Wednesday, December 13, 2017 // Yesterday ago

Nigeria seeks global support on climate change.
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Paris appealed to the international community to support Nigeria‘s commitment to reducing the effects of climate change. In a submission to the One Planet Summit attended by over 60 heads of state and governments, as well as representatives of non-governmental and private organisations, the President said: "We cannot implement our Nationally Determined Contribution without adequate financial, technical and capacity building support from the developed countries." Buhari‘s appeal came as the three co-chairmen of the plenary session, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, the World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, and the French President, Emmanuel Macron, stressed the need for a global, comprehensive and speedy action, including private sector financing against the devastating impact of climate change.

Fuel consumers flay NNPC as queues persist in Abuja.
While fuel scarcity seems to have eased in some cities across the country, fuel consumers in Abuja have decried the persistent long queues in the Federal Capital Territory, accusing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of irrational distribution of products. Some filling stations were already selling products above the pump price, so many others were locked, while there were long queues at the few that opened. Though the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had mandated the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, to find lasting solution to the crisis before last weekend, consumers at the country‘s capital city lamented that the situation has continued to affect their productivity and man-hour.

Onnoghen charges 4,283 new lawyers to be honest.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has charged 4,283 new lawyers called to the Bar yesterday to be honest with their clients when advising them on their chances of winning a case. Onnoghen, who spoke yesterday at the official call to Bar ceremony of the new wigs, also advised them to always consider alternative dispute resolution processes whenever legal redress is not in the best interest of their clients or the society at large.

Court of Appeal dismisses 15 government charges against Saraki.
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, has dismissed 15 out of 18 false assets declaration charges against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, by the Federal Government. But the court asked the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to conduct a retrial of Saraki on the remaining three charges. The appeal was filed against the decision of the CCT, which discharged and acquitted the Senate president on the 18-count charge in a ruling on no- case submission delivered in June this year. The appellate court said Saraki had to make some explanations on the three counts only.

Lawyers Welcome Appeal Court Judgment on Prosecution of Judges.
Senior lawyers in the country have commended the justices of the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal for upholding the principle of separation of powers when they held that a serving judge could not be prosecuted until such judge had either been dismissed or compulsorily retired by the National Judicial Council (NJC) for alleged corruption. The justices of the Appeal Court on Tuesday consequently struck out the corruption charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against a serving judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa.

Oil Prices Hit $65 on North Sea Pipeline Closure.
Oil prices in the international market sustained their rally on Tuesday, with the Brent crude, the international benchmark for crude oil, trading at $65.24 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures traded at 58.21 dollars a barrel. The last time oil prices exceeded the $65-mark was in June 2015 when it traded at $65.49. Reuters reported that Brent crude oil prices jumped above $65 per barrel after the closure of the Forties North Sea pipeline knocked out significant supplies from a market that was already tightening due to OPEC-led production cuts. Britain‘s Forties oil pipeline, the country‘s largest at a capacity of 450,000 barrels per day (bpd), was shut down on Monday after cracks were revealed. Its operators said that the pipeline could be shut down for weeks as they pursue repairs, adding that a hairline crack was discovered last week.

Oyegun Salutes Secondus, Calls for Robust Engagement.
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has challenged the newly elected National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, to ensure a balance between partisan and national interests as he prepares to lead the PDP to provide a viable opposition to the ruling APC. Oyegun‘s challenge came just as the chairman of the PDP Peace and Reconciliation Committee and Bayelsa State governor, Mr.Seriake Dickson, disclosed that the party has initiated moves to reconcile aggrieved members who lost out at the Saturday convention of the party.

Kachikwu: 2019 Target to End Petrol Imports.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, on Tuesday disclosed that the federal government‘s target to end importation of petroleum products in 2019 was is non-negotiable, stressing that operators in the oil and gas industry, who cannot deliver on this target had failed the country. This is coming as the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, has said the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has been mandated to dispense any hoarded petrol in any depot or filling station across the country free to motorists. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said the federal government would soon announce a new interest rate specifically to encourage access to loan to the manufacturing sector to boost economic activities.

