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16 Aug 2018

Leader Of R-APC, Kawu Baraje, Decamps To PDP

The leader of the out-phased Reformed All Progressives Congress, Kawu Baraje, has defected from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party.

Baraje, during a media conference in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on Thursday, said he will soon make a “formal and celebrational” defection in his ward, Baboko in Ilorin.
He stated that he belongs to the party where his leader, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, defected to.

He lauded PDP where he had been the Secretary and acting Chairman before he defected to APC.

BREAKING NEWS: DSS Appoints New Spokesperson

The Department of State Services has announced the appointment of Mr. Nnochirionye Afunanya as its spokesperson.

The appointment was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Department of the agency in Abuja on Thursday.

Acting Director General of the agency, Mr. Matthew Seiyefa, had, at his maiden press briefing at the national headquarters of the organisation in Abuja on Thursday, promised that he would appoint a spokesperson for the agency.

Throughout the more than three years that the sacked DG of the agency, Mr. Lawal Daura was at its helm of affairs, the DSS did not have any known spokesperson.
Mr. Tony Opuiyo, whose name always appeared in statements from the agency under Daura, is believed to be a pseudonym.

Afunanya, according to the statement that announced his appointment, obtained MA in English (2009), from the University of Uyo and another MA in Peace and Strategic Studies (2011), from the University of Ilorin. He is said to be currently pursuing a PhD in Security and Strategic Studies at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi.

The statement said, “He has attended several courses within and outside Nigeria, namely: Innovation and Strategy at Harvard University, Boston, USA; Security Management and Coordination, London and Investigative Journalism at City University, London.

“Other courses he has attended are on Leadership, Arbitration, Conflict Management/Resolution, Negotiation and Public Communication, among others.

“He is the Editor-in-Chief of the DSS’ in-house Magazine, The Triple S.”

The new spokesman is a member of Nigerian Institute of Chartered Arbitrators, Nigerian Red Cross, Nigerian Institute of Management, Nigerian Institute for Industrial Security, Society for Peace Scholars and Practice, American Society for Industrial Security, and he is a fellow of the Institute of Corporate Administration.

BREAKING NEWS: ‘Queen Of Soul’ Aretha Frankiln Dies At 76

Music legend Aretha Franklin has died at the age of 76.

Her publicist confirmed the death to several US media outlets.

Raised on gospel, bathed in rhythm and blues and fluent in jazz and pop, Aretha Franklin came to be known as the “Queen of Soul” through seven decades of electrifying performances.

From her father’s church to the hallowed grounds of the US Capitol, Franklin sang for parishioners and presidents and left her mark on music fans everywhere.
Franklin died on Thursday in Detroit where family and friends had gathered during her final days, her publicist told US media.

Perhaps best known for the vocal power behind her feminist-tinged cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect,” Franklin was an inspiration for two generations of pop divas.

Her bell-clear voice with its four octaves found its way into the styles of stars such as Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston — whose mother, Cissy Houston, was a backup singer for Franklin — to Alicia Keys, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige and Amy Winehouse.

Gospel Roots

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 25, 1942 to C.L. Franklin, a prominent Baptist preacher, and Barbara Siggers Franklin, Aretha Louise Franklin grew up singing gospel in her father’s New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit.

Her first recording — “Spirituals” — came out on a local label in 1956 when she was just 14 years old.

She signed with Columbia records in 1960, releasing her first album “The Great Aretha Franklin.”

That brought her several R&B hits, and one which broke into Billboard’s top 40 in 1961, “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby (With A Dixie Melody).”

Anthem

But her career really took off after moving to Atlantic Records in 1966 and beginning a collaboration with legendary producer Jerry Wexler that would result in 14 albums together.

“Respect” soared to number one in 1967, topping the charts for weeks and being adopted as the anthem of the civil rights and the women’s equality movements.

Winning her the accolade “Queen of Soul” it brought her the first of 18 Grammy Awards; Rolling Stone ranked it number five on its list of the Greatest Songs of All Time.

In rapid succession came hits like “Chain of Fools” and the sensual ballad “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”

“If a song’s about something I’ve experienced or that could’ve happened to me, it’s good. But if it’s alien to me, I couldn’t lend anything to it. Because that’s what soul is about — just living and having to get along,” she told Time magazine in a 1968 cover story on her explosion into the mainstream.

Revival

By the mid-1970s her style got lost in the disco explosion, but by the 1980s a revival of interest in old-style R&B brought her back into favor — as did a cameo performance in the film “The Blues Brothers” where she sang “Think.”

She followed that up with hits like “Freeway of Love” and, with the Eurythmics, “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves.”

Her personal life was a struggle, however.

