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Naira appreciation: FCCPC intensifies enforcements to discourage unfair price hike

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The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says it will intensify monitoring and enforcement in formal and informal markets to ensure that business owners do not unfairly inflate prices.

Dr Adamu Abdullahi, the Acting Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, was reacting to complaints by consumers that in spite of the appreciation of the Naira against the dollar, prices of goods were still increasing.

Abdullahi said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, that the situation was unacceptable, and the Commission was committed to protecting consumers from exploitation.

He said that the operatives of FCCPC would work with trade associations, farmer groups, and other stakeholders to combat price-fixing, and dismantle cartels.

This, according to Abdullahi, will encourage increased competition and ultimately lead to lower prices for consumers.

”The FCCPC understands the significant financial strain these rising prices are placing on Nigerian households. As a result, the Commission is taking proactive steps to addressing this issue.

”While the FCCPC cannot directly regulate prices, the Commission will utilise its existing legal framework to enforce fair competition and consumer protection provisions.

”This includes monitoring and investigating unusual price hikes, addressing complaints filed by consumers, and taking action against any businesses found to be engaging in anti-competitive practices such as price-fixing, price gouging or cartel formation.

”The Commission remains committed to educating consumers about their rights and empowering them to make informed choices.

”We will engage in advocacy and public awareness campaigns to raise awareness about price gouging and other unfair trade practices and provide guidance on how to identify and report such practices.

”We will collaborate with relevant regulatory bodies to develop a comprehensive and coordinated response to anti-competitive practices, price gouging, and other consumer protection issues,” he said.

He encouraged consumers to continue to report suspected price gouging and other unfair trade practices through contact@fccpc.gov.ng.

”Together, we can work towards a more stable, fair, and competitive marketplace for all Nigerians.” (NAN)

FAAN’s strategies, innovation to improve airport operations — Director

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on Monday said that it had charted strategies to bring about innovations and upgrades that would lead to improvement in airport operations and management.

Mrs Obiageli Orah, Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, FAAN, said this  when she received the new executives of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) in Lagos.

Orah said FAAN had gone through changes with the upgrade in the Directorate of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, creation of Special Duty and the Cargo Development Services, among others.

She said that the changes were all geared toward meeting global standards in the management of airports under FAAN.

According to her, the vision of President Bola Tinubu is encapsulated in the Renewed Hope Agenda.

She said that this underscored the vision of the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), to create new directorates that would ensure that travellers are offered the best services across airports in the country.

“FAAN has gone through tremendous changes in the past few months.

“We have added some new directorates to the existing ones; I will start with my directorate which is public affairs and consumer protection.

“It is relatively a new one because we had corporate affairs but now christened public affairs and consumer protection.

“We also added a directorate of cargo development and services which deals with everything regarding cargo and hajj operations.

“We also have a special duty directorate, one I will describe as an interventionist directorate that helps the agency intervene in any situation as the case may be,” she said.

According to her, the authority’s managing director and other directors are all poised to ensure Nigerians get the best.

She commended the minister’s vision for FAAN, noting that it would engender the desired growth and global competitiveness the industry strived to achieve.

Orah said that passengers passing through the airports deserved better, after paying taxes, buying tickets and all that.

“We feel and know that they deserve the best. So, that is why security, safety and comfort of all our passengers are paramount to our operations,” she said.

Orah also assured pilgrims that there would be changes in how FAAN handled hajj operations in the airports.

She said that a new system would be employed to ease movement of passengers and goods and address long queues that pilgrims experienced in the past.

The newly elected LAAC Chairman, Mr Suleiman Idris, who led the new team, pledged the support of the association in achieving the vision of the new administration.

He said that they would play their part in turning the fortunes of the country’s aviation industry around.

Idris said that LAAC would continue to play its role in holding the leadership of the sector accountable to the people.

Sule raises concern over increase cases of kidnapping

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Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State, has expressed concern over recent increase in cases of kidnapping in the state.

Sule stated this during an emergency security council meeting on Monday in Lafia.

The governor said that the emergency  meeting was to assess the security situation with the view to proffering solution to kidnapping and other emerging threats.

“The essence of the meeting is to look at the security situation that we have seen, especially during my absence to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj.

“It’s indeed a point of worry that we continue to see an increase in the number of kidnapping especially in Keffi, Doma, Lafia, Awe, Obi, Keana, Karu and Nasarawa Local Government Areas of the state.

“We have also seen an increase in the activities of militia terrorising innocent people, especially in areas surrounding Shegye, Katakpa, and some other villages in Toto Local Go

vernment Area.

“We have also seen some increase in the dispute especially between communities similar to the one we have seen in Udege area where a person was killed as a result of misunderstanding within the same ethnic group,” he stated.

Sule pointed out that the state government would not tolerate any single ethic group vigilante in the state.

He appreciated his Deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, for effectively serving as acting governor while he was away to Saudi Arabia on Lesser Hajj,

Sule particularly thanked security agencies for working hard to mitigate security challenges that would have degenerated beyond the current situation. (NAN)

Ex- governorship candidate rallies support for Ododo

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Rep. Leke Abejide, the African Democratic Congress (ADC) candidate for the Nov. 11 Kogi governorship election, has urged the people to support Gov. Usman Ododo toward taking the state to a greater height.


Abejide, who represents Yagba Federal Constituency, at the National Assembly said this when he addressed some supporters in Lokoja on Monday


“Politics is over since Ododo won the election and what is left for us as citizens is to support and join hands with his administration in building a secure and prosperous Kogi.


“Today, I’m calling on all Kogi indigenes to shun politics for now and support the government to achieve progress on all fronts, more so that the election was freely won.
“There is time for politics and time for governance. The time for politics is over, what is left is governance that can put smiles on people’s faces.
“We have had our election and a winner has emerged. I still find it surprising that some people are still working to pull down the government because of election that was freely won, with the people’s voice heard loud and clear, ” he said.


Abejide urged those who contested the election with Ododo, to put behind the election and give the governor the needed support to succeed.
“Let’s give the governor the desired support to work for the good of the generality of the people of zkogi,” Abejide said. (NAN)

Suspension of APC National Chairman illegal, null and void – SWC

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The State Working Committee of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kano has described the purported suspension of Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, the National Chairman of the party, as illegal, null and void.

The Ganduje Ward of APC in Dawakin-Tofa Local Government of Kano State had on Monday suspended Ganduje, citing corruption and other vices.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that nine executive members of the ward announced the suspension at a news conference in Kano.

Malam Haladu Gwanjo, the Legal Adviser, who spoke on their behalf,  accused the former governor of “gross misconduct and misappropriation of public funds during his administration in Kano”.

“We resolved to pass a vote of no confidence on the National Chairman of the party due to his inability to clear his name from allegations of corruption, particularly the ‘dollar video’ that went viral.

“The APC leaders in Ganduje ward are worried that the party is being subjected to unnecessary embarrassment from the rival New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) over unsubstantiated allegations of corruption levelled against Ganduje’s administration.

“Ganduje ward leaders deem it fit to suspend the national chairman to enable him concentrate on the litigation and other hanging issues so that he could  appropriately clear his image and that of his family.

“President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to the ongoing fight against corruption has made it necessary for Ganduje to deal with the seeming baggage of corruption hanging on his neck as it is already denting the reputation of the APC-led federal government.

“We, the leaders of the APC in Ganduje ward, after thorough deliberations, decided to suspend the chairman to give him time to clear his name.

“Since Ganduje has been summoned to court to answer for these accusations, we are being proactive as it could potentially hurt the reputation of our political party,” he said.

But the Kano State chapter of the party, in a swift reaction, imposed drastic measures against party leaders who announced the suspension.

In a quick counter move, the Dawakin-Tofa Local Government chapter of the party announced the “immediate sack” of those behind it.

Its Chairman, Inusa Dawanau, told newsmen that those behind the suspension of the national chairman were caught in anti-party activities with  records of their meetings with opposition exposed.

The state chapter of the party has also adopted the suspension of the Ganduje ward APC leaders behind the suspension of the party’s national chairman.

“We have sanctioned them for six months; a special investigation panel has been set up to verify the several allegations against them,” the state chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas, told newsmen in Kano.

He said that the State Working Committee had adopted the decisions of the Dawakin-Tofa Local Government APC leaders.

“We have already ordered an investigation into the anti-party allegations levelled against them.

“We have evidence of meetings between state government officials and those that suspended the national chairman, so we shall dig into the roots of the matter,” he said.

Abbas declared the suspension as “invalid”.

“It stands null and void. It cannot stand,” he declared. (NAN)

Fuel scarcity: Distribution normalising after Sallah holidays

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The distribution of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as fuel is gradually normalising as most fuel stations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have started dispensing the product.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that long queues were seen at most fuel stations due to scarcity of the product earlier in the week before and during the Sallah holidays.

The development inconvenienced motorists, as they had to queue for hours to get fuel.

NAN, however, reports that the situation is improving as many fuel stations are now selling the product
though with long queues, except for a few due to lack of supply

A NAN Correspondent who went round the town on Saturday, reports that the queues are gradually disappearing.

The independent marketers sell between N640 to N690 per litre, while the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd.) Retail Outlets maintain its pump price of N617 per litre.

In the city centre, many stations including Cornoil and TotalEnergies, Opposite NNPC Ltd. Towers, TotalEnergies, Wuse, Zone 3, and all the NNPC Ltd. Retail Outlets including its Mega station were seen dispensing fuel without queues.

In Kubwa Axis, NIPCO fuel station at Kubwa second gate and Rainoil at Gwarimpa entrance were seen dispensing fuel with just few vehicles on queue.

However, many fuel stations along the Kubwa express way were not dispensing the product.

Along the Nyanya-Keffi Highway, both Shema fuel stations and MRS at AYA were seen dispensing the product, while JENEP, Fuel Smart, KODPEM, Bormi, AP, NIPCO and Shafa at Nyanya-Karshi Road were also seen selling.

Some of the motorists, who spoke to NAN said they were not sure of what caused the initial scarcity, adding that it could be attributed to the Salah celebration or mere hoarding.

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) did not respond to text messages sent to it by NAN.

But there are indications that the scarcity was caused by the Sallah holiday, as most petroleum tanker drivers went on break to observe Eid-el-Fitr. (NAN)

Vice President’s official residence will not obstruct traffic flow in Abuja – Wike

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Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has assured that the official residence of the Vice President under construction in Abuja, will not obstruct the flow of traffic when the project is completed.

The Minister made the statement when he inspected the ongoing construction works at the Vice President’s official residence, over the weekend.

The Minister said the design and conceptualization of the VP’s residence by the Federal Government took into consideration the flow of traffic around the area, adding that the construction work is being carried out according to specification.

Barr Wike further disclosed that the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) has made its input into the project and that the FCDA and the contractor executing the project have also made the necessary adjustments.

According to the FCT Minister, “Those who designed the Vice President’s residence know why. We are not the ones who designed it. It was the Federal Government that decided that the Vice President’s residence should be located here. So, I’m sure they considered everything before deciding that.

“We have invited the office of the NSA and they have taken a look and made their input which the FCDA and the contractor, Julius Berger has taken into cognizance and made amendments. So, for traffic concerns, I don’t think it’s a problem”.

Barrister Wike meanwhile expressed satisfaction with the speed and quality of work and assured that the project will be completed and commissioned by next month.

He said, “significant progress has been made on the project since his last visit to the site, while the contractor has also promised to hand over the project in May, adding that he has no reason to doubt their capacity.

“As for the quality of the job, of course, we can see the work is going according to design and specification. So, we believe, by the grace of God, that is something that will be actualized”, Barr. Wike further stressed.

The FCT Minister also reassured that other ongoing infrastructure projects in the FCT scheduled to be completed by May next month would be actualized and opened for public use thereby making the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu a reality in the FCT.

He said the projects will showcase the President’s achievements within his first year of office, in in fulfillment of the promises he made to Nigerians.

Tinubu committed to improving well-being of Nigerians–Information Minister

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The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, says President Bola Tinubu is committed to the improvement of the overall well-being of Nigerians.

Idris stated this on Saturday when featured  in the flagship live Phone-In programme of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Kaduna,’ Hannu da Yawa’.

Speaking on agriculture,  Idris said that Tinubu’s administration was keen towards ensuring food security and it had rolled out measures and programmes that were targeted directly at the actual farmers.

This, he said, was a turn from the previous practices and programmes which usually ended up in the hands of people who capitalized on such programmes for their selfish interests.

“Before President Tinubu’s administration, farmers were not the beneficiaries of funds made for agricultural activities.

“President Tinubu has put more effort in ensuring productive outcomes in dry season farming, a lot of measures have been put in place in restructuring loans and other interventions for agriculture,” he said.

Speaking on alleged abandoned projects in the Northern parts of the country, Idris said that no responsible government can abandon projects which funds had already been put into.

The minister explained that the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline and the Mambilla Power Project, among numerous projects in the Northern parts of the country, were still in existence.

He, however, said people always criticise governments without facts, adding that the projects may experience delay, but they have not been stopped.

Also speaking on the security of lives and properties, Idris said that talks were ongoing about the creation of state Police as being revived by the president due to its importance.

Idris said this was to ensure economic growth and development especially as it affects farming and other activities, which could improve livelihood.

He frowned at a section of the public, especially the media who tend to promote more the activities of criminals and terrorists, while playing down the successes hugely recorded by the armed forces and other security agencies.

Answering a question on fuel subsidy removal, Idris reminded the public of Tinubu’s provision  of wage allowances, among other palliatives for the poor and vulnerable households, which were aimed at shielding the effects on the people.

He disclosed that the conversion centres of cars using petrol to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) would soon be inaugurated by Tinubu across the federation, all inthe  bid to cushion the effects of the fuel subsidy removal.

The minister restated Tinubu’s commitment to the fight against corruption, while urging the public to shun fake news and other comments aimed at discrediting the government.

Idris also urged the public to be patient with Tinubu’s administration, stressing that a lot of viable programmes and measures would be rolled out to make the people’s live better.

Eid Celebration: Nigeria of our dream

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By Isah Aliyu Chiroma

We gathered to celebrate a joyful moment, after a whole month of worship, filled with love, compassion for other and empathy. It was a moment of reflection, bridging the gaps of brotherhood. In this transition moment of Ramadan, heavy rain came and showers its blessing. We looked deep into the sky with behold promises.

When the crescent moon of Ramadan was cited, it was a joyful moment, with an open end opportunity, to get closer to your lord and ask for forgiveness. Ask and you shall be given, this has been the promise we behold, then in the fall of this, we hope we were forgiven.

Ramadan fasting has been prescribed upon us, just like it was prescribed upon those before us, so that we develop God-consciousness. It is a moment of transition, when worshipers keep longing for forgiveness and blessings from the Lord Almighty.

This has been an avenue to restore our system of faith and service our bodies through series of activities (Ibada), so that we can be among those servants to be forgiven, whom are opportune to witness the moment. It will be a big lost for someone to witness the holy month, observe the fasting and ended up not repenting from the unlawful act he has been committing, this shows that he is yet to develop God-consciousness.

In it comes a night, which is better than one thousand nights. When you are opportune to witness that night while doing Ibada (act of prayer), you have succeeded in doing such act for over 83 years and some months, when we have no certainty if we can reach tomorrow or even the writer finishing this piece.

On the flip side, is our beloved country. A country filled with hope and great expectations. Nigeria has been our home, our source where it all begins. Without second thought, it has been a trying time for everyone. When I saw everyone, I mean who so ever you can think of. We are all facing some challenges one way or the other. Then what kind of a country do we want?

On this path to creating a better country, they will always be hardship. A hardship of change, which the citizens are feeling directly. But, with all those hardship on this journey, I believed it can be mitigated, to provide a means to cushion the effect, as those policies are long term moves, but with patience and perseverance, we will get to the kind of country we want.

The road to an egalitarian state is a marathon, not a short print. It is a continuous circle; it keeps on and on and on. At the moment, we might be in a rush to access the new government, but from what has appeared to us, it is a renewed hope with patience. It will take time, creating policies that will bring a shift in the system. A shift that will cut across the cost and waves of this ocean.

As we continue driving towards this path, our captain needs more focus. A focus not to turn the ship around, after the journey we took is a progressive one. In his language, there is no going back. Of course a journey of thousands miles begins with a step. And as every step counts, the destination keeps appearing closer.

