterminding two car bombs that killed at least 10 people in the Nigerian capital at an Independence Day ceremony in 2010.
Judge Neels Claassen said Okah, who was accused of leading the militant MEND group in Nigeria&#39s oil-producing Niger Delta, was found guilty on 13 counts ranging from conspiracy to commit terrorism to detonating explosives.

“The evidence that was given by his accomplices was not contradicted,” Claassen told the court in Johannesburg.

MEND, acronym for the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, carried out numerous attacks on oilfields and pipelines across the swampy region, which is home to Africa&#39s biggest oil and gas industry, until a government amnesty in 2009.

The insecurity caused by the incessant attacks at its apex was costing the OPEC member nation and Africa&#39s biggest oil producer $1 billion a month in lost revenues according to the central bank.

Security experts believe Okah – who accepted the 2009 amnesty after gun-running and treason charges against him were dropped – was at one time the brains behind MEND although he has denied ever being its leader.

Claassen said Okah, who moved to South Africa after the amnesty and was arrested there, would be sentenced on Jan 30.

The blasts in 2010 hit the official celebrations laid on in Abuja for Nigeria&#39s 50th anniversary of independence.

A MEND statement signed Jomo Gbomo, the pseudonym used by the group to claim previous attacks, was sent to news agencies shortly before the explosions, telling people to evacuate the area.

AFCON 2013: Super Eagles To Take On Burkina Faso Today
After a hectic trip from Faro, Portugal, through Lisbon to Johannesburg, South Africa, before arriving at their 2013 Nations Cup first round base in Nelspruit last Thursday evening, the Super Eagles of Nigeria led by Stephen Keshi will start their quest for a third continential trophy when they lock horns with Burkina Faso at the Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit today by 7pm Nigerian Time.

Super Eagles captain and most capped player, Joseph Yobo will equal Kanu Nwankwo’s record of 6 AFCON tournaments, when he leads his team mates out today.

the Super Eagles of Nigeria who have quickly settled down after their arrival on Thursday with training sessions, at the lush green pitch of Ingwenyama Sports and Resort Centre have been drilled by Coach Steven Keshi in an effort to ensure they regain their physical strength.
The workout session started at 8am local time on Friday, and has since been held daily .

Not even the downpour of Saturday and Sunday prevented the Nigerian side from having its training sessions as it prepares for its opening game on Monday against Burkina Faso.

“We can’t take chances whether it rains or not,” Chelsea&#39s John Mikel Obi said when asked about the readiness of the team.

All the players responded very well and the team is injury free. Even injured goalkeeper Austin Ejide has returned to full training.

“I feel real good and ready but I am taking it easy as the medics have advised but am feeling real good,” he declared.

 

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Nigerian Air force has commenced the deployment of Nigeria war planes to reinforce French and Malian troops in Mali battling to push back al Qaeda-linked rebels.

Former Head of State Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), has said the ongoing merger talks by the major opposition political parties will determine if he will run for president in 2015.

Members of the senior national soccer team, the Super Eagles have been charged to improve on their performance during the 2013 African Cup of Nations which kicks off in South Africa this weekend.

Read All Highlights Below:

Nigeria Joins War Against Al Qaeda Linked Rebel In Mali
Nigerian Air force yesterday commenced the deployment of Nigeria war planes to reinforce French and Malian troops in Mali battling to push back al Qaeda-linked rebels after seven days of French air strikes.  

Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Alex Barde had disclosed this on Wednesday in Enugu when he paid his maiden visit to Enugu Airforce Unit. He added that the action was in compliance with President Goodluck Jonathan’s directive that a military contingent be sent to assist the country of Mali to contain the jihadists linked to terror group, Al Qaeda.

Nigeria&#39s total commitment was initially placed around 900 troops, but 300 more has been added to the previously announced figure. The first company will include 190 personnel.

The planned 3,300-strong African force is to be commanded by a Nigerian, Major General Shehu Usman Abdulkadir, previously Nigeria&#39s chief of army standards and evaluation.

Nigeria has the biggest military in 15-nation regional bloc ECOWAS, which is organizing the African intervention.

France began an air assault against Islamists who control northern Mali last week after the extremists took a key central town and threatened to push further south.

French defence sources said Tuesday that Paris is planning to triple the size of its force in Mali to a total of 2,500 troops.

