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Updated: 1 hour 46 min ago

HAPPENING NOW: Again, Another UNILAG Building On Fire (Video)

3 hours 10 min ago

 

A building under construction in the University of Lagos is currently on fire.

This is coming three days after a section of Creative Art Department of the Faculty of Arts caught fire.

The building, located near the Faculty of Education, is being constructed as a hostel for students of the institution. It erupted in flames moments ago.

The source of the fire is unknown as fire fighters are currently battling to put out the fire.

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Sowore's Take It Back Movement Rejects Potential VAT Increase By Nigerian Govt

3 hours 34 min ago


The Take It Back Movement, under the leadership of Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the just concluded presidential election, has rejected the proposaal by the Nigerian government to increase Value Added Tax (VAT).

The goverent is considering an increase in VAT to fund the new national minimum wage approved by the National Assembly.

A statement issued by Rachel Onamusi-Kpiasi, Director, PR, Media and Communications of the Take it Back Movement, on Thursday, berated the government for the decision, describing it as "thoughtless and cruel".

The statement read: "The Take it Back Movement seizes this medium to state its outright rejection of the government's proposition to issue a 50% increase on the Value Added Tax (VAT) on commodities, an increase from 5% to 7.5%.

"We deem it to be thoughtless, cruel and worthy of total condemnation by all who seek to see a Nigeria that works for all and not for a privileged few. The Take it Back Movement is battle prepared to join the hungry and angry Nigerian people in resisting this renewed attempt at subjecting the Nigerian people to a new depth of abject poverty.

"Last year, the Nigerian Labour Congress embarked on numerous protests and strike actions to press for minimum wage to be increased to 30 thousand naira. After denying the average Nigerian of a wage increase for many years, the Buhari-led government, in a transparent bid to garner support in the upcoming elections, made a very reluctant concession to the demands of Labour and increased the minimum wage.

"The 2019 elections, unlike previous elections, had been issue based and the question of minimum wage was going to play a crucial role in whipping up workers' sentiment - especially at the time the AAC's Presidential Candidate, Omoyele Sowore, had brought the subject matter to the front burner of the campaign."

The group criticised politicians of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) for promoting programmes aimed at impoveroshing the people.

"While Atiku's PDP was fronting anti-poor programs of selling public property to enrich his friends and his APC counterpart was busy assaulting Nigerian workers with economically insignificant minimum wage, Omoyele Sowore was the only candidate in the race that included his plans to pay workers a living wage of a hundred thousand naira as a major campaign agenda.

"The blackmail that it was going to lead to inflation was immediately and intellectually deflated by the campaign. Our campaign reminded the public that while Nigeria had not witnessed a minimum wage increase since 2011, the rate of inflation between 2012 after increased fuel pump price and 2015, and on to 2019 upon the emergence of Buhari and his anti-poor policies has increased steadily to a maddening crescendo.

"The campaign showed how the government, in collaborative relationships with big corporations, used inflation and other artificial policies as excuses to target the living standards of the poor while amassing more wealth for themselves, families and rich friends.

"The Buhari regime is one that gives with the right hand and robs with the left. As soon as the National Assembly passed the hard-won minimum wage increment into law, the incumbent government announced a VAT increase to “fund the new minimum wage” – an amount that is still comparatively a slave wage when compared to other African countries with substantively fewer resources.

"The genius of this new tool of oppression is in its simplicity: a VAT increase will lead to a hike in the price of commodities. This will further push inflation rate to a whole new level, thereby proving the diabolical reasoning of the Buhari regime and completely diminishing the purchasing power of workers. The VAT increase, not the increase in minimum wage, will set the tone of poverty and unforeseen suffering for the next four years.

"It is no secret that the Nigerian government is the most expensive in the entire world; a government that oversaw Nigeria slipping into the position of world’s poverty capital on their watch. Despite a yearly increase in the amount used to maintain the many wasteful government bureaucracies, the government did not blackmail itself with the increment of VAT. With all non-oil government parastatals telling us that they are making and generating revenues to the tune of trillions, we can't but conclude that the government intends to be deliberate in shoving this level of unimaginable sufferings down the throats of hardworking Nigerians.

"The  Take it Back  Movement believes that this is one of the many more poverty-inducing programs the Buhari government will be unleashing on the suffering people of Nigeria. We have been vindicated in our declaration that Buhari and APC’s Next Level refers to the next level of poverty."

The Movement thus called on Nigerians and Labour Unions to "resist this socio-economic coup and deliberate conspiracy against the living standard of the Nigerian people".
Noting that they cannot continue to fold their hands and allow the same people who never care for the people's welfare to attempt to punish workers for demanding what rightly belongs to us, they made a few propositions:

1. That the Labour movement (as led by NLC, TUC, ULC and FIWON) call for discussions all over the country to prepare for mass actions over the expected failure to implement the #30,000 minimum wage, and also the expected delays in paying across the states.

2. That the civil society should start unity talks in conjunction with the Labour movement and revolutionary parties like AAC to start mass resistance on the VAT increments.

"We must focus our efforts on taking back our country through pro-active means. The Buhari/APC government cannot continue to insult us in this manner any longer. Nigeria MUST progress," the statement concluded.