As an unmarried teenager, Franklin gave birth to a son at 13 and another two years later. She had two more sons and was married and divorced twice. She had lifelong battles with her weight and with alcoholism.

Her father was shot in a robbery in 1979 and spent five years in a coma before dying at the age of 69 in 1984.

Royalty

But nothing dimmed her status as music royalty. In 1968 she sang her heart out at the funeral of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.

She also sang at the October 2011 dedication of the King memorial in Washington, stirring the crowd with a rendition of the gospel anthem “Precious Lord.”

She performed at the inaugurations of two US presidents, delivering a stirring rendition of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” at the January 2009 ceremony for Barack Obama, the first African-American president, while wearing a widely remarked grey hat with a big bow.

And in 2015 she sang “Amazing Grace” before Pope Francis as he visited Philadelphia for the massive Festival of Families.

In 1987, Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“She has taken on many roles — the devout gospel singer, the sensual R&B siren, the pop crossover phenom, Lady Soul — and dominated them all,” the Hall said in its biography.

Franklin reached the top of the pop charts in 1987 with “I Knew You Were Waiting (for Me),” a duet with George Michael.

She was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 1994 and in 2005, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian honor.

Retirement

Franklin continued to perform into the 2000s, holding court — and holding her own, vocals-wise — with in-their-prime pop divas.

She released an album of duets with Houston, Carey and Blige in 2007 and covered Adele, Barbara Streisand and Sinead O’Connor tunes for the 2014 album “Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics.”

In her 70s, she was forced to cancel a series of concerts for health reasons and she announced her retirement from touring in 2017.

In November 2017, she appeared very thin when singing at an anniversary gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Franklin had been scheduled to make several performances this year despite announcing her retirement.

Ill health, however, forced her to cancel a March 25 concert to mark her 76th birthday.

Announcing her retirement, Franklin said she had been blessed.

“I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from, and where it is now,” she said.

FG Paid A Huge Ransom For The Release Of Dapchi Girls, UN Report Reveals

In spite of Nigerian government denial on multiple occasions, the United Nations has said that a splinter Boko Haram group that kidnapped the Dapchi girls in February was paid a “large ransom”.

The girls were kidnapped from their school on February 18. One of the girls, Leah Sharibu, is yet to be released for refusing to convert to Islam, other freed girls said.

The Nigerian government said on March 21 that negotiations through a back-channel led to the release of the girls and a boy. But a report published by the United Nations on Tuesday said the government lied.

“The girls were released around 3:00 am through back-channel efforts and with the help of some friends of the country,” said Nigeria’s Information minister Lai Mohammed in March.

To free the girls, Mohammed said the only demand made by the insurgents was a temporary ceasefire.
He argued that the government chose not use its military might because it had a clear understanding that violence and “confrontation would not be the way out as it could endanger the lives of the girls, hence a non-violent approach was the preferred option.”

“Within the period when the girls were being brought back, an operational pause was observed in certain areas to ensure free passage and also that lives were not lost,” he added.

The United Nations insisted the government paid a ransom.

“In Nigeria, 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi were kidnapped on 18 February 2018 and released by ISWAP on 21 March 2018 in exchange for a large ransom payment,” the UN said on Page 13 of the 25-page document.

A Nigerian online newspaper Sahara Reporters debunked the government’s no-ransom claims in March. It, however, did not say how much was paid to the terror group.

The UN noted that kidnapping for ransom and the prevalence of cash economy enabled the activities of terror groups such as Boko Haram and its splinter faction Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), the group which kidnapped the Dapchi schoolgirls.

The deliberate falsehood peddled by the Nigerian government about the ransom came after the President Muhammadu Buhari told former American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Abuja that his government was going to explore negotiation instead of a military option to secure the release.

“We are trying to be careful. It is better to get our daughters back alive,” Buhari said.

While the case of the Dapchi Chibok schoolgirls, kidnapped in April 2014 have enjoyed enormous media coverage, UNICEF said in April that over 1000 children have been kidnapped by Boko Haram since 2013.

“Since 2013, more than 1,000 children have been abducted by Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, including 276 girls taken from their secondary school in the town of Chibok in 2014,” Mohamed Malick Fall, a UNICEF representative in Nigeria said in a statement.

“These repeated attacks against children in schools are unconscionable.”

News in Pictures: Osinbajo presides over NEC meeting

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo presided over the National Economic Council meeting on Thursday.

The meeting held at the State House, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The NEC, which meets monthly, has the mandate to advise the President concerning the economic affairs of the Federation, and in particular, on measures necessary for the coordination of the economic planning efforts or economic programmes of the various governments of the federation.

Membership of the NEC comprises of the 36 state governors, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and other co-opted Government officials.

