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21 Mar 2019

FULL LIST: Lagos, Ebonyi… supplementary elections will hold in these 18 states

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says Saturday’s supplementary elections will take place in 18 states.
A document released by INEC on Thursday showed supplementary governorship polls will hold in five states including Bauchi (14 LGAs), Benue (22 LGAs, Plateau (9 LGAs) Kano (29 LGAs) and Sokoto (22 LGAs)
It said although an Adamawa state high court directed the suspension of supplementary election in the state, the exercise will hold for two constituencies for the house of assembly election.
“In Adamawa state, elections will hold in Nassarawo-Binyeri State Constituency of Mayo Belwa LGA, which was countermanded as required by the Electoral Act following the death of a candidate on the eve of the Governorship and State assembly elections held on 9th March 2019,” the document read.
“Supplementary election will also hold in Uba/Gaya State Constituency in Hong LGA. In Bauchi State, supplementary elections will hold in Kirfi State Constituency of Kirfi LGA.”
The commission said supplementary  election for state constituencies will hold in 18 states.
TheCable observed the total number of voters to participate in the supplementary election for state constituencies stand at 585,138.
Below is the list of states, affected LGAs and number of registered voters there:


  • Bauchi (one LGA, 1,111 voters)
  • Bayelsa (three LGAs, 58,270 voters)
  • Benue (nine LGAs, 91,141 voters)
  • Ebonyi (three LGAs, 45,905 voters)
  • Edo (one LGA, 6,764 voters)
  • Ekiti (one LGA, 2,244 voters)
  • Kaduna (one LGA, 7,514 voters)
  • Adamawa (two LGAs, 49,588 voters)
  • Kano (one LGA, 40,821 voters)
  • Kogi (three LGAs, 24,637 voters)
  • Imo (five LGAs, 118,372 voters)
  • Lagos (one LGA, 12,711 voters)
  • Nasarawa (four LGAs, 43,874 voters)
  • Osun (one LGA, 2,485 voters)
  • Plateau (one LGA, 5,501 voters)
  • Sokoto (two LGAs, 24,492 voters)
  • Taraba (two LGAs, 19,912)
  • FCT (four LGAs, 29,796 voters)

EFCC attacks U.S. govt over report criticising Buhari administration’s anti-corruption efforts

The anti-graft agency, EFCC, has criticised the U.S. government over a report by the State Department criticising Nigeria’s anti-corruption efforts.

The U.S. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor in its ‘Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018’ states among others that “there is a climate of impunity in the President Muhammadu Buhari government that allows officials to engage in corrupt practices with a sense of exemption from punishment.”

The U.S. agency also said, “In their prosecution of corruption cases, law enforcement and intelligence agencies often failed to follow due process and arrested suspects without appropriate arrest and search warrants.”

In a statement on Sunday by its management, the EFCC said the “report is not only outdated and false but misleading.”

The anti-graft agency listed some of its achievements under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Read the full EFCC statement below.

                             *US Report over anti-graft war false, misleading – EFCC

                            *Agency secured 943 convictions between 2015 and 2018

                            *Recovers Billions of Naira, Foreign Currencies, Properties

The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been drawn to a misleading report of the United States Department of Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour over Nigeria’s anti-graft war, published in ThisDay Newspaper of March 17, 2019 entitled: “Nigeria: Massive, Pervasive Corruption At All Levels of Govt – US Report”.

The report, among other things, said that “there is a climate of impunity in the President Muhammadu Buhari government that allows officials to engage in corrupt practices with a sense of exemption from punishment”. The Bureau, in its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018, said Nigeria had made little progress in efforts to limit corruption in its public service. This report is not only outdated and false but misleading.

The report is unfounded on the grounds of Nigeria’s remarkable achievements in the last four years as the war against corruption is on course.

The EFCC’s commitment to the fight against corruption in the last four years is not in doubt to any discerning and genuinely concerned observer. This commitment is benchmarked by the unprecedented record of convictions, non-conviction based forfeiture and stolen assets recovery.