If We Have A Merger, I May Run For President In 2015 – Buhari
Former Head of State and three times Presidential candidate, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), has said the ongoing merger talks by the major opposition political parties will determine if he will run for president in 2015.

Buhari said this in Abuja on Wednesday while fielding questions from reporters after inaugurating the Congress for Progressive Change Merger Committee.

The 18-member committee is saddled with the responsibility of having talks with the Action Congress of Nigeria on the proposed merger.

He explained that the CPC would first conclude discussions with the ACN after which talks would be initiated with the All Nigeria Peoples Party.

“We have written priority (with ACN) and we are going to go into discussion with ACN before we move to the other party,” the former Head of State told the journalists.

Buhari, however, assured, “It is not impossible that the new party is presented to the people of Nigeria by the middle of this year.”

The Katsina State-born general, who acknowledged the fact that he had said he would not run for the office of the President again, having failed to win the election three times, said he would wait for the outcome of the merger talks before giving a definite answer.

He said, “For the umpteenth time, I said it (that I won’t run again), it is on record that I would not present myself again for election.

“But after that, I have said so many times that members of my party and groups went and said that I don’t belong to myself and that I belong to them. They also said they belong to me.

“I asked them to go and organize the party and if you approach me I may consider it. This is the stage we are.

“I mentioned it several times and I’m waiting on my party and if we have a merger, it will make things much easier for me. The new party will then decide whether it will offer me its ticket and it is up to me to consider accepting it or rejecting it.”

The committee, he said, should be able to finish its job in six weeks before the two parties would now constitutionally seal the merger in another six weeks.

Buhari said the new party should actively support the restructuring of the country, adding its 36-state structure was not working.

“Perform In A Manner That Reflects Nigeria’s Status As Africa’s Giant” – Jonathan Charges Super Eagles
Members of the senior national soccer team, the Super Eagles have been charged to improve on their performance during the 2013 African Cup of Nations which kicks off in South Africa this weekend.

President Goodluck Jonathan handed down the charge Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council (FEC), urging the team to ensure that it makes the country proud.

Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, disclosed at the end of the Council’s meeting that the President who led members of the FEC in a prayer session for the Super Eagles urged the team to perform in a manner that reflects Nigeria’s status as Africa’s giant.

He said the Eagles are well prepared to take on their opponent in the opening match and Nigerians should expect the best from the team.

The minister explained that President Jonathan has called on the players to bring laurels to the country.
Abdullahi pointed out that Nigeria’s absence at the medal tables in major outings recently was most unacceptable.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador Sonni Yusuf, has expressed satisfaction with the facilities at the disposal of the Super Eagles for the AFCON.

Yusuf told NAN in Johannesburg that the team got the best hotel allocated to it.

“I must say that the Super Eagles, of the four teams in the group, have the best facilities; the hotel has two standard training pitches located within its precincts.

“We also intend to meet with the LOC on the issue of accreditation for key government officials to have access to the team and to discuss other logistics required for the team.

The Super Eagles are staying at the Ingwenyama Conference and Sports Resort in Mbombela.

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Panic among shoppers and visitors on Tuesday forced the shutdown of Ikeja City Mall as fire gutted a boutique located within the mall.

The First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan’s health issues have resurfaced making her leave the country for Germany on basis of medical check-up.

The Olugbo of Ugbo in Ondo state and chairman of Obat Oil, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan, made history last week as the first black person to buy the 2014 model of Bentley.

Lance Armstrong has confessed to Opera during an interview to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France, after years of denial.

Read All Highlights Below:

Fire Forces Closure Of Ikeja City Mall Housing Shoprite And Other Stores
Panic among shoppers and visitors on Tuesday forced the shutdown of Ikeja City Mall as fire gutted Mr. Price, a boutique located within the mall.

Other shops in the mall, such as Shoprite, Bedmates and KFC immediately shut down while shoppers were evacuated from the building.

It was learnt that the fire at Mr. Price was caused by an electrical surge, which later spread throughout the clothing shop.

Witnesses to the incident said the fire started around 11am.

One of them, Doyin Adewale, said, “I was looking at a T-shirt when I heard sound of explosion. Before long, there was smoke everywhere, and we had to rush out.”

The operation manager of the mall, Mr. Steve Idornigie, said the surge was due to a partial contact from a power point.