See the photos, courtesy, Novo Isioro:







NFF crisis: Dalung speaks on Osinbajo ‘endorsing’ Pinnick-led board as FIFA ban looms

The Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung has denied media reports that Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has endorsed the Pinnick-led Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board following FIFA’s threat to ban Nigeria indefinitely from its activities on Monday August 20, 2018 except Pinnick is given control of the federation.

FIFA had on Tuesday threatened to suspend Nigeria and Ghana football federations over government interference.

Nigeria will face the wrath of the world football governing body unless “the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) offices are not handed back to the legitimate NFF executive committee under President Amaju Melvin Pinnick,” a FIFA statement warned.

Recall that Osinbajo had a meeting with Dalung on Wednesday.

In a statement issued to newsmen, Dalung said though he met with the Vice President after the FEC meeting, the meeting had absolutely nothing to do with the NFF crisis.

He, however, described the report as hallucinatory and invented.

“A purported ‘breaking news’ being circulated by one Daniel Ator, a ‘government house correspondent’ is totally false and a figment of an imaginary government House correspondent,” the stamen reads.

“First of all, there is no correspondent in the Government House Chapel called Daniel Ator. Which media organization does he work for?

“At no time did Vice President Osinbajo, affirm government’s position on the NFF nor did President Mohammadu Buhari write any letter to the Attorney General of the Federation directing otherwise.

“It is a planted story and fake news. There was no directive from the VP countering the court order.

“However, the issue is still being handled by the Committee of NFF Elders Stakeholders. Therefore, we are hopeful that the parties in the crisis will be able to come to an amicable resolution of the issue. Nevertheless, the status quo remains.”

Femi Falana challenges Osinbajo over continued detention of Dasuki, El-Zakzaky, others

Femi Falana SAN, a human rights lawyer, has challenged the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo to stop what he termed the flagrant disobedience to court orders which has characterised the current administration.

He made the call while expressing disappointment at the refusal of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF Abubakar Malami to obey court orders and release former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzakky, among others.

In a letter entitled, ‘Request to end disobedience of court orders by all authorities and persons’, Falana said, “It is common knowledge that the AGF, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), has said that Col Sambo Dasuki (retd.); Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky; and his wife, Hajia Zenab Elzakzaky, would not be released from custody in defiance of the valid and subsisting orders of municipal and regional courts.

“While the attention of the print and electronic media has been focused on the three privileged citizens, it is hardly realised that there are many other common people who are languishing in custody due to official disobedience of the orders of courts which have set them free.

“And since judgment creditors are prohibited from levying execution on the funds belonging to the government without the fiat of the AGF, the Federal Government and the various state governments usually refuse to authorise the payment of damages running to several billions of naira awarded by courts in favour of many citizens and institutions.

“But notwithstanding the illegality of my detention and the fact that it was Gen. Buhari that had promulgated the decree, I was able to convince my colleagues in the human rights community to demand his release and that of his deputy, the late General Tunde Idiagbon from detention.

“It is on record that based on our intervention, the Ibrahim Babangida junta released the duo after three years of detention without trial.

“We urge Your Excellency to take urgent and decisive measures to put an end to the disobedience to court orders by many public officers and institutions. Since section 287 of the constitution has imposed a binding obligation on all authorities and persons in Nigeria to comply with the decisions of competent courts, public officers who subvert the rule of law ought to be sanctioned.

“Furthermore, in view of the fact that President Buhari is the current chairman of ECOWAS, the Federal Government should show leadership by example by complying with all the judgments of the regional courts without any further delay.”

Nigerian Actress, Genevieve Nnaji Hits Jackpot

For those waiting to see Nollywood actress Genevieve Nnaji on the screen, we are sad to announce to you that the queen many not be coming back any time soon as she has found herself a new love.

Her new business interest according to a top Nollywood source is real estate. The actress has partnered with a top real estate firm in Abuja to develop a new estate which is now her number one source of income.

Rumours have it that the 39 year old woman who had a brief romance with eccentric singer, Dbanj is making millions of naira from her new business venture.

The source NG met at a function on Wednesday revealed that Genevieve Nnaji is not only living her life to the fullest, she is also fulfilled in her new business line as it is less competitive and very profitable.

On when we should expect her back on the big screen, the source said Genny who has been rejecting scripts since last year may return anytime she likes the script presented to her.

Man kills pregnant wife and two daughters in a dramatic twist

In a dramatic twist to what had hitherto been a drama of the absurd, a Colorado man has confessed to killing his pregnant wife and their two daughters.

Pregnant 34-year-old Shannan Watts and her two daughters were first reported missing on Monday, FoxNews says, and her husband, Chris, had appeared innocent and distraught, begging anyone with information that could lead to their whereabouts to come forward.

Thirty-three-year-old Chris Watts had told reporters earlier on Wednesday that he was traumatised by the disappearance and was hoping for his family’s safe return.