Probably at the beginning of this journey, in preparation, we forget to take along with us, a bag of patience that will last us till the end. For some, the patience has ended; it appears there were not fully ready towards this path. It there were at the beginning, and then they need to renew their hope with the renewed hope road map.

I am sure we had used this opportunity, the month of Ramadan to pray for peace in our society, to have an atmosphere which is conducive for humanity, where we will be proud of creating and for the next generations coming. A life filled with tranquility, compassion and love for humanity and our development as a nation. May our destination be towards the right path.

NUJ demands immediate release of kidnapped Channels TV reporter

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has called for the immediate release of the kidnapped Channels Tv reporter, Joshua Rogers.

Dr Chris Iziguzo, NUJ President, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.

Rogers was abducted from his residence in Rumuosi, Port-Harcourt on Thursday night.

He was seized by gunmen around 9:00 p.m. as he returned from an official assignment at the Government House.

The criminals intercepted him and forcefully took him away in a Channels Television-branded vehicle.

“Following the abduction, the abductors contacted his wife, demanding a ransom of N30 million for his release.

“The NUJ is deeply concerned about the escalating insecurity faced by journalists and media practitioners in the country.

“It is distressing that individuals involved in the vital work of informing the public have become targets of criminal activities.

“The NUJ hereby appeals to the Government of Rivers and relevant security agencies to prioritize efforts towards securing the safe and immediate release of Rogers,” he said.

The NUJ president emphasised the need to ensure journalists’ well-being and safety during this critical time.

Isiguzo underscored the gravity of the situation and stressed the need for concerted action to address the rising threats against journalists across Nigeria.

“We urge for swift and effective measures to be taken to secure Rogers’ freedom and bring an end to this distressing ordeal.

“The NUJ stands in solidarity with Rogers, his family, Channels TV and we demand immediate action to secure his safe return,” Isiguzo said.

ASUU seeks reconstitution of Governing Councils of FG’s varsities

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS) chapter on Friday urged the Federal Government to reconstitute the governing councils of its universities.

In a statement signed by Prof. Nuruddeen Al-Mustapha and Mr Shaibu Sadiku, Chairman and Secretary, respectively,  the chapter appealed to President Bola Tinubu to consider the appeal.

“This step is crucial for universities to operate legally and smoothly, in accordance with the law.

“It will also uphold the autonomy and independence of universities by following established procedures and safeguarding their integrity,” the statement said.

The union also called on the Ministry of Education to investigate all violations of the law in recent actions taken by various universities in the absence of the councils.

It observed that the dissolution of all the Federal University Governing Councils in June 2023 by the National Universities Commission (NUC) undermined the established procedures and the autonomy of the institutions.

The ASUU-UDUS further noted the unauthorised advertising of vacancies for the offices of  the Vice-Chancellors and other Principal Officers in the Federal universities.

“The action violates proper procedures and threatens the integrity and academic freedom of Nigeria’s public universities.

“The University law clearly outlines the composition, roles, and dissolution procedures of University Governing Councils and prescribed the protocol in the event of Council’s absence, particularly regarding the appointment of principal officers.

“At no point does the law transfer the council’s functions to the Minister or the Visitor; thus, these actions undermine the principles of transparency, equity, and merit-based selection of university principal officers,” it said. (NAN)

Troops eliminate188 terrorists, arrest 330 – DHQ

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Troops have made laudable achievement in the past one week in the fight against terrorism and economic saboteurs says Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Abuja.

The Director, Defence Media Operations DDMO Maj-Gen Edward Buba made this known in a statement revealed that within the period under review troops killed 188 terrorists, arrested 330, and denied oil thieves over N637m among other notable achievements.

Buba stated,”The armed forces are working decisively to kill the terrorist , stop the insecurity and ensure the safety of citizens. Accordingly, we are making the terrorist  pay a much heavier price than we have been forced to pay.

“Troops will continue to operate with tremendous force against the terrorist across the country. During the week under review. Troops neutralised  188 and arrested 330 persons. 

“Troops also arrested 36 perpetrators of oil theft and rescued 133 kidnapped hostages. In the SS, troops denied the oil theft of the estimated sum of Six Hundred  and Thirty Seven Million Seven and Ten Thousand Three Hundred and Ten Naira (N637,710,310.00) only.

“Furthermore, troops recovered 270 assorted weapons and 5,083 assorted ammunition. The breakdown as follows: 122 AK47 rifles, 47 locally fabricated gun, 47 dane guns, 24 automatic pump action guns, 8 locally fabricated pistols, 2 locally made single barrel guns, one double barrel gun, one hand grenade and one IED. 

“Others are: 2,129 rounds of 7.62mm special ammo, 1,686 rounds of 7.62mm NATO, 116 rounds of 9mm ammo, 133 rounds of 7.62 x 39mm ball ammo, 151 rounds of 7.62 x 39mm ammo, 619 live cartridges, 34 magazines,  8 HH radios, 8 vehicles, 40 motorcycles, 6 bicycles, 50 mobile phones and the sum of N610,210.00 amongst other items.”

He added that troops in the Niger Delta area discovered and destroyed 51 dugout pits, 24 boats, 21 storage tanks and 4 vehicles.

He said other items recovered include 28 cooking ovens and 21 illegal refining sites.

According to him, troops also recovered 672,350 litres of stolen crude oil and 90,530 litres of illegally refined AGO.

Gen. Buba assured that the military is in  a good and strong position in the war against terrorists with many terrorists leaders killed.

“We will continue to provide security for citizens with the tools at our disposal,” he assured.

Bobrisky jailed  6 months without fine option for Naira abuse

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A Federal High Court in Lagos State, on Friday, sentenced convicted cross dresser, Idris Okuneye (alias Bobrisky), to six months in prison for abuse of the Naira.

The court did not give the cross dresser an option of fine.

Bobrisky was  prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court convicted him on April 5, following his guilty plea, but reserved sentence until April 9.

The court had ordered Okuneye to be kept in the custody of the EFCC pending  sentencing.

However, due to Federal Government’s declaration of April 9, April  10 and April 11 public holiday, the case could not proceed as scheduled.

On Friday, Justice Abimbola Awogboro sentenced the convict without an option of fine.

The judge held that  imprisonment would take effect from the date of the cross dresser’s arrest.

Okuneye  was  taken away by EFCC operatives immediately after his sentencing.

The EFCC had, on April 4, filed a six-count charge against Okuneye.

The charge bordered on Naira mutilation and money laundering.

He was consequently arraigned on April 5 and he pleaded guilty to the first four counts.

The court struck out the last two counts following an application by the EFCC.

On April 5, Mr Bolaji Temitope, a  prosecution witness and  Assistant Suprintendant of  EFCC,  gave evidence before the court and narrated the circumstances surrounding prosecution of Okuneye.

After review of the facts of the case, EFCC counsel, Mr Suleiman Suleiman, prayed  the court to convict the cross dresser.

According to EFCC, Okuneye  committed the offences on March 24, at Circle Mall, Jakande, Lekki, Lagos State.

The commission stated that Okuneye tampered with the cumulative sum of N400,000 while dancing during a social event, by spraying same.

Okuneye also sprayed various tranches of money such as N20,000 and N50,000 at various events in 2022 and 2023, according to EFCC.

The offences contravene  Section 21(1) Central Bank Act of 2007 and Section 19 of Money Laundering Act of 2022. (NAN)

AfDB strengthens collaboration with CSOs

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it is solidifying its partnership with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in West Africa.

The AfDB, in a statement issued on its website, said this was deliberated during the bank’s fruitful mission to Ghana.

The statement said the mission focused on advancing an agreement signed between the bank and the West Africa Civil Society Institute in December 2023 on an action plan for 2024.

The statement said the mission outlined collaboration in CSOs capacity building, resource mobilisation, knowledge management, and advocacy.

“Immediate initiatives highlighted in the plan include CSOs involvement in finalising the Bank’s Civil Society Engagement (CSE) capacity building programme and integrating it into bank operations.

“Recognising the imperative of early and comprehensive CSOs engagement, the mission emphasised improved integration of diverse perspectives into the bank’s country strategy papers and country dialogue.

“Collaboration with Afrobarometer shall include a joint initiative with the International Budget Partnership to strengthen CSOs capacity in the budget space.

“Discussions also covered data and analysis on the bank’s High 5s, focusing on citizens experiences, poverty alleviation, access to food, and migration,’’ it said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Afrobarometer is a pan-African, independent, non-partisan research network that measures public attitudes on economic, political, and social matters in Africa

According to the bank, Afrobarometer will lead conversations on governance within the CSE Community of Practice (CoP), thereby, generating knowledge to inform the bank’s programming on economic and financial governance.

The statement said collaboration on major events like the AfDB’s Annual Meetings and the 2024 United Nations Climate Change Conference was envisioned.

It said this would be possible by leveraging Afrobarometer’s expertise to enrich discussions and align them with Africa’s priorities.

It said: “a meeting with the West African Network for Peace building (WANEP) during the mission culminated in finalising a joint Transition Support Facility III proposal.

“The proposal is titled ‘Sahel Peace building, Reconciliation, Inclusive Development and Empowerment.

“Exploratory talks also covered potential joint initiatives on conflict prevention, mitigation, and resilience building in the West African Region, particularly in the Sahel.

“A feasibility study on civil society engagement in peace building is also under consideration,’’ it said.

According to the statement, WANEP will lead discussions on fragility and resilience within the CoP.

The statement said it would offer insights that could inform the implementation of the bank’s 2022-2026 Strategy for Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience through such interactions.

It reiterated AfDB’s continued commitment towards collaborating with civil society to advance inclusive and sustainable development across Africa. (NAN)

Navy arrests 2, seizes truck over alleged illegal oil deal in Bayelsa

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The Nigerian Navy Ship SOROH (NNS) says it has arrested two persons and seized one tank truck over alleged crude oil theft in Bayelsa.

The Commander, Commodore Sunday Lakan, made the disclosure while parading the suspects at NNS SOROH base on Thursday.

He said that a Mazda vehicle loaded with 1,300 litres of illegally refined products was also arrested in the process.

Lekan said that the breakthrough followed credible intelligence from the public concerning the stealing and transportation of stolen and illegally refined products in the area.

”Our personnel who were dispatched to the area apprehended this truck. On sighting us, the driver of the truck ran away but left the keys behind.

”So we were able to convey the truck to our base for further investigation and other necessary actions,” he said.

The commander further stated that while still on patrol, naval personnel arrested a Mazda 323 vehicle carrying 1,300 litres of illegally refined products.

”We arrested two suspects, a male and a female conveying the products. We shall ensure that thorough investigation is conducted and suspects handed over to appropriate authorities,” he said.

He expressed the commitment of the navy to rid the waterways of criminals, and urged those involved in illegal oil bunkering to desist or face the wrath of the blaw.

Lekan urged members of the public to always support the navy with credible information that would enable it to tackle crude oil theft

”The activities of oil thieves, pipeline vandals and illegal refiners are inimical to the economy, we must work together to fight them,” he said.

Speaking to newsmen, one of the suspects, Mr Nelson Adeh, said that he was a driver hired by the lady to convey the products to Mbiama.

He pleaded for forgiveness, and promised to never indulge in such illegal business again.

Akpabio mourns ex-minister, Ogbonnaya Onu

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President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Obong Akpabio has sent his heartfelt condolences to the family of the former Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu.

Onu, who died at the age of 72 in Abuja on Thursday served as minister under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration from 2015 to 2022.

A statement from Akpabio’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh described the late Onu as “A perfect gentleman who will be sorely missed for his wisdom, mature composure, zest for excellence and proven integrity”

He said Onu was known for coming first in every endeavour he engaged in and played politics without bitterness in all his life.

“I am deeply saddened by the death of Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, a man with first in all his life endeavours. He came first in his secondary school (WAEC), he was the overall best student in the high school (HSc) and made a first class in chemical engineering at the University of Lagos, coming top of his class.

“Onu was also the first civilian governor of Abia state and was the first presidential candidate of the All People’s Party (APP) before stepping down for Chief Olu Falae.

“He sacrificed in the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and contributed immensely to the successes recorded by the party. He played a significant role in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. He was an accomplished family man, politician, academic and leader in all ramifications.

“On behalf of my family, the Senate and the National Assembly, I wish him eternal rest with the Lord. and may God grant his family the fortitude to bear the loss”.

“Hawan Daushe“: Police arrest 54 suspects in Kano

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The Police Command in Kano State, said it had arrested 54 suspects who are planning to disrupt the Hauwan Daushe  in different parts of the state.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr  Usaini Gumel, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria NAN in Kano on Thursday.

“We have arrested 54 suspects with various assorted dangerous weapons who are planning to disrupt the ongoing Sallah festivities in different parts of the state.

“Exhibits of various description including cannabis, motorcycles and some deadly weapons among others were recovered from them.

“We are in possession of intelligence information that some youth are clustering under the guise of being admirers of some top political office holders  of the state.

“They have planned to storm the venue of the Durbar organised by the Kano Emirate in various political regalia.

” The action is highly likely to attract counter reactions and ultimately leading to breakdown of law and order.

” Sallah Durbar is not a political activity, and any form of display of political parties’ symbols, wearing of T-Shirts, Faze-Caps, erecting billboards and posters display are instruments of misinterpretation and ultimate breakdown of law and order will not be tolerated.

” Politicians are advised to prevail on their supporters to see Sallah as a celebration of unity and tradition,“he said.

He said that the suspects  who came to take advantage on the first day of Sallah have been taken-off the streets of the five  Emirates in Kano State.

“There is no space for criminals therefore the police is warning those who have ears to listen as more raids on identified criminal hide out have been intensified,“ he said.

The commissioner said that a combined security agencies have adopted proactive security measures to deal decisively with any person or group of persons found fomenting trouble during and after the Hawan Daushe in the state.

Gumel said that the Area commanders and divisional Police officers have been directed to contain any security threat to residents in their areas.

He said that the command is managing the sallah activities with sustained surveillance and patrols to keep the entire state peaceful.

Gumel has assured the people of the command’s readiness to maintain law and order during and after the festival.

He said that the command had strengthened its security  with increased surveillance around  locations where the elements would gather, especially Kofar Nassarawa, Kofar Mata, Kofar Wambai, Kofar Kwaru and Kofar Kudu.

“The sponsors of this plan are being closely monitored and they are advised to desist forthwith as security agencies are following up and trailing them,“he said.

He said that the police would continue to collaborate with other security agencies, and critical stakeholders to ensure hitch-free festivities in the state.( NAN) 

Tinubu mourns traditional ruler of Isolo, Oba Agbabiaka

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President Bola Tinubu has received the news of the passing of the Osolo of Isolo, Oba Kabiru Agbabiaka (Adeola Olushi III), with deep sadness.

Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ngelale said that the President condole with the family of the deceased, the Council of Obas and Chiefs, as well as the Government and people of Lagos State.

”While mourning the passing of Oba Agbabiaka, the President urges his family and everyone grieving this painful loss, to take solace in the remarkable legacy left behind by the departed.

”President Tinubu prays to God Almighty to grant the soul of the late monarch peaceful repose and his family the strength to bear the huge weight of his passing,” Ngelale said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the deceased, aged 64, passed away on Wednesday after observing the Eid prayers.(NAN)

Lagos bus accident throws 2 persons into  Lagoon 

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The impact of an accident on Wednesday in Lagos threw two adults off an 18-seater bus into the Lagos lagoon.

Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, Lagos Territorial Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said this in a statement in Lagos.

He said that personnel of the Marine Police were in search of the two adults, a male and female, who fell off the LT 18-seater bus.

 Farinloye said that the crash involving the bus with registration number FKJ 872 YA occurred by Adeniyi Adele axis inward Lagos Island, on the third mainland bridge.

He said that the driver of the vehicle, who was  on  speed, swerved off the road and hit  the bridge railings.

He said that the impact  forcefully pushed the two passengers off the bus into the Lagos lagoon.

“The victims, an adult male and female are being searched by the Marine Police.

“The injured  have been evacuated to  a nearby hospital, ” Farinloye said. (NAN)

Sallah: Tuggar tasks Muslims to remain resilient, pray for peace 

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The Minsiter of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar has tasked the Muslim Ummah all over the world to remain resilient,  in the face of global challenges. He made the statement in his Eid message to Muslims. 

He said amidst the Eid celebrations, adherents of the Islamic faith should reflect on the sacrifices and lessons of the concluded month of Ramadan for guidance. 

