Navy arrests nine, vessel loaded with stolen crude

Naval operatives from the Central Naval Command, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, have arrested nine suspected illegal oil criminals and a vessel laden with 66,000 barrels of oil.
The suspects were arrested through a tip-off at Eremor field in Eremor community, off Brass River, in Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state.

The vessel, MT Dera 1, belonging to an oil exploration and production company, was said to have gone to the Eremor field for product testing but was later discovered to have illegally loaded 66,000 barrels (11 million) litres of substance suspected to be crude oil.

Parading the nine-member crew on Friday, Commodore Salisu Jubril, put the value of the crude oil at over N1bn.
Jubril said the activities of the exploration company at the oil field had not been duly approved according to Nigerian Navy’s extant regulation.

He said naval operatives on patrol apprehended the vessel and its crew members about 6pm last Thursday.
He said, “Our men on patrol on Thursday, around 1800 hours made the arrest of this vessel, MT Dera 1, which we found to have substance suspected to be crude oil, about 66,000 barrels on board. The company is supposed to be testing for production and they already have this quantity on board.


APC Reps berate Fayose over Ekiti Assembly crisis

The All Progressives Congress federal lawmakers in the House of Representatives have berated the Ekiti Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, over the leadership crisis rocking the state House of Assembly.

They were reacting to the purported removal of Dr. Adewale Omirin, as the Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, and his replacement with Dele Olugbemi by ‘10’ pro-Fayose lawmakers.

The Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Communications, Mr. Oyetunde Ojo and a member representing Ekiti South Federal Constituency II, Mr. Bamidele Faparusi, vowed that the matter would be raised on the floor of the House as a motion anytime the House resumed from recess.

Speaking in Ode-Ekiti, headquarters of Gbonyin Local Government Area of the State on Friday, the Lawmakers said the House will not watch helplessly when its regulatory powers over the Houses of Assembly was being threatened.

Ojo said, “Available facts showed that Omirin never planned to impeach the Governor, but only called for due process to be followed in the screening of the Commissioner-nominees. This is what democracy is all about. The process cannot allow you to assume a dictatorial status.”

The APC lawmaker added that the party was well-positioned to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2015 general elections by ensuring that candidates with grassroots’ appeal were picked.

He said, “You can see that many of our members had to scale the fence last week to defend democracy. If not, what happened to Omirin in the hands of the PDP in Ekiti would have happened to Hon. Aminu Tambuwal. That is why we have to be more vigilant.

“You can see that nobody is contesting primaries with me in my constituency because the people felt I have represented them well. Let politics be based on performance and the people’s wish and not by act of brigandage as being done by PDP.

“In the last Governorship election, PDP came as an opposition and won. So the chances of APC are very bright in 2015. We will defeat PDP roundly in all elections because we have done the people proud,” he said.

Faparusi urged Fayose and the PDP lawmakers to bury their heads in shame for allegedly working against democracy that made them.

“What Fayose and his lackeys in the Assembly did was shameful and never portrayed Ekiti as the Fountain of Knowledge. We salute Omirin for going to Court rather than taking law into his hands. He has been able to show that APC members are not hooligans,” he said.

Fayose reduces EKSU tuition

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has announced the reduction of the tuition being paid by students of the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, from N50,000 to N30,000.

Fayose, who announced this while featuring on a radio/television programme “Meet your Governor,” said the students could also pay the fees twice.

He said his administration would also ensure an enabling atmosphere for teaching and learning in state-owned institutions.

On the financial challenges facing the state, Fayose said apart from global economic meltdown, Ekiti’s situation was aggravated by the Kayode Fayemi-led administration’s excessive borrowing to fund project with little or no economic value.

He said, “On the day of my inauguration, I gave an overview of what the debt profile of the state is. Later, we have been discovering a lot of needless loans taken by that government on non-viable projects.

“For instance, the Civic Centre they started in Ado-Ekiti, they have committed N1.2 billion into it and the contractors are saying another N1.2 billion is needed to complete it. Over N2 billion was spent on Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort and was given to their cronnies to manage, as of now, less than N10 million has accrued as income from it.

“They said I have been given some money on federal roads they worked on; that is a lie. The Federal Government is saying it won’t reimburse Ekiti because the Fayemi’s administration did not take permission to work on those roads.

“We are just liaising with them to get the situation redressed. No kobo has also been given to the state from Ecological Funds,” he said.

On the frosty relationship between him and All Progressives Congress members of the state House of Assembly, the governor accused the lawmakers of not putting Ekiti first in their considerations.