We are surprised that the US report could ignore or downplay our convictions in such a brazen manner when it claimed that the EFCC secured only 13 convictions in 2016. That is false and far from the truth.

Remarkable Convictions

For the avoidance of doubt, the EFCC has secured 943 convictions since 2015 till date. The agency recorded 103 convictions in 2015, secured 195 convictions in 2016, got 189 convictions in 2017. It is important to state that the EFCC secured 314 convictions in 2018 including two former state governors who were sentenced to 14 years imprisonment without option of fine. It is instructive to note that the two former governors serving their jail terms in prison are members of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). The Commission has so far recorded 142 convictions as at March 19 this year. These are verifiable facts.

We wish to state unequivocally that these convictions being celebrated included high profile persons among who were top ranking military personnel and other politically exposed persons.

It is instructive to state that no other agency in Africa has this record of convictions and recovery of stolen assets which were achieved in spite of great encumbrances faced by the Commission in the discharge of its assignment as it has come to be known that when you fight corruption, corruption fights back.

Assets Recovery and Forfeitures

As a quick reminder, the Supreme Court of Nigeria had on Friday, March 8, 2019 in a unanimous judgement, dismissed the appeal of a former First Lady and wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, against the interim forfeiture order of a Federal High Court, Lagos, for $8, 400, 000 (Eight Million Four Hundred Dollars) traced to her by the EFCC and believed to be proceeds of illegal activities.

Subsequently, on March 14, 2019, the Supreme Court dismissed another application by Mrs. Jonathan, seeking to upturn the interim forfeiture order by a Federal High Court, Lagos placed on the sum of N2.4 billion linked to her.

Also of interest is the fact that the former Chief of Defence Staff, the late Alex Badeh forfeited six choice properties and $1, 000,000 (One Million Dollars) to the Federal Government, few days ago on the order of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

It could also be recalled that the EFCC on Friday, March 1, 2019, secured the final forfeiture of the sum N732.85 million being proceed of fraud perpetuated by 17 individuals in the Presidential Amnesty Programme Office. These are no rhetoric, but hard facts!

We further wish to state that in the area of convictions, Air Vice Marshall Tony Omenyi (retd), was jailed by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of a Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, February 28, 2019. He was found guilty of the amended three-count charge brought against him by the EFCC and was sentenced to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine.

Justice Dimgba, also ordered Huzee Nigeria Limited, a concern owned by Omenyi being a corporate entity to forfeit N60, 000, 000 (Sixty Million Naira) to the Federal Government.

Indeed, the EFCC has revolutionized the process of assets tracing and recovery. From the available records, the Commission recovered assets worth several billions of naira and different foreign currencies between 2015 and 2017.

Breakdown of the recoveries for the three year period (2015- 2017) show that N676, 522, 889, 647.05 (Six Hundred and Seventy Six Billion, Five Hundred and Twenty Two Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty Seven Naira and Five Kobo); $254, 563, 877.27 (Two Hundred and Fifty Four Million Five Hundred and Sixty Three Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Seven Dollars, twenty Six Cents); 486, 736.82 Pound (Four Hundred and Eighty Six Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty Six Pounds Eighty Two Pennies); Euro 8, 136, 071.13 (Eight Million, One Hundred and Thirty Six Thousand and Seventy One Euro and Thirteen Cents); 80, 931, 500 CFA; 3, 729.50 RMB/YUAN; 452, 175 DIRHAM; 90, 956SR; 117, 004 CAD$ (ONE Hundred and Seventeen Thousand and Four Canadian Dollar); 120, 141.50 YEN; 5, 000Francs and 2, 000 Ruppies.

In 2018 alone, various sums amounting to billions in Naira and other foreign currencies were also forfeited to the Federal Government through the unrelenting efforts of the EFCC. The sums are: N171, 131, 700, 541.17 (One Hundred and Seventy One Billion, One Hundred and Thirty One Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Five Hundred and Forty One Naira and Seventeen Kobo); $14, 490, 174.49 (Fourteen Million, Four Hundred and Ninety Thousand One Hundred and Seventy Four Dollars Forty Nine Cent); 873, 278. 09 Pounds (Eight Hundred and Seventy Three Thousand Two hundred and Seventy Eight Pounds and Nine Pennies); 298, 055 (Two Hundred and Ninety eight Thousand, and Fifty Five Euros); 391, 838 (Three hundred and Ninety One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty Eight Riyals) and 10, 135 Dirham (Ten Thousand One Hundred and Thirty Five Dirham). These recoveries are unprecedented as no other agency can boast of such record.

