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Top 10 stories of Thursday, March 17, 2016

MANY DIE IN LAGOS/IBADAN EXPRESSWAY ACCIDENT

A fatal accident occurred near Foursquare camp in Ajebo, Lagos/Ibadan Expressway leading to the death of passengers. According to eye witness reports, the unfortunate incident was caused by the driver of the commercial vehicle who was driving against traffic, perhaps to avoid the traffic on his own lane. The driver reportedly slammed head-long into a trailer on the expressway. Some of the passengers died on the spot, while others were seriously injured.

Security and emergency personnel were at the scene of the accident to tend to the casualties. The accident led to heavy traffic gridlock in the area.

The accident is coming barely a week after an accident that cost the life of the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Barrister James Ocholi. The minister alongside his wife and son died in the accident which was blamed on over speeding. It was also revealed that the driver had no license.

 

FIRE OUTBREAK FORCES MIMIKO, SHERIFF TO FLEE FOR SAFETY

The fire outbreak at the office of Ondo state Governor Olusegun Mimiko has disrupted the meeting with the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ali Modu Sheriff. One of the sources disclosed that the fire started around 1pm and destroyed some government property, comprising important files in the governor’s office.

The governor quickly left the office with his guest to the government house, while workers were seen rushing out of their offices for safety.

Kayode Akinmade, the state’s spokesman, confirmed the incident, saying the fire has been put off. Sheriff had earlier visited Rivers State to solicit support for the PDP’s aspirants contesting in the upcoming re-run elections scheduled for Saturday, March 19, before arriving in Akure.

 

TWIN SUICIDE ATTACKS KILL 25, INJURE 18 IN MAIDUGURI MOSQUE

The deadly Boko Haram sect has struck again. These suicide bombers attacked the mosque in Maiduguri killing at last 25 and injuring many others. President Muhmamadu Buhari has immediately condemned the renewed attacks. Two female bombers detonated bombs during Wednesday, March 16, prayers at a mosque in the Umurari area of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

According to preliminary data, a twin suicide bombing killed up to 25 muslim worshippers and injured 18. The first bomber reportedly struck inside the mosque, while the second blew herself up outside as survivors tried to flee.

Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, the army spokesmen, commented on the incident, that there were twin person bomb improvised explosive attacks carried out by two female carriers in Umurari village near Molai, outskirts of Maiduguri metropolis, Borno state. The first attack targeted a mosque, while the second blast about 50 metres away, a few minutes later.

Troops, security agents and caregivers have been mobilized to the scene, while the wounded have been evacuated to Molai General Hospital for treatment. The troops, security agents and the civilian JTF have secured the area and are combing the environment for possible clues.

 

SARAKI SPOTTED ROCKING MADE IN ABA ATTIRE

In his determination to promote Made-in-Nigeria goods, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki appeared for plenary fully dressed in Made-in-Nigeria attire on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.

Saraki who is usually seen on suit and agbada was seen wearing a traditional Igbo chieftaincy attire and a red traditional cap, all made in Aba.

Dr. Bukola Saraki, who had been stressing the need to patronize Made-in-Nigeria products received some locally made trendy outfis from adire designs as gift a few weeks ago. Saraki said that such patronage can help reignite the textile industry that once contributed over $2 billion to Nigeria’s GDP in the 80s. However, the Innuson cars were also seen at the National Assembly.

 

ALEX BADEH APPEARS IN COURT

The court continues the hearing of the case of former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, who is facing charges in misappropriation of funds meant for the procurement of arms for the military. The former Chief of Defence was in court on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.

The former Chief of Defence Staff and other army officers were indicted in the $2.1 billion arms scam instigated through the office of the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

At the trial, Salisu Abdullahi, who was the first witness and the former director of finance with the Nigeria Air Force told the court that out of a monthly N4 billion slated for personnel salaries, only al little above N2 billion was used for the said purpose. He said the balance which was usually between N1.6 and N1.7 billion goes to the Chief of Air Staff. A lot of senior officers have been implicated in the illegal arms deal.

A month ago, it has reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission traced some of the money to the accounts of wives and children of some former serving military chiefs.