He enjoined the Muslim Ummah to pray for the country and the success of the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to bequeath dividends of governance to the entirety of the Nigerian nation.

He further added that adherents should pray for lasting peace in the country and regions plagued by strife and wars across the world.

Alkasim Abdulkadir 

Special Assistant on Media and Communications Strategy to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

CDS extends Eid-el-Fitr greetings, urges troops to remain disciplined, patriotic

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The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Christopher Gwabin Musa has extended Eid-el-Fitr greetings to all Muslim officers, soldiers, ratings, airmen/airwomen, and civilian staff of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN).

The CDS in a statement urges Nigerians to use the holy month of Ramadan to seek forgiveness, divine favor, and enduring peace for the nation.

He stated, ”With heartfelt gratitude, I extend warm greetings to all Muslim officers, soldiers, ratings, airmen/airwomen, and civilian staff of the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) on yet another occasion of Eid-el-Fitr 2024, marking the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan. This momentous occasion offers us a chance to seek forgiveness, divine favor, and enduring peace for our beloved nation.

“As you commemorate this sacred time, I urge you to uphold the virtues of piety, honesty, tolerance, love, and unity, which you embraced during Ramadan.

“I call upon our troops deployed across all theaters of operation to remain disciplined, resilient, patriotic, and courageous in their service to our great nation. Your sacrifices and unwavering dedication to safeguarding Nigeria are deeply appreciated. We recognize the sacrifices you make, sometimes at great personal cost, to ensure the peace and security of our nation.

“I take this opportunity to appeal to all Nigerians to extend their love and support to our AFN and to remember in their prayers our fallen comrades. The Armed Forces of Nigeria belong to all Nigerians, and our collective determination to address the challenges of insecurity is crucial for our national development.”

The CDS reaffirmed his commitment to the welfare and well-being of our troops in all theaters of operation.

“As Chief of Defence Staff, I reaffirm my commitment to the welfare and well-being of our troops in all theaters of operation. Despite the economic challenges facing our nation, I acknowledge the support the AFN continues to receive under the leadership of His Excellency President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR.

“Once again, I extend warm Eid-el-Fitr greetings to our Muslim brothers and sisters in the Armed Forces of Nigeria,” he stated.

Eld el-Fitr: APC calls for prayers for unity, security, progress 

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on Nigerians, especially Muslim faithfuls, to pray for the country’s unity, security and progress as they celebrate Eid-el-Fitr – the feast of breaking the fast -.

Mr Henry Morka, the party’s National Publicity Secretary made the call in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja./

“The sunrise-to-sunset fast leading to this celebration is usually characterised by repentance, supplications, piety, charity, spiritual upliftment and total devotion to Allah.

“As we celebrate, we urge our Muslim faithfuls to continue to lead lives that exemplify such timeless virtues as self-denial, more prayers for humility,, love, kindness, charity and forgiveness.

“We call for prayers for the nation’s unity, security and progress,” he said.

The APC spokesman prayed that the celebration would strengthen bonds of selfless love, charity and kindness among families, neighbours and the less-privileged.(NAN)

Eid-el-Fitr: Ganduje wants Muslims sustain prayers for Nigeria

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, has called on the Muslim faithful to sustain prayers for the country.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary,  Mr Edwin Olofin,  on Tuesday in Abuja, Ganduje also urged Muslims to pray that President Bola Tinubu would take Nigerians to the promised land.

The statement was to felicitate Muslims on the occasion of Eid-el-Fitr, which signifies the end of the Ramadan fast.

The APC national chairman urged Muslims  to reflect the lessons  of Ramadan in their day-to-day lives, and called for more support for the current administration.

He noted that the 30-day Ramadan fast was a period of spiritual cleansing, patience  and  sacrifices.

“Ramadan is indeed a month of patience. In it, we fast for the sake of Allah by enduring hunger and thirst, extending love to all, especially the less privileged,” he said.

According to him,  Ramadan regenerates the inner being, encompasses love and sacrifice.

He uured that  lessons from Ramadan fast must endure beyond the Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

He thanked Muslims for prayers for the country and President Tinubu throughout the period, and urged them to continue the prayers.

“I am calling on all Nigerians, irrespective of party affiliations, to support our dear president.

“All discerning minds can attest to the fact that President Tinubu has taken some drastic measures to reposition our economy.

“All we need now is to support the Federal Government to transform the country,” he said. (NAN)

FG will address power deficit in Borno – Shettima

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Vice-President Kashim Shettima has reiterated the determination of President Bola Tinubu’s administration to address power deficit in Maiduguri, Borno.

Shettima gave the assurance in Maiduguri on Tuesday when he hosted members of the Borno Elders Forum, All Progressives Congress and other stakeholders to Ramadan Iftar (breaking of fast).

He also emphasised the commitment of the Federal Government to boosting Nigeria’s infrastructural needs.

According to him, President Tinubu has his eyes on the basic needs and requirements of the nation.

Shettima, therefore, called for continued support for the Tinubu’s administration by all Nigerians.

The Vice-President said the government’s policies would be immensely beneficial to all and sundry in no distant time.

He specifically cited the power supply challenge in Maiduguri and some parts of Borno as having caught the President’s attention.

” The directive issued by President Tinubu is for the situation to be immediately addressed.

” We owe it to this President to be loyal and law-abiding citizens; He has a total grasp of the situation, challenges and, indeed, the prospects we have as a nation.

” A careful look at our nation’s economy will show a gradual bouncing back on most frontiers.

“This is a testament that, indeed, our investment of our votes and trust in this leader will pay off at the end of the road.

” So, let us continue to pray for him, commit ourselves to peace, unity and development of the Nigerian nation and we shall definitely be the winners for it,” he said.

The Chairman, Borno Elders Forum, Alhaji Gambo Gubio, thanked the Vice President for the invitation, expressing deep belief and trust in the capacities of both the President and his Vice.

The Secretary of the group, Dr Bulama Mali-Gubio, who acknowledged the commitment of the Tinubu’s administration to the Nigerian project, said the President deserved support from all Nigerians.

Some of the guests at the event were, Senator representing Borno Central, Kaka Lawan; Member representing Maiduguri Federal Constituency, Abdulkadir Rahis,  Prof Umar Kyari, and Ibrahim Umar. (NAN) 

Eid-el Fitr: Sen. Natasha urges Muslims to imbibe Ramadan’s lessons

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Sen. Natasha Akpoti- Uduagan (PDP-Kogi), has urged Muslims in Nigeria to imbibe the lessons of Ramadan for peaceful coexistence and development of the country.

This is contained in her sallah message issued by her Chief Press Secretary, Arogbonlo Israel, on Tuesday in Lokoja.

The senator representing Kogi Central senatorial district, congratulated Muslims for successfully completing the Ramadan fast.

She noted that the Ramadan fast was very important in Islam and for the wellbeing of Nigeria.

“I hereby send my good wishes to the Muslim community on the completion of the Ramadan fast.

“I urge the Muslim faithful to incorporate the lessons learnt during the Holy month into their daily lives and live harmoniously while contributing to the development of Nigeria.

‘This is because Ramadan teaches important virtues such as patience, fairness, charity, endurance, and patriotism, which should be practiced throughout the year, ” she said.

Akpoti-Uduaghan also called on the Muslim community to use the occasion of the Eid-el Fitr to pray for the country’s economic growth. (NAN)

Betta Edu: EFCC recovers N30bn, places 50 bank accounts under investigation

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has so far recovered N30 billion in the ongoing probe of suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu.

The Chairman of EFCC, Mr Ola Olukoyede, said this in the March edition of the commission’s monthly e-magazine, EFCC Alert, released on Monday.

Olukoyede said the commission had also placed 50 bank accounts under investigation over alleged fraud that involved Halima Shehu, suspended Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the  National Social Investment Programme Authority (NSIPA).

President Bola Tinubu had in January,  suspended both Edu and Shehu over alleged payment of N585 million humanitarian funds meant for vulnerable groups in Akwa Ibom, Lagos state,  Cross River and Ogun into a private account.

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The President also suspended Social Investment Programme and, thereafter, asked the EFCC to take over the case and probe both embattled officials,  including anyone involved.

Olukoyede said the anti-graft agency was making progress on the investigation, emphasising the magnitude of the case and the need for Nigerians to exercise patience.

“With respect to this particular case, we have recovered over N30 billion, which is already in the coffers of the Federal Government. It takes time to conclude investigations; we started this matter less than six weeks ago,” he said.

According to him, there are cases that take years to investigate. There are so many angles to it. And we need to follow through with some of the discoveries that we have seen.

“Nigerians should give us time on this matter; we have professionals on this case and they need to do things right.There are so many leads here and there.”

According to him, as it is now, the commission is investigating over 50 bank accounts that we have traced money to.

“That is no child’s play. That’s a big deal. And again, we have thousands of other cases that we are working on.

“Nigerians have seen the impact of what we have done so far by way of some people being placed on suspension and by way of the recoveries that we have made. You have seen that the programme itself has been suspended,” he said.

He said  the commission was exploring so many discoveries that it had  stumbled upon in its investigation.

“If it is about seeing people in jail, well let them wait, everything has a process to follow.

“So, Nigerians should wait and give us the benefit of the doubt,” Olukoyede stated.(NAN)

Sultan declares Tuesday, 30th Ramadan, Eid-El-Fitr Wednesday

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Sokoto April 8, 2024 (NAN) Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has declared Tuesday as the 30th day of Ramadan and Eid-El-Fitr to be celebrated on Wednesday.

Abubakar’s declaration came through a statement signed by Prof. Sambo Janaidu, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs of the Sultanate Council Sokoto.

The statement reads: ”The Sultanate Council’s Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, in conjunction with the National Moon Sighting Committee did not receive any reports across the country confirming sighting of the new moon of Shawwal 1445AH on Monday.

“Therefore, Tuesday, April 9, is declared as the 30th day of the month of Ramadan 1445AH.

“The Sultan has accepted the report and accordingly,  declared Wednesday, April 10, as the first day of Shawwal 1445AH, the day of Eid-El-Fitr,” it said.

The statement said Abubakar extended his felicitations to the Nigerian Muslim Ummah and wished them Allah’s guidance and blessings.

The Sultan, while urging Muslims to continue praying for peace, pprogres and development in the country, also wished them a happy Eid-El-Fitr.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar, immediately follows Ramadan, marking the commencement of Eid-El-Fitr.

The month symbolises new beginnings and spiritual rejuvenation after a month of purification, offering ample opportunities to sustain the positive habits cultivated during Ramadan. (NAN)

Tuggar speaks on 30th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide

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Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Afairs, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar said the Rwandan Genocide is one of the stark reminders of “intolerance, hate, and division” in our world, calling for peace, reconciliation, and human rights in order as a basis of nation building and development.

In a statement signed by the minister, Ambassador Tuggar said Rwandan Genocide “serves as a testament to the immense suffering inflicted upon innocent lives and the devastating impact of violence and conflict on our communities.”

“Kwibuka 30, marks the solemn commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, a tragic chapter in human history that shook the conscience of the world. As we reflect on this dark period, Nigeria stands in solidarity with the people of Rwanda and all those affected by the horrific tragedy,” Tuggar added.

Additionally, Ambassador Tuggar reaffirms Nigeria will not waver its support for the principles of peace, reconciliation, and the promotion of human rights.

“We commend the resilience and courage of the Rwandan people in their journey towards healing and rebuilding their nation. Their commitment to unity, forgiveness, and reconciliation serves as a beacon of hope for all nations grappling with the scars of past atrocities.

“As we honour the memory of the victims and survivors of the Rwandan Genocide, let us collectively renew our efforts to prevent such atrocities from occurring ever again. Let us strive to build societies founded on the principles of tolerance, inclusivity, and mutual respect, where the dignity and rights of individuals are upheld and protected.

On this solemn occasion, Nigeria reiterates its support for the pursuit of justice, accountability, and reconciliation in Rwanda and worldwide. May the memory of the Rwandan Genocide catalyze our collective commitment to building a more peaceful and just world for future generations,” the statement concluded.

April 7th 2024 marks the start of Kwibuka 30, the 30th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi, which began on April 7th 1994. During the genocide, over 800,000 people were believed to have been massacred.

EFCC quizzes 14 suspected oil thieves in Port Harcourt

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has commenced investigation of 14 suspected oil thieves alongside a Motor Fishing Trawler Hawwau Tanko arrested in Bayelsa.

The EFCC Spokesman Dele Oyewale, said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

He said that the suspects and the vessel were handed over to the commission by the Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base (FOB), Formoso, Brass, Bayelsa.

“The suspects and vessel were arrested over alleged illegal dealing in petroleum products by the detachment of 5 BN Nigerian Army on Feb. 27.

“They were arrested around Fish Town Rivers, Southern Ijaw Bayelsa, while on board Motor Fishing Trawler  (MFT) Hawwau Tanko laden with about 10,000 litres of illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil, (AGO),” he said.

According to him, the Commanding Officer, FOB, Formoso, Navy Captain Murtala Rogo, disclosed that Motor Fishing Trawler was arrested over alleged involvement in illegal bunkering.

Oyewale quoted Rogo as saying that the Nigerian Navy would not relent in its effort towards policing, and enforcing all maritime laws to get rid of crude oil theft and other crimes in the Nigerian maritime domain.

According to him, the suspects included Kolapo Gafar, the captain of the vessel, Monday Aresonor, Rasheed Rafiu, Kubi Wowo and  Emmanuel Odey.

Others are, Kolapo Abdullahi, Sunday Obasan, Kolapo Wasiu, Ilojiole Emeka, Owoseni Ehuwa, John Olowokere, Chima Edwin,  John Akpan and Ijoade Tayo.

He said that the activity of the 14 suspected oil thieves and MFT Hawwau Tanko was an act of economic sabotage which the Nigerian Navy had sworn not to condone.

The EFCC Zonal Commander Port Harcourt Command, ACE 1, Ahmed Ghali, assured the Navy and the entire public that the suspects and the exhibits would be subjected to further investigation and possible prosecution.

Ghali was represented by Assistant Superintendent of EFCC, ASE 1 Salim Sadiq, who received the suspects and the vessel on behalf of the commission.

He further commended the Navy for its collaboration with the EFCC and the good working relationship both agencies have enjoyed over the years.

“We will do everything within our powers to ensure that the activities of illegal oil bunkering are completely brought to the barest minimum and oil thieves  face the wrath of the law,” he said.(NAN)

3 accidents claim 6 lives in Ogun one day- FRSC

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Ogun State Command, says six people have died while 20 others sustained injuries in three separate accidents across Ogun state on Monday.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, Mrs Florence Okpe, the Spokesperson of FRSC in Ogun, said the three accidents happened in the early hours of the day.

She said the first accident at Fidiwo along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, happened at 3.40 a.m and claimed two lives, while two people were injured.

Okpe added that the accident involved a Toyota bus with registration number GBJ 915 XA and a Golf car without registration number.

“The suspected cause of the crash was wrongful overtaking and excessive speed which made the vehicle to lose control and eventually crashed.

“The injured victims were taken to Victory Hospital, Ogere, while the deceased were deposited at FOS Morgue, Ipara Remo,’’ she said.

The FRSC spokesperson said the second accident occurred at 5.18 a.m. on Ijebu-ode-Benin expressway at Ajede junction, which involved a Toyota bus with registration number RBC 213 XT.

“The passengers involved in the accident are 20, out of which 17 sustained injuries while three people died.

“The cause of the lone crash was excessive speed and fatigue.

 “The injured victims were taken to Roona Hospital and General Hospital, Ijebu-ode while the deceased were deposited at the General Hospital morgue,’’ she said.

Okpe said the third accident happened at 2.00 a.m. on Ijebu-Ode-Benin expressway immediately after Ajebandele bridge.

According to the spokesperson, a South-East bound luxury bus without registration number rammed into a stationed IVECO truck with registration number TRE 265 XB.

“The accident involved 29 people out of which two passengers were injured while one person died; the other 26 passengers escaped unhurt.

 “The cause of the crash was road obstruction on the part of the truck. The bus rammed into the stationary truck that was wrongly parked.

“The injured victims were taken to Olaolu hospital, Ajebandele while the corpse was deposited at the morgue of the same hospital,’’ she said.

Okpe said the state Sector Commander, Anthony Uga, has advised motorists to drive cautiously and have enough rest to avoid fatigue. (NAN)

Peter Obi replies NLC: I am not quitting Labour Party

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Mr Peter Obi, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), on Sunday, said he would rather work to ensure peace for the party to overcome its present challenges than leave it.