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UNCOVERED: In 2018 Budget, 24 Departments In Six Federal Ministries All Want To Spend N6.5bn On ‘Agricicultural’ Facilities

3 hours 50 min ago


The Civic Media Lab's scrutiny of the 2018 Budget has exposed more disturbing albeit interesting details, one of which is the line item: AGRICICULTURAL FACILITIES.

The Civic Media Lab discovered the line item, ‘Rehabilitation/Repairs-Agricicultural Facilities’, in 24 departments across six ministries. Twelve projects proposed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR) and eight projects proposed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) have the highest mentions of the heading. The federal ministries of industry, trade and investment; labour and employment; science and Technology, as well as Interior, have one department each with the seemingly wrongly-worded heading.

For instance, looking at the 2018 budget approved for the National Directorate of Employment, an agency under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the conspicuous subheading: REHABILITATION/REPAIRS-AGRICICULTURAL FACILITIES. The budget is divided into two broad categories: recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure. The recurrent axis deals with overheads, salaries and other costs that reoccur annually. Within the capital expenditure domain, however, there are some constantly occurring subheads.

The capital expenditure heading has three major subheads: 'Fixed Assets Purchased', 'Construction/Provision' and 'Rehabilitation/Repairs'. Rehabilitation/Repairs-Agricicultural Facilities is under the third subhead mentioned. Here is how it looks in the other MDAs:

Under 'Construction/Provision', there is a subhead titled 'Construction/Provision-Agricultural Facilities'. This is why Civic Media Lab was surprised to discover the coinage, ‘Agricicultural’ further down.

Under the ‘Agricicultural’ heading, FMARD’s headquarters assigned projects worth N409million; Institute of Agricultural Training and Research, Ibadan, assigned N10million; while the National Agric, Extension Research Liaison Office classed projects valued at N18million under the subcategory. Also, the Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, placed projects priced at N65million; Federal College of Freshwater Fisheries, Baga, puts line items with a combined cost of N76million and Nigeria Stored Products Research Institute, Ilorin, assigned projects valued at N26million into the sub-classification.

Under FMARD, the National Agriculture Seeds Council voted projects worth N91million, while the Nigeria Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research voted in N51million for the same ‘Agricicultural’ Facilities.

In the same vein, all the departments in FMWR voted hundreds of millions under the same ‘Agricicultural’ heading, namely: FMWR’s headquarters – N676million, Anambra/Imo River Basin Development Authority (RBDA) – N212million, Benin/Owena RBDA – N16million, Chad Basin RBDA – N680million, Cross River RBDA – N810million, Hadejia-Jama'are RBDA – N730million, Osun/Ogun RBDA – N20million, Lower Niger RBDA – N20million, Sokoto Rima RBDA – N128million, Upper Benue RBDA – N695million, Upper Niger RBDA – N185million and Gurara Water Management Authority – N313million.

The four departments across four other ministries with projects under the same ‘Agricicultural’ heading are: Federal Ministry of Interior, Nigeria Prison Service – N911million, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, National Directorate of Employment (NDE) – N78million. Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, National Biotechnology Development Agency, Abuja – N17million and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Nigeria Commodity Exchange – N225million.

In total, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources not only has all its departments making provision for Rehabilitation/Repairs under ‘Agricicultural’ facilities, it devotes the highest amount which stands at N4.5billion to this questionable category.

Next is the Ministry of Interior with N911million set aside in the Prison Service, while the Ministry of Agriculture has N748million of its total budget under the said class of projects. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment allocated N225million to fund this group of projects through the Nigeria Commodity Exchange, while the Ministry of Labour and Employment, through the Directorate of Employment got projects worth N78million under the classification.

The Ministry of Science and Technology props the rest with N17million assigned to the class through the Biotechnology Development Agency.

With similar observations made in budgets as far back as 2014, SaharaReporters reached out to Afolabi Juwon, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Budget Office, to understand why the word ‘Agricicultural’ is used in the budget, even in departments that do not have the direct mandate of carrying out agricultural rehabilitation and repairs. After stating that the word ‘agricicultural’ refers to agric-related items, he promised to connect us with scheduling officers in the ministries identified. However, as of the time of publication, the promise had not been fulfilled.

The Civic Media Lab and SaharaReporters have discovered patterns of misaligned projects, poorly-described line items, duplicated descriptions and figures in Nigeria’s appropriation document from 2014 to the proposed budget currently lying at the National Assembly awaiting passage.

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'His Services Are Free Of Charge' — NOUN Apologises To Obasanjo Over N40,000 Salary Comment

6 hours 1 min ago


The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has apologised to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, over the comment that the institution paid him N40,000 annually as a facilitator in the institution.

Professor Abdalla Adamu, the Vice Chancellor had addressed a press conference on Tuesday on the university's 8th Convocation, where he made the reference.

According to NAN, Obasanjo had, however, denied the claim, stating that he had never received a dime from the institution for his services. 

In a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja, signed by Ibrahim Sheme, NOUN's Director of Media and Publicity, the institution noted that the figure was stated as the generic amount the institution paid its facilitators.