“It’s not something I could ever, ever fathom would happen in my lifetime, and I have no inclination of where she is,” he said at the time.

Continuing, Chris wailed, “She said she was going to a friend’s house with the kids and that’s the last thing I heard, and that was it. It was very vague.”

When asked if he thought his wife just took off, Watts responded: “Right now, I don’t want to just throw anything out there. I hope that she’s somewhere safe right now and with the kids.

“But could she have just taken off? I don’t know, but if somebody has her and they’re not safe, I want them back now.”

Watts went on to tell horrendous lies that he and his wife “had an emotional conversation” the night before her disappearance, saying that he’ll “leave it at that.” Reporters had asked if they had an argument before the woman allegedly left home.

Watts said he waited impatiently for his family’s return, “with every light in the house on;” stressing that he had been unable to sleep as he didn’t know whether his family was safe or not.

“I was hoping I would just get run over by the kids running in the door, just barrel rushing me, but it didn’t happen,” he said. “It was just a traumatic night.”

When asked about his relationship with his children, Watts said they were “his life” and that their “smiles light up my life.”

He said he missed telling his kids at dinner that “you got to eat that or you’re not going to get your dessert.” He also said he missed cuddling with them on the couch. “It was tearing me apart last night,” he said.

“I just want everybody to come home. Wherever they’re at, come home. That’s what I want,” he wailed.

Asked what he would tell his wife and kids if they could hear him, Watts, looking directly into a reporter’s camera, said: “Shannan, Bella, Celeste, if you’re out there, just come back.

“If somebody has her, just bring her back. I just need to see everybody. I need to see everybody again. This house is not complete without anybody here. Please, bring her back.”

After the two-day drama of the absurd, 33-year-old Chris Watts confessed on Wednesday to killing his pregnant wife and their two young daughters. His confession came a day after authorities launched an investigation into their mysterious disappearance, reports said.

Chris Watts, 33, admitted killing 34-year-old Shanann Watts, who was 15 weeks pregnant, and daughters Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4.

Read more: Man kills family

78-Year-Old Woman Weeps Profusely As She's Left Stranded At Lagos Airport

A 78-year-old woman, Benice Ikerionwu has reportedly been left stranded at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

According to information by Iwuchukwu Benneth, a staff with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the woman arrived the airport on Monday, August 13th, and was left stranded by her son who was meant to pick her up.

A passenger who saw the woman crying profusely at the airport as she had no money or phone with her – notified the airport authorities who tried contacting her family without any positive response.

Sharing the news online, Benneth wrote:

Please, this 78years woman Mrs Benice Ikerionwu arrived at Lagos Int Airport on Lufthansa airline on Monday 13/8/18 around 5pm and has been stranded there as she had no money,phone nor contact of Relation on her as at late nite that day.

She told us that her son Chimezie Ikerionwu was coming from Abuja to pick her on arrival but he was no where to be found as she was crying like a baby when one Bimpe kemi an arrived passenger noticed her and reported to Airport Security and was with her at Tango city and Servicom elderly lounge all through the nite and also gave her money to eat when leaving in the morning.

Yesterday her daughter chinwe Irabor nee ikerionwu was contacted thru her phone numbers got from the Airline as she booked her mothers ticket,but she refuse to cooperate with the Aviation security official who called her by not disclosing her two Brothers living at Ikeja and Ajegunle numbers to him instead she claimed that they had picked and that she slept at the sons house at Ajegunle.

please Isiala Mbano indigenes or anyone that knows Chinwe Irabor,Chimezie or any of the Ikerionwus should call them to come to Lagos international Airport and pick their mother who has been stranded.they should come to Tango City and pick her.


Shock as Woman is denied job post due to ‘ghetto-sounding’ name

A Facebook user, Hermeisha Robinson, on her wall shared an email rejecting her for a job vacancy because her name sounded “ghetto.”

Robinson, who lives in Missouri, US shared her experience with Mantality Health in Chesterfield in an all-caps post: “I have a public service announcement, I am very upset because today I received an email about this job that I applied for as a customer service representative at Mantality Health … I know I’m well qualified for the position as they seen on my resume!”

Robinson’s post continued: “They discriminated against me because of my name which they considered it to be ‘ghetto’ for their company! My feelings are very hurt and they even got me second guessing my name trying to figure out if my name is really that ‘ghetto.’”

Robinson asked friends to share her post, saying the “discrimination has to stop,” but company officials revealed the message wasn’t from them, claiming their e-mail system was hacked.

According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kevin Meuret, the CEO of the clinic that treats men with low testosterone, told the newspaper on Tuesday that someone from outside Missouri hacked into its email system, most likely a disgruntled former employee.

