I am alive – Awujale

The Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona, has dismissed as untrue rumours of his death, saying he is hale and hearty.

Some blogs had on Monday reported the death of the Ogun State’s 83-year old monarch, who is spending his 57th year on the throne.

But, according to a reliable source, the respected monarch debunked the rumours about his death in a telephone conversation.

The Awujale has for the past week been a guest of Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island, in Lagos, where he has been staying after a routine medical checkup in a Lagos hospital, two weeks ago.

Awujale expressed surprise that some bloggers could be spreading rumours about his death without confirming from the palace in Ijebu-Ode or from his chiefs.

“Why are people spreading rumours about my death, when I am right here at Oriental,” reporters quoted the monarch as saying.

He enjoined journalists to check the veracity of their information, before publishing.

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Aluu 4: Police sergeant, 2 others sentenced to death

A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has sentenced to death a Police Sergeant, Mr. Lucky Orji, David Chinasa Ogbada and Ikechukwu Louis Amadi, (aka Kapoon) for their active involvement in the murder of the four students of University of Port Harcourt.

The court also discharged and acquitted four of the suspects in the trial, Saviour Johnny, Abiodun Yusuf, Joshua Ekpe and Cyril Abang.

Four students of UNIPORT, Ugonna Obuzor, Toku Lloyd, Tekena Elkannah and Chiadika Biringa were murdered in a mob action at Aluu community in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state on 5th Oct 2012.

Twelve suspects were arraigned before the high court on the crime and based on a report from the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, I. Otorubio, five of the suspects including the traditional ruler of Umuokiri, Alhaji Hassan Welewa were discharged and acquitted on 27 January, 2017

Seven of the suspects, Saviour Johnny, Lucky Orji, Ikechukwu Louis Amadi, (aka Kapoon) David Chinasa Ogbada, Abiodun Yusuf, Joshua Ekpe and Cyril Abang were denied bail.

The trial judge, Justice Letam Nyordee, while delivering judgment yesterday noted that the prosecution counsel was able to prove the involvement of the three persons through a video evidence presented to the court.

Nyordee held that evidence given against the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants in the matter were overwhelming, adding their statements in the murder was confirmed in the video evidence that they actively took part in the killing of the four students.

He ruled that the statement of the 4th, 5th 6th and 7th defendants in the matter justifies their position that they were not involved in the murder, adding that it is corroborated by the video evidence of the prosecution counsel which only captured the presence of the suspects at the scene of the incidence.

The trial judge explained that role played by the three convicted persons in the murder were unjustifiable, adding that their actions were intended to terminate the lives of the victims, stressing that 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants were guilty of murder.

Making reference to Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap. 37, Vol. 2, Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria, 1999, Nyordee sentenced the three to death for taking the lives of other persons unjustifiably.

The trial maintained that the death of the four students was the most condemnable and cannot be justified, adding that the victims had great hope and future for their families.

Nyordee lashed out on the security operatives for their failure to take their role of protection of live and upholding of law seriously, regretting that the security personnel at the scene of the crime could not save the situation and described the situation as the sorry state of the society.

He said no explanation would ever be valid on why the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, the Aluu Police Post, Isiopko Divisional Police Headquarters and C4I security outfit, which were beckoned and were present, could not mobilize to rescue the victims whose allegation of robbery could not be proven during the unlawful prosecution.

Nyordee, however, added that the decision of the court would serve as a deterrent to those who take human life without recourse, adding that human life should be protected.

Wamakko condoles Zamfara govt over death of Tsafe emir

Sen. Aliyu Magtakarda Wamakko, representing Sokoto North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, on Monday, condoled the family, people and Government of Zamfara State over the recent death of the Emir of Tsafe, Alhaji Habibu Alliyu.

This is contained in a statement signed by Wamakko’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Bashir Rabe Mani, and issued to newsmen in Sokoto.

The statement said that Sen. Wamakko’s first port of call was the residence of Governor AbdulAiziz Yari Abubakar in Talata Mafara.

The lawmaker described the death of the late emir as a collective loss saying that, the deceased had meritoriously occupied the throne for 26 years.

Sen. Wamakko, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education, also said that the demise of the monarch was a great loss not only to his family or Zamfara state, but to the entire country.

The senator prayed God for the repose his soul and for God to grant the family, people and government of the state, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Responding, Governor Yari commended Sen. Wamakko for the visit, describing Zamfara and Sokoto states as one.

At the residence of the deceased, Sen. Wamakko urged the family, people and government of Zamfara State to be consoled by the lasting legacies of honesty, piety and honesty left by the late Emir.

Responding on behalf of the family, the Wazirin Tsafe, Alhaji Haruna Sallau, commended Wamakko for the condolence visit.

Also, the lawmaker has visited the newly appointed emir of Tsafe, Alhaji Muhammad Bawa, where he admonished him to carry everybody along, as well as strive to further unite the family.

Responding, Bawa lauded Senator Wamakko for the gesture and promised to be a father to all the family members, people of the Emirate and the entire state.

Malawi issues warrant of arrest for former president Banda

Malawi police on Monday issued an arrest warrant for former president Joyce Banda in connection with the country’s “Cashgate” corruption scandal, which involved large-scale looting of government coffers.

“Malawi fiscal and fraud police have unearthed credible evidence which raises reasonable suspicion that the former president committed offences relating to abuse of office and money laundering,” national police spokesman James Kadadzera told AFP.