Obi stated this in Gombe in an interview with journalists after inaugurating a borehole he donated to Tike Ram Market in Pantami, Gombe State.

He said the rumour that he would leave was not true as he was more committed to the peace of the party.

He expressed optimism that the LP would resolve its challenges and forge ahead as one family.

“No, there is no such thing as leaving the Labour Party. I am for peace; I like peace. I believe we are one people.

“Our concentration should be on peace and I believe that we will resolve all situations,” he said.

On recent speculations of him running for the 2027 presidency with  former Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, Obi said:  “Well, I’m more interested now in Nigeria’s success today than tomorrow.

“We are always concentrating on the election rather than what Nigerians are going through.

“My commitment is about Nigerians living in a better society, given a better life and that’s my concern,” he said.

On why he donated the borehole, the former governor of Anambra said he had been going round in the spirit of the Ramadan to support Nigerians, especially the poor to help cushion the impact of the current challenges.

“I’m here in Gombe and I came to Pantami market to help them in area of water supply that is the borehole I just inaugurated.

“You can  see the business here, all the rams and everything here but they don’t have water.

“We will support some individuals which we will do remotely and send them some little money.  About 100, that will be done.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that there  were  speculations that Obi might have started shopping for another political platform,  in spite of being guaranteed the LP 2027 presidential ticket  at its convention.

Recall that the NLC spokesman, Benson Upah on Sunday , said the NLC would not  stand in the way of Obi, should he decide to defect to another political platform.

Upah said: “The right of choice is available to Mr Obi. If he chooses to leave the party, that is his preference. We can’t sit in judgment over him on that.

“But if he chooses to remain, of course, Peter Obi is an asset any day. I rest my case on that,” he said. (NAN)

Governor Ododo mourns death Of Prof. Yusuf Aliyu

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Kogi State Governor, Ahmed Usman Ododo has mourned the death of Professor Yusuf Otaru Aliyu, Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Medicine and the Ohinoyi of Anebira in Zaria who died last Friday.

In a condolence message signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the Governor, Governor Ododo commiserated with the Ohinoyi of Ebira land, His Royal Majesty, Alhaji Muhammed Ahmed Tijani Anaje, the Ebira nation and his immediate family over the colossal loss.

The Governor called on the family of the late Professor Yusuf Otaru Aliyu to be consoled by the indelible footprint left by the late academician through the many lives he touched as a teacher and a community leader of note.

Born on the 14th of January, 1943 in Okene, Kogi state, Professor Yusuf Otaru Aliyu was a Professor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaira where he taught for several years before his retirement.

Governor Ododo prayed for the peaceful repose of the soul of the late Professor Yusuf Otaru Aliyu and for God to grant his immediate family the fortitude to bear the loss.

Professor Yusuf Otaru Aliyu died in Zaria at the age of 81 and has since been buried according to Islamic rites.

Eid-el-fitr: FRSC deploys marshals, patrol vehicles, ambulances nationwide

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has deployed regular and special marshals, as well as patrol vehicles, ambulances, for a smooth Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

The FRSC Corps Marshal, Dauda Ali-Biu disclosed this at the official inauguration of the 2024 Sallah Mega Motor Park Rally on Saturday in Abuja

Ali-Biu also said that Tow trucks and bikes were also deployed, adding that the deployment was across the 52 critical corridors in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for the year 2024 rally is “Overloading is a Time Bomb: Stop the Deaths, Do not Overload with Persons, Animals or Goods”.

Ali-Biu represented by the Deputy Corps Marshal (DCM) in charge of operations, Shehu Zaki said that the theme was apt and could not have come at a better time.

He said that deployments were also made to other roads across the length and breadth of the country.

According to him, the corps also deployed operational equipment in the categories of Radar Guns, Breathalysers to put a check on drunk driving and speeding.

“I also directed that all Zebras must be active 24/7 and be responsive to calls within the minimum FRSC response time to crashes that might be reported.

“All Commanding Officers have equally been directed to step up patrol operations and ensure strict enforcement of critical offences like overloading, driving rickety vehicles, excessive smoke emission among others.

“The year 2024 may present yet another challenge and that is why we have come out to tackle it head on.

“This is with commitment and determination, as evidenced by the comprehensive measure we are putting in place to address the dreadful experiences we have.

“For instance, for this year’s exercise, I have already directed the deployment of FRSC Regular and Special Marshals, Patrol Vehicles, Ambulances, Tow Truck and Bikes across the 52 critical corridor and other roads across the length and breadth of the country,” he said.

Ali-Biu said that the corps had also put in place, key strategic measures to combat crashes on the road.

He explained that the initiatives included the inauguration of Joint Task Force against use of trailers to convey Human beings which contradicts the original design of the vehicle.

“We have also ensured the commencement of enforcement on overloading of vehicles and the intensification of Mobile Court operations nationwide.

“Our collaboration with the Nigeria Bar Association is already yielding results as prosecution of recalcitrant offenders including drivers involved in fatal crashes is in top gear.

“The mandate of the JTF is to mitigate trailer related crashes and fatalities as well as stop the use of trailer to convey passengers.

“This is because prior to the inauguration of the JTF, the corps recorded a number of avoidable crashes that involved trailers loaded with goods, animals and passengers leading to deaths and injuries,” he said.

The FRSC boss charged the personnel to remain steadfast in the campaign for safer road use, bearing in mind that Road Traffic Crashes (RTC) do not just happen.

He said that RTCs were the products of the actions and in actions of men, and as such, could be averted.

“As we travel to and fro this time, we should endeavour to heed to all established laws, show compassion to other road users, be more tolerant, more careful and drive as if our families are in the other vehicles.

“It is instructive to note that road safety is everybody’s business.

“It requires the support of all stakeholders including fleet operators, corporate bodies and the Nigerian media to ensure its success,” he said.

Representatives from sister agencies like Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) among others

present at the event pledged their support to the corps. (NAN)

NDLEA arrests India-bound passenger who excreted 80 wraps of cocaine

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arrested a Delhi, India-bound passenger at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja on March 31 for ingesting 80 wraps of cocaine.

Its spokesman, Mr Femi Babafemi stated on Sunday in Abuja that the passenger was to board a Doha-bound flight en-route Delhi using a Liberian passport with the name: Carr Bismark, when he was arrested.

A body scan on the suspect revealed the ingestion of the illicit drugs, he explained.

Babafemi added that preliminary checks showed the passenger’s real name to be Freeman Ogbonna.

The NDLEA placed the passenger under observation and in a short while he started to manifest signs of discomfort.

“Obviously choked by the volume of illicit drugs in his stomach and another substance taken to hold back excretion, the suspect soon began to retch, vomited and excreted wraps of cocaine simultaneously.

“The suspect who claimed he was recruited into drug trafficking by one of his relatives, eventually passed out a total of 80 wraps of cocaine.

“He vomited or excreted the drugs, weighing 889gms over a period of four days.

“The great risk almost took his life.

“Ogbonna said he was given the drugs to swallow at a hotel in Ikeja with a promise of N300,000 reward if he successfully delivers the consignment in India,’’ Babafemi stated.

Also on April 3, the NDLEA arrested a drug mule at the airport on his way to Oman.

Its operatives discovered a false bottom in his backpack and on the sides concealing illicit drugs and also swiftly moved in on a man who accompanied the suspect to the airport.

The second man was later discovered to have been the one who recruited the passenger to traffic the drugs.

“The suspect said he returned from Dubai some years ago, but still had a valid residence permit on his passport.

“He claimed he was promised N1.5 million if he successfully delivered the consignment in Oman, while his recruiter, was to be paid N200,000.

“A charm was found in one of the passenger’s bags when they were searched and another was found on his person.

“The drug mule confessed that he travelled to Ibadan earlier where a cleric made the charms for him to evade arrest during the trip.

“Another charm was found on the recruiter who claimed the charms were procured at a cost of N70,000,’’ Babafemi added. (NAN)

Eid-El-Fitr: Sultan directs Muslims to look for new Moon of Shawwal, Monday

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Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto and President General, National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has instructed the Muslim Ummah to observe the crescent of Shawwal 1445AH starting from Monday.

Prof. Sambo Janaidu, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs, Sultanate Council Sokoto, conveyed the directive in a statement issued to Newsmen in Sokoto on Sunday.

The statement reads: ”This is to inform the Muslim Ummah that Monday, April 8, equivalent to the 29th day of Ramadan 1445AH, will be the day to look for the new moon of Shawwal 1445AH.

“Muslim are therefore, requested to start looking for the new moon of Shawwal 1445AH on Monday and report its sighting to the nearest District or Village Head for onward communication to the Sultan.

“Furthermore, the public can report sightings of the new moon through the following telephone numbers: 08037157100, 07067416900, 08066303077, 08036149757, 08035965322, and 08099945903,” it stated.

The Sultan prayed for Allah’s continued assistance to Muslims in fulfilling their religious duties.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar, immediately follows Ramadan, marking the commencement of Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

The month symbolises new beginning and spiritual rejuvenation after a month of purification, offering ample opportunities to sustain the positive habits cultivated during Ramadan. (NAN)

Etsu Nupe admonishes Muslim faithful to show love beyond Ramadan

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The Etsu Nupe in Niger, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, has admonished the Muslim faithful to continue to extend love to others and render selfless service to humanity beyond the holy month of Ramadan

The Etsu Nupe, who is  the Chairman of the State Council of Traditional Rulers,   made the call during the closing of Ramadan Tafsir at the Maasaba Jumma’at Mosque in Bida on Saturday.

He  reminded the Muslims of the need to be selfless in service to God and humanity.

The royal father appealed to wealthy Nigerians to continue to show gratitude by helping others and exhibiting total submission to God’s commandments.

Alhaji Abubakar reminded the Muslim faithful to abide by the lessons learnt during the Tafsir preachings and lectures in tune with Almighty Allah’s injunctions.

“The important thing in all the 29 or 30 days that we are going to have the Ramadan is to show love to ourselves and neighbours,” Abubakar charged.

“Beyond Ramadan, we must also show the attitude of giving at all times; we must touch the poor and we must touch our people,” Etsu Nupe said.

He noted that many Muslims became saints during the Ramadan but went back to committing sins afterwards, saying the faithful should continue to abstain from sinful acts at all times.

“Many quit smoking, drinking, fornication, adultery, backbiting and other negative tendencies during the holy month of Ramadan but think sin is permitted after the season,” Alhaji Abubakar warned.

“Muslims, knowing full well that God hates sins, must remain holy for all their prayers to be answered at all times.

The traditional ruler underscored the need for sustainable peace and unity in the country.

He said there was no alternative to peace, as without peace, meaningful development would continue to elude the country.

According to Etsu Nupe, God created Nigerians differently for a purpose and He never makes mistakes

The traditional ruler said the diversities in ethnic, religious and cultural affiliation of Nigerians were to make them more united rather than dividing them.

Electricity tariff hike `ll stifle businesses—Abuja chamber of commerce

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The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), has expressed concern over the recent increase in electricity tariffs, saying it could negatively impact on the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

The President of ACCI, Mr Emeka Obegolu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday that the hike would significantly impact businesses across various sectors of the economy.

Obegolu acknowledged the various challenges already faced by entrepreneurs and investors in the country.

He expressed worry that the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which are crucial to the country’s economy, would be greatly affected by the hike in tariff.

“The ease of doing business is a critical factor for fostering economic growth, attracting investments, and creating job opportunities.

“Regrettably, the increase in electricity tariffs can hinder these efforts by imposing additional financial burdens on businesses, especially SMEs, which are the backbone of our economy”, he said.

Highlighting the importance of electricity in businesses, Obegolu said that any disruptions or cost increases associated with electricity supply could lead to higher operational expenses.

The president said it would hinder businesses’ ability to invest in innovation and expansion and impede their competitiveness in both domestic and international markets.

He also expressed concern that the tariff hike, combined with other economic challenges such as the removal of fuel subsidy and foreign exchange unification, could further compound difficulties faced by businesses.

Obegolu urged the relevant authorities to reconsider the tariff increase and explore alternative solutions that prioritise the needs of businesses.

“Many enterprises are already struggling with reduced demand, supply chain disruptions, and financial constraints. The burden of higher electricity tariffs exacerbates their challenges and threatens their long-term viability.

“As advocates for the business community, we urge relevant authorities to reconsider this decision and explore alternative solutions that prioritise the needs of businesses and support ease of doing business.

“It is vital to strike a balance between ensuring a sustainable energy sector and mitigating the adverse effects of tariff hikes on businesses, particularly during these trying times,” he told NAN.

Obegolu called for constructive dialogue with stakeholders, including business associations like ACCI, to find collaborative solutions that addressed concerns from both energy providers and businesses.

“Through fostering open communication, promoting transparency, and adopting policies that facilitate business growth and competitiveness, we can create an environment conducive to sustainable economic development and prosperity for all.

“As a leading business support organisation in the FCT, ACCI stands ready to collaborate with stakeholders to address challenges posed by the tariff,” Obegolu said.(NAN)

Tinubu to observe Eid-el-Fitr in Lagos

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President Bola Tinubu will depart Abuja, the Nation’s Capital, for Lagos on Sunday ahead of Eid-el-Fitr.

Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) disclosed this in a statement Saturday.

Ngelale said, “In deference to the solemn occasion, which marks the end of Ramadan, the President will observe the moment in prayers for Nigeria and with family.”

The President will continue official duties during and after the Eid-el-Fitr holidays, the statement said.

Naira strengthens against dollar by 0.32%

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The Naira on Friday strengthened at the official market, trading at N1,251.05 to a dollar.

Data from the official trading platform of the FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), revealed that the Naira gained N4.02.

This represents a 0.32 per cent gain when compared to the previous day’s trading on Thursday, exchanging at N1,255.07 to a dollar.

However, the total daily turnover increased to $248.27 million on Friday up from $138.99 million recorded on Thursday.

Meanwhile, at the Investor’s and Exporter’s (I&E) window, the Naira traded between N1,281 and N1,220 against the dollar. (NAN)

Tinubu appoints Uzoma Nwagba as CEO CREDICORP

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Engineer Uzoma Nwagba as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation (CREDICORP).

Ajuri Ngelale Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) disclosed this in a statement Friday, saying it was in keeping with his dedicated efforts to ensure financial inclusion and economic prosperity for the majority of Nigerians.

Engineer Nwagba, 36, holds a Master’s of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School and a first-class Bachelor’s of Engineering from Howard University, Washington DC.

Prior to his appointment, Enginer Nwagba served as Chief Operating Officer of the Bank of Industry, in charge of driving micro-credit and other financial interventions at the institution.

He had also served as Senior Investment Associate, specializing in financial services (banking, insurance, pensions) at the African Capital Alliance. 

Engineer Nwagba was a Software Engineer at Microsoft, where he led multiple teams charged with building enterprise and mobile software for emerging markets (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, and Nigeria), before his transition to finance.

More information about this landmark initiative of President Bola Tinubu’s administration can be found on:

www.credicorp.ng

The President expects the new Chief Executive Officer of this critical agency to bring to bear his wealth of experience in finance and technology, as well as his record in driving financial interventions across Nigeria in this new role in order to expand access to credit to all classes of Nigerian citizens, while promoting financial inclusion, and enhancing the quality of life of the Nigerian people as they access the tangibles of prosperity.

EFCC to arraign Emefiele,1 other in Lagos court Monday

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will on Monday (April 8) arraign the embattled former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, before Justice Rahman Oshodi of the Special Offences Court, for alleged abuse of office.


Emefiele will be arraigned alongside one Henry Omoile before Oshodi on a 26-count bordering on  abuse of office, accepting gratification, accepting gifts through agents, corruption, and fraudulent property receipt.


The former CBN governor was also alleged of conferring corrupt advantage on his associates contrary to the Corrupt Practices Act of 2000.
The charge sheet, marked ID/23787c/2024, was dated April 3 and was filed by Mr Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN).


One of the counts stated that Emefiele allegedly committed abuse of office between 2022 and 2023, in Lagos, an offence punishable under Section 73 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.


Another count alleged that Emefiele directed to be done in abuse of the authority of his office, as the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, an arbitrary act, to wit: allocating foreign exchange in the aggregate sum of $2.2 billion without bids.