“Thank you for your interest in careers at Mantality Health,” read the response to Robinson. “Unfortunately we do not consider candidates that have suggestive ‘ghetto’ names. We wish you the best in your career search.”

Meuret said about 20 potential employees got emails from the hacker. Reports have since been filed with police in both Chesterfield and St. Louis County, he said.

“I’m a father of three daughters, and that young lady getting that [response] is horrible,” Meuret told the newspaper. “That young lady opened something that must have felt like a freight train, and that’s unacceptable.”

Meuret promised to “pursue this even if it becomes a federal matter,” he told the Post-Dispatch.

On Wednesday, Robinson said she was being called a liar.

See her post:

Oshiomhole Explains Saraki's Relationship With Offa Robbers in New Video

On his defection from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed corroborated the views of Senate President, Bukola Saraki that they left party following armed robbery accusations made against them.

It would be recalled that the arrested Offa robbers who killed over 30 people in dare-devil bank robbery operations, claimed to be political thugs of Saraki and Ahmed.

This again has attracted the response of Comrade Oshiomhole who explained that the Offa robbers indicted Saraki and Ahmed, and not necessarily the All Progressives Congress-led central government.

"Who linked senate president Bukola Saraki to armed robbery? Was it the Federal Government or arrested armed robbers? It is armed robbers who were arrested who alleged that the weapons with which they carried out their heinous crimes including the killings of about 35 people of Kwara State somewhere in Offa, that those weapons were procured for them by the senate president. They made these allegations according to the police reports which have been published everywhere," he said.

He also revealed that one of the robbers was spotted on Saraki's entourage while he paid a condolence visit to the Olofa of Offa as regards the ill-fated armed robbery attacks which claimed several lives.

Watch the video clip below:

Detained Journalist, Jones Abiri Freed After Two Years In Detention

Jones Abiri, the Nigerian journalist detained for over two years has been released.

The journalist was released on Wednesday evening after he met his bail conditions, his lawyer told PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr Abiri was detained by the State Security Service for two years without trial over allegations he was linked to armed militancy in the Niger Delta.

Despite local and international pressure, Nigerian officials including the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, claimed Mr Abiri is not a journalist and tried to justify his illegal detention.

Mr Abiri, publisher and editor-in-chief of Weekly Source Newspaper was eventually granted bail by an Abuja court after he was charged to court following public outcry.

The court last week reviewed his bail conditions which were eventually met on Wednesday evening.

Mr Abiri’s lawyer, Samuel Ogala, also told a reporter his client’s trial continues at the Abuja magistrate court in Zone 2, Wuse on Thursday.

Jonathan Secured Release Of Some Chibokgirls But Did Not Make It Public - Reuben Abati Tackles FG

While speaking during a television show he anchored on ARISE TV on Wednesday, Reuben Abati, the former media aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, said his principal secured the release of some Chibok girls but did not to publicise it.

Abati who made the revelation when he interviewed Femi Adesina, spokesman of President Muhammadu Buhari, on the show, said Sambo Dasuki, the then national security adviser (NSA), advised the government against making the release public in order to protect the identities of the freed girls.

Abati urged Adesina to confirm the information from the Department of State Services (DSS) and National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

He said: “There was headway. We rescued many of the girls but the advice from the NSA at the time was that we should not publicise it because of the identities of those girls. I witnessed it on many occasions. Those girls were brought to the president.

“He met with them. In fact, some of them were sent to schools in the United States and United Kingdom. There were strict instructions not to publicise it because government thought that the identities of those girls should not be exposed. But l saw you guys making a dance out of the ones you rescued.

“In our time, we rescued some girls but we were under strict instruction not to publicise it. Check the records. The DSS, the intelligence agency, you should ask them. They will have the records.”

Recall that Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped 276 girls from Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, in Borno state on April 14, 2014.

While 163 of the girls have been returned, over 100 are believed to be in the custody of the terrorist group with some thought to be dead.

Lagos Driver Who Was Allegedly Being Owed Salary, Sentenced To Death

An Ikeja High Court yesterday sentenced a driver, Monsuru Ayoola, to death for robbery.

Justice Raliat Adebiyi found him guilty of robbing his former employer, Mr Lanre Alabi, in 2015 with a toy gun and machete for allegedly owing him his salary.

The judge held: “The defendant is found guilty of a one-count charge of armed robbery. The punishment for the offence is a strict and a mandatory one and for this reason, the allocutus of the defence counsel cannot apply.

“The defendant is hereby sentenced to death pursuant to Section 295 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, 2011.”

She, however, discharged Ayoola of a two-count charge of armed robbery and inflicting injury for insufficient evidence.