Amaechi says Jonathan wasted $65bn excess crude fund, PDP kicks.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said he left the Peoples Democratic Party in 2015 due to the gross mismanagement of the country‘s resources by the former ruling party. According to him, the wastage of the country‘s resources was so much during the PDP reign that a total of $65bn left in the Excess Crude Account by ex-President Olusegun Obansajo was squandered by his successor, Goodluck Jonathan. Efforts to get Jonathan‘s reaction did not succeed, as phone calls placed to the mobile line of the former President‘s spokesman, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, did not go through. Eze had also not responded to both a text message and an email sent to him as of press time. But the PDP has accused Amaechi of leading the governors against the Jonathan administration in its bid to save money. The former ruling party said that Amaechi, as the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors‘ Forum, was also asking the Federal Government to share all of the money in the Excess Crude Account. It wondered why the former governor of Rivers State would now turn around to accuse the former President and his administration of not saving money.

2019: APGA may field Obiano as presidential candidate.
The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Ifeatu Obi-Okoye, on Tuesday said the party must field a presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections. He said the party would not make the mistakes of the past where it did not present any presidential candidates in past elections. Obi-Okoye spoke with our correspondent in Awka, the Anambra State capital. Stating that the National Working Committee of APGA had not micro-zoned its presidential slot to any part of the country, Obi-Okoye said the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, was top in the party‘s consideration for the ticket.

Removal threat: Olubadan says high chiefs are year-end entertainers.
The Olubadan of Ibadan land, Oba Saliu Adetunji, on Tuesday said the 21 Ibadan kings acted out of ignorance by threatening to recommend his (Olubadan) removal. He stressed that despite the level of education of the high chiefs-turned-kings, they seemed to have forgotten that there were cases in court challenging their elevation by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State. The 21 kings, who were an August 27, 2017 installed by Ajimobi, had on Monday gave 21-day ultimatum to the monarch to be of good conduct or risk being removed from the Olubadan throne. But a statement signed on behalf of the Olubadan by his Director, Media and Public Affairs, Adeola Oloko, the first-class monarch said the kings‘ claim exposed them as "end of the year entertainers." He noted that their action showed that they were feeling unsecure about their positions in the royal court after their ‘rush for multiple crowns and cheap royalties.‘ While condemning the high chiefs‘ attitude, the monarch called on the court to take note of their actions, noting that their utterances were equivalent of contempt of the court because they were co-defendants in the cases against their installation in court.

Monarchs petition Buhari, demand probe into Kanu‘s father‘s whereabouts.
Traditional rulers from three communities in Afaraukwu, Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, have demanded a panel of enquiry to investigate the role of the Nigerian Army in the invasion of the home of the traditional ruler of Afaraukwu autonomous community, HRH Eze Israel Kanu. EzeKanu is the father of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu. The communities – Okwulaga Enyiukwu and Isiama autonomous communities - had petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, claiming they had yet to see HRH Kanu; his wife, Lolo Sally; and some of his subjects after his palace was raided by the army on September 14. The petition was signed by the President-Generals of the three autonomous communities in Afara clan - Levi Ogbonna, Cletus Uwaechi and Chief Ikechukwu Ndubueze.

Obasanjo begs FG to support private sector as Osibanjo inaugurates Petrolex tank farm.
Vice - President, prof. Yemi Osibanjo, Tuesday, said the Federal government is committed to providing incentives to enable petroleum and petro – chemical industries to thrive and attract more genuine investors in the sector. The Vice – President who inaugurated 300 million litres tank farm at Ibefun in Ijebuland, Ogun State, said from "credible, independent and third party evidence" Nigeria is on the right track of economic recovery. Also, former President Olusegun Obasanjo urged the federal government to support such private initiative such Petrolex represented, saying without government encouragement, the efforts may come to nought. Obasanjo urged the Federal government and Nigerians to leverage on the tank farm to tackle supply and distribution of petroleum products in the country as non – utilisation of it could result in colossal waste. Obasanjo however, lauded the initiative of Petrolex and urged the federal government to provide the necessary support in order to maximize the facilities.

Reconciliation: Dickson cautions Wike, PDP leaders over South-West.
Against the background of Governor Nyesom Wike‘s alleged attack on the South West caucus of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has appealed to party chieftains to be cautious in their utterances in order not to escalate the tension in the party. Dickson, who is chairman of the party‘s Post-Convention Reconciliation Committee, made the assertion just as the new party chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday vowed to ensure that all tendencies in the party were completely accommodated. Dickson made his plea to party members to be cautious, following the first formal meeting of the reconciliation committee on Monday night, saying the caution was needed to maintain mutual respect needed towards enhancing peaceful cohabitation and understanding.