Judging by the dexterity with which the Commission has prosecuted its cases from the High Court to Court of Appeal up to the Supreme Court, the Commission is by far the major contributor to case law and jurisprudence in Nigeria. The major Law Reports are replete with successfully concluded cases by the Commission. Again, these facts are verifiable!

Burden of Proof Now Resides With Defendant

Until recently, the practice has been that the burden of proof in criminal prosecution resides with the prosecution. But that was overturned in FRN v. YAHAYA which was decided on January 25, 2019. SC.645/2014.

This was a case in which the Supreme Court upheld the argument of the EFCC that the burden of proof had now been shifted from the prosecution to the defendant in terms of ill gotten wealth.

The apex court further held that the defendant would have to show that his income was in tandem with what he acquired otherwise such ill gotten wealth and properties would be forfeited to the Federal Government.

This is a landmark decision with potential to improve the fight against corruption in Nigeria. It is regrettable that this feat failed to impress the United States Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour.

Worrisome Report with Inaccuracies

Indeed, the US report’s portrayal of the work of the EFCC which is replete with inaccurate information is worrisome considering the close relationship between the Commission and some US entities.

Agencies of the US Government, especially the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), US Securities and Exchange Commission, Post and Telecommunications Department and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) have very strong collaboration with the EFCC in the delicate task of tracing and seizing assets stolen but stashed abroad by rogue Nigerian officials. We also have FBI agent domiciled in the EFCC.

Even as many of those assets are still stashed in US financial and property markets, these US agencies are familiar with the determination and passion with which the Commission is going about the fight against corruption.

10 Different Countries Seek Mutual Legal Assistance from EFCC

Unfortunately, the US Report does not reflect this deep knowledge of the EFCC and its work, which is enough reason to be suspicious about the motives behind the publication.

To underscore the important role which EFCC is playing in the fight against economic and financial crimes, no fewer than 10 countries on Monday, March 18, 2019, requested for Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) with the Commission. This is unprecedented in the history of any agency in Africa in general and Nigeria in particular.

Malabu’s case

The prowess of the EFCC’s investigative power is worthy of note in the celebrated Malabu’s case. The historic trial of prominent major oil companies- Shell and ENI in Milan, Italy by the public prosecutor was made possible by the political will of President Muhammadu Buhari and dexterity of the EFCC.

The comprehensive investigation of the commission and evidence generated in prosecuting the corrupt deal formed part of documents used in prosecuting the criminal aspects of the notorious deal by the Milan prosecutor.

The EFCC recorded another first in Africa with its prosecutor appearing in the Milan trial as a witness, the first of such to happen in Italian prosecution.

Some individuals including an Italian, Gianlura Di Nardo and a Nigerian, Emeka Obi, were last year convicted in the matter while the Dutch prosecutor just recently notified Shell of his readiness to prosecute the oil giant over the controversial deal.

US Report, a Disservice to EFCC

From the foregoing, it is clear that the report authored by the American agency has done a great disservice to the work of the EFCC in particular and the fight against corruption under the leadership of President Buhari, an administration that is globally acknowledged for the enormous political will it has brought to the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

We are conscious of our past with previous government officials’ involvement in corrupt practices with impunity but that history is being re-written by this government and the commission.

The rest of Africa appreciate the administration’s work in terms of fighting corruption in Nigeria which was the impetus behind the designation of President Buhari as the Anti- Corruption Champion early last year by the African Union (AU). In that capacity, President Buhari is saddled with the responsibility of leading the rest of Africa out of the corruption quagmire.