The statement read: “While it is true that the VC had told the gathering of journalists and NOUN staff present at the conference that the university had offered the former President, His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo a facilitation appointment, the honorarium mentioned in the newspaper publications is the generic amount the university issued in the appointment letters of all facilitators.

“For the records, therefore, we wish to clarify that His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is offering his services as a facilitator to NOUN absolutely free of charge and with no strings attached.

“The former President told the university that his decision was premised on the fact that he is giving back to the society out of the great bounties God and the university have given him.

“For this laudable and patriotic gesture of his, we remain immensely indebted to the former President and elder statesman."

Felix Edoka, the school registrar, also expressed the university’s regret over the inconveniences and embarrassment the newspaper publications might have caused to him.

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Falana Gives Nigerian Govt Two Weeks To Return Deported Refugees

6 hours 4 min ago


Femi Falana speaking at the launch of Sahara Repoerters Civic Media Center

Sahara Reporters Media

Femi Falana (SAN), foremost human rights lawyer, has given the Nigerian government two weeks to bring back refugees and asylum seekers deported to their countries by the National Security Adviser (NSA).

In a letter dated March 20, 2019, Falana informed Abubakar Malami (SAN), Attorney-General of the Federation, of the court judgments against the NSA.

Judgments were given in two suits; FHC/ABJ/CS/147/2018 by Wilfred Tassang and 50 others against the NSA and FHC/ABJ/CS/85/2018 by Mr. Sisiku Ayuk Tabe and 10 others against the NSA.

Falana stated that refugees and asylum seekers are guaranteed legal protections according to 1999 Constitution, the National Commission for Refugees (Establishment Etc) Act, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the United Nations on Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees Commission. 

Falana wrote: “In view of the foregoing, we are compelled to request you to use your good offices to advise the Federal Government to comply with the aforesaid judgments of the Federal High Court without any further delay.

“In particular, you may wish to draw the attention of the relevant authorities to the case of the Minister of Internal Affairs v. Alhaji Shugaba Darman (1982) 3 NCLR 915 where the respondent who had been illegally deported to the Republic of Chad by the Federal Government was brought back to Nigeria in compliance with the orders of the Borno State High Court presided over by the Honourable Justice Oye Adefila of blessed memory."

Falana promised to institute a legal case of contempt proceeding against the NSA and Nigerian government if they failed to return the deported refugees within the stipulated time.

Falana had on March 1, won a case he instituted against the government when Justice Anwali Chinkere of the Federal High Court ordered that deportation of refugees and asylum seekers is illegal and unconstitutional.

A key Cameroonian separatist leader, Julius Ayuk Tabe, and 46 others were deported from Nigeria after their arrest in Abuja.

Ayuk, President of a self-declared breakaway state made up of the Anglophone regions of majority-Francophone Cameroon, was one of 15 people whom Cameroon issued an international arrest warrant for in November 2017.

Cameroonian Communications Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary approved the move, saying "a group of 47 terrorists, among them Mr. Ayuk Tabe, has for some hours been in the hands of Cameroonian justice, before which they will answer for their crimes."

He also praised Nigeria for joining Cameroon in “never tolerating their respective territories serving as a base for activities that destabilise one or the other".

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Fire Destroys Properties Of 196 Students In Jigawa

6 hours 5 min ago


Sabon-Gari market fire

Recent fire outbreaks in two secondary schools in Jigawa State have destroyed the belongings of about 196 students in the schools.

The schools affected are Science Secondary School Lautai, Gumel and Takur Commercial Secondary School, Dutse.

The fire at Science Secondary School Lautai, Gumel Local Government Area of the state, affected the students’ hostel and their personal belongings, including books, clothes, mattresses and food items.

Mallam Haladu Yakubu, Executive Secretary of the Science and Technical School Board, explained that the incident occurred on Tuesday when the students were in the class.

Another fire, which affected Takur Commercial Secondary School hostel saw to the loss of properties of 100 students of the school.

Malam Abdullahi Yunusa, Director-General of the State Education Inspectorate and Monitoring Unit (SEIMU), stated that three rooms were hugely affected, adding that the state government had sent a delegation and fact-finding team to the school.

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Nigeria More Divided Now Than During Civil War, Says Obasanjo

6 hours 15 min ago


Sahara Reporters Media

Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria, says Nigeria is more divided now than it was during the civil war.

He said this during his speech at the 2019 annual retreat/conference and general meeting of members of the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria (ACAEBIN) held at Park Inn, Abeokuta in Ogun State on Thursday.

According to Obasanjo, the country would experience more division if it does not begin to partner with other countries to develop other sectors of the economy.

“When we look at this country today, even during the civil war, we were not as divided as we are now. Today, we are in danger if we don’t take partnership serious. That partnership should be within our people, Africa and the rest of the world," he said.

Obasanjo stated that until the government gets its politics right, the country will keep experiencing setback in whatever it does, just as he stressed the need to translate the growing population of the country to economic development.

“The first is politics which is governance. Unless we get governance right, any other thing we are trying to do will not be right.

