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Top 13 stories of Thursday, April 07, 2016



Former Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly Dele Olugbemi has “revealed” how he took the embattled former Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Temitope Aluko to Governor Ayodele Fayose on Sunday.

He said: “It was a lie that the governor stage-managed the reconciliatory meeting. Aluko and I prostrated for Fayose three times to beg him to forgive him (Aluko).”

Olugbemi said he was surprised that Aluko could address the media yesterday and deny that he willingly attended the meeting and that he spoke to the press under duress.

His words: “The existing cordial relationship between Aluko and I brought us to a discussion that eventually led to last Sunday’s meeting.

“Aluko cannot deny that he re-affirmed that the governor remained his mentor, leader and father; that all his previous actions were the devil’s work and that he was under spiritual attack when he was saying all those things against Fayose.

“Even when the governor told him to sit down, he prostrated and I also prostrated to beg him”.



The Plateau State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has zoned its Chairmanship position to the Northern Zone of the state. This is as the governorship position has been zoned to the southern zone.

The central zone was, however, left out of the PDP Chairmanship seat as the last Chairman of the party, Dr. Haruna Dabin, was from the central zone. It was also gathered that a part of the decision to zone the party’s number one seat in the state to the northern zone was to also further douse the sentiment that marred the party’s destiny at the 2015 gubernatorial election, where the then incumbent from the northern zone, Jonah David Jang (now a senator), allegedly imposed a successor from his constituency to fly the party’s flag at the polls.



The Christ Crusaders’ Deliverance Ministry has called for an autopsy on the bodies of the kids dumped on its camp ground at Matogun, Olambe, Ogun State. It made the call yesterday at a briefing tagged: “Missing Dead Kids Dumped Inside Church’s Premises – Our True Story” held in the church headquarters in Akute, Ogun State.

Contrary to reports, the kids -Isaac Ayegbo (six) and Ayomide Innocent (four)- were found dead inside a broken down Nissan car on the premises on Tuesday at 2.47 am immediately after a vigil.

According to eyewitnesses, the bodies were discovered inside a broken down car parked beside a Hyundai Coastal bus owned by the women wing on the premises after a vigil.

The members called the attention of the pastor-in-charge, Babalola Olakunle. The church spokesperson, Pastor Yemi Adebisi, said: “On seeing the bodies, the church informed the police.

“We are not aware of how and when the bodies got into the said vehicle. But immediately the pastor-in-charge was alerted, a call was put across to the General Overseer, Pastor Festus Adewole, who also advised that they inform the police immediately.”



More government workers are staying away from work in Ekiti State over unpaid salary arrears and biting fuel scarcity. A visit to some government offices yesterday revealed that many civil servants did not show up for work as many of them had not collected their salaries.

Core civil servants, teachers in public schools and local government workers are owed about four months’ arrears of salary. At the state secretariat, House of Assembly complex, new and old Governor’s Office, the judiciary complex, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Local Government Service Commission, many workers were not on seat.

Some offices were shut which showed that both senior officials and their subordinates did not report for work.
Their plight was further compounded by the acute fuel scarcity which has paralysed social, economic and commercial activities.

This explained why there were few vehicles at the parking lots of the government offices and schools in Ado-Ekiti. A visit to schools in the state capital and nearby Ikere-Ekiti revealed that many teachers stayed away from work.

A worker, who pleaded for anonymity, said life has become very hard for them. “We are not happy that the government is embarking on a N5.7 billion flyover project at a time their salaries are not paid.”



A cousin and confidant of former President Goodluck Jonathan has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a $40 million contract obtained from the Office of the National Security Adviser under Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

According to investigation, Managing Director of Katakar Civil Engineering Company, Mr. Azibaola Robert (Jonathan’s cousin), and the Executive Director of the company, Dakoru Atukpa, were arrested by operatives of the EFCC over two weeks ago, and have remained in custody since then.

However, Azibaola’s lawyer, Gordy Uche (SAN) in a reaction yesterday stated that the arrest of his client was a vendetta against the former president. He explained that his client had been in detention for over two weeks with the commission obtaining a remand order from the court to keep holding him in custody.