At the level of the EFCC, the Acting Chairman of the commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, attained the leadership of the Heads of Anti- Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa (HACACA) in May 2018. This was based on his antecedents and acknowledged track records in the fight against corruption.

There can be no greater validation of the revolutionary impact of the fight against corruption in Nigeria in the last four years than these milestones achievements. But for those who cannot see any good in what Nigeria is doing, it is better to leave the country alone than distract it with bogus reports.

US: We are disappointed by military’s interference in 2019 polls

The United States has expressed disappointment over the irregularities, including reports of military interference, in the 2019 general election.

In a statement on Thursday, the US embassy expressed sadness over the loss of lives during the elections and urged all stakeholders to work towards ensuring fair and credible supplementary elections.

The US congratulated Nigerians commitment to the electoral process, saying it would continue to follow the ongoing polls closely.

The embassy also reiterated its support for a democratic process “where the will of the Nigerian people is reflected in the results.”

“The United States once again congratulates the Nigerian people’s commitment to the democratic process throughout the election season,” the US said in a statement.

“The United States supports a democratic process where the will of the Nigerian people is reflected in the results.

“As long-time friends of Nigeria, we continue to follow closely the still ongoing elections. We do not have a preferred party or candidate.

“As noted by many observer groups in their preliminary reports, we too were disappointed by the low voter turnout as well as credible reports of voter intimidation, vote buying, interference by security forces, and violence in some locations.

“We are saddened by those acts of violence and extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives, including those who worked for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security services.

“As the 2019 electoral cycle comes to an end, we urge all stakeholders to work towards a free, fair, credible, transparent, and peaceful process, especially for the many Nigerians across the country who again will go to polls on Saturday.

“We encourage all stakeholders, including INEC, political parties, and the security services, to continue to improve the electoral process for future elections.

“We look to Nigeria as an important leader on the African continent. As a democratic partner of Nigeria, the United States remains committed to working together to achieve our mutual goals of peace and prosperity for the citizens of both our countries.”

PDP alleges plot by military to hijack supplementary polls

The Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ) has alerted of a clandestine plot by the military in cahoots with officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to hijack the March 23 governorship supplementary elections coming up in six states.

At a media briefing in Abuja on Thursday, the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the alleged plot was hatched at a meeting the Presidency held with security agencies and officials of INEC.

Describing the alleged plot as obnoxious, the PDP said its candidates were already leading and coasting to inevitable victory in all the states where the supplementary elections are billed to hold, vowing that nothing can alter this reality.

INEC has listed Kano, Bauchi, Benue, Plateau and Sokoto states for the supplementary elections.

The PDP cautioned the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) and “agents” of the Presidency to know that Nigerians will never be intimidated.

Ologbondiyan vowed the electorate in the affected states will confront and crush any oppressive force that attempts to defy and subvert their will in the supplementary polls.

The party spokesman said the PDP has full information on every move by the APC to manipulate the electoral process, stressing that not all Nigerians in the present government subscribe to their cruelty, resort to violence as well as suppression of votes.

The PDP alleged that part of the plot was a directive by a top military chief to the INEC chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu not to declare the Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike as winner of the March 9 election, even though he won the poll.

INEC had suspended the collation of results of the Rivers State governorship election but had announced on Thursday that the exercise will resume on April 2.

The PDP continued: “Our party is informed of how a top Army officer, at the meeting, directed the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, not to ever declare Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike as winner of the Rivers governorship election, even when it is clear to all that he won the election.

“We also have details how a top military officer, who is from Bauchi state, at the meeting, directed INEC Chairman not to declare our victorious Bauchi state governorship candidate, Sen. Bala Mohammed, as the winner of the Bauchi state governorship election.

“The PDP is also privy to how a Director of one of our security agencies, who was at the meeting, undertook to use his agency to deliver Kano state to the APC.”

The party further alleged it was also decided at the meeting that 30 Department of State Service (DSS) operatives and 300 mobile policemen be deployed to each of the states where the supplementary elections are billed to hold.

According to the PDP, the security operatives to be so deployed have been given standing instruction to take over those states and make effort to ambush the process, seeing that the PDP is bound to win.