Senator Misau granted bail on self-recognition.
Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, granted bail to Senator Isah Misau on self-recognition. She, however, ordered that the defendant should deposit his international passport with the Chief Registrar of the Court and can apply whenever he needs it, then adjourned the matter until January 21 for hearing. Misau, who represents Bauchi central senatorial district, was arraigned on an amended 10-count charge bordering on forgery and other related offences.

Appeal Court strikes out EFCC‘s charge against Justice Nganjiwa.
The Court of Appeal, sitting in Lagos Monday struck out the criminal charges filed against a serving Judge of the Bayelsa Division of the Federal High Court, Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC.The Commission had arraigned justice Nganjiwa, for allegedly receiving $260,000 and N8.65millon, gratification to enrich himself as a public official. EFCC had on June 23, 2017, arraigned the Judge on a 14-count charge before a Lagos State High Court, sitting at Igbosere. The judge had pleaded not guilty and trial commenced before Justice Adedayo Akintoye. While delivering judgment Monday, Justice Adele Obaseki of the appellate court quashed the 14 count charges filed against Justice Nginjiwa. The Appeal Court‘s ruling followed an appeal filed by Justice Nginjiwa, through his lawyer, Chief Robert Clarke (SAN), challenging Justice Akintoye‘s jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Alabama election: Doug Jones scores stunning win, but Moore won‘t concede.
Doug Jones on Tuesday became the first Democrat in a generation to win a Senate seat in Alabama, beating Republican Roy Moore amid a firestorm of allegations that the GOP candidate had sexually abused teens.Moore, however, refused to concede Tuesday night."When the vote is this close ... it‘s not over," Moore told supporters after Jones declared victory.The results are nothing short of an embarrassment for President Donald Trump and a disaster for Republicans in Washington as the reliably red state of Alabama elected its first Democratic senator since the early 1990s."I think I have been waiting all my life and now I don‘t know what the hell to say," Jones said Tuesday night. "I am truly overwhelmed," he added. "We have shown, not just around the state of Alabama, but we have shown the country the way that we can be unified."Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told CNN that while results are not yet certified, it is "highly unlikely" Jones will not be the winner of the Senate race."I would find that highly unlikely to occur ... there‘s not a whole of mistakes that are made," Merrill said. Should the results hold, the Republican Party‘s narrow Senate majority will be trimmed to 51-49. And two wings -- the establishment led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and an insurgency led by former Trump White House chief strategist Steve Bannon -- are now in open civil war headed into an already fraught midterm election year.

White House qualifies false Trump claim he doesn‘t know his accusers.
President Donald Trump claimed on Tuesday that he didn‘t know or had never met the women accusing him of sexual harassment and assault, despite evidence to the contrary. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders qualified the comment during her daily press briefing, saying the President was only referring to the three women who appeared at a news conference Monday to reiterate their accusations against Trump. That‘s despite the fact Trump‘s tweet made no such specification.

Gas prices rise in freezing Europe after explosion and pipeline closure.
Energy markets were shocked Tuesday by the closure of a pipeline in the North Sea and a major explosion at a facility in Austria that helps move natural gas from Russia. The price of both crude oil and natural gas spiked as investors worried that the vital pieces of infrastructure could be out of commission for weeks, choking off supplies.Italy, which sources 30% of its gas via the pipeline in Austria, declared a state of emergency.The explosion at the gas facility in Baumgarten, near Austria‘s border with Slovakia, killed one person and injured 18.The terminal‘s operator, Gas Connect Austria, said it had closed the facility and suspended the transit of natural gas through Austria to southern Europe. Massimo Di-Odoardo, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said Europe has enough natural gas in storage to cover its immediate needs. "But if the flows through don‘t resume soon and if the cold snap continues, prices will remain high through the rest of the winter," he warned.

North Korea may be making a fortune from bitcoin mania.
Speculators aren‘t the only ones cheering the runaway bitcoin boom -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may also be celebrating a windfall.In recent months, experts and officials say North Korea has been "mining" bitcoin, demanding it as ransom payment and outright stealing the digital currency."It is a fact that North Korea has been attacking virtual currency exchanges," said Lee Dong-geun, a director with South Korea‘s state-run Korea Internet and Security Agency. "We don‘t know how much North Korea has stolen so far, but we do know that the police have confirmed the regime‘s hacking attempts."North Korean hackers targeted four different exchanges that trade bitcoin and other digital currencies in South Korea in July and August, sending malicious emails to employees, according to police.Experts say it‘s unclear how much bitcoin and other crypto currencies North Korea has amassed.

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