 

SOLDIERS CLEAR BOKO HARAM CAMP, KILL MANY

The Nigerian Army recorded near success in the war against the deadly Boko Haram sect. The troops, while clearing the camp at Bulasari after it successfully chased away the sect members from Golgore camp in March 15, also killed some sect members. Nigerian soldiers attached to 120 task force battalion in continuation of the clearance operations against Boko Haram terrorists scattered across the Northern region have recorded another milestone victory.

The army spokesman said one of the most significant aspects of the operation was the recovery of Nigerian army Amoured Personnel Carrier (APC) earlier captured by the terrorists during an attack on Buni Yadi on July 9, 2015. He said that the APC was discovered at Golgore rover line and it has since been evacuated. According to him, the successful raid has further shown army’s commitment to rid the country of the menace of Boko Haram terrorists and other criminal elements.

 

PROTEST ROCKS LAGOS AGAIN OVER CORRUPTION, POWER SUPPLY

The committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has described the decline in the state of electricity supply and erratic fuel scarcity in the country as unacceptable to Nigerians. The group said Nigerians can no longer be denied the fundamental rights to free movement and social justice.

CDHR asked the Buhari led Federal Government to improve power supply. It also called for judicial inquiries into the recent fallings in the two critical areas that it claimed hinges on the daily lives and routines of Nigerians with the view to indentifying the fundamental problems and proffering solutions.

Equally, the group commended the political will as well as the tenacity of the government in confronting the menace of corruption and reaffirm its support towards government’s effort. CDHR said the prospect of looted fund recovery from local and foreign sources should be transparent and properly managed.

Recall that in recent times, several protests have been staged in Lagos following the growing hardship in the country.

 

BUHARI RECEIVES DG OF IAEA IN ASO ROCK

President Buhari has returned to Nigeria after his two-day state visit to Equatorial Guinea. The President was received Tuesday (March 15, 2015) night, at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, by his senior assistants. The leader of the nation had left Abuja for Malabu to hold bilateral talks on regional security with President Nguema Mbasogo.

On Wednesday, March 16, President Buhari also received his first guests after returning into the county. Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ykiya Amano visited the President in Aso Rock, Abuja.

 

US CONDEMNS TERRORIST ATTACKS ON WOMEN AND GIRLS

The United States of America has condemned terrorist attacks against women and girls in Nigeria. The US Deputy Chief of Mission, Mari Brewer stated this in Abuja on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, at the digital video conference organized by the US Embassy on the challenge faced by women and victims of terrorism.

She stated that women are the most vulnerable victims of trans-national terror and violent extremism adding that most women and girls are kidnapped, forced into early marriage or sold into slavery.

In her presentation, Amarachi Ogbonna stated that, the Boko Haram attacks in the North East has led to the displacement of over 2.5 million Nigerians from their communities with one million children out of school. Barbara Maigari, a legal practitioner and human rights activist urged the National Assembly to domesticate the Kampala Legislation on human rights. She urged the Federal Government to employ transition justice as means of bringing to end the issue of insurgency in Nigeria.

 

BUHARI SEEKS TO AVOID DOUBLE TAXATION WITH SWEDEN, OTHERS

In a letter sent to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, March 15, sought to abolish double taxation with three countries namely, South Korea, Spain and Sweden. He called for the transmission of a bill for an Act to provide for the domestication and enforcement in Nigeria of the avoidance of double taxation agreements between Nigeria and the three countries.

However, three bills were presented on the floor of the Senate. The bill include the Whistle Blower Protection Bill 2016, the Nigerian Army Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies Bill 2016 and National Roads Fund Bill 2016. Other bills presented include the Public Officers Protection CAP P41 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 amendment bill 2016 and Federal Road Safety Corps Act No 22, 2007 amendment bill 2016.

 

I WENT AGAINST MY FAMILY, PARTY TO SUPPORT BUHARI – OBASI

Comrade Jerry Obasi, the Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), on Tuesday, March 15 has advised President Buhari to convoke an economic summit before the nation’s economy overtakes his government. Obasi made this call in an interview with Daily Post in Enugu state.

According to him, Buhari needs to wake up and rescue the nation’s dwindling economy. Jerry Obasi says President Buhari has disappointed him after he went against his family and party to support him.

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