Banda has been living in self-imposed exile since she lost to President Peter Mutharika in the 2014 election.

Kadadzera said Banda is ” suspected of abusing her office” in the Cashgate scandal.

He said the warrant of arrest came into “force” from Monday.

Cashgate is the biggest financial scandal in Malawi’s history and helped push Banda out of power in 2014.

That came after she ordered an audit the previous year which discovered that $30 million had been looted by officials in less than six months in 2013.

Dozens of civil servants, business people and politicians have since been implicated in the scam, and some have been jailed.

International donors pulled the plug on aid of around $150 million over the scandal.

Police arrest 32 kidnappers on Abuja/Kaduna road

The Police headquarters Monday paraded 32 suspected kidnappers that operate on the Abuja/Kaduna, expressway.

The suspects who were arrested in the villages of Jere, Katari and Rijanah of Kaduna State, north central Nigeria were paraded at the Divisional police headquarters, Patari, located along the Kaduna/Abuja expressway.

The force public relations officer, Moshood Jimoh told journalists that the arrests were made within one week following the launch of operation “Absolute Sanity,” to rout kidnappers and other criminal groups terrorizing Abuja-Kaduna Highway.

The suspects, mostly of Fulani origin, were found in possession of ten serviceable AK-47 riffles, machete, knives, charms and other offensive weapons they use in their operation.

The FPRO, while noting that the spate of kidnapping along Abuja-Kaduna highway that has become a daily incident was beginning to give the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris, najor concern, said police operation in conjunction with the military already on ground, has made significant progress in the last one week.

He said that since the commencement of the operation, the police have not recorded any case of kidnap or armed robbery on the road, adding that the team has embarked on police visibility patrol, police stop and search and other police crime prevention strategies to put to an end the attacks.

Enelamah elected Vice-Chair WTO Ministerial Conference

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, has been elected Vice-Chairperson (Africa) for the 11th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference.

The UN trade agency said Enelamah’s election alongside two others was decided at the meeting of the WTO General Council in Geneva on July 26.

“At a General Council meeting on 26 July, WTO members elected three officials to serve as Vice Chairs for the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference (MC11) in Buenos Aires.

“The officials are: Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment (Nigeria); Mr Todd McClay, Minister of Trade (New Zealand); Mr Edward Yau, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Hong Kong, China).

“On 18 May 2017, the General Council agreed to elect Minister Susana Malcorra of Argentina to chair MC11. The Ministerial Conference will take place on 10 to 13 December 2017.”

The WTO General Council acts on behalf of the Ministerial Conference on all WTO affairs.

Enelamah’s election is considered as a very important recognition of Nigeria’s leadership role at the WTO and contributions on global trade policies.

The Ministerial Conference, which meets every two years, is the topmost decision-making body of the WTO.

It meets as the Dispute Settlement and Trade Policy Review Body to oversee procedures for settling disputes between members and to analyse members’ trade policies.

It also brings together members of the organisation, all of which are countries or customs unions and can take decisions on matters under any of the multilateral trade agreements.

Boko Haram can’t stop oil search – UNIMAID VC

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Prof. Ibrahim Njodi, said despite the recent Boko Haram attack, the search for oil will continue in the Lake Chad basin.

Njodi made the commitment pledge when a delegation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and the Ministry of Petroleum visited him in Maiduguri.

The delegation was led by Engr. Saidu Mohammed, Chief Operating Officer in charge of gas and power unit of the Corporation. .

Prof. Njodo told the delegation that though the entire University community was distraught by the cruel incident of July 25th 2017, the University cannot ‘’Chicken out’’ from doing what it is supposed to do when eventually the NNPC re-organizes and return to exploration work in the area.

Tracing the University’s partnership with the Corporation to over 12 years ago when the NNPC teed-off exploration activities in the Chad Basin, the UniMaid VC described the cruel attack on the Frontier Exploration Services/Surface Geochemistry Sampling team comprising the NNPC, Consultants from University of Maiduguri, Consultants attached to the Integrated Data Services Limited, (IDSL) a subsidiary of the NNPC and Civilian escort team, as an act of God.

He noted that the situation painful as it might appear must be seen as a necessary sacrifice for the development of the country.

Prof. NJodi, however, called on the NNPC to stand firm beside the University and the families of the bereaved and provide the much needed support to overcome the massive setback wrought by the insurgent attack.

Engr. Mohammed said as a responsible corporate entity the NNPC would do everything within its means to support the University and the families of the victims of the attack.

“We have been great partners with the University of Maiduguri for many years and certainly when losses like this happen and under this circumstance, we cannot abandon our partners to their fate,’’ Engr. Mohammed said.

He promised to return to the University after conferring with the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the Group Managing Director of the NNPC.

Earlier, the high powered delegation paid a similar visit to the Governor of Borno State at Government House Maiduguri where the deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Usman Durkwa, charged the NNPC not to allow the attack to dampen its morale in the quest for new oil finds in the region.

Before leaving Maiduguri, the Delegation paid a visit to the Theatre Command Headquarters of operation Lafia Dole where a formal condolence letter from the HMSPR was handed over to Brig. Gen. Stevenson Olabanji who stood in for the theatre commander.

General Olabanji restated the readiness of the military to perform its statutory role of providing security cover for exploration activities in the Chad Basin and beyond.

Meanwhile the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru upon return of the Delegation over the weekend, announced some short term palliatives for victims of the attacks. 

(NAN)