Justice Adebiyi held: “Oluwasegun Badia, the alleged second victim was not produced in court and no evidence about the alleged armed robbery was given in court.

“On count three which is the charge of inflicting injury, the court finds that the prosecution was unable to produce in court, proof of the injury as well as the alleged victim (Badia).”

Earlier, Ayoola’s counsel, Mrs O. Oreagba-Ademola, in her allocutus, urged the court to temper justice with mercy.

“We urge Your Lordship to temper justice with mercy, he is a first time offender and has no prior criminal record,” she said.

Ayoola, of 153, Adeniyi Adeniji Street, Lagos Island, was arraigned on March 14, 2016.

He pleaded not guilty to the three-count charge of armed robbery and inflicting injury.

The prosecution counsel, Mrs O. R. Ahmed-Muili, said he committed the offence at midnight on October 11, 2014 at 16, Yeye Olofin Street, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos.

She said: “While wearing a plastic mask to conceal his identity, and armed with a machete and toy gun, he robbed Alabi, his former employer of his black wallet containing N50,000 and his Nokia and HTC mobile phones.

“He also robbed Mr Oluwaseun Badia of N18,000 and a Nokia mobile phone and stabbed Badia while fleeing the crime scene.

“The offences contravene Sections 243 and 295 of the Criminal Law of Lagos, 2011.”

According to the prosecution, "Ayoola was apprehended by security guards and was unmasked during the ensuing struggle. He issued death threats to the guards who immediately recognised him.”

Three prosecution witnesses including Alabi, testified during the trial.

Alabi, in his testimony, said Monsuru was his driver for six years, adding that he did not owe him salary.

The convict, he said, lived with him as his worker, explaining that he fired him for alleged misconduct.

In his defence, Ayoola claimed that Alabi owed him four years and four months salary. He said he went to confront Alabi at home over his unpaid salary on the day of the incident.

He said he attacked his former boss with a cutlass, adding that he fainted during the fracas and was revived. He said he found himself at the police station after his recovery.

BREAKING NEWS: Coalition besieges police Headquarters, demands Ogundipe’s release

A coalition of civil society groups, #OurMumuDondo, has stormed the Force Headquarters, Abuja, to demand the release of detained Premiums Times reporter, Samuel Ogundipe.

Led by popular musician, Charlie Boy, the protesters insisted on the release of the reporter, noting that they would not leave until he is freed.

The activists briefly barricaded the Shehu Shagari Way, forcing motorists to ply alternative routes.

Presidential aspirant, Omoyele Sowore, berated the Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris, for pressurising Ogundipe to disclose his source.

Another activist, Ralph Adebayo, described the IG as “ignorant,” noting that “he has been transmitting confusion since he became the Police boss, stumbling from one controversy to another.”

Naira Maintains Stability Against The Dollar on The Parallel Market, See Current Rate

These are the currency exchange rate for today, see post below:

We are tired of incompetent leaders in Nigeria – Ezekwesili cries out

Former minister of education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili has accused political leaders of denying Nigeria the opportunity to grow its socio-economic and political systems.

According to her, political elite have failed to implement policies and programmes that ought to have heralded equal opportunities for Nigerians to realise their potentials.

Dr. Ezekwesili spoke at the Summit of The Alternative (SOTA), held in Abuja, yesterday.

She said, “Nigerians are tired of incompetent political leadership that have succeeded in enriching themselves, instead of the country.”

Ezekwesili was emphatic and convinced that the summit would expose Nigerian youths to the level of decadence and incompetence in the political leadership, which, she said, had resulted in slow pace of development in the country.

Girls expelled from school for exchanging kisses

Two teenage girls have been expelled from a private school in South Africa for allegedly exchanging kisses. An allegation they have refuted.

According to News24, the parents of the teenagers were asked to come and pick them up by the school matron.

The mother of one of the teenagers said she was called on July 25 and told to fetch her child, who had been expelled.

“I went the next day to find her isolated from other pupils. When I asked what had happened, I was told she was caught by the matron kissing  another girl for 20 minutes.”

“I took her home and we came back to the school for the hearing. As a parent, I was not given a chance to speak. They asked [my daughter] if she pleaded guilty or not. She pleaded not guilty. She said she had witnesses. I had also asked her and she said they did not kiss,” said the mother.
The school said one of the mothers had appealed against the sanction but “the verdict and sanction were upheld in the appeal” and “the mother was informed that no further appeal will be permitted”.

The grandmother of one of the girls said the school had refused to speak to her after the appeal on Friday.

“I did ask (my grandchild) if she was involved in the kissing. She said she was not. I was told she cannot return to school,” said the grandmother.

“I was told to speak to the district office. I have not done that. Instead, I have looked for another school. I have not found another school. I am not happy about all of this,” she added.

