FG reaffirms Nigeria’s position on One China policy

The Federal Government on Thursday reaffirmed its One China policy as part of its drive to strengthen and deepen the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

The Federal Government made this known in a circular dispatched to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), through office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) in Abuja on Thursday.

The circular read in part: “As part of government’s drive to strengthen and deepen bilateral relationships with China, it has become imperative to reaffirm Nigeria’s position on the (One China Policy).’’

According to the circular, for clarity, ‘‘the Federal Government recognises that Beijing remains the only seat of the government representing the whole China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of its territory.’’

The circular further stated that in effect, the Federal Government does not recognise Taiwan as an independent territory.

According to the circular, “Mr President has directed that the term “Republic of China (Taiwan) shall not be used in official communications and pronouncement.

“And all official and private trips by the government officials to Taiwan must be cleared by the SGF.’’

In the circular, government is also reviewing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on trade relations between Nigeria and Taiwan and its outcome will be communicated in due course.

According to the circular, all MDAs are enjoined to bring the contents of this circular to the notice of all concerned for immediate compliance.

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9 ships arrive Lagos ports with petroleum products

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Thursday said three out of nine ships waiting to berth in Lagos ports contained petrol.

The ports authority said this in its daily `Shipping Position’ released in Lagos.

The document indicated that the remaining six ships were laden with diesel, bulk maize, bulk fertiliser and aviation fuel.

It said that 29 other ships with petroleum products, food items and other goods consignments were expected in Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports between Dec. 14 and Dec. 30.

“The expected ships are carrying buck wheat, containers, general cargoes, bulk steel products, bulk sugar, bulk gypsum, crude palm olein, empty containers, diesel and aviation fuel,” NPA said.

Six killed in Cross River tanker explosion

THREE Soldiers were allegedly among six persons burnt to death in Iwuru in Biase Local Government Area in central district of Cross River State on Wednesday night when a tanker laden with petroleum products crashed and exploded along the Calabar – Ikom highway.

The incident which occurred seventy kilometres away from Calabar according to an eye witness who gave her name as Agnes happened when the taker developed break problem and the driver tried to maneuver it to a ditch to avoid collision with oncoming vehicles causing the tanker to upturn.

The soldiers, according to Agnes were travelling in opposite direction when the accident occurred and they stopped their vehicle and rushed to rescue the driver and the conductor when the taker exploded into a bowl of fire and engulfed them.

“When the tanker fell into the gutter, smoke started coming out and the soldiers who were in a vehicle heading to Calabar quickly stopped their van and went to rescue the driver and the conductor but suddenly the taker burst into flames and they were caught in the fire” Agnes said

She said three of the soldiers were trapped in the inferno while one managed to escape with severe burns and was rushed to the Akamkpa General Hospital for medical attention.

When reporter visited the scene at about 9.00am on Thursday, the fire was still smoldering and the body of one of the soldier was seen lying face down while those of other two were some metres away and left with just bones.

Capatain Owolabi, the Army Public Relations Officer for the Akim Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Calabar said he was yet to be briefed on the matter. “ I am not aware of any such incident. Let me confirm and get back to you soon”. He said

German army vessel rescues 102 migrants off coast of Libya

A German army vessel has rescued 102 migrants from the Mediterranean, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday.

The ministry said the Bundeswehr ship, part of an EU mission dubbed “Sophia,” rescued 84 men, two women, 15 children and a baby from a vessel off the Libyan coast, 25 km north of Tripoli.

The men, women and children were brought to Messina in Sicily, while their vessel sank.

The German military has saved 22,000 people from the Mediterranean since May 2015.

In another development, the Turkish media reported that nearly 70 migrants trying to reach Europe by sea became stranded on a rocky outcrop in the Aegean Sea, and needed rescuing by helicopter.

The state news agency Anadolu reported that four children were among about 68 migrants, who had tried to reach the Greek islands from Turkey in an inflatable boat.

The failed migrants were taken by helicopter back to the Turkish mainland, where some three million Syrians are living after fleeing conflict in their homeland.

The land route across the Balkans and the sea route across the Mediterranean are the two main methods used by undocumented migrants and asylum-seekers who are attempting to reach Europe.

(dpa/NAN)

Don’t sleepwalk into war over North Korea, warns UN boss

This handout picture provided by United Nations shows Secretary General Antonio Guterres addressing a press conference closing peace talks in the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana on July 7, 2017. Marathon talks aimed at ending Cyprus’s drawn-out conflict sputtered out early Friday without a deal, despite valiant efforts from the UN chief to jumpstart the process. Cyprus is one of the world’s longest-running political crises and the UN-backed talks that began in the Swiss Alpine resort of Crans-Montana on June 28 had been billed as the best chance to end the island’s 40-year division. / AFP PHOTO / United Nations / STR

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres Thursday warned the world against “sleepwalking into war” over North Korea, as he called for diplomatic efforts to banish nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula.

Speaking on a visit to Japan, Secretary-General Guterres said: “The worst possible thing that could happen would be for us all to sleepwalk into a war that might have very dramatic circumstances.”

The UN Security Council has imposed three rounds of sanctions over the past year against North Korea over its increasingly powerful missile and nuclear tests.

Guterres said those sanctions need to be implemented “by North Korea first of all, but also fully implemented by all the other countries whose role is crucial”.

He urged “diplomatic engagement that allows for…denuclearisation (of the Korean peninsula) to take place in a peaceful way”.