“The second is population. Our population at Independence was estimated to be 45 million, but today we are almost 200 million. By the year 2050, we will be over 400 million. Normally, population should be an asset but looking at the condition we are in now when in the North-East of Nigeria, the percentage of adult literacy is about 53 per cent, and education being the basic of all human development, you can see that we have a problem.

“How do we think of setting education to be useful? Those people who will make our education of over 400 million people in many years’ time are already born, and you cannot unborn them. So the problem is here, what do we do?

"We must provide education, housing, healthcare and most importantly, employment for them. One thing that I believe will help us to provide employment is agricultural business.”

The former president also urged the government to ensure security is guaranteed across the country.
 

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There Can Never Be Perfect Elections Anywhere In The World, INEC Tells US

6 hours 19 min ago


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has responded to the statement by the United States on the 2019 general election in Nigeria.

The US claimed it was disappointed by the low turnout of voters, as well as the high level of military interference in the election.

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

“As noted by many observer groups in their preliminary reports, we too were disappointed by the low voter turnout as well as credible reports of voter intimidation, vote buying, interference by security forces, and violence in some locations. We are saddened by those acts of violence and extend our deepest sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives, including those who worked for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security services.

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

“We encourage all stakeholders, including INEC, political parties, and the security services, to continue to improve the electoral process for future elections. We look to Nigeria as an important leader on the African continent. As a democratic partner of Nigeria, the United States remains committed to working together to achieve our mutual goals of peace and prosperity for the citizens of both our countries.”

However, Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary of the commission, stated that the election was hugely successful.

He also said that the election is “by no means perfect” as there can be “no country in the world where general elections are perfect from the beginning to the end.”

He continued: “As one of our important partners, the Independent National Electoral Commission appreciates the United States’ interest and support for Nigeria’s electoral process.

“However, there is no country in the world where general elections are perfect from the beginning to the end. In our reckoning, coupled with various reports released by local and international observers so far, the 2019 general elections were a success, but by no means perfect.”

He noted that INEC would continue to do its part to deliver free, fair and credible elections.

He also urged major players to play by the rules and shun electoral violence as there is “no political office is worth the precious life of any human being".

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Nigerian Govt Approves N27bn To Address Insecurity, Flood

6 hours 24 min ago


The Federal Executive Council has approved the sum of N27.46billion as relief fund for states affected by insecurity and displacement.

Atiku Bagudu, Governor of Kebbi State, who is also vice chairman of the National Food Security Council (NFSC), while speaking with newsmen, said the intervention fund was recommended by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led NFSC.

Bagudu also said Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara, Adamawa, Benue, Borno, and Plateau states would get N8.52billion as support fund for 69,872 Internally Displaced People who have been forced out of their homes.

Bagudu said the government is keen on “helping people restore their livelihood, particularly agricultural activities".

The government also provided N18.942billion for supply of seedlings, agro chemicals and fertilisers to 163,117 beneficiaries in 14 states, namely: Adamawa, Anambra, Beyelsa, Benue, Delta, Edo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Rivers, Sokoto and Taraba.

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Three More RECs Deployed To Kano For Supplementary Elections

6 hours 24 min ago


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has deployed three Residents Electoral Commissioners (RECs) to oversee Kano State supplementary elections.

The RECs deployed are Professor Asamau Sani Maikudi of Zamfara, Professor Ganiyu Raji of Ogun and Alhaji Ahmad Mahmud of Kebbi.

Announcing the new development, Professor Risqua Arabi Shehu, Kano State REC, expressed the readiness of the commission to conduct credible elections.

Supplementary elections would hold in 28 Local Government Areas (LGAs). Of the 28 LGAs, there was over voting in 22 LGAs, while results were cancelled in 15 LGAs due to violence.

Risqua also said the commission is keen on concluding all elections on Saturday.

He said: “We are working hard to ensure we do not have disruptions as much as possible.

“We have had meetings with the political parties and we have appealed to them; that we operate an open door policy and we are ready to do any thing within the law to be fair to all.

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Military, Police Reconcile... Accept To Work Together For March 23 Supplementary Elections

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 20:29


Ahead of the March 23 supplementary elections in some states of the federation, the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police Force have reconciled their differences and promised to work together.

This was disclosed at a joint media briefing by the Nigerian Army and Nigeria Police in Abuja on Thursday, on the just concluded elections and the forthcoming supplementary elections.

Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officers (FPRO), who briefed journalists on behalf of other services, said they were no more at loggerheads with each other, having resolved their differences.

He revealed that no fewer than 1,119 electoral offenders have been arrested so far by the military, police and sister security agencies during the 2019 general election.

The breakdown showed that 322 persons were arrested during the presidential and National Assembly elections, while 796 people were arrested during the governorship and house of assembly polls. He disclosed that top on the list of arrests were from Akwa Ibom State with 256, 117 persons from Imo, while 109 people were from Kaduna.

He, therefore, warned that the figures would increase by Saturday's supplementary polls if the troublemakers choose not to stay away from disrupting the polls.