Also, it was alleged that Emefiele abused the authority of his office  by allocating foreign exchange in the aggregate sum of $291 million  without bids, which act was prejudicial to the rights of Nigerians.


Emefiele’s co-defendant was alleged to have acted as an agent and accepted from Raja Punjab through Monday Osazuwa, the total sum of $110,000, for the ex-CBN as a reward for allocating foreign exchange by the Central Bank in favour of Raja Punjab’s employer. (NAN)

Electricity tariff hike: which band do you belong to?

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By Isah Aliyu Chiroma

This week, the power sector was in disruption. The news came, with the minister of power announcing the recent increase in electricity Tariff, which is a pilot in phasing out of electricity subsidies in the country. Going further, he said removing all subsidies in the sector will allow the thriving of investment in the power sector.

One of the fundamental necessities that people directly enjoy is electricity, which is necessary for several of their daily activities. The raise will impede several operations since it is one of the sectors that the citizens directly benefit from.

We ought to have considered strategies by now for supplying the nation with alternate energy sources. a sustainable energy source that improves human health by controlling carbon emissions. In the long term, we should have learned how to mitigate the effects of subsidy from previous steps we took.

The 240 per cent increase which is effective from April 3, 2024 will have effect on people’s lives, businesses, and the nation’s overall progress. Both consumers and businesses will bear a financial burden. Many Nigerians, particularly those from lower socioeconomic classes, will find out that their electricity costs will take up a large percentage of their income. As a result, they will have less money available for other necessities like food, healthcare, and education.

Businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), will struggle to afford the high cost of electricity, this will hampers their ability to grow, innovate, and create employment opportunities.

Manufacturing is one of the severely electricity-dependent industries that struggle to maintain cost-effectiveness while still hitting production requirements. This will hinder their capacity to compete both nationally and abroad, which eventually affects the expansion and development of the economy of the nation.

Many communities lack access to inexpensive and dependable power, particularly those in rural areas. The lack of energy exacerbates social inequalities and makes it more difficult to accomplish sustainable development objectives.

The inefficiency and poor management of the power industry in Nigeria is one of the fundamental causes of the high cost of electricity. Inadequate infrastructure, transmission losses, and a dearth of investment in renewable energy sources are among the factors that drive up the expense of producing and distributing electricity. The volatility of power tariffs is also influenced by the reliance on fossil fuels.

There is a need to enhance accountability and transparency in the power industry, as well as policy changes. The creation of an effective and sustainable energy system, to make use of renewable energy sources and encourage energy-saving practices must be given top priority by the government. To lessen dependency on pricey fossil fuels entails enhancing infrastructure, cutting transmission losses, and diversifying the energy mix.

Regulations that uphold fair pricing practices encourage competition, and draw in private investment is also required. This will establish confidence among stakeholders and create an environment that is favorable to the growth of sustainable energy sources, which will require transparent and responsible governance in the power industry.

The hike in electricity is a serious problem that needs urgent attention and coordinated action from all parties involved. We must not only lessen the financial burden on individuals and companies, but also build an inclusive and sustainable energy system that promotes social progress, economic expansion, and environmental sustainability.

NiMet forecasts 3-day thunderstorms, sunshine from Friday

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The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted thunderstorms and sunshine across the country.

NiMet’s weather outlook released on Thursday in Abuja predicted a sunny atmosphere over the northern region throughout the forecast period on Friday.

The agency envisaged isolated thunderstorms over parts of Kebbi, Zamfara and Kaduna states during the afternoon and evening periods.

According to the agency, sunny skies with few cloud patches are expected over the North Central region during the morning hours.

“Later in the day, isolated thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Niger, the Federal Capital Territory, Kogi and Kwara states.

“The southern region should be cloudy with spells of sunshine, more cloud build up is expected over the coastal parts, with chances of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Lagos, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states during the morning hours.

” Isolated thunderstorms are expected over the South West Inland including the coastal parts of Lagos, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa states later in the day,” it said.

NiMet predicted sunny skies on Saturday with few cloud patches over parts of the North West, and parts of the North East to be sunny and dry during the morning hours.

The agency anticipated isolated thunderstorms over parts of Kebbi, Zamfara, Taraba and Kaduna states later in the day.

According to NiMet, the North Central should be Sunny with few cloud patches during the morning hours.

“Progressing into the day, isolated thunderstorms are expected over parts of Niger, the Federal Capital Territory, Kogi and Kwara states.

“The southern region should be cloudy with spells of sunshine, more cloud build up is expected over the coastal parts. There are prospects of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Ogun states during the morning hours.

“In the afternoon and evening period, isolated thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Imo, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa states,” it said.

NiMet forecast sunny skies on Sunday with few cloud patches over the northern region throughout the forecast period.

It envisaged sunny skies with few cloud patches over the North Central region with chances of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Niger, the Federal Capital Territory, Kwara and Kogi states during the morning hours.

The agency anticipated isolated thunderstorms over parts of Nasarawa, Niger, the Federal Capital Territory and Plateau states later in the day.

‘The southern region should be cloudy with spells of sunshine, more cloud build up is anticipated over the coastal parts during the morning hours.

” Later in the day, isolated thunderstorms are envisaged over parts of Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Rivers, Delta, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Lagos and Bayelsa States.

“Strong winds may precede the rains in areas where thunderstorms are likely to occur. Public should take adequate precaution,” it said.

The agency urged Airline operators to get updated weather reports and forecasts from its office for effective planning in their operations. (NAN)

EFCC arrests 39 suspected internet fraudsters in Benin City

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Operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday arrested 39 suspected internet fraudsters at different locations in Benin City.

EFCC spokesman Dele Oyewale in a statement in Abuja said that the suspects were arrested following “actionable intelligence” on their suspected involvement in a computer-related fraud.

He said that items recovered from them included eight cars, laptops and phones.

”The suspects will be charged to court soon,” he said.(NAN)

Wike articulating empowerment programmes for FCT youths – HoS

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Dr Udo Atang, the pioneer Head of Service, Federal Capital Territory Administration, says the FCT Minister, Mr Nyesom Wike, is articulating empowerment programmes for the youths in FCT

Atang stated this when a coalition of FCT indigenous youths’ organisations paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja on Thursday.

He explained that Wike, on assumption into office as the minister of the FCT, had enlightened staff of FCTA on President Bola Tinubu’s agenda on youth inclusion in governance.

“The minister had repeatedly told contractors to employ youths in the communities where they are executing contracts, as part of strategies to address unemployment.

“He equally insisted that youths, from project’s benefitting communities should be contracted as some of the suppliers to the contractors to enable them put food on their tables,” he said.

Atang commended the youths for their support to the FCT Administration over the years, and expressed delight for their productive initiatives.

He added that President Bola Tinubu had actualised the 30 per cent affirmative action on youth inclusion in governance under his “Renewed Hope” agenda.

Earlier, in their separate remarks, some of the youth leaders commended Tinubu and Wike for the laudable transformation in the FCT, few months in office.

Mr Yunusa Ahmadu, one of the spokesmen of the coalition, pledged continued support of the youths to the FCT Administration.

Ahmadu said that the youth would provide support to address insecurity and sensitise communities on the programmes and activities of the Federal Government and the FCT Administration.

He, however, appealed for the appointment of youths as aides to the FCT minister to further strengthen his youth inclusion initiatives.

Also, Mr Akoshile Mukhtar, President-General, Abuja Residents Youth Association, equally pledged the loyalty of the youths to the course of the FCT Administration.

He further urged the FCT minister to continue to make youths a greater part of his administration in developing the FCT. (NAN)

EFCC arrests impostor over alleged N500,000 fraud

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The EFCC, Ilorin Zonal Command, has arrested a suspect for allegedly posing as its officer and defrauding victims on the pretext of helping them to get soft-landing regarding their cases with the commission.
The command stated that it made the arrest after receiving intelligence report regarding the suspect’s criminal activities.


According to a statement issued by the commission’s Head, Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, on Thursday in Illorin, the suspect obtained N500,000 from one Mrs Khadizah Abdullahi, a parent of the two suspects held EFCC’s custody over alleged internet fraud.
“Intelligence report, which was found to be credible, led to the arrest of the suspect on March 27 at the General Hospital, Taiwo-Oke area of Ilorin.
“Abdullahi had said she became agitated when the suspect failed to have her two sons held in custody by the EFCC released on bail to her as promised.


“Firstly, she said she went through the same security screening while at the EFCC office with the suspect, a situation that made her wonder why it should be so if truly he was an officer of the commission.
“She also noticed that while in the EFCC office to perfect the ‘phony bail’, the self-styled EFCC staff neither received nor gave salute or compliments to fellow officers, as compliments is a tradition in all security and law enforcement agencies.


“She added that rather than have her sons released to her, the suspect took her to a location outside the office to receive the said sum of N500,000 and demanded for more money to perfect the bail,” he stated.
Oyewale said that it was in the process of collecting additional N200,000 that the long arm of the law caught up with the suspect.


He said that the suspect would be charged to court upon conclusion of the ongoing investigations. (NAN)

Right governance key to continent’s transformation- AfDB

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has reiterated the need for efficient and effective governance on the continent to enable Africa achieve transformation.

The Secretary-General of AfDB, Prof. Vincent Nmehielle, said this at a pre-media virtual briefing to herald the 2024 AfDB Annual Meeting.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meetings are scheduled to hold in Nairobi, Kenya from May 27 to May 31.

“Africa has to get its governance right. We have to manage our resources well. We have to engage to minimise waste of resources.

“Africa must come to the point where it sees governance as an important instrument of economic development.

“We all have to put our hands on deck, the government, the private sector, commercial entities and all citizens. We need to get certain things right to ensure Africa’s transformation,” he said.

According to Nmehielle, Africa’s access and participation in the global financial system is key.

He said it was, therefore, crucial for African countries to have greater participation and prepare themselves to take better advantage of available access to finance.

Meanwhile, Prof.  Kevin Urama, AfDB’s Chief Economist and Vice President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, also reiterated the importance for economic transformation on the continent.

Urama said :“ Debt, management, improving risk ratings of countries and related topics will be on the table at the Annual Meetings as part of global architectural reform discussion.

“Already, the government of Zimbabwe is doing a lot to address debt arrears clearance.

“The bank is working with its minister of finance to ensure debt reduction models to enable the country maximise its huge economic advantages.

“I commend Mthuli Ncube, the nation’s finance minister as well as the country’s central bank governor for putting Zimbabwe on track.

“If you look at their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth,  it is really on a very positive trajectory.”

According to the vice-president, Africa is a key participant in the ongoing dialogue around global architectural reforms.

He said the bank under the leadership of its president, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, was leading and shaping the conversation through innovation and pioneering initiatives such as hybrid bonds.

He said AfDB was also working to see International Monetary Fund (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), channeled to Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) that could leverage them to provide extra financing for development.

“And Africa is really driving that conversation significantly. Therefore,  African countries should be well positioned to access the funds,” Urama said.

According to Urama, the statutory annual meetings are AfDB’s group most important event of the calendar year.

He said the meetings would take place at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, Kenya.(NAN)

EFCC investigates Bobrisky over alleged Naira abuse

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says it has commence investigation of Idris Okuneye, a.k.a Bobrisky, a Nigerian crossdresser, for allegedly spraying Naira notes in an event.

The commission’s spokesperson, Mr Dele Oyewole confirmed this in a statement issued on Thursday.

According to Oyewole, the commission invited the 31-year old following a video report of spraying and flaunting wads of new Naira notes at the premiere of a movie, Ajakaju on March 24.

He said the movie was produced by Eniola Ajao, a Nollywood actress and producer, at Film One Circle Mall, Lekki, Lagos.

“Investigation also revealed that he had committed similar offences at some other event centres and parties at different times.

“Following the invitation by the Commission, he arrived at the Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC in the morning of Wednesday, April 4 for interrogation and volunteered his statements.

“He will soon be charged to court upon conclusion of investigations,”Oyewole said. (NAN) 

Ododo hails President Tinubu for signing Student Loan Act

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Gov. Usman Ododo of Kogi, has commended President Bola Tinubu for assenting to the Nigeria Student Loan Act, which establishes the Nigeria Education Loan Fund (NELFUND).

NAN reports that Tinubu, on Wednesday, signed the Student Loans (Access to Higher Education) Act (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2024, into law.

d the House of Representatives of the report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund.

Ododo described the signing as a “huge relief” for parents and students.

Ododo noted that the Act will improve the quality of education and increase access to education for millions of Nigerian youth population and children from disadvantaged social and economic background in the country.

“I’m so delighted that President Tinubu is placing premium on the provision of quality education to Nigerians at this critical time.

“Indeed, education is a veritable tool for empowering the people and an enabler for more Nigerians to ascend the socio-economic ladder irrespective of their social and economic backgrounds.

“Therefore, by assenting to the Student Loan Act, President Tinubu has further demonstrated uncommon determination to transform the education sector in Nigeria.

“This will go a long way in providing the impetus for the acquisition of skills required to meet Nigeria’s manpower needs in response to emerging realities of the development agenda of the country,”he said.

He said that the Student Loan Act and its provisions were clear evidence that education is critical to the attainment of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President.

He also assured residents of his administration’s commitment to enhance access to quality education by expanding the scale of educational infrastructure and providing needed resources to skill up the youth population in the state. (NAN)

Kogi Poll: Four SDP witnesses appear in tribunal, give conflicting evidence

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The witnesses’ gave their accounts before the three-member panel of justices, led by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu.

The SDP and its governorship candidate, Murtala Ajaka, are challenging the victory of Gov. Usman Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Nov. 11, 2023 election in the state.

During the sitting on Wednesday, there were different accounts by the witnesses, especially during cross-examination, which, in most cases, could not be explained by the witnesses themselves.

A witness, Danlamin Yakubu, from Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi, said that he was an agent of the SDP during the election.

Yakubu, who said he was a member of the SDP, a voter and the party’s agent during the poll, however, told the tribunal under cross-examination that he had lost everything that could prove that he was an agent.

When asked if he stated in his deposition before the tribunal that he was an agent in the election, he said that he forgot to do so.

He also alleged that his lawyer wrote his deposition for him.

When his attention was brought to paragraph 4 of his deposition that he did not indicate the total number of accredited voters, the witness said it was a typographical error.

But when the respondents’ counsel asked him to state the number he meant to write if it was a mistake, he said: “I don’t know the number.”

Although in his deposition, he indicated that the number of registered voters in his polling unit was 771, when he was asked to confirm the number, he gave a conflicting response.

“I did not indicate that I voted in my deposition,” he said.

Another witness, Abdulkareem Ogeja, from the same LGA, said though he was a member of the SDP, he did not state in his deposition his membership of the party.

He, however, said that he was not the party’s agent during the election and that the SDP had an agent at his polling unit.

When the respondent’s counsel asked if he was surprised that the SDP agent did not complain and he was the only one complaining, Ogeja said, “I’m not surprised.”

When he was asked further if he wrote the deposition by himself, he said his lawyer did it after he explained what happened to him.

When he was told to mention the name of his lawyer, the witness said: “His name is my lawyer.”

When he was asked which language he used to communicate with his lawyer, Ogeja said “in vernacular “.

The witness, who told the panel that he did not know the number of registered voters in his polling unit, also said he did not receive any paper indicating the total number on the day of election.

Contrary to Ogeja’s evidence, he was said to have quoted the figures in his deposition.

Emmanuel Ohiare, from Okehi LGA, and Abdullahi Musa from Ajaokuta LGA, equally testified at the sitting.

The tribunal adjourned the sitting until April 4 for continuation of hearing.

While the lead counsel for SDP and Ajaka was Pius Akubo, SAN; Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, represented the Independent National Electoral Commission; Mr A.M. Aliu, SAN, appeared for Gov. Ododo and E.C. Ukala, SAN, represented the APC at the hearing.(NAN)

Tinubu signs Students Loan Bill into law

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President Bola Tinubu has signed the Students Loan Bill into law on Wednesday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the students loan is part of the implementation of the Access to Higher Education Act, 2023.

The act, popularly known as the Students Loan Bill seeks to provide loans for indigent Nigerian students to pay fees in Nigerian tertiary institutions.

At the signing, Tinubu commended the efforts of the members of the National Assembly for the expeditious handling of the bill.

He said that this action showed the administration’s priority towards encouraging education among Nigerian youths as a tool to fighting poverty.

“We are determined to ensure that education is given the proper attention necessary for the country including skills development programmes.