“Adewale Omirin, as the speaker, did not attend my inauguration ceremony. After the event, we met and talked and we agreed to work together. They asked that their monthly running grant of N48 million be paid in full, even when other agencies had theirs slashed by 60 per cent or stopped totally because of poor finances, we still gave them their full grant.

“The N2 billion loan for SMEs that we wanted to access from the CBN, they now said they should be given 10 per cent of it which is N200 million and I refused.

“They have a mindset and directive from their leaders that they must cripple my government and I know the people of the state will not allow that,” he stated.

On the retirement of some permanent secretaries, Fayose said the performance of some was below expectation, while one connived with the former administration to pay out more than N1 billion in the last four weeks of the former administration.

“A situation where we have 36 permanent secretaries to 14 active ministries does not make sense and we are not going to allow any waste.

“The former governor had 104 special advisers/ special assistants and they were given official cars at the expense of the state. By the time they left, most of the cars were not paid for and they left with them,” Fayose added.

Serving lawmakers lose Edo PDP Assembly primaries

Three serving lawmakers were among other aspirants who failed to clinch the Peoples Democratic Party ticket for next year’s state house of assembly election, during the party’s primaries held last Saturday in 24 constituencies across the Edo State.

In Esan North-East II, the lawmaker representing constituency, Emma Okoduwa, scored 16 votes but lost to Igban Ezehi’s 20 votes.

The member representing Igueben constituency, Kingsley Ehigiamusor, lost to Mr. Odiana Iriata, while Mr. Razak Momoh, who represents Etsako West I, lost to Mr. Abubakar Dada.

However, the PDP factional speaker, Mr. Festus Ebea and two other members, Mr. Patrick Iluobe and Monday Ehighalu, secured the party’s tickets unopposed for Esan South-East, Esan North-East I and Esan West, respectively.

In Orhionmwon I, incumbent legislator, Mr. Friday Ogieriakhi, defeated Osahon Ahumwan and Austin Osawaru to pick the party’s ticket, while Mr. Nosa Adams, who is facing trial for alleged attempted murder during the party’s ward congress, scored 28 votes to defeated Melody Ekunwe, who got 26 votes, to fly the party’s flag for Egor constituency.

Dr. Sylvanus Eruaga clinched the ticket for Etsako West II, while Tijani Abubakar defeated three others to win the nomination of his party in Etsako Central constituency.

In Akoko Edo constituency I, Pastor Johnson Momoh defeated
Ernest Akpaja, Henry Ekundayo, Segun Bello and Emmanuel Agbaje
to secure the ticket, while Bisi Idaomi pulled 12 votes to defeat Don Umoru, who scored 10, and Kamarudeen Coker for Akoko Edo constituency II.

Uyi Ogbemudia, daughter of former two-time governor of the defunct Mid-West State, General Sam Ogbemudia
(retd), defeated other contenders to the pick the PDP ticket for Oredo West, while in Oredo East constituency, Lion Okoro emerged winner of the primary.

Others who secured the party’s ticket are Blessing Agbebaku(Owan West), John Amona (Owan East), Nicholas Asomsere (Ikpoba Okha), Levis Aigbogun (Ovia North-East I) and Andrew Uzamere (Ovia North-East II).

The results for Esan Central, Etsako East, Ovia South- West and Uhunmwode and were unavailable at the time of filling the report.

However, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, who was seen monitoring the primary for Oredo West and East, described the exercise as peaceful.

Adebanjo told our correspondent that men of the state command were deployed in various constituencies to forestall any breach of peace and provide adequate security for the delegates.

I’ll recover my stolen mandate from Aregbesola -Omisore

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, has expressed optimism that he would be declared the governor of the state by the Election Petitions Tribunal hearing his petition against Governor Rauf Aregbesola.

Omisore said this in an interview with journalists after the proceedings at the tribunal in Osogbo on Friday.

Omisore had earlier in the day said the same thing at the summit organised by some Yoruba elders at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife that he would emerge victorious very soon.

Asked if he had confidence in the tribunal, the PDP candidate said that he would not have approached the panel if there were no evidence that the August 9th governorship poll was rigged by the All Progressives Congress.

He said, “I am very hopeful that justice will be done. I want to urge our people not to lose hope. We have a good case and that was why we came to the tribunal. We are law abiding people. We refused to be provoked when they kept attacking our people even after the election.

“Very soon, we will retrieve our stolen mandate from the thieves who robbed us. Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Lagos will come track to the PDP fold in 2015 and then the South West will experience speedy development.”