“In spite of all, the PDP wants the Buhari Presidency and the APC to come to terms with the fact that their conspiracies will be of no avail as our candidates are marching to unassailable victory with the people.

“The PDP reminds our military that Nigerians will not hesitate to treat individuals in military uniform, who illegally involved in the supplementary election, as fake soldiers. After all, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has declared that uniformed personnel, who helped APC to rig presidential election, were fake.

“It is imperative to state that under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, elections have been turned into warfare against the people but Nigerians will never allow a situation where states are forcefully taken over like spoils of war.

“It is also highly provocative that the INEC Chairman, Prof. Yakubu, is now taking orders from the military to cancel elections and alter results for the APC, instead of asserting the independence and impartiality of INEC under our laws.

“Such annexation of the Prof. Yakubu-led INEC by the Buhari Presidency is the only reason the governorship elections in Bauchi, Plateau, Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa, Benue and Rivers states, which were won by the PDP are declared inconclusive.

“It is obvious that the elections were stalled in these states just because the PDP was in the lead. If the APC had been in the lead as in Ogun, INEC would not have batted an eyelid before pronouncing the results in favor of APC.

“In all, the PDP wants the APC, INEC and their compromised security officials to be informed that the states, where supplementary elections have been scheduled, are home to the PDP and that our votes can never be stolen.

“The PDP cautions INEC to note that the people already know the number of voters with Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in these states and will never accept any padding of the voter register to favour the APC.

“The PDP therefore charges all our members, teeming supporters and all lovers of democracy in these states to remain steadfast in resisting the APC and marching out en-mass to their polling units this Saturday to consolidate their victory against oppressive forces in our land,” the party added.

PDP condemns ‘disappearance’ of Gov. El-Rufai

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Kaduna State chapter has condemned the sudden disappearance of the governor of the state,Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, saying the state is currently operating in an auto pilot mode.

The party equally frowned at the disappearance of the state Deputy Governor, Barnabas Bala Bantex, whom they said left the state without any public notice.

PDP described the development as height of irresponsibility in the part of the governor and the deputy.

ln a statement issued by the state Publicity Secretary, Abraham Alberah Catoh in Kaduna on Thursday said that the recent killings in Kajuru, Birnin Gwari and Sanga local government Areas could be avoided.

The statement said, “The killings would have been averted if the Federal and State Governments have been up and doing and had fully engaged the Security agencies with the needed proactive measures and equipments to fight insecurity.

“There is no Human Capital Development, and illiteracy amongst our citizens has eaten deep into our citizens, and the lack of education has made our peoples vulnerable.

“We have also observed that the government has intentionally pauparised our citizens through their harsh policies, without any cushion effects (palliatives) to ameliorate their sufferings.

“The effect of harsh programmes of the government without any hope insight, has dissullusioned our youths and made them vulnerable to crimes just to survive the hardship; an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.

“Apart from the APC’s usual propaganda,there is nothing they have achieved in the last 3 years plus of her administration.

“In terms of Security of lives and property, Nigerians are worse than they use to be before 2015. Kidnappings and banditry has become the order of the day,aside terrorists activities. Corruption has grown to a more advanced level under the APC’s watch.

“The so called N-Power has turned our youths into casual staff that would be disengaged after 2 years, instead of giving them permanent and pensionable employment, as against International Labour Organization charter, of which Nigeria is a signatory.

“Millions of jobs have been lost due to the bad economic policies of the APC led government.

“All these and more, has made Nigerians hopeless, especially with the high wired electoral fraud perpetrated by the APC in the recently yet to be concluded 2019 general elections, with the support of the Independent Electoral Commission,INEC, and the Nigeria Army, who the APC government have converted into political thugs.

“Where the PDP is leading, results are declared inconclusive or the NA is sent to intimidate,harass and forcefully take away ballot boxes and other sensitive voting material.

“The PDP commiserates with the families of those who lost their lives in the wanton killings and pray for the repose of their souls and also wish the injured quick recovery.

“Finally, we wish to thank our teeming supporters for their immense support before,during and after the 2019 general elections.