“This is to ensure that no one, no matter how poor their background, is excluded from quality education and opportunity to build their future.

“We are here because we are all educated and we are helped. In the past, we have seen a lot of our children dropped out of colleges and given up the opportunity,” he said.

Tinubu said that the loan would ensure that the standard and control of the scheme are applied without discrimination against a Nigerian citizen.

The act establishes the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) which is expected to handle all loan requests, grants, disbursement and recovery of the loans provided.

NELFUND, according to the Act, is to be funded from multiple streams and will engage in other productive activities.

Its sources of funding as dictated by the Act include; one per cent of all profits accruing to the federal government from oil and other minerals.

It also includes one per cent of taxes, levies and duties accruing to the federal government from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and Nigerian Customs Service (NCS); education bonds and education endowment fund schemes.

The Loan will also be funded through donations, gifts, grants, endowment and revenue accruing to the fund from any other source, according to the Act.(NAN)

Customs generates N1.3bn revenue in first quarter 2024

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has generated over N1.3bn revenue in the first quarter of 2024.

The Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi revealed this during the NCS quarterly press briefing held in Abuja on Wednesday.

Adeniyi said,”In the first quarter of 2024, the NCS demonstrated remarkable performance in revenue collection. Total revenue collected during this period amounted to NGN 1,347,675,608,972.75

“The collection for the first quarter represents a substantial increase of 122.35% compared to the same period last year, where NGN 606,119,935,146.67. Month-by-month analysis further illustrates the Service’s impressive growth trajectory. 

“In January 2024, revenue collection surged by 95.60%, reaching NGN 390,824,148,326.55 from NGN 199,809,974,327.52 recorded in January 2023. This upward trend continued in February 2024, with a staggering 138.68% growth, elevating revenue collection to NGN 450,209,267,557.15 from NGN 188,625,011,386.87 in February 2023. 

“By March 2024, the revenue collected by NCS revenue grew by 132.76% from NGN 217,669,949,432.28 to NGN 506,642,193,019.05.”

The Comptroller General noted that when compared to the Federal government’s annual revenue target of NGN 5.07 trillion for the NCS to collect in 2024, the target translates to a monthly revenue target of NGN 423 billion

“We are pleased to report an average monthly revenue growth of 6.2% over the set monthly target and a cumulative revenue collection of 18.6%, equivalent to NGN 78,675,608,972.75 over the set quarterly target of NGN 1.269 trillion.”

On suppression of smuggling, he said,”In the first quarter of 2024, the NCS recorded a total of 572 seizures, encompassing various items valued at NGN 10,593,099,654.50 in Duty Paid Value (DPV). 

“Notably, January saw 111 seizures amounting to NGN 842,992,751.50 in DPV, while February marked the highest seizure numbers of 432, totalling NGN 3,704,703,350.34. 

“Rice constituted 39% of the seizures, followed by petroleum products at 26%, with motor vehicles and textiles accounting for 9% and 6% of the seizures, respectively. During this period, the NCS detained 22 suspects, and appropriate legal measures will be taken in accordance with the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.”

  1. Speaking on trade facilitation, he revealed,”Trade facilitation remains a central focus of the NCS operations. Despite inherent challenges, we have diligently worked towards streamlining processes, minimizing bottlenecks, and optimizing efficiency across our ports to ensure seamless trade transactions. 

“In First Quarter 2024, the NCS processed a total of 311,492 Single Goods Declarations (SGDs) for imports, reflecting the volume of import transactions handled. This figure indicates a decrease compared to the total volume of 327,491 processed in 2023 and 403,233 SGDs in 2022.”

He added, ”Regarding export transactions, a total of 10,786 SGDs were processed in 2024 compared to 9,752 transactions in 2023, representing a 10.60% growth in export activities. Notably, a significant portion of this growth occurred in January, with 4,067 transactions processed in 2024 compared to 3,352 SGDs in 2023, marking a 29.69% increase. 

“The Service is particularly interested in the growth of the non-oil export sector, aligning with the priorities of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu led administration and the initiatives pursued by NCS in recent times.”

The CGS noted that a myriad of deliberate factors have contributed to the successes around NCS key performance indicators. 

“It is important to acknowledge the dedication and efforts of the officers and men of NCS who have worked tirelessly and around the clock to ensure consistent and upward momentum. 

“NCS officers have played a key role in driving the implementation of initiatives, as evidenced by our performance across the three core statutory responsibilities set by the government. Among these initiatives is the introduction of the E-auction generating a total revenue of NGN 1.6 billion in February and March.

“Furthermore, stakeholders from both the private and public sectors have played an instrumental role in our recorded successes. Their commitment and enthusiasm towards our objectives have been commendable, especially in adhering to the terms of various Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) during bilateral engagements and larger forums like the National Trade Facilitation Committee. 

“Additionally, significant commitments were documented at the last Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC’s) Conference, notably enshrined in the Lagos Continental Declaration, highlighting the collective effort and collaboration towards our shared goals.

Adeniyi stressed that it is imperative to highlight the ongoing support of the government, particularly in approving initiatives aimed at fulfilling the mandate of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). 

“Among these initiatives, notable is the granting of a 90- day window to owners of uncustomed vehicles, facilitating the payment of appropriate duties on previously imported vehicles into the country. 

“Members of the public are strongly advised to avail themselves of this opportunity to regularize their papers, as failure to do so will result in applicable penalties.

“Additionally, the government’s decision to reopen the Northern Borders with Niger Republic holds significant importance. This action is expected to boost trading activities in those areas. With potential smugglers now reconsidering the legitimacy of trading through approved routes, this decision stands as a pivotal move,” he said.

He assured that the NCS is unequivocally committed to supporting the actualization of the 8- point agenda of the President Tinubu-led administration. 

According to him, this commitment is demonstrated through both direct and indirect contributions to key areas such as economic growth, improved security, upholding the rule of law, and fighting corruption. 

“Noteworthy achievements include strengthening economic growth through optimal revenue collection to support government allocations to vital sectors, alongside the implementation of efficient trade facilitation measures. 

“Our relentless enforcement efforts, particularly in intercepting prohibited items, are important in enhancing security. Moreover, we are steadfastly integrating technology across our operations to ensure transparency and accountability, addressing critical aspects of the 8-point agenda,” he said.

He disclosed that recently, the NCS has prioritized food security in response to a presidential directive. 

According to him, this initiative is evidenced by the distribution of food items to vulnerable members of society, commencing in Lagos, Kano and extending to other parts of the country to address urgent societal needs. 

He reassured the public that transparency and accountability will remain paramount under his leadership, fostering trust and confidence in the Service.

  1. On challenges encountered during the quarter, he said,”During the quarter, the NCS encountered several systemic challenges that impeded our ability to fulfil our statutory responsibilities effectively. These challenges encompassed issues related to non-compliance with regulations, infrastructure limitations, and a notable decline in cargo throughput, evidenced by a 4.89% decrease in the volume of transactions handled. 

“Additionally, significant fluctuations in exchange rates applied in the customs clearance of consignments posed considerable difficulties. As per protocol, the exchange rate utilized by Customs in the clearance of goods via the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS) is based on the rate determined by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). 

“In the last quarter, a total of 28 rates were directed by the CBN, ranging from NGN 951.94 per USD 1 in January 2024 to a peak of NGN 1,662.35 per USD 1 in February 2024. While a singular exchange rate of NGN951.94 per USD 1 was maintained in January, February witnessed 15 different spot rates ranging from NGN 951.94 per USD 1 to NGN 1,662.35 per USD 1. March saw a total of 13 different spot rates applied, ranging from NGN 1,303.84 to NGN 1,630.16. These fluctuations resulted in an average applied exchange rate of NGN 1,314.03 per USD 1 in the clearance of Customs goods during the quarter.”

He added,”The repercussions of these fluctuating rates have sent concerning signals to our stakeholders, affecting and disrupting activities. Beyond the speculation regarding potential gains it may have on NCS revenue, the implications on transaction volumes are significant and outweigh any possible benefits. These concerns are already manifesting in current activities, with the potential for lagged effects in the coming months. 

“Mindful of these implications on the trading public and the overall economy, the NCS, with the support of the Honourable Minister of Finance, has initiated periodic consultations with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to mitigate the potential impact of exchange rate fluctuations on import activities. 

“The relative stability in the past days can be attributed to the interventions of the Honourable Minister of Finance and the Governor of the CBN.”

Adeniyi mentioned that the NCS encountered non-operational challenges stemming from deliberate attempts by malicious actors to undermine the reputation of the Service. 

“It is crucial to underscore that the NCS remains resolute in addressing genuine, evidence-based observations, as we have consistently done in the past. Constructive, fact-based criticisms channelled through appropriate means arealways welcomed by the Service, as they keep us vigilant in fulfilling our commitment to the crucial responsibilities entrusted to us. Despite these challenges, we are steadfast in prioritizing transparency and accountability in all our operations, reaffirming our dedication to serving with integrity and excellence.

“Additionally, I want to draw the public’s attention to recent attacks on some of our officers and relevant provisions of the Nigeria Customs Service Act. Section 239 imposes penalties for armed or bodily assault of an officer, including threats or any form of aggression. Conviction for this offense can result in imprisonment for up to 10 years. 

“I urge members of the public to conduct their business with officers in a cordial and mutually respectful manner. Officers have also been cautioned to uphold professionalism and restraint in their interactions,” he said.

The CGC assured that the NCS is actively implementing various measures to address those challenges. 

According to him, one notable initiative is the integration of geospatial technology alongside the utilization of satellite imagery and artificial intelligence tools and techniques. 

“These efforts were initiated upon assuming office to combat the longstanding issue of smuggling and enhance the NCS’s enforcement capabilities for effective monitoring of our extensive 4,000 km borders. Additionally, this initiative will establish a command and control center to monitor activities along our borders comprehensively. 

“Earlier this year, the NCS launched an extensive Time Release Study (TRS) with significant participation from the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, further grace by the presence of the Honourable Minister of Industry Trade and Investment. 

“The TRS aims to identify bottlenecks in the clearance process, to enable the implementation of measures to promote transparency and commitment among key stakeholders and enhance trade facilitation. NCS reaffirms its dedication to publishing the TRS report to foster transparency and address the current challenges hindering trade facilitation.

“The NCS recently concluded a stakeholder engagement, marking a critical step towards achieving the Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) program, set to be launched by mid-April. This initiative, endorsed by the World Customs Organization (WCO), recognizes businesses involved in international trade that

demonstrate strong compliance with customs regulations and security standards. Participants in the AEO program stand to benefit from expedited customs clearance processes, reduced inspections, priority treatment, and enhanced predictability in customs procedures, ultimately enhancing their credibility and competitiveness in the global market. 

“The presence of 7 beneficiaries, including importers, exporters, logistics companies, customs brokers, and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), at the pilot launch underscores the program’s significance and stakeholders’ commitment to advancing trade facilitation efforts in Nigeria,” he said.

He revealed that the NCS is currently finalizing measures to implement Advanced Rulings, set to take effect in the coming months. 

“This mechanism empowers traders to seek clarity and certainty regarding the classification, origin, and valuation of goods before importing them into the country. 

“Essentially, an Advanced Ruling provides a binding decision from customs authorities on specific aspects of a proposed import transaction, offering traders predictability and consistency in customs procedures. 

“Obtaining advanced clarity on customs matters enables businesses to plan their import activities more effectively, minimize the risk of non-compliance, and ensure smoother customs clearance processes. 

“Additionally, the Service is perfecting arrangements with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stabilize the exchange rate for import declarations, further enhancing predictability and facilitating trade operations,” he said.

Adeniyu hundred that the NCS is also gearing up to launch the NCS Customs Analytical Laboratory, a critical measure set to take effect in Q2 and Q3. 

“The Customs Analytical Laboratory is a specialized facility equipped with advanced analytical instruments and techniques for the scientific analysis of goods and materials. 

“Its primary objective is to ensure compliance with customs regulations by providing accurate and reliable testing and analysis of imported and exported goods. The laboratory will conduct various tests to determine the authenticity, composition, quality, and safety of goods, including testing for chemical composition, product integrity, and adherence to regulatory standards. 

“Leveraging state-of-the-art technology and expertise, aided by the Customs Analytical Laboratory is expected to enhance NCS’s capacity to detect and prevent smuggling, counterfeit goods, and other illicit activities, thereby safeguarding public health, safety, and economic interests. Additionally, it facilitates trade by expediting the clearance process for compliant traders and promoting confidence in the integrity of the customs system,” he explained.

On the export front, he said the NCS initiated discussions with the leadership of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in the First Quarter to explore avenues for sustaining the positive growth in export transactions. 

According to him, a dedicated technical committee has been established to address specific areas of concern and enhance export facilitation. 

He said,”This proactive measure aligns with the President’s agenda to promote export trade, diversify the economy, and generate foreign exchange from non-oil exports. Furthermore, it aims to prepare Nigeria for the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on 30 April, 2024, through guided trade initiatives. The NCS remains committed to fulfilling its obligations to ensure the success of these initiatives and contribute to the nation’s economic development and integration into the global market.

“The NCS is cognizant of the challenges faced by members of the public, particularly regarding the verification of customs documents. In response, we have initiated measures to provide accessible application gateways for the public to verify relevant customs documents, such as duty payments on vehicles, at their convenience. 

“This initiative aims to eradicate fraudulent activities and prevent exploitation by intermediaries or rent seekers in this area. Through the provision of convenient and reliable verification channels, our goal is to enhance transparency, empower stakeholders, and foster trust in our processes. 

“Our commitment is to consistently improve our services and meet the needs of the public, ensuring a seamless and efficient customs experience for all.”

CGC stressed that the reforms discussed are part of the President’s ongoing efforts to enhance port operations. 

“A recent development is the introduction of a Single Window system, spearheaded by the Minister of Finance. President Bola Tinubu will soon inaugurate a Steering Committee, with full implementation expected to commence by the second quarter of 2024.

“In closing, I extend heartfelt gratitude to our dedicated officers for their commitment and tireless efforts in advancing the mission of the NCS. Your dedication is instrumental in driving the success of our initiatives and ensuring the security and prosperity of our nation. As we move forward, I call upon all

Nigerians to continue offering their support and cooperation as we strive to fulfil our mandate of facilitating trade, ensuring security, and upholding the rule of law. We have the capacity to surmount obstacles and realize our shared objectives for a brighter future. 

“In essence, today’s briefing underscored our persistent efforts to Strengthen border enforcement, streamline trade, and foster economic advancement. Looking ahead with optimism, I remain assured that the NCS will maintain its exemplary performance, playing a pivotal role in our nation’s progress. Gratitude for your attention and support,” he said.

Court gives DSS go-ahead to detain Nigerian link to ISIS for 60 days

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, granted an interim order sought by the Department of State Service (DSS) to detain Emmanuel Osase, a Nigerian suspected to be a member of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for 60 days

Justice Inyang Ekwo gave the order after counsel for the DSS, A.A. Ugee, moved the ex-parte motion to the effect.

When the matter was called, Ugee informed the court of the application.

He said the motion ex-parte marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/409/2024 was brought pursuant to Section 66(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

He prayed the court for an order enabling the security outfit to detain Osase for 60 days pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Justice Ekwo, who granted the application, adjourned until June 3 for report

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Osase, who was arrested on March 11, was accused of propagating the messages of the terrorist group, opposing democratic system of government in Nigeria and calling for terrorists attacks on Nigeria and it symbols of sovereignty.

In affidavit dated March 27 and deposed to by Ahmad Abubakar, a DSS operative, attached to the Legal Service Department, National Headquarters, Abuja, he averred that the release of the suspect could jeopardise investigation.

He said that Osase was arrested by a team of DSS “for alleged membership and propagation of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist messages, including opposition to Democratic System of Government and the call for staging terrorists attacks against Nigeria State and its symbols of sovereignty;”

Abubakar stated that Osase was jailed five years for terrorism-related offences in France and was deported after the completion of his sentence.

He said that from the service’s preliminary investigation, Osase, who is an ex-convict, still engaged in terrorist activities which previously led to his conviction in France.

He said Osase appeared not to have renounced his terrorist ideologies, “as he continues to engage with the proscribed pro-ISIS online media group known as al-Alawn Media Foundation, whose main objectives is the creation and dissemination of terrorist content and the promotion of terrorist attacks against democratic systems of government such as Nigeria and the western governments, including their interests across the globe.”