While commenting on the alleged militarisation of the electoral process, the FPRO said there was no doubt that the Nigeria Police is the lead security agency tasked with the provision of security at the polls, while the military is to support the Police and other security agencies by providing security at the outer cordons, including checkpoints and other flashpoints, when called upon as provided in Section 217 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

"We are, however, equally aware of some of the unfortunate security challenges witnessed during the elections, which have generated public outcry and condemnation. The alleged involvement of some security agents in some of these unfortunate incidents is of serious concern to the military and police high commands," he said.

Mba disclosed that while some of these issues may have been as a result of the overzealousness of some personnel, others were instances of impersonation by political thugs clad in military and police uniforms.

"This information was later corroborated with the arrest of several fake soldiers and fake policemen during the last elections,” he said, while some of the fake soldiers and policemen who had been arrested were displayed on the screen. 

He appealed to the general public to volunteer useful information to aid security agencies in this regard.

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Delta PDP Set To Expel Ex-Education Minister, His Son Over Anti-Party Activities

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 20:26


The Delta State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is concluding all plans to expel the former Minister of State for Education, Kenneth Gbagi, his son and others from the party for working against the interest and candidates of PDP in the just concluded general elections in his ward and unit.

Speaking in confidence with SaharaReporters on the planned expulsion of the ex-education minister, his son, Emuoboh Gbagi, Special Adviser to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on DESOPADEC, and others, an executive member of the party in the state, who does not want his name mentioned, disclosed that "the expulsion followed a strong worded petition from some leaders of the party in Oginibo, Ughelli South local government area of the state, which was addressed to the state party chairman and copied the state governor and others".

According to the party official, the petition was already being looked into and expulsion already being planned so as to serve as deterrent to others.

A petition, made available to our correspondent by the party official, signed by a group of party leaders Andrew Desi, Viv Pela, Ken Pela, Ochuko Mejire, Omoefe Pela and Freeborn Onokata, under the aegis of "Concerned PDP Leaders Of Oginibo in Ughelli South Local Government Area Of Delta State" accused some past and present political office holders in the area of aiding Gbagi in the anti-party activities during the elections.

The petition, which was addressed to the state Chairman of PDP, Kingsley Esiso, copied to Okowa, former Governor James Ibori, former Deputy Governor Amos Utuama, Chairman Disciplinary Committee of PDP Delta State, Chairman PDP Delta Central, Chairman PDP Ughelli South and chairman PDP Jeremi Ward II, noted that Gbagi allegedly worked for candidates of opposition political parties as against the candidates of the PDP.

The petitioners gave names of those allegedly involved in the anti-party activities and aided Gbagi, to include, the former Minister's son who is a Special Adviser to the Governor on DESOPADEC matters, Emuoboh Gbagi, caught disbursing funds and canvassing votes for YES party in Units 15 and 16 of Oginibo; Tareri Avwomakpa, Special Assistant to the Governor on Legal Matters, who was seen disbursing funds and canvassing for votes for YES party in Unit 23 of Oginibo, Lucky Oniyan, current councillor representing DSIEC Jeremi Ward 16 who was said to have coordinated the disbursement of funds and canvassing for votes for the YES party in Imode.

Also mentioned in the anti-party activities in the petition are Gbenga Avwomakpa, former councillor; John Adjeke, former two-term supervisory councillor and Christian Ushevwitode, current PDP youth leader for Jeremi Ward II who were also seen disbursing funds and canvassing for votes for the YES party in their various polling units in Oginibo.

The petitioners alleged that Gbagi connived with others to collect funds meant for logistics for the said governorship and House of Assembly elections in Jeremi Ward II to fund an opposition candidate of the YES party to the detriment of his PDP candidates who had to go the extra miles to mobilise his teeming supporters to prosecute the said elections.

“Based on the foregoing, we believe we have established a prima facie case against Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi and the other 6 listed persons on the following counts of disobeying the lawful directives of the party by working for the YES party House of Assembly candidate instead of the PDP House of Assembly Candidate and engaging in anti-party activities.

"A prima facie case has been established against Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi and his son Olorogun Emuoboh Gbagi on the following counts of disobeying the lawful directives of former Deputy Governor, Prof Amos Utuama to involve other leaders of the community/ward in the deployment of logistics by using such to work against the interest of the PDP.

"An analysis of votes in the March 9 Election results in Agbaghara, Imode and Oginibo which makes up Jeremi Ward II, shows that because of the anti-party activities of Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi and 6 others listed earlier, the YES party got a whooping 1,049 votes from the 3 communities representing 83 percent of total votes of 1,258 gotten by the YES party in the entire local government area.

"Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi had engaged in such activities in the past but we were not bothered because he wasn’t operating in the mainstream PDP at the state level and as such we were prepared for his antics, however, having come to the mainstream PDP, such activities coming from someone benefiting from patronage and appointments from the government to the detriment of those who have remained loyal to the party over the years, could spell doom for the party in the locality if not contained.

"In view of the foregoing, we hereby recommend that Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi and the 6 others earlier identified be expelled from the party in line with the provisions of Section 58 (1) (c) (d) (f) and Section 59 (1) (g) of the constitution of the party," the petition demanded.