The Department of Education in Durban advised the parents to take their children and wards to public schools.

Best Destinations for Your First International Trip

Do you want to travel overseas but can’t decide where you should go? Many people who haven’t travelled overseas much get overwhelmed trying to decide where to travel. The world is a huge place with so many choices, no wonder it’s hard to decide. If you’re a new traveller or a solo traveller, certain places will be more enjoyable, easier to navigate, and overall less scary, while still offering lots of culture and things to do. Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, shares countries for new travellers.

England

England is a great country for new travellers for many reasons. One of the biggest is that they speak English so you won’t have to worry about getting past a language barrier. While London isn’t a cheap city, you can save money by using public transportation and eating at local pubs instead of fancy restaurants. And since London is a big city, there are lots of things to do. Visit museums, see Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

Dubai

Dubai is a city that is not afraid of ambition. City authorities have pumped billions into positioning itself as a tourist and business hubs. There so many things to do in Dubai including the tallest man-made structure on earth,  shopping and sightseeing. It is a perfect place to experience the and the new!

South Africa

South Africa is full of adventure, history, wildlife and great food. So, if you are a thrill seeker or looking to spice your life up a bit, then South Africa is the place for you. Whether you are interested in going Shark Cage Diving, Paragliding off of a mountain over a capital city or blokarting down by the beach then South Africa is definitely the place you should visit.

Australia

This is another great English-speaking country, so as a new traveller you can see something different without having to worry about the language. Australia is a really big country, almost the size of the continental US, so there’s something for everyone. But don’t try to squeeze too much into your trip.

France

Whether you are a first-time traveller or not, France is a place to visit. It has a pace that rivals New York and London, but there’s a certain casual elegance to it all that’s matched by famous museums like the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay. To enjoy the city more, endeavour to understand a bit of French.

BREAKING NEWS: Court stops Saraki from declaring Akpabio’s seat vacant

An FCT High Court sitting in Bwari has restrained Senate President Bukola Saraki from declaring the seat of former Minority Leader of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio vacant.

Justice Othman Musa on Wednesday also ordered Saraki not to impede Senator Akpabio’s access to the Senate building or take any action aimed at “overreaching his privileges and rights as a Senator pending the determination of the originating Summons of the applicant.”

Justice Musa ordered service of the originating Summons and other processes on Saraki through either the Clerk of the National Assembly, Clerk of the Senate or any other Clerk or reasonable staff of the National Assembly at the assembly complex.

The orders were made after an ex parte application by Akpabio’s lawyers, Chikaosolu Ojukwu and Ebere Ahanonu seeking to stop moves to declare his seat vacant following his defection from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The suit has been adjourned to August 29 for further hearing.