“We urge you all to remain calm and law abiding as the Party will do every thing within the ambit of the law at the Elections Tribunal to retrieve back the mandate given to us, by God’s grace.”

You’ll never become governor, Umahi blasts APC rival

Dave Umahi, governor of Ebonyi state, says Sonni Ogbuoji, his All Progressives Congress (APC) rival in the March 9 gubernatorial election in the state, will never become a governor.

Umahi, who spoke in an interview with Guardian, was reacting to allegations that he was nursing plans to defect to the APC.

In the election, the governor polled 393,343 votes ahead of Ogbuoji who had 81,703 votes.

Umahi said he has no problem with President Muhammadu Buhari, but he is not considering leaving the PDP.

He said the only problem he has is with Ogbuoji, whom he accused of castigating him.

“I never had a deal with anybody. I have sense of my own. But what I said all along, I campaigned for Atiku and I stood for Atiku,” he said.

“But I kept saying that the president is my friend. He is not a political friend. He is my boss and that I was not going to castigate him and nobody from Ebonyi will castigate him, even his party we did not castigate when we were running.

“It is only the cockroach that ran against me that was worrying us but because of the respect for the president, we did not castigate the APC. This is very important. Now it is the same Ogbuoji that is afraid of himself and his shadows that is castigating us. He is afraid that if I come into APC, I will displace him.

“Tell me, should my coming into APC not be a plus for the party? Why is he worried about my coming into APC? The important thing is that, I don’t move unless God asks me to move and God would have brought me to governance through APC but he never did.

“So I am still a PDP member. I never thought of leaving PDP. I never contemplated leaving PDP, but he is afraid that if I come into APC he is finished. But he is finished already because he has no future at all. I told him when I was campaigning that he will never be governor all his life. I am still very busy with my projects and he is talking about jumping into APC.”

Details of Buhari’s meeting with NUJ leaders emerge

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday enjoined the leadership and members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, to always ensure that they report the truth and avoid being influenced by individuals with divisive motives.

The president, who made the call when he received the NUJ leadership led by its National President, Mr Chris Isiguzo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, also urged the members to bring a sustainable end to the menace of fake news.

He said the call had become imperative in view of the fact that innocent lives had been lost or destroyed due to this `fake news’ phenomenon, NAN reports.

The president said: “I am sure you will all agree that the biggest threat to the sustainability and credibility of your profession is the uncontrolled and unregulated news platforms operating in the cyber space.

“This is not only in Nigeria, but across the entire globe.

“Innocent lives have been lost or destroyed due to this “fake news” phenomenon.

“Many of the perpetrators of these acts do not even live within our shores.

“However, they have been able to damage the reputation of hard working Nigerian journalists while at the same time promoting conflict and divisions within our society.’’

Buhari, therefore, solicited for the cooperation of the NUJ so as to bring a sustainable end to this menace, adding that his administration on its part had engaged the nation’s international friends and allies on the matter.

“But we cannot do it alone. You also have to do your bit.

“As I look to the next four years, I will remain committed to a safe and secure nation; creating an inclusive and diversified economy; and a governance system that is free of corrupt practices.

“In all these areas, we will remain transparent in implementing our policies.

“In return, I seek your support in ensuring that you report the truth. You must not allow yourselves to be influenced by individuals with divisive motives.’’

Speaking earlier, Isiguzo had informed the president that the NUJ officials were in the villa to congratulate him on his re-election for another four-year term in office.

The NUJ president, who later spoke to State House correspondents on the visit, commended the president for ensuring relative peace and stability in the country.

He, however, challenged him to ensure that the nation’s security architecture was overhauled to be able to effectively tackle the menace of Boko Haram in the northeast as well as the challenges posed by bandits in Zamfara and Katsina states.

“We talked about the security problem that we have, not just in the North-east, but even the banditry in the North-west – in Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto.

“We raised that issue and of course, we challenged him to ensure that the security architecture is overhauled to be able to effectively tackle these challenges that we have.

“We commended him for the fact that as we speak now, there is no part of the country that is under the control of insurgents which is good, unlike when he came on board.