Calls put across to Gbagi were not responded to as of the time of filing in this report. However, political associates and allies close to Gbagi said he is unperturbed over the issue, saying the ex-minister only worked against the reelection of the House of Assembly candidate of the party, in the area, Reuben Izeze, who is said not to be in good terms with Gbagi.

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EFCC Rejects US Report On Corruption In Buhari Administration

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 20:14


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has faulted the report credited to the United States government claiming that there is massive corruption under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Noting that the report was “far from the truth”, the commission noted that Nigeria had made “remarkable achievements” in the fight against administration.

A statement issued on the report by ThisDay, published on Sunday, noted that the US claim is “unfounded” as the present administration’s war against corruption “is on course”.

EFCC said it had secured 943 convictions between 2015 and 2018, adding that as at March 19, 2019, it had recorded additional 142 convictions.

See EFCC’s Statement in Full:

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

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

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

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

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

Remarkable Convictions

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

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

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

Assets Recovery and Forfeitures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burden of Proof Now Resides With Defendant

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

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

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

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

Worrisome Report with Inaccuracies

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

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

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

10 Different Countries Seek Mutual Legal Assistance from EFCC

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

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

Malabu’s case

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

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

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

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

US Report, a Disservice to EFCC

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

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

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

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

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

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Nigerian Government Closes Case Against Onnoghen

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 17:29


Onnoghen in court

After calling three of its proposed six witnesses in the case filed against Walter Onnoghen, the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), the Nigerian government has closed its case.

Onoghen is standing trial on allegations bordering on fraudulent declaration of assets.

At the resumed hearing on Thursday before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Aliyu Umar (SAN), who led the prosecution counsel, closed its case after the third witness, Ifeoma Okeagbue, an official of Standard Chartered Bank, concluded her testimony.

Umar also offered to hand over the remaining three witnesses to the defence team. However, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), the lead defence counsel, rejected the offer.

Afterwards, with the permission of the three-man bench chaired by Danladi Umar, Awomolo consulted with Onnoghen, who was docked. He then announced that the defendant had taken the option to file a no-case submission, but sought time to write an address.

“We intend to take advantage of Section 303 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 on no-case submission. If your lordship permits me to write a written address, I am praying to be given proceedings of 18th and today,” he stated.

The CCT Chairman then fixed March 29 for counsel to adopt their written addresses.

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IN FULL: INEC's Decisions On All The States Requiring Supplementary Election, Results Collation

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 15:59


Festus Okoye (middle) addressing journalists in Abuja on Thursday

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rolled out timelines and activities for the conclusion of the collation of results and supplementary elections in the country.

Festus Okoye, the National Commissioner in Charge of Information and Voter Education, disclosed this on Thursday at a press conference in Abuja.

He said the supplementary elections would be conduct in 13 states of the federation on March 23, 2019, adding that details of the states and constituencies where elections would take place would be updated on the commission's website before the close of work on Thursday.

He said all observers and journalists accredited to cover 2019 elections by the commission are free to observe the election.

"While the election was suspended in Rivers, it was declared inconclusive in six states, namely: Bauchi, Adamawa, Benue, Sokoto, and Kano. Following the inconclusive governorship elections in these six states, the commission has fixed election for the 23rd day of March, 2019," he said. 

"Therefore, the supplementary governorship elections earlier scheduled to hold in Bauchi State is now a subject of litigation, which was initiated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Muhammed A. Abubakar. An interlocutory injunction to suspend the process has been served on the commission by the Federal High Court, Abuja."

He said the commission would comply with the policy to obey court orders in defence of rule of law, adding that the commission had taken cogent steps to vacate the order and dismiss the action.

"It should however be noted that the litigation and consequential order only affects the collation of results for the governorship election in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area. Consequently, the supplementary election will proceed as scheduled on Saturday, 23rd of March, 2019, in the other 15 Local Government Areas of Bauchi State,” he added.

He said the commission had complied with the order by the Adamawa State High Court, which stopped it from proceeding with the supplementary elections following the application by the Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD), a registered political party, which did not take part in the main election. He noted that the commission has taken steps to vacate the order.

He explained that elections would hold in those constituencies where a candidate died before the polls.

On the resumption of electoral process in Rivers State, Okoye said the commission has applied activities and timeline for the resumption of the electoral process in the state.

“The commission will have engagement with security agencies on the 19th of March, 2019. On 29th March, the commission will hold inter-agency consultative committee meeting on election security, and it will take place in Rivers State, while INEC will hold meeting of the critical stakeholders in the electoral process on 30th March.”

Okoye stated that the national headquarters of the commission would issue guidelines for the resumption of collation of results for the state, adding that there will be a revalidation of party agents and observers for the collation of results, which will commence on 25th March. 

"Thereafter, there will be resumption of collation and announcement of results, which will take place between the 2nd to 5th April, 2019, and it will take place in Port Harcourt and the venue for the particular activities will be agreed upon between the commission and critical stakeholders on electoral reform. Then on the 13th of April, there will be supplementary elections where necessary. Thereafter, there will be announcement of all results between 13th and 15th April.”

The commissioner added that all outstanding certificates of return that fall into these categories of elections would be issued on April 19.