Between APC and PDP: Playing Bully and Victim Game


Between APC and PDP: Playing Bully and Victim Game: By Jideofor Adibe

This is an interesting time for Nigerian politics. There is now a complete abandonment of any pretensions that 2019 is not the main determinant of the moves and counter moves of the two dominant political parties – the ruling APC, and the opposition PDP, which is eager to come back to power. Just like a good novel is sustained by suspense, political plots are also sustained by suspense and intrigues: what for instance will happen when the National Assembly reconvenes? Will the leadership of the National Assembly, especially that of the Senate, be changed? Will Saraki outmanoeuvre his traducers once again – as he has repeatedly done since 2015 when he became President of the Senate against the wishes of his then party, the APC? What happens when the President returns from his ‘medical vacation’ in London?  Will he reverse the sacking of Lawal Daura? What if, for some reasons Buhari decides to excuse himself (or is excused by circumstances) from being the APC flag bearer for 2019?
Attempting to answer questions such as the above will be akin to asking to be admitted into some of the party caucuses and top secret meetings of political cabals where some of the deadliest political plots and intrigues are hatched. The secret manoeuvring for advantages, itself the lifeblood of politics is probably what Franklin D Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States of America had in mind when he declared that in politics, nothing happens by chance. As you plot and anticipate the moves of your opponent, so your opponent plots and also anticipates your own moves. In this game – just like in the games played by nations- politicians rarely show their hands and their public pronouncements may either be clever decoys or completely different from their intentions. It may be all confusing for the innocent bystanders, emotionally draining for the partisans and physically and financially debilitating for the gladiators if they are on the receiving end. It is the summation of the possible outcomes from the various intrigues, plots and counter plots that people who do not have the requisite tick skins to absorb the hassles are usually advised not to dabble into politics. As the saying goes, if you cannot take the heat, please stay away from the kitchen.
Political analysts try to deconstruct the plots and intrigues and draw inferences from them. Unlike pastors, Imams and men of God, they do not claim to have heard from God and the inferences from their analyses may be completely wrong. But they know that quite often political outcomes are a product of the interaction of the strategies of the political belligerents.
In this piece my interest is on how the APC and the PDP have tried to frame each other – as they struggle for political mileage.
The first framing by the leadership of the APC after winning the 2015 presidential election was to portray some of its members who tried to achieve their own political ambitions as ‘disloyal’ or people who put their personal ambition above what it variously called ‘national interest’ or interest of the party. This has been the party’s portraiture of Bukola Saraki who emerged the President of the Senate against its wishes. Forgotten by the APC is that politicians are in the game primarily to actualize their individual ambitions (irrespective of the mask they use to cover this fact). Politicians  believe that striving to actualize their ambitions is not incompatible with the ‘national interest’ – very much like the logic of the invisible hand mechanism of Adam Smith where it is argued that in a free market, every actor pursuing its selfish interest, will, through the unobservable market forces of demand and supply of goods, lead to efficiency. For them, Buhari sought for the presidency of the country unsuccessfully three times and succeeded in the fourth attempt with their help so why would it be a sin for them to actualize their own political ambitions?  The argument here is that when politicians plead with some to place the ‘national interest’ above their ambitions, this must be seen and interpreted within a context because it is sometimes part of the framing to blackmail, persuade or whip some into line. I am not arguing that everyone must realize his or her own political ambition but that politicians can also use it as a tool of blackmail – as seemed to be the case between the APC and Saraki.  This is more so for a party like the APC which was more like a special purpose vehicle aimed primarily at removing Goodluck Jonathan from power.
For the defeated PDP, the APC embarked on aggressive de-marketing of the party with revelations of the humongous sums of money allegedly stolen by the party and government officials. It talked repeatedly of  the party’s 16  ‘wasted’ years in office, the level of corruption it allegedly promoted, all of which the APC  constantly reminded Nigerians  ‘brought us into this mess’. However the APC over did this, especially as it was not convincing that it was doing better than the defeated PDP either in performance or even on the corruption front. Not only was the endless attack on the PDP (which continued till about three years after it lost power) seen as buck passing, it created other challenges for the government. For instance, by constantly attacking the Jonathan government, it unwittingly stoked our identity politics, which led to the emergence of the Niger Delta Avengers and the resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta. Oil production crumbled and the country entered into recession, creating an image problem for the government from which it has not fully recovered.
As the PDP gradually bounced back, it found allies in the embattled leadership of the National Assembly, and began framing the APC as a bully and an anti-democratic group while portraying itself as a victim of the government’s security agencies (such as the DSS and police) and of its anti-corruption agencies like the EFCC. Never mind that the party used similar tactics as the APC for the 16 years that it was in power!
The PDP’s new found role as a victim however seems to be working for it and is of course helped by the aggressive rhetoric of APC’s new chairman Adams Oshiomhole. For instance after initially distancing itself from the siege on the National Assembly by the DSS, the party reversed itself by arguing that the DSS was right to lay siege at the premises of the National Assembly because its investigation had found that Saraki was planning to breach the peace by importing arms into the National Assembly. What was not resolved by this reversal by the APC was whether the sack of Daura was consequently done in error and whether the party would support such strong arm tactics in future. Be that as it may, that reversal by the APC feeds into PDP’s portraiture of the party as a bully.
Again since the emergence of Adams Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the APC, the party has ratcheted up its rhetoric about removing the Senate President. Oshiomhole has variously argued that since Saraki’s defection to the PDP, it was unacceptable for a minority party to produce the President of the Senate and that Saraki’s impeachment was a done deal. The PDP variously countered that it would require 2/3 majority of the members of the Senate to remove Saraki  as Senate President and went ahead to publish names of 49 Senators who had signed against any move to ‘illegally’ remove Saraki (to prove to the world that Saraki can only be removed as Senate President through bullying by APC). The PDP also contests APC’s narrative that it holds the majority in the Senate just as the APC equally contests PDP’s version that it will take 2/3 of all the 109 Senators to effect a leadership change at the Senate. The party argues that what is required is only 2/3 of the members present.
While Oshiomhole’s brand of rhetoric feeds into the PDP’s bully versus victim narrative, (and therefore on the face of it gives it advantage), some APC sympathizers however believe that though Oshiomhole may not be the most polished politician out there, his methods are likely to be more effective than those of his predecessors in containing the PDP in the run-up to the 2019 elections. Such people see 2019 as a looming political warfare which requires a political warrior like Oshiomhole.  PDP sympathizers on the other hand are hoping that Oshiomhole’s strategies will backfire by accentuating its portraiture of the APC as a bully and an anti-democratic octopus that requires a coalition of democratic forces both locally and internationally to defeat.
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Email:
pcjadibe@yahoo.com
Twitter: @JideoforAdibe
 
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