 “In terms of damage, no goods were lost neither was anyone injured. However some clothes got wet as a result of the water used in containing the fire,” he said.

The Director of the state fire service, Mr. Fadipe Idowu, said the electrical surge ignited all the bulbs in the shop resulting in the fire.

As at 3pm, it was observed that shop owners were gradually being admitted into the building.
However, workers and other shoppers were denied entry.

The General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, said the fire was put out before it could cause much damage by a combined team of the state fire service and his agency.

He called on residents of the state to call the state’s emergency numbers -767 and 112 – in case of any fire outbreak in their neighborhoods.

Patience Jonathan Health Issues Resurface – Off To Germany For Medical
The First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, Monday left the country for Germany. Though there was no official statement from the presidency on her departure, a source confirmed that the trip was for medical reasons.

According to the source, “The First Lady left the country today (Monday) for Germany where she is expected to undergo a medical check-up.”

“We don&#39t know when she is coming back. All we know is that she has left the country,” the source added.

The presidency source recalled that since she returned from her trip to Germany last year, ostensibly for medical reasons, the First Lady had not left the country.

“This trip is just for a medical check-up, nothing more. Any report that she was hurriedly flown abroad is far from the truth,” the source said.

This is contrary to reports Monday that Mrs. Jonathan was hurriedly flown out of the country again.
He added: “She left for the airport with her convoy and boarded the plane unaided. She was not hurriedly flown abroad like an invalid. She simply left for a routine check-up.”

The President’s wife had to cancel a thanksgiving service and reception she initially planned in honor of former Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa and ex-National Security Adviser Andrew Azazi, and others, who died in a helicopter crash in Bayelsa State on December 15.

The First Lady’s last public outing was on Sunday where she accompanied her husband, President Goodluck Jonathan, to the inter-denominational service held to mark the 2013 Armed Forces Remembrance Day at the National Ecumenical Centre, Abuja.

Nigerian Monarch Makes History As The First Black To Own The 2014 Bentley
The Olugbo of Ugbo in Ondo state and Chairman of Obat Oil, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan, made history last week as the first black person to buy the 2014 model of Bentley.

The Oba had the Bentley specially customized for him, according to sources close to him.

The new automobile, which was shipped into the country for the monarch, has “Olugbo” as its plate number

Oba Akinruntan also has a custom built 2012 Rolls Royce similar to that of Queen Elizabeth II.

Lance Armstrong Admits Doping During Interview With Oprah
Lance Armstrong ended a decade of denial by confessing to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France.

The admission on Monday came hours after an emotional apology by Armstrong to the Livestrong charity that he founded and turned into a global institution on the strength of his celebrity as a cancer survivor.

The confession was a stunning reversal for Armstrong after years of public statements, interviews and court battles in which he denied doping and zealously protected his reputation.

Even before the taping session with Winfrey began around 2 p.m., EST, Armstrong&#39s apology suggested he would carry through on promises over the weekend to answer her questions “directly, honestly and candidly.”
The cyclist was stripped of his Tour de France titles, lost most of his endorsements and was forced to leave the foundation last year after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency issued a damning, 1,000-page report that accused him of masterminding a long-running doping scheme.

Speaking on “CBS This Morning,” Winfrey said Tuesday she had not planned to address Armstrong&#39s confession before the interview aired on her OWN network but, “by the time I left Austin and landed in Chicago, you all had already confirmed it.”

“So I&#39m sitting here now because it&#39s already been confirmed,” she added.

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A young Nigerian doctor, Irawo Adamolekun, has been shot dead in broad daylight on Friday, 11th of January in the Anthony area of Lagos by an unknown gunman.

Farmers across the country have criticized the plan by the Federal Government to distribute mobile phones to 10 million farmers saying they need funds not phones.

Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Professor Chukwuma Soludo, has refuted claims that he was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In Foreign News, the Queen of the United Kingdom has posted an advert that she is looking for a “wash-up” for 14k Pounds per year and also the announcement has been made by the royal house that Kate Middleton’s baby will be due in July.

Young Nigerian Doctor, 27, Shot Dead In Broad Daylight By Unknown Gunman
Security of lives and properties in Nigeria has once again been dared ‘dead in the face’ without any positive developments three days after the sad occurrence which led to the death of Irawo Ademolekun.

Irawo Adamolekun, a youn