But the Director of Publicity of the APC in Osun State, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, when contacted advised Omisore to stop deluding himself.
The APC’s spokesperson said that Aregbesola won the election convincingly despite the PDP’s tricks and the attempts to rig the poll.

According to him, the election was used by the people of the state to pay back Argebsola for his numerous achievements in his first term despite the meager resources available.

He said, “‎Omisore has no mandate anywhere. Ask him if he ever won election in his adult life. The senatorial seat was once awarded him from the prison.

“In 2011, he thought he had enough to win back the seat, he could not even win his ward.

“In 2014, he overrated himself, he lost woefully, even with all the federal support – the military, hooded operatives of the Department of State Security, the police and scandalous money.

“He should know by now, that the reality in the State of Osun is the All Progressives Congress.”

Omisore’s counsel, Mr. Nathaniel Oke (SAN), had applied to Justice Elizabeth Ikpejime-led tribunal to adjourn the sitting of the the panel to Monday for the continuation of the hearing of the petition.

The counsel premised the application on the alleged refusal of the Independent National Electoral Commission to make ballot papers used for the election available for the use of the petitioner.

Oke said that Omisore needed the materials to further prove his case before the panel but INEC said the documents would be made available on Monday.

Mr. Charles Edosomwan, who is the counsel to the first respondent ( Aregbesola) and the APC’s counsel, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN), raised objections to the application for adjournment.

Security expert warns Jonathan against trusting neighbouring countries

A security analyst,  Mr. Jackson Ojo , has warned President Goodluck Jonathan against trusting Nigeria’s neighbours in his efforts to combat the activities of the Boko Haram.

Ojo said this in an interview with our correspondent on Saturday.

He said that the constant attacks on Nigerians and and Nigerian communities could have the support of some of the aggrieved persons in some of the neighbouring countries.

The security expert who condemned the deadly attack on Kano mosque also said that Nigeria should not seek help from the United States. He explained that the US had predicted the disintegration of Nigeria by 2015, saying they would not offer any help but would rather aggravate the problem.

Ojo said, “President Jonathan must do everything to put a stop to the activities of the Boko Haram sect.

“But he should no longer trust our neighbouring countries. Nationals of these  countries: Chaldeans, people from Niger Republic, those from Central African Republic and even Benin Republic enter into Nigeria anyhow and this must stop.

“There are some aggrieved persons in these countries who would want to bring Nigeria down. Some of them are  not happy about Nigeria’s stance against Gaddafi and the way our troops went to Mali.

“Majority of these Boko Haram members are aliens. Nigerians love life and would not want to be suicide bombers but aliens whose culture allow suicide bombing would go to any length to destroy our nation.

“We should not look on the direction of the United States of America for solution to this terrorism problem. The same US had long predicted the collapse of Nigeria and going to them would not solve our problem.”

Ojo  also advised  Jonathan to involve retired security officers  in fashioning out permanent solution to the problem of terrorism in the country.

He explained that ex-service officers should be invited to a conference and their experience and expertise should be tapped to tackle the problem.

Five killed in Fulani herdsmen’s reprisal in Kogi

No fewer than  five persons were killed while properties estimated at millions of Naira were razed when Fulani herdsmen  allegedly attacked Abugi community in Lokoja Local Government area of Kogi State.

Our correspondent gathered on Sunday that the incident, which took place on Friday evening, was a reprisal attack.

A source who pleaded anonymity for fear of attack told journalists in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital on Sunday, that the problem between the herdsmen and Abugi community started few days ago when some of the herdsmen allegedly robbed and killed Alhaji Abdullahi Zakari,who was sent to deliver money to an unnamed person in a neighbouring community.

The source said that, angered by the killing of Zakari, their kinsmen and youths in Abugi engaged in a reprisal attack in one of the Fulani settlements in the area, which allegedly led to the death of one person.

It was further learnt that some Fulani elders later met with the paramount ruler of the community, Alhaji Kabir Isa,  for an amicable resolution of the crisis.

The source said that surprisingly, the Fulani herdsmen, about 5pm on Friday, attacked the Abugi community, killed people and burnt houses and  other properties worth  millions of naira.

It was gathered that  the Kogi State Police Command  had  deployed police officers to the area to prevent further break down of law and order and to bring normalcy to the troubled community.

The Kogi State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Mr. Elvis Aguegbo, when contacted, said he was with the Commissioner of Police and would  respond later but he never did  as of the time of filling this report.