According to him, the EFCC is accusing his client in order for the Federal Government not to pay the balance of $4 million on the contract sum. Uche stated that his client had successfully carried out a contract for “the security of the oil pipelines which saw Nigeria reap billions of US dollars from increased oil production.” He is demanding that the EFCC charges his clients to court or release them on bail.

Meanwhile, an FCT High Court has denied an application for long adjournment of trial of Dasuki. The trial judge instead adjourned till May 3, 2016 when the first defendant (Dasuki) would be allowed to have adequate access to his counsel for proper defence in the matter.




No fewer than 20 persons, including a pregnant woman, escaped death narrowly on Wednesday after a petrol-laden tanker rammed into five vehicles on the Otedola Bridge, along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Lagos State.

Eyewitnesses said the petrol tanker rammed into the five vehicles which were held in a traffic caused by a long queue for fuel. The vehicles involved in the crash were a 14-seater Volkswagen bus and four other

A witness, Moses Emmanuel, whose car narrowly escaped, said but for hawkers of sachet water and other dairy products on the expressway, who raised the alarm, the impact of the crash would have been more devastating.

He said the driver of the tanker fled the scene immediately the incident happened. One of the victims, Samson Rufus, who claimed to be heading for Abeokuta, said he was in the traffic when he heard the
hawkers shouting, ‘fire, fire, run’.

“I was confused and could not run to anywhere. All I heard was a big bang on my vehicle. A pregnant woman, who was sitting at the back, was critically injured,” he said.

Another victim, Olatubosun Fayemi, said he jumped out of his crushed vehicle and ran away.
An official of the Federal Road Safety Corps at the scene blamed the crash on brake failure, adding that the injured had been moved to a hospital for medical attention.



The trio, Ooni of Ife, Ojaja II, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Kabiru Adewale Shotobi and former Group Managing Director, Chams Plc, Engr. Ademola Benjamin Aladekomo
will today, be conferred with Fellowship Award at the Lagos State Polytechnic, LASPOTECH, Ikorodu, Lagos. Speaking at the institution’s pre-convocation press conference, the Rector, Dr. Samuel Oluyinka Sogunro said: “The choice of these royal fathers is due to their role in brokering peace in the society.”
Sogunro pointed out the virtue of humility in the Ooni of Ife, Oba Ogunwusi, adding that since he was crowned, he has never boasted.

“The Ooni has exemplified true leadership quality as he continues to play a mediating role among the young and old in the society. He is the epitome of a true leader society should seek to have,” he said.

Sogunro who disclosed that Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, will grace the ceremony, added that a total of 8,519 students would be graduating.

In the breakdown, he said that 71 Higher National Diploma, HND, full time students made Distinction, just as 71 National Diploma, ND, full time students made Distinction.

The Rector added: “Thirty-one HND students from the School of part time had Distinction, while 90 ND students graduated with distinction. On the whole, a total of 263 will graduate on Thursday with distinction.”



The Nation’s Forum on the Economy will begin today in Lagos. The two-day event will focus on “National Economy: The way forward”. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will give a keynote address on the economic policy direction of the Muhammadu Buhari presidency at the event billed for the Airport Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos.

Host Governor Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos State) will give his address. Four other governors – Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo) and Samuel Ortom (Benue) —are
billed to speak today. The ministers, who will address the Forum are Mr. Babatunde Fashola (Power,
Housing and Works), Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Solid Minerals) and Audu Ogbeh (Agriculture and Rural Development).

Apart from the speeches, an exhibition that focuses mainly on Inter and Intra Regional Competencies and Potentials will be staged. It will be inspected by VIPs. Tomorrow, more governors and ministers are listed to address the Forum. Acting Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BoI) Mr. Waheed Olagunju will outline the position of his bank in the government’s drive to reposition the economy.

The programme which is planned as annual event is being put together by Vintage Press Ltd in collaboration with Ceedee Resources, as a response initiative and platform to assist in structural repositioning of the nation’s economy.