“But we also told him that it is very important that terrorism is completely stamped out – effectively tackled and not technically degraded,’’ he said.

Tension As Herdsmen Shot Enugu Council Secretary Dead

Secretary of the Uzo Uwani local council in Enugu state was on Wednesday allegedly shot dead by herdsmen around Olo town in Ezeagu local council of the state.

The late secretary identified as Nnamdi Ogueche was said to have gone for a peace talk between communities and the herdsmen that have been terrorising parts of Uzo-Uwani local government area in the recent past.

It was gathered the council secretary was in company of three others in a vehicle, who were returning from the peace meeting when the alleged herdsmen attacked their vehicle.

There was stampede and uneasy tension while the occupants of the vehicle jumped out in different directions for safety.

The assailants were however said to have pursued the council scribe, shooting him in the process.

The fate of the other three occupants of the vehicle was yet to be known as at the time of this report.

The immediate cause of the killing of the council scribe has not been established as confusion, fear and heightened tension engulfed the entire local government area.

Contacted for comment over the killing, the chairman Uzo-Uwani local government area Mr. Fidelis Ani confirmed the killing of the council scribe along Olo community road while returning from a peace meeting.

He said entry has been lodged at Ezzeagu police division at Aguobu Owa for investigations.

Enugu State commissioner of police Sulaiman Balarabe, who confirmed the incident during a media briefing on Thursday, said there was an ambush against the deceased.

He confirmed that three people have been arrested in connection with the murder.

The CP, however, declined to confirm the involvement of herdsmen until after investigations.

Federal Government closes case against Onnoghen

The federal government has closed its case against Walter Onnoghen, suspended chief justice of Nigeria (CJN).

The government closed after calling three witnesses to the stand.

At the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Thursday, Aliyu Umar, counsel to the government, announced that they closed the case despite the fact that they had initially listed six witnesses.

Umar said the three other witnesses could still be called to the stand if the defence wants to cross-examine them.

“I have called three witnesses. If the defence needs them, I can call the other three,” the lawyer said.

Responding, Adeboyega Awomolo, counsel to Onnoghen, rejected the offer.

“I don’t want them, I don’t want them,” he said.

Awomolo then informed the tribunal that they intend to file a no-case submission but they would need time to write an address.

“We intend to take advantage of section 303 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 on no-case submission,” he said.

“If your lordship permits me to write a written address. I’m praying to be given proceedings of 18th and today.”

Thereafter, Danladi Umar, CCT chairman, ordered Awomolo to serve his address on the prosecution on Wednesday.

Umar then fixed March 29 as day counsels would adopt their addresses.

Onnoghen is standing trial on a six-count charge bordering on false asset declaration.

More drama as Borno leaders, elders root for Ndume as Senate President

Leaders and elders from Borno State have called on former Senate Leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume, to join the race for the office of the Senate President of the ninth National Assembly.

Speaking under the aegis of Concerned Borno Citizens, the group comprised of former governors, former Ministers and other politicians said Ndume was a loyal party man and possessed the right quality and experience to lead the Assembly.

The former Nigerian Ambassador to Pakistan, Dauda Danladi, who addressed journalists on behalf of the group in Abuja on Thursday said Ndume’s Senate Presidency would ensure rapid development for the country.

Danladi said, “At this critical moment of our quest for credible leadership, we give glory to God Almighty for the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yeml Osinbajo.

“There is no doubt that the Ninth National Assembly has a critical role to play if government is to actualise all its developmental projects, programs and policies that will propel Nigeria into the industrialised world in the near future. Hence a cooperative partnership-driven National Assembly that will support, encourage and work with the executive to accelerate the achievement of socioeconomic objectives of the Government cannot be overemphasised.

“It is in this regard that we the Concerned Citizens of Borno are coming forward to urge Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume to contest for the office of the President of the Senate in the Ninth National Assembly. We are convinced that Senator Ndume possesses all the qualities and requirements to hold the office of the Senate President being a loyal party man and a ranking Senator.”
 
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