He said the suspect, who was born in the Federal Capital Territory, “left Nigeria for France and never returned to Nigeria until his deportation after completion of five years jail term for acts of terrorism and attempt to join the Islamic State (IS) linked terrorist group, Friqat Al-Ghuraba (Group of Foreigners) in Syria.”

Abubakar said his activities constituted a potent threat to national security and corporate existence of Nigeria.

He said there was need for a thorough investigation of the suspect to ensure that he did not pose any security threat to Nigeria or the world at large.

According to him, the respondent is helping with vital Information that will lead to the arrest of other members who are still at large.

He said it would be in the interest of justice and national security to grant the application.(NAN)

Police raid kidnappers’ hideout, arrest 3, rescue victims

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The Police in Lagos have confirmed the arrest of three suspected kidnappers in the Ijanikin area of the state.

The Zonal Public Relations Officer (ZPRO), SP. Umma Ayuba, confirmed the arrest in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.

She gave the names of the suspects as Samuel Kwasi, 64, Monday Unachukwu, 24, and Freeman Ekpebo, 23.

The ZPPRO said operatives of the Zone 2 Police Command, Onikan, Lagos, raided the kidnappers’ hideout at the Ijanikin area, arrested the syndicate, and rescued two victims in a swift operation.

She said that the suspects had kidnapped two persons and demanded N150 million.

“On March 26, at 6 p.m., a resident of Millionaire Estate, Oniru, Lagos, reported the kidnap of her 10-year-old son, maid, (names withheld for security reasons), and driver, Mr Samuel Kwasi, in the Ikoyi area of Lagos.

“She further revealed that the kidnappers demanded N150 million ransom.”

“Acting on this intelligence, a team of detectives led by CSP Tijjani Taofiq (Officer-in-Charge of the Zonal Monitoring Unit), acted swiftly utilising advanced tracking techniques and intelligence gathering,” she said.

Ayuba said the team pinpointed the kidnappers’ hideout in the Ayetoro area of Ijanikin, Badagry Road, Lagos.

“On March 28, at 3.40 p.m., the officers raided the hideout at Cozzy Hotel, Ijanikin, where one of the suspects, Unachukwu, was arrested and the victims rescued unharmed.

“In a coordinated operation, Kwasi, the driver and Ekpebo, were apprehended at Sun Era Hotel, Ijanikin, where they were allegedly waiting to receive the ransom,” she said.

According to the ZPRO, investigations revealed that Kwasi was the principal suspect and mastermind of the kidnap.

“Kwasi has confessed to demobilising the car’s tracking device before the operation.

“The car’s tracking device and a knife were recovered from the hotel room at Sun Era Hotel, Ijanikin, where the suspects lodged,” she said.

Ayuba said that the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in-charge of the zone, Mr Olatoye Durosinmi, commended the Police officers for the swift response and also appreciated the community for its cooperation and vigilance.

She said that the AIG also urged parents and guardians to be cautious and conduct thorough background checks when employing domestic staffers.

According to her, the command remains committed to ensuring the safety and security of all residents of Lagos and Ogun States. (NAN)

NEMA partners UN to mitigate disaster impacts

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says its partnership with the  United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affair (UN-OCHA) will reduce the sufferings of Nigerians affected by disasters.

The Director-General (DG) of NEMA, Mrs Zubaida Umar disclosed on Tuesday in Abuja when the Head of UN-OCHA in Nigeria, Mr Trond Jensen paid her a visit.

Umar commended the collaboration between NEMA and (UN-OCHA) in enhancing disaster response capabilities.

She used the opportunity of the visit to reel out mechanisms toward mitigating the impact of flooding on humans and environment as the rainy season sets in.

According to her, the mechanism included  developing early warning alerts based on the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP), released by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), and public sensitisation to precautionary measures to avert flood impacts.

The NEMA DG also announced an expert meeting to analyse the SCP and develop strategies for saving lives and safeguarding livelihoods.

“Other flood disaster mitigating activities will be rolled out during NEMA’s upcoming Emergency Coordination Forum (ECF) meeting,” she said.

On his part, Jensen praised the D-G’s experience in the on-shore sector, noting that it would be useful in finding solutions and improving efficiency and effectiveness.

He expressed excitement about the growing relationship between UN-OCHA and NEMA, saying “such foresees great things in the future”

Jensen emphasised the importance of collaboration and innovation in addressing climate change and humanitarian challenges.

He then stressed the need for joint efforts to tackle increasing temperatures and irregular weather patterns, such as floods. (NAN)

8 suspects in police net over alleged murder of UNIMAID lecturer  – PPRO

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The police in Borno confirmed the arrest of eight suspects  in connection to the alledged murder of Dr Kamar Abdulkadir, a Lecturer of the Department of Physical Health Education, at the University of Maiduguri.

Abdulkadir was  murdered in his office on campus on Sunday by unknown attackers who sneaked into his office.

The victim was found on Monday with several injuries inflicted on his body by his killer. 

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nahun Daso, told newsmen that the attackers also carted away tthe lecturer’s vehicle, phone and laptop.

“We reviewed the CCTV Camera and saw them going out of the University with the deceased’s vehicle. However, the quality of the video was very poor so we could not see the number of people that were inside the car,”he said.

He explained that investigation was still ongoing into the matter.

Reacting, Prof Danjuma Gambo, the Director of Radio and Public Relations who spoke on behalf of the vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abdullahi Shugaba, said the police and other security agencies have already launched an investigation with a view to unraveling the circumstances surrounding his death.

“In view of the gravity of the matter, management advises all staff and students to remain calm and go about their normal, legitimate businesses because the University is working closely with relevant security agencies to get to the root of the matter. 

“Management also wishes to assure parents, guardians and other stakeholders that the University campus remains safe and secure for teaching, learning and community service.

“Management appreciates the numerous messages of sympathy and support from all its stakeholders in this moment of grief,” Gambo said.(NAN)

Naira appreciates at official market, gains 2.4%

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 The Naira gained at the official market, trading at N1,278.58 to a dollar on Tuesday.

Data from the official trading platform of the FMDQ revealed that the Naira gained N30.81 or 2.35 per cent, compared to the previous trading date on Thursday, March, 28, 2024 just before the Easter holiday at the rate of N1,309.39 against the dollar.

However, the total turnover reduced to $111.18 million on Tuesday, down from $857.78 Million recorded on Thursday, March 28, 2024.

Meanwhile, at the Investor’s and Exporters’ (I&E) window, the Naira traded between N1,312.00 and N1,250.00 against the dollar. (NAN)

Commissioner lauds Gov. Ododo for transforming Kogi’s broadcasting industry

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Mr Kingsley Fanwo, the Kogi Commissioner for Information and Communication, has commended Gov. Ahmed Ododo for transforming the state’s broadcasting industry within a very short time.

Fanwo gave this commendation on Tuesday while inspecting the new Hybrid Power Installation at FM 94 Broadcasting Station, Lokoja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the hybrid power comprised  solar power and the installation of 33 KVA transformers to link up the line for 24 hours power supply.

Fanwo hailed the governor for providing power supply to boost the state-owned radio station’s efficiency.

He said Gov. Ododo had revolutionised the state’s broadcasting industry in less than 100 days of his stay in office.

“We really appreciate this intervention because we can now increase our broadcasting hours, we will live up to his expectations,” the commissioner said.

According to him, the intervention will ensure adequate power supply to Kogi State Broadcasting Corporation FM 94, and also bridge the communication gaps between the people and political office holders.

Fanwo explained that the radio station was established to keep the people abreast of government’s policies and programmes, as well as hold political office holders accountable.

In their comments, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Teddy Adegbola, and the Director-General of the station, Alh. Oyila Ozovehe, lauded the state governor for his efforts.

“The good people of Kogi will start to enjoy the state-of-the-art transmitters procured by the immediate past Governor, Alh. Yahaya Bello.

“We assure our governor of quality broadcasting,” Ozovehe said. (NAN)

Reps seek total implementation of Disability Act

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The House of Representatives has called for intensified efforts towards the implementation of the disability act by the state governments, and MDAs across the country.

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Disability Matters Rep. Bashiru Dawodu, while briefing newsmen on Tuesday said denying individuals with disabilities access to public spaces is not only disrespectful but also undermines ongoing efforts to implement the Disability Act.

The lawmaker  strongly condemned the reported outright discrimination against persons with disabilities in the country.

“The Discrimination against People with Disabilities Prohibition Act 2018, passed by the National Assembly, aims to safeguard the rights of persons with disabilities.

“Recently, there have been distressing reports regarding the denial of access to Mr Adebola Daniel at a KFC outlet in the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

“This discriminatory incident, highlighted by Mr Daniel’s public account, sheds light on the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in Nigeria;

Daniel is the physically challenged son of former Ogun State Governor and serving Senator, Gbenga Daniel.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that, Daniel, who uses a wheelchair, faced humiliation when he was allegedly refused entry to KFC’s outlet, with the manager stating, “No wheelchair allowed”.

Daniel had recounted his experience at the KFC’s outlet, in a series of tweets on March 27, lamenting his humiliating moment and emphasised the broader consequences of such discriminatory actions.

He said that the committee was duty bound to investigate the issue and other related matters.

“The case of Daniel is one in millions of other unreported cases of such abuses and injustices against people with disabilities.

“This will no longer be tolerated by the governments at all levels. Any establishments within shore of our country irrespective of owners’ status should take note. Enough is enough.

“Our committee is committed to engaging with communities to kick start the full implementation of the Disability Act.”

The lawmaker said, key provisions such as access to public buildings, employment quotas, and welfare promotion for persons with disabilities must be enforced to ensure their rights  were upheld.

Dawodu said the current focus of the lawmakers was to enhance the lives of persons with disability and prevent future incident like Daniel’s through robust implementation of the Disability Act. (NAN)

Lagos judiciary announces N30,000 fee for virtual hearing

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The Lagos State judiciary has announced the payment of N30,000 fee per session for all remote or virtual court proceedings across the state from April 1.
This is contained in a circular by the Acting Chief Registrar of the state, Mr Tajudeen Elias, dated March  28, obtained by the News Agency of the (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.


The circular said all applications for virtual hearings must be made to the court hearing the matter.
It added that payment shall be made upon approval to the court.
The circular said that the Assistant Chief Registrar Litigation in Ikeja or Lagos would schedule the case for hearing upon receipt of payment.
“No other office or officer is authorised to conduct or schedule cases for virtual proceedings in the High and Magistrate Courts of Lagos State.


“The First Hightower Infotech Ltd. (FHTI) will continue to provide internet access and service for the courts where they currently offer such services.
“Court registrars are directed to ensure strict compliance with the circular,” it said.
Commenting on the development, Mr Musbau Famuyiwa, the Managing Director of Global T & T New Solutions Ltd., told NAN that the virtual hearing became popular in Nigeria during the COVID-19 pandemic.


NAN reports that Global T&T partnered the Lagos State Ministry of Justice on virtual court proceedings.
Famuyiwa said it virtual hearing was a means to ensure the continuity of court operations while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
He said  that  the virtual hearing had been free from inception and its usage started since the beginning of COVID-19  to attend to pressing cases.
He said that the payment of the fee would make th

e virtual hearing more effective by scaling it up to achieve and aid justice system.
He said: “In terms of scaling it up, judiciary does not have the capacity and infrastructural development that is why Global T& T is involved to help achieve the goal.
“If the judiciary finds the third party to fill in that gap to provide this service, it will go a long way.
“Imagine someone coming from Port-Harcourt to attend a matter in Lagos, you know how expensive that is but if such a person can join virtually, it will dramatically reduce the cost.
“Also, imagine a witness flying down from outside the country to give evidence when he can easily pay the sum of N30,000 to avoid flight tickets and other expenses.”
He reiterated that court was not forcing anyone to pay for the fee or make use of virtual hearing.
“People are already tapping into this service but the court is not forcing anyone to use the virtual hearing.
“The virtual hearing has also been extended to all magistrate courts in the state.
“The service charge of N30,000 is going to our company’s purse,” he said. (NAN)

Kebbi NUJ donates rice, cash to families of deceased journalists

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The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kebbi Council, on Monday, donated relief materials and cash to families of 18 late journalists in the state.

Presenting the items in Birnin Kebbi, Alhaji Garba Muhammad-Yeldu, the Acting Chairman of the council, said the gesture was part of the union’s annual commitment to help the families of deceased members who served in the state.

“We are here once again to observe an annual ritual by the NUJ, to show love to those who lost their loved ones in the course of serving humanity,” he said.

He said it was a noble course that the union was doing to assist and accommodate families of the late colleagues in the state.

The acting chairman called on other journalists as well as the general public to lend helping hands to the families of their fallen colleagues by visiting their homes and making donations.

According to him, the decision to donate the items is to support the families at this critical period, when the assistance is most needed due to hardship occasioned by high cost of living.

Muhammad-Yeldu explained that the gesture was secured by the union from well- to-do individuals members of the society.

“We thank Gaanou Farm Limited, Engineer In-charge of Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) in the state, Rilwanu Usman-Zagga, and Labana Rice Mill Limited, among others.

“This event is a product of their commitment and support to the union.

“The gesture will definitely go a long way in cushioning the effects of the challenges they are facing, especially in this period,” he observed.

Also speaking, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, Chief Press Secretary to Kebbi Governor, described the gesture as a “Godly deed”, especially during Ramadan period.

He said the act would no doubt aid in ameliorating the hardship and difficulties faced by the families of the deceased journalists in the state.

“This gesture is not only highly commendable but also encouraging. We have nothing to say but to thank you for this initiation and assistance to the families of our late colleagues,” he said.

NAN reports that the donated items included; a 25kg bag of rice and N15,000 to each of the deceased families. (NAN)

13 killed, 2 injured in auto-crash in Kogi – FRSC

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The Federal Road Safety Corps ( FRSC) said on Monday that 13 persons died while two were injured in an auto crash in Kogi.

Mr Samuel Oyedeji, Kogi FRSC Sector Commander, told the News agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the sad incident occurred around 7: 30 p.m. on Sunday.

He disclosed that the accident involving a commercial Sharon Bus and an articulated Cement Truck, occurred by Obajana Market along Obajana -Lokoja Road in Lokoja Local  Government Area of Kogi.

The sector commander said that the Sharon bus had packed behind a truck around the market for passengers to buy some things, when the cement truck lost brake and rammed into it from behind.

“And that as soon as the truck rammed into the bus, it immediately went into flame and burnt virtually all the passengers inside it.

“Also burnt were the bus, two trucks and a motorcycle.

The bus was reportedly heading to Abuja from the southern part of the country.

“Our personnel, who were on rescue operations with Red Cross Nigeria and Police officers, couldn’t save the situation due the fierceness of the fire

“But the charred remains of the affected persons were collected while the two injured persons have been taken to Fisayo Hospital, Obajana for medical attention.

Oyedeji expressed worry that no hospital in Kogi agreed to take the charred bodies for keep, which might force the authorities to give them a massive burial if no relation came around.

The sector commander, who described the incident as “very sad and unfortunate”, cautioned motorists against speeding and poor maintenance of their vehicles.

According to him, motorists should always check their vehicles to ensure everything in order before embarking on a journey to avoid road crash. (NAN)

Prove Matawalle gave palliatives to bandits or face prosecution — APC North-West to PDP

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The All Progressives Congress (APC), North-West Zone, has asked the members of the opposition party in Zamfara, accusing the Minister of State, Defence, Bello Matawalle of giving palliatives to bandits, to come forward with their evidences or risk prosecution.

Musa Mada, Zonal Publicity Secretary of the party, disclosed this while addressing a press briefing in Kaduna on Sunday.

Mada said that the party welcomed positive criticisms from the oppositions, but such criticisms should not violate the provisions of the freedom of speech.

He accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), opposition government in Zamfara of persistent slandering of the immediate past Governor of the State, Matawalle.

Mada stated that the grievous allegation against Matawalle can never be overlooked.

He said that the sponsors of the fake news against the minister must provide proof of the alleged foodstuffs’ distribution.

In the alternative, they must tender an apology to the minister on the pages of at least two national dailies within two weeks from Sunday.

Mada said, “if no action is taken from the side of the sponsors of this fake news on expiration of the ultimatum, on 14th April 2024, a legal action will be instituted against them.

“It has come to our notice that some unscrupulous elements in this geopolitical zone, particularly Zamfara, made it their daily habit of using instruments of mainstream and the new media in tarnishing the image of our party leaders.