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EFCC Petitioned Over Great Ogboru's ‘Embezzlement’ Of N3bn Election Campaign Funds

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 15:45


The crisis rocking the Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has taken another dimension as Great Ogboru, the party's governorship candidate in the 2019 election, has been taken to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by a coalition of members of the party over "embezzlement of election funds running into N3billion”.

Speaking to SaharaReporters on the issue, an executive member of the coalition who simply identified himself as 'Freeborn', disclosed that a formal petition has since been forwarded to the anti-graft agency and other relevant authorities "to probe Great Ogboru on how the N3billion given to him for the purpose of elections was expended”.

"Part of the N3billion was for the 2019 campaign for our party, the APC, as well as the general election proper.

However, rather than use the money for the purpose it was released, our APC governorship candidate, Great Ogboru, decided to embezzle the cash. We must get to the root of this matter. It is a known fact that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has zero tolerance for corruption, while a person like Great Ogboru, a serial election loser, is here fighting back corruption."

Ogboru had polled 215,938 votes and was defeated by Ifeanyi Okowa, the incumbent Governor of the state and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 925,274 votes.

Addressing a press conference on Monday in Asaba, the Delta State capital, Daniel Ekiugbo, convener of the Coalition of Delta APC Support Groups, accused Ogboru of "embezzling" the N3billion.

He said: “It is of public knowledge that Great Ogboru presented a budget of N3billion, which was over funded and availed to him. There was no evidence anywhere that he spent N1billion for the elections.

"He refused to properly disburse and chose to release paltry amounts only to his few chosen supporters. Even for his local government rallies, he never released a dime, instead he directed that local government leaders and supporters task themselves to fund such rallies, and because most leaders couldn’t raise such funds, a lot of local government rallies were either abandoned or turn out to be huge flops.

"We are also urging the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to set up a panel of enquiry to review the outcome of the election, with a view to unravelling how the over N3billion released to Ogboru for the purpose of the election was disbursed. Ogboru as governorship candidate of the party was a misadventure; his ambition was selfishly driven to rake-in election funds without any strategy put in place to guarantee victory. Ogboru should be made to explain the whereabouts of the huge financial provisions for the entire 2019 general elections.”

Meanwhile, Ogboru has said the allegations are "baseless and unfounded".

Speaking through Zik Okafor Zulu, his media assistant who doubles as Director of Media of Delta APC Campaign Council, Ogboru noted that some persons had been hired to “peddle such wicked and malicious allegations in a bid to tarnish the reputation of a man with an unimpeachable character”.

“These persons believe everybody is in politics to make money. Ordinarily we will not waste time reacting to this preposterous allegations. Ogboru is a wealthy man; his major business is fishing. He has spent more than N5billion of his money on his gubernatorial ambition,” he said.

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For His Anti-Fake Drugs Startup, Nigerian Pharmacist Bayo Alonge Beats 4,500 From 119 Countries To Win €100,000 Prize

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 15:03


Adebayo Alonge, a Nigerian Pharmacist who co-developed a miniature nanoscanner that uses AI to identify fake drugs and assess general drug quality on mobile phones, has won the 2019 deepTech Challenge at the Hello Tomorrow conference, which comes with a €100,000 prize.

Hello Tomorrow describes itself as "the world’s best deepTech conference for scientists, technologists and their enablers". 

It organises an annual challenge that seeks to identify the best deepTech solution in the world, over a six-month period. The conference seeks to discover, initiate and support the deepTech ecosystem, the purpose of which is to scale science-based solutions to solve the world’s biggest problems.

Alonge credits his science education at King’s College Lagos and at the Pharmacy School, University of Ibadan, for providing the building blocks of this innovative technology.

In the 2019 deepTech challenge, 4,500 deepTech startups applied from across 119 countries. A global jury of the best deepTech scientists and investors reviewed the applications, selected the top 500 deepTech applicants and organised regional pitch contests to select the Top 80 finalists for the finals in Paris in March 2019.

Alonge’s startup RxAll was drawn into the Africa region finals in Cape Town, which was organised by the @africarena. RxAll won this regional final in November 2018, worth a $5,000 prize money and associated AI benefits from Microsoft.

At the deepTech finals in Paris, the Top80 deepTech startups were grouped into 12 groups — Aeronautics, Data and AI; Digital Health; Energy; Food; Agriculture and Environment; Global Health; Industrial Biotech; Industry 4.0; New Materials; New Mobility; New Space and Wellbeing.

RxAll competed in these intense finals in the Digital Health group against five other impressive startups, including some that are applying Quantum Computing for therapeutic protein development.

RxAll had to convince digital health jury consisting of health experts, scientists and investors that the RxAll solution was the best to win the Digital Health group and to further represent the group against other groups for the grand prize. It eventually won the Digital Health group and the €15,000 prize money awarded by WeHealth by Servier.

Twelve of the best deepTech startups were selected as winners of the 12 deepTech groups. The selected 12 deepTech winners from the groups were RxAll (Digital Health), Bound4Blue (Aeronautics), Insightness (Data & AI), CoreShell (Energy), Fauna Photonics (Food, Agric & Environment), X-Therma (Global Health Prize), Dust Biosolutions (Industrial Biotech), Echoring (Industry 4.0), Soundskrit (New Materials), Niveauup (Mobility), Atomos (New Space) and IlyaPharma (Wellbeing).