The Kwara State Government yesterday said Senate President Bukola Saraki is paid N1.2 million monthly as pension but denied paying its former governor salary after he left office in May 2011. A statement by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Isiaka Gold, said Dr. Saraki’s last salary was N291,474.00 , paid to him in May 2011.

He added: “From June 2011, former Governor Saraki started receiving his pension, which was N578,188.00 as other past governors in the country”.

The statement added that after the review of pensions of former political office holders by the State Pension Board, the former governor’s pension increased to N1,239,493.94 monthly from October 2014 to date.

Also yesterday, the Director General of the Abubakar Bukola Saraki Constituency Office, aka Mandate, Hon. Abdulwahab Isa,said since the former governor left office in May 2011, his pension, which was paid into a special account, has been managed by a group of trustees and used for education endowment for students across the state.

In a statement in Ilorin, Isa said Saraki had no access to the account. He said a group of trustees led by him, was mandated to spend the money on scholarship grants and funds for Joint Admission and Matriculation Board ((JAMB) forms for students across the country.



The lingering fuel crisis, which is taking its drastic toll on Nigerians across the country, yesterday resulted in the death of two persons in Lagos when a female staff of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) shot dead a boy, simply identified as Ikechukwu and another unidentified person at the AP Filling Station 21 Road, FESTAC Town.

The boy was alleged to have bought fuel in a jerry can and was going home when he was accosted by a team of Civil Defence officials, who arrested him. The boy, who eyewitnesses say could be about 18-years-old, was said to have laid down on the road pleading with the officials to allow him go home as he was not a fuel hawker, but had just bought the fuel for personal use.

Eyewitnesses said the commander of the team, who felt the boy was resisting arrest, ordered a female official to shoot the “bastard” and the woman promptly obeyed and shot the boy.

On seeing the boy dying in a pool of blood, the Civil Defence corps zoomed off in their patrol van and fled from the scene, while shooting frantically into the air.



The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and workers under the aegis of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) may be on a collusion course over alleged anti-labour practices by the state.
Specifically, the workers  have  concluded plans to mobilise thousands of workers, students, civil society groups, market women, among others, to shut down Kaduna metropolis to check the excesses of the State Governor, just as it did in February 2016 in Imo State against Governor Rochas Okorocha after he sacked 3,000 workers.

According to the TUC President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama, all efforts by the TUC, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Joint Council in Kaduna state to prevail on El-Rufai to cease his siege on workers and their trade unions have proved abortive, hence the workers’ resolve to shut down the state in protest.



THE Rivers State legislative rerun elections have since been held but contro­versy still trails the election that was marred by violence in some areas, leading to cancellation of elections in such areas.
However, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) suspended announcement of results in the areas where elections held, thus prolonging the suspense. The electoral umpire hinged its decision on insecurity.

In the results released so far, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state trounced its main opposition, the All Progressives Congress (APC). The PDP clinched nine out of the ten. Though INEC
later released three more results in which PDP won two seats, leaving one seat for the APC, the INEC seems not in a hurry to release the remaining results. This has given room to apprehension that something sinister is cooking and a chieftain of the PDP Chief Peter Aniekwe believes that the only way INEC could prove its integrity and neutrality is to release the remaining results without further delay.



In a bid to check incessant cases of police misconduct and mishandling of firearms, the leadership of the Nigerian police has directed that all policemen before being issued with any lethal weapon must be subjected to snap urine test for signs of drug abuse.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, gave the directive yesterday in Abuja at the launch of drug testing of police officers and campaign against sudden death of Police Officers that Policemen that fails the test would have their guns retrieved from them and subjected to a short process of rehabilitation to detach from drugs that may trigger such behavior.

He said the frequency with which members of the public cast aspersions on the police force was hinged on the “relatively frequent cases of death of members of the public from misapplication of lethal weapons”,
stimulated largely by such emotional or psychological diatribes.

“Apart from retrieving guns from officers who fail the snap test, we will provide appropriate help ”, he noted.

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