“Similarly, it is well known fact that the PDP opposition government in Zamfara made name for itself in slandering Matawalle

” As a party, we concede that slandering any of our members with ulterior motives is as good as attacking the structural foundation of our great party.

”Which is intolerable, let alone defaming the character and questioning the integrity of our leaders who earned their reputation through selfless service to the greater good of the entire nation.’

According to Mada, APC welcomes positive criticism from the oppositions that do not violate the provisions of freedom of speech,adding, ”we will not condone any form of vituperation that overstepped boundaries of the provisions of the laws of the land.’. (NAN) 

Easter:  Minister seeks prayers for President Tinubu, other Nigerian leaders

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Audu  made the call in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Lizzy Okoji, on Sunday in Abuja, to felicitate with Christians as they celebrate Easter.

”Pray for the peace, unity, progress, and development of Nigeria as well as for Mr. President and all other leaders.

”Remain hopeful in the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola  Tinubu, who  is already delivering on the dividends of democracy,” he said.

He said that Nigeria in the past week has seen visible economic progression, with its naira strengthening and other economic indicators improving.

He said that the development was an indication that the country’s economy was stabilising under the leadership of President  Tinubu, and that  better days were  ahead.

”Again, I want to urge Nigerians to reflect on the essence of Easter and show love for one another, especially the vulnerable and those in need, live in peace and harmony, and continue to be our brothers’ keepers.

” I want to  urge Nigerians to reflect on the essence of Easter, which brings hope to mankind, and is also a time for sacrifice and prayer to God,” he said.

According to the minister, the Easter period coinciding with the Ramadan season was a demonstration that God loved  Nigeria and its  inhabitants.

He said it also presented  a divine opportunity for Nigerians, irrespective of their faith to offer prayers to God for the betterment of their country.

The  minister also said  he  had just  distributed bags of rice, cartons of groundnut oil and salt to religious, traditional and political leaders and the indigents across the 21 local government areas of Kogi.

According to him, the gesture was in commemoration of President Tinubu’s 72nd birthday as well as to provide succour to Nigerians in the last 10 days of Ramadan. (NAN)

Soludo congratulates Christians on Easter, tasks them on nation building 

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Gov. Charles Soludo of Anambra State, has congratulated Christians as they celebrate Easter and urged them to concern themselves more on nation building.

He affirmed that Easter is a time of reflection and transformation, reminding celebrants of the profound lessons of love, selflessness, sacrifice, resilience, compassion and renewal embodied by Jesus Christ.

In his Easter message, Soludo said that the season symbolises the triumph of light over darkness, hope over despair, and love over fear.

“As we commemorate this sacred occasion, let us draw inspiration from the teachings of Christ to foster unity, compassion and goodwill in our communities and Nigeria.

“In addition, I urge all Nigerians to rededicate themselves to the noble task of nation building for a better Nigeria.

“Together, let us strive to create a Nigeria where justice, equality, and prosperity flourish for all.

“Let us embrace the values of honesty, integrity, and solidarity as we work towards a brighter future for our beloved country,” he said.

The governor urged Nigerians to harness the spirit of Easter to uplift the vulnerable, to empower the marginalised, and to build bridges of understanding and reconciliation.

He said together, “Nigerians would  overcome present challenges, transcend any obstacles, and realise the boundless potentials of our great nation.”

Soludo further reassured of his stronger commitment to leading Anambra State on a path of renewal, progress and transformation, serving with empathy, selflessness, sacrifice and accountability.

He wished all a blessed and joyful Easter, and prayed that the spirit of easter would fill the hearts of men with hope, love, and your lives with peace and abundance. (NAN)

Police raid IPOB/ESN hideout in Enugu, neutralise 2, recover firearm, ammunition

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The Police Command in Enugu State says it has raided an Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its Eastern Security Network (ESN) criminal hideouts in Akwuke axis of Enugu metropolis.

The police operatives, however, met with resistance from the renegades, who opened fire upon sighting them, but they were subdued by the superior firepower of the police, leading to the neutralisation of two of the renegades.

The Command’s Spokesperson, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, said in a statement on Sunday that the Police conducted the raid on Saturday at about 2:30 a.m.

Ndukwe said that other members of the outlawed group escaped with various gunshot wounds.

He said that one AK-47 rifle, one Sub-Machine Gun (SMG), one stainless Pump-Action Gun (PAG), 27 live and 23 expended rounds of 7.62 mm calibre ammunition were recovered after the raid and gun duel.

According to him, police also recovered five live cartridges and a small blue-coloured Gideon New Testament Bible probably used to conceal objects suspected to be charm.

“In pursuance of the proactive/crime prevention strategies devised by the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Kanayo Uzuegbu, police operatives of Anti-Cultism Tactical Squad carried out an intelligence-guided raid of a suspected IPOB/ESN hideout in Akwuke community in Enugu metropolis.

“A preliminary investigation reveals that the breech number of the recovered AK-47 was wiped off.

“The criminal elements are responsible for several attacks and carting away of police officers rifles, as the rifle’s magazine bore the Nigeria Police Force colour. Further discreet investigations are ongoing,” he said.

The spokesperson noted that the CP, while commending the operatives for the feat, reaffirmed the command’s unwavering commitment to rid Enugu State of unrepentant criminals.

He that the commissioner solicited the continued support of the citizenry, while urging them and owners of medical facilities, in particular, to report persons found with gunshot wounds to the nearest police operative or station. (NAN)

Police arrest suspected ritualist in Ondo 

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The Police Command in Ondo State said it had   arrested Oluwafemi Idris, popularly known as Alfa, for unlawful possession of human parts in Akoko Area of the state.

SP. Funmilayo Odunlami- Omisanya, the command’s  Police Public Relations Officer stated this  in a statement on Sunday in Akure.

The spokesperson  said  that the  police got an Intel from a reliable source that Alfa  kept human parts in his house and intends to use it for ritual purposes

According to Odunlami-Omisanya,  the police swung into action and apprehended the suspect.

“A search was conducted in his house at Akoko and the following human parts were found in his possession, human hands,three kidneys ,three hearts, spine and tongue.

“The  suspect claimed he is an Islamic cleric and some of the human parts was supplied by his friend,  an Alhaji who is also a cleric and Samuel Kutelu.

 “While he (suspect) supplied  Babatunde Kayode ( an Oluawo) three human heads.  Oluawo and Babatunde Kayode have been arrested.

“Meanwhile, efforts are  on to arrest the other cleric who he claimed sourced the human parts for him,” she  said.(NAN)

Ramadan: How Hajiiya Fadima Ibrahim silently keeps helping the needy

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Hajiya Fadima Ibrahim is a Kano-based philanthropist known for her altruistic service to people from all walks of life in northern Nigeria

By Bashir Aliyu

As part of her usual efforts to come to the rescue of the needy and vulnerable family, Hajiya Fadima Ibrahim has distributed Ramadan giveaways to at least 30 people from Bauchi in a bid to help them overcome the economic hardship that makes life much harder for people in the state.

One of the beneficiaries told Daily Review that the Ramadan giveaway from Hajiya Fadima Ibrahim is the first financial assistance he received during this holy month of Ramadan, and the amount he got was enough to help adequately prepare for Sallah holidays.

“I did not expect the money, and I am really happy that someone came to my rescue without having to expect anything in return,” he said declining to go into details as to how much he received.

According to another beneficiary of the giveaway, if other people would emulate the unselfish nature of Hajiya Fadima Ibrahim, a lot of people would be empowered to fend for themselves.

This is not the first time Hajiya Fadima Ibrahim has been helping the needy and economically disadvantaged people in conflict zone.

It could be recalled that the Kano-based philanthropist last month distributed relief materials to the victims of terrorist attacks in areas of Zamfara state where thousands of people have been displaced as a result of the comflict.

Hajiya Fadima Ibrahim, a native of Gamawa Local Government, Bauchi is a prominent personality in Kano, and her philanthropic activities on social media has earned her the nickname Uwar talakawa due to her unwavering support for the needy.

Since the beginning of Ramadan, she has supported hundreds of people from various walks of life in Bauchi, Zamfara, Kano and many other places.

Ahmad, who was once helped by Hajiya Fadima Ibrahim during a family emergency, prayed for Allah to reward her in abundance, hoping that other donors would emulate her exemplary actions.

Atiku felicitates with Christians at Easter, stresses love, sacrifice

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Former Vice President of Nigeria and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential flag bearer in the last general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has called on Nigerians to emulate the virtues of love and sacrifice which characterised the life of Jesus Christ.

In a message released by his Media Office in Abuja to mark the Easter celebration, the Waziri Adamawa described those two qualities as essential to the unity that Nigeria so desperately needs at this time when vested and provincial interests threaten to tear our nation apart.

“This Easter, we join our Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria and across the world to celebrate the essence of the festivities. This commemoration is a time for deep reflection as it marks the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is a time to reach out to our brothers and sisters in need.

“It is also a time for all of us — regardless of faith, or ethnicity — to come together to pray for the peace of our nation. We must all remain constant in our efforts to promote unity,” Atiku said.

He expressed the belief that Nigeria shall rise and overcome her national challenges.

“Our shared experiences are bringing us to the conclusion that no matter what the forces of evil can do, when we are united in good conduct, we shall prevail,” Atiku said.

The Waziri Adamawa also encouraged Nigeria’s leaders to use the opportunity of the Christian celebration of Easter to reflect on their stewardship to the people and to the nation.

“Our leaders at all levels should follow the virtues that define this season – sacrifice, love, and charity – and come together to help all Nigerians resolve the differences that divide us.

“We must not allow those who seek to divide us to pretend as if our problems are as a result of another ethnic or religious group,” he said.

NEMA distributes food items donated by S/Arabia to 1,750 households in Jigawa

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has commenced the distribution of food items donated by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) to 1,750 vulnerable households in Jigawa.

Mrs Zubaida Umar, Director-General NEMA, during the inauguration of the distribution on Saturday in Hadejia said it was to support the vulnerable citizens and to cushion the economic downturn.

NAN reports that the leadership of the Saudi Arabia-based KSrelief has been providing humanitarian aid and relief to those in need outside the Kingdom’s borders.

Represented by the Director, Special Duties, Fatima Kassim, Umar said that the donation of the food was timely, as it coincided with the Holy month of Ramadan.

She said, “Each household will get a total of 59.8kg of food items, including rice (25kg), beans (25kg), masa vita flour (4kg), tomato paste (2kg), vegetable oil (2 litres), seasoning cube (0.8kg) and salt 1kg.”

Umar urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the items to give succour to their families.

She added, “The humanitarian footprints of KSRelief had impacted several disaster hot spots in Nigeria affected by land-use conflicts, communal crisis and banditry.”

Umar commended the Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, and the Prime Minister, Mohammad Bin Salman for the support, on behalf of President Bola Tinubu.

On his part, Haruna Mairiga, Executive Secretary, SEMA, Jigawa said, “This show of compassion has confirmed the long historical and brotherhood relationship that exists between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.”

He also commended NEMA for the collaborative effort with the agency and urged the beneficiaries to use the items judiciously.

The Emir of Hadejia, Alhaji Adamu Abubakar, commended King Salman and KSrelief for the gesture, saying that it came at the right time due to the economic hardship being experienced.

He urged the beneficiaries to extend the love to others around them by sharing what was given to them especially in this hard time.(NAN)

Edo 2024: INEC displays governorship candidates list

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By Nefishetu Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday displayed the list of governorship candidates of the 17 political parties contesting the Sept. 21 governorship election in Edo.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the INEC office in Edo, led by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr Anugbum Onuoha, displayed the list on its notice board and in all INEC offices across the 18 local government areas.

On the list, Mr Uwaifo Osaro is the governorship candidate of Action Alliance (AA); Social Democratic Party (SDP), Aner Abdullai Aliu; New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Azena Azemhe Friday and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Osifo Isiah.

Others are All People Movement (APM), Ugiagbe Odaro Syvelster; Areleogbe Amos Osalumese, All Peoples Party (APP); Akhime kingson Afere, Action Democratic Party (ADP); African Action Congress (AAC), Udoh Obersifo David, and Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Akhalamhe Amiemenoghena.

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is Ighodalo Asuerinme; Boot Party (BP) Osirame Edeipo and Accord Party (AP) has Iyere Kennedy as its governorship candidate.

African Democratic Congress (ADC) has Obazele Paul Agbone; Labour Party (LP), Olumide Akpata Anthony; All Progressives Congress (APC), Okpebholo Monday; Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), Key patience Ndidi and Young Progressive Party (YPP), Okungbowa Paul Ovbokhan.

Meanwhile, the INEC headquarters said that the commission would publish the personal particulars of all the governorship candidates and their deputies.

This will be done by displaying copies of Form EC9 along with all academic credentials and other documents submitted by each candidate at the State Headquarters and the 18 local government offices across Edo
State.

The commission in a statement by Mr Sam Olumekun, National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, charged Nigerians to scrutinise the documents.

‘”Any aspirant who participated in his/her party primaries with reasonable grounds to believe that the information provided by the candidate is false can challenge the nomination in a Federal High Court .

He said such legal action was in line with the Electoral Act 2022. (NAN)

A tribute to our fallen heroes

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Would you fight for what you believe in even if it could lead to your demise?

_Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ishaya Rizi Bamaiyi (rtd)

By Isah Aliyu Chiroma

Honoring people who are deserving of it is important. We lament and grieve deeply over the deaths of our army officers in the Delta. With the new Nigeria taking shape, this arrived at a time when we needed peace more than ever. Not only should the fallen soldiers be remembered, but measures should be taken to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

We pay respect to the unflinching courage, devotion, and selflessness of the courageous men and women of the Nigerian Army who have sacrificed the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. Together, these warriors have steadfastly maintained the principles of honor and duty while defending the country’s sovereignty and safeguarding its population. Their memory will live on forever in the pages of Nigerian history, and their sacrifice stands as a tribute to the highest principles of patriotism and service.

The Nigerian Army is a representation of bravery, tenacity, and selflessness. These brave men and women have faced incredible obstacles and opponents everywhere from the front lines of battle to the most isolated areas of the country, exhibiting unmatched bravery and tenacity in the face of hardship. Even during the most difficult circumstances, they have remained steadfast in their dedication to upholding peace and stability as well as the territorial integrity of the country.

Every soldier who has died while performing their job has left a legacy of bravery and honor. They have remained steadfast in the face of peril, putting their lives in danger to defend the values of justice and freedom as well as their fellow citizens. Their selfless dedication to serve a cause bigger than themselves is demonstrated by their sacrifices, which are frequently undertaken quietly and without much fanfare.

It is critical to understand that every slain soldier has a family, a community, and a country grieving their loss behind them. These courageous soldiers’ families suffer greatly, from the anguish of loss to the anguish of separation. For their tenacity and sacrifice, they too are deserving of our sincere appreciation and respect.

The communities they serve also bear the cost of their sacrifices, as they support development initiatives, conduct peacekeeping missions to uphold stability and security, and offer humanitarian aid. These initiatives demonstrate their commitment to enhancing the lives of the country’s citizens in addition to protecting it.

Recognizing the value of helping and tending to those who are still serving is equally important as we pay tribute to the departed heroes. To truly appreciate their sacrifice, we must make sure they are well-cared for, give them the tools they need, and recognize their efforts. It is important to never forget or undervalue the sacrifices and service they have provided.

Not only did the president show up for the funeral, but he also went forward to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers, which made us happy. The President presented national honors as a tribute to the fallen officers. The Order of Nigeria (MON) was bestowed upon all four of the senior executives. The Order of the Federal Republic was given to all 13 troops (OFR). Above all, a scholarship for every child the departed heroes left behind. The government cares about the peace of the nation, and this will at least provide some comfort to their families and other serving officers.

We reaffirm our dedication to maintaining the moral principles—integrity, loyalty, and selfless service—for which they fought. In order to pay tribute to their memories, we work toward a better, more peaceful Nigeria in the future—a place where their legacy is treasured, their sacrifices are remembered, and their strength and resiliency serve as an example to all of us.

To our fallen heroes, your service and effort will not be in vein. Those involved in this action should be brought to justice, and face the consequences of their actions. As the nation grief, our fallen heroes will be remembered and their names, written with the ink of gold in our history. As the nature continue towards the path to peace and creating a peaceful atmosphere for its citizens, our heads are buried with supplications in solitude.