“It is important for all parties to understand the urgency of finding a solution,” he told reporters at a later briefing.

Speaking alongside Guterres, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe echoed the call to “fully implement United Nations Security Council resolutions” and hold “meaningful dialogue toward denuclearisation”.

The secretary-general’s trip comes after Jeffrey Feltman, the UN’s political affairs chief, visited North Korea earlier this month.

Feltman said he had been told in Pyongyang that North Korea wants to avoid war and said he “fervently” hoped the “door to a negotiated solution will now be opened wide”.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Washington was ready to talk to Pyongyang “without preconditions”, interpreted by many as a shift in the US position.

Washington’s top diplomat told the Atlantic Council policy forum that North Korea is welcome to talk about anything at a first meeting — even the weather.

However, the White House and Tillerson’s own department later stressed that the US position on North Korea “had not changed”.

“The secretary was not creating a new policy, our policy remains exactly the same as it was,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Wednesday.

Asked about Tillerson’s comments, Guterres said he would “not like to comment on expressions that sometimes might not translate exactly the thinking” of the administration.

“Dialogue must have an objective and the objective for us is to achieve the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and to do it in a peaceful manner,” stressed the UN chief.

Asked if he would be willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, he said: “Meetings only make sense if there is a purpose to those meetings. I am ready to go anywhere at any time when it is useful but I’m not aiming…just to be in the cameras of the television.”

“We are available, but we can only mediate when both parties accept our mediation.”

N35m theft: Court dismisses case against NUT members in Delta

An Okpanam Chief Magistrates’ Court in Delta State, has discharged and acquitted five members of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Delta State chapter who were accused of stealing and other offences.

Magistrate Chinedu Osuma discharged and acquitted them for lack of proof by the plaintiff that the accused committed the offences as contained in a certified true copy of the judgment obtained from the court.

The discharged and acquitted persons were : Adimujo Ugochukwu, Jemiriegbe Jonathan, Ejarogan Samson, Ekpah John Onyemechi and Joe Iyalekhue.

They had been arraigned on a four-count charge of felony, stealing, malicious damage and unlawful damage.

Osuma in his ruling said, “In view of the evidence adduced by the prosecution witnesses, I am satisfied that there is nothing placed before this court either by way of direct evidence or eye witness to the destruction or damage or anything circumstantial placed before me linking the accused persons to this charge.

“The prosecution being unable to identify the essential elements of the offences charge.

“I hold that none of the ingredients of the offences as described in the charges has been proved.

“I over rule the objection to the application and uphold the no-case submission.
“On the whole, the sole issue for determination is hereby resolved against the prosecution and in favour of the accused persons and so I hold.
“The accused persons are hereby discharged and acquitted of the four counts in the charge.

“The prosecution having failed to establish all the ingredients in each of the said counts in the charge.

“ This is the ruling of this court.’’

Earlier during the proceeding, the prosecutor, Sgt. Alex Ibendiogwu had told the court that the accused persons stole blocks, trips of sand, trips of granite, shovels, wheel barrows, wooden pegs, ropes and 12 iron buckets.

The prosecutor said then that the goods valued at N35, 979, 300 belonged to NARZCO NIG. LTD.

Ibendiogwu had said then that the offences contravened Sections 516, 390(9) and 415 of the Criminal Code Cap C21 Vol 1, Laws of Delta, Nigeria, 2006, respectively.

The persons had pleaded not guilty to the charges then.

(NAN)

3 LASU staff arraigned for extortion, forgery

Three staff of Lagos State University (LASU) were arraigned, on Thursday, before the state Chief Magistrate Court, Ebute-Metta, Oyingbo‎, over alleged abuse of office, forgery and extortion.
The defendants, Mubin Raji, Alli Ajose and Bankole Odofin are standing trial on a nine count charge.

Among the offence allegedly committed by the trio are; conspiracy to obtaining under fasle pretence, abuse of office, use of false certificates ‎by public officers, extortion by public officers, corruption by public officials, acceptance of gift from agents, forgery and stealing.

The prosecutor, Inspector Chinalu Uwadione told the court that the defendants committed the alleged offences between January 2011 and September 2017, at the Lagos State University LASU, Ojo.

He said that the trio and others still at large conspired among themselves and intentionally performed an act in violation of the rules and regulations of LASU, in the discharge of their duties, for the purpose of obtaining undue advantage to themselves.

Uwadione said that Raji and Ajose presented a false West African Examination Certificate (WAEC), to LASU authority to gain employment, which they knew to be false.

He also alleged that Ajose obtained the sum of N20,000, from one Kingsley Azubike, under false pretence that he would help him to remove his fake O Level WAEC Certificate, he used to gain employment into the institution, a representation he knew to be false.

The prosecutor said, “Mubin Raji forged West African Examination Certificate (WAEC) O Level result and submitted same which gave him employment into the Lagos State University in year 2011, with intent that it may be used or acted as genuine “.

“Bankole Odofin received monies from students of the Lagos State University to alter their results and also upgrade marks for them ” He said.

According to the prosecutor, the offences committed are punishable under sections 411, 73 (1) ( 2) ,74 (1) 314 (1) (a), 287, 365 (1), 63 (1) (a) & (b), ‎68 (1) and 65 (1) (a) &(b), of the criminal laws of Lagos State, 2015.
However the trio pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Chief Magistrate Mrs O. I Adelaja, granted them bail in the sum of N500,000, each with two sureties each in like sum.

The case was adjourned to January 22, 2018, for mention.