After careful deliberation by judges and deepTech experts from across the 12 competing groups, the unanimous winner of the 2019 best deepTech in the world, represented by the Hello Tomorrow grand prize, was declared as RxAll.

Alonge and the rest of the RxAll team will continue to expand their solution across Africa and SE Asia. They are working with drug regulators and foundations in these regions. They are also selling their solution to individuals in the developed world who are concerned about the drugs they buy online or on the streets.

RxAll is currently enabling science research application in the field of pharma spectrometry in Africa & SE Asia and is sponsoring joint research projects in the following countries:

RxAll is also running a donation programme to enable access to its solution for country medicine regulators/FDAs in low-income countries.

Starting at $60/month, pharmacovigilance inspectors from country FDAs can now use the RxAll solution to test drug quality at the ports and in pharmacies using their phones.

They can also use the RxAll solution to see where bad drugs are showing up in different cities and who is responsible in real time. Doing so, they can organise batch recalls and stop the bad actors in real time.

The RxAll solution also helps drug regulators send to one another drug test reports including geolocation data of tests and timestamps. This helps to reduce administrative burden and improve record keeping towards improved productivity and successful prosecution of bad actors.

RxAll is looking for resellers across the world, who will get the opportunity to build a million-dollar business while doing good.

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Robbers ‘Take Over’ Communities In Alimosho Area Of Lagos

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 14:37




Residents of Alimosho Local Government Area (LGA) of Lagos State have raised the alarm over the continued attacks by armed robbers in the area.

Aside attacking residents, the robbers have also taken to stripping vehicles of their parts.

The robbers attack at will, daring the residents of the area to confront them.

One of the residents, who spoke to SaharaReporters, noted that the armed robbers usually operated in the wee hours of the day.

According to the resident, on January 28, 2019, policemen arrested some armed robbers at Iyana Ipaja area in Alimosho, who were the part of a gang that robbed and burgled several homes.

    

However, another set of armed robbers have taken over and resorted to causing mayhem.

Affected areas include Alhaji Yekini Lawal Street, Greenland Street and Dare Close, all in Alimosho LGA. The robbers also vandalise public property, as well as rob people of their belongings.

“If you dare make a move or shout when you see someone being robbed, the robbers will reply with obscenities, and dare us to come out and confront them, while they continue with their operations,” a resident told SaharaReporters.

Speaking on the development, DSP Bala Elkana, Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State Police Command, said the Force was unaware of the recent incidents.

However, he said two of the seven gangs of armed robbers arrested were from Alimosho LGA in Lagos State.

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BREAKING: ‘With A Heavy Heart’, OurMumuDonDo Begins Probe Of Charly Boy Bribery Scandal

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 12:02

Pressure group OurMumuDonDO says it is immediately launching a ‘formal inquiry’ into the allegations of bribery rocking Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa ‘Charly Boy, convener of the group.

An audio exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters on Wednesday showed Charly Boy acknowledging he collected money from Festus Keyamo, spokesperson of President Muhammadu Buhari Presidential Campaign Organisation in the 2019 presidential election.

Responding on Thursday in a statement by Adebayo Raphael, its National Secretary, the movement vowed to get to the root of the matter.

“Fellow Nigerians, I wish to say that it has become extremely important that I react to the sordid developments that have recently emerged in the OurMumuDonDo Movement,” read the statement.

“Firstly, I must confess that I am utterly disappointed by the audio recording that went viral between last night and this morning, of a conversation between the present Chairman of the group; Mr. Charles Oputa, and a former member, Mr. Deji Adeyanju, where the former is alleged to have confessed to his dealings with the regime of General Muhammad Buhari and the APC while the latter was languishing in Kano Central Prisons. 

“It is with a heavy and pertinent heart that I offer an unreserved apology, on behalf of myself and the other members of the OurMumuDonDo Movement, to the Nigerian people who we have hitherto proclaimed to represent in all our actions and activities as a pressure group for the last three years. My sincere hope is that you all will view this development as a necessary event needed to sanitise our civic space and reinvigorate our collective commitment to the struggle for social change. 

“Secondly, I must inform the general public that the OurMumuDonDo Movement will now commence a formal inquiry into the body of allegations that have been made public in recent days, and the most appropriate decision will be determined by the Board of Trustees in line with the group’s constitution. 

“In conclusion, I would like to emphasise that the purpose for which OurMumuDonDo Movement was founded has not changed. If there are black sheep in the group, working against the group’s objectives, we will find out and deal with them accordingly. Thank You.”

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BREAKING: INEC Fixes Dates For Collation, Results Announcement And Supplementary Elections In Rivers

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 11:26

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the scheduling of supplementary elections in Rivers State for April 13.

Announcing this at a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, Festus Okoye, INEC commissioner for information and voter education, also said that collation and announcement of results already generated will be resume between April 2 and 5, 2019.

He added that issuance of certificate of return will hold on April 19.

More to follow...

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