Thursday, August 17, 2017 // 19 hours ago

Police confirm killing of 16 people in Borno triple suicide attacks.
The Borno State Police Command has said that 16 people were killed in Konduga town of the state when three suspected suicide bombers attacked a livestock market by detonating their strapped Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs) on Tuesday. The triple market bomb blasts also injured 82 traders and passers-by who have been taken to Maiduguri hospital for treatment. The state‘s Police Commissioner, Damian Chukwu, who confirmed this yesterday in a text message sent to The Guardian, said that 16 people were killed and not 27 as reported in other media on Tuesday. Chukwu said the police had deployed personnel of the Explosives Ordinance Department (EOD) to sanitise the affected area. Konduga Local Council headquarters, 40 kilometres from the state capital, had been attacked by Boko Haram insurgents for over two dozen times to infiltrate Maiduguri metropolis.


Release El-zakzaky now or kill us all, protesting Shiites tell government.
Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) have called on the Federal Government to release their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, or kill all of them. This followed the continued detention of the leader, who has not been freed, despite court orders that he should be released. The protesters blocked all the major highways in Kaduna metropolis, chanting, "Free El-Zakzaky, we demand justice, we are Nigerians" "release El-zakzaky or kill us all." Speaking on behalf of the IMN, also called the Shiites, Nuhu Mafara, said they were out to demand the unconditional release of their leader who has been in detention for 612 days.


Nigeria police, judges highest bribe-takers, says UN agency.
From the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has come a revelation that about N400 billion is spent on bribes each year in Nigeria. This was contained in a report presented to the public yesterday at the stakeholders meeting to mark the end of the agency‘s five-year project on corruption in the country. Although there is still a controversy over this report, it has highlighted the problem corruption poses to development and the need for the government to do more to tackle it. According to the report, which covers between June 2015 and May 2016, law enforcement agencies and the judiciary are the highest receivers of bribes. The survey titled, "Corruption in Nigeria - Bribery: Public Experience and Response" was presented in partnership with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). It was conducted in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).


LUTH discharges three patients admitted for Lassa fever.
The management of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) has discharged the three patients admitted for Lassa fever after they tested negative to the virus. Chief Medical Director (CMD) of LUTH, Prof. Bode Chris, yesterday told The Guardian that some of the 150 persons with the index case who had been under surveillance are certified free and not under danger of developing the disease. Bode, who stated that some others still under surveillance could only be taken off the danger list after 21 days from the day of contact, however, said only Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, could declare the state Lassa fever-free.



In a First, FG Accepts Blame for ASUU Strike.
The federal government, in a departure from the norm, Wednesday admitted that its failure to fulfil its side of the bargain with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) resulted in the strike action embarked upon by the lecturers of tertiary institutions on Sunday. Briefing newsmen in the State House, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu said it was saddening that ASUU went on strike owing to the failure of the federal government to fulfil its side of the bargain with the union last year. Adamu, however, said the federal government was not happy over the way ASUU proceeded on strike, observing that it failed to follow due process by giving the government reasonable notice as the case should be. Nevertheless, he said he hoped to meet with the lecturers later Wednesday or today and expressed optimism that both camps would strike a deal that could end the strike, just as he itemised the demands of ASUU and gave an update on each of them.


Finally, Osinbajo Assigns Portfolios to New Ministers, Swears in Perm Secs.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo Wednesday assigned portfolios to Professor Stephen Ocheni and Mr. Suleiman Hassan, three weeks after swearing them in as ministers. Prof. Stephen Ocheni from Kogi State replaced the former Minister of State for Labour, Mr. James Ocholi, who lost his life in a ghastly motor accident along the Abuja-Kaduna road on March 16, 2016, while Mr. Suleiman Hassan from Gombe State replaced Ms. Amina Mohammed who until her appointment as the United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General, was the Minister of Environment. The assignment of portfolios to the ministers was deferred when they were sworn in on July 26, following the instruction from President Muhammadu Buhari that the acting president should only swear them in and suspend assignment of portfolios to them until his return from London where he has been receiving medical treatment since May 7.


One Feared Dead as Police, IPOB Clash in Anambra.
The scheduled visit of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, to Ekwulobia in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State Wednesday allegedly caused the death of one person, ThisDay learnt. The unidentified victim, who was a member of IPOB, was said to have sustained a bullet wound on the head after a clash with police officers who were drafted to the area to maintain peace. It was gathered that as early as 8a.m. yesterday, security operatives including the military, navy, police and other paramilitary agencies had stormed Ekwulobia to protect the area to avoid miscreants seizing the opportunity of the rally to cause a break down of law and order. IPOB members defied the large presence of security in the area, marching and driving in buses and chanting pro-Biafran songs. Thisday gathered that the seizure of some Biafran souvenirs including flags, caps, shirts and other items being sold by some youths by security operatives angered IPOB members who fought back, leading to a bullet wound on one of the members. But the state Police Public Relations Officer, Nkeiruka Nwode, denied that any IPOB member died in the encounter.


Police Commence Investigation into Attack on EFCC Office.
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Commissioner of Police, Mr. Musa Kimo, has said the police are yet to get any clue on the motive of some unknown gunmen who were said to have attacked one of the annexes of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), located in the Wuse Zone 7 area of Abuja in the early hours Wednesday. Kimo, who spoke with Thisday Wednesday, in Abuja, however said his men had commenced investigation into the matter in order to unravel the circumstances that led to the attack. The CP promised that the investigation would be thorough in order to fish out the culprits involved in the attack and the death threat left behind for a senior investigator of the commission, Mr. Ishaku Sharu. The unknown gunmen reportedly attacked the Wuse Zone 7 office of the anti-graft commission, which houses its AMCON Desk, Procurement Fraud and Foreign Exchange Malpractices Sections, and left a death threat for Sharu. The EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement yesterday explained that the attack was a major security breach recorded at the EFCC‘s office.



Anambra lawmaker dies after primary election.
A member of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Mr. Francis Mmegbuaneze, is dead. He died barely 12 hours after participating in the primary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance on Tuesday, which produced the incumbent Governor of the state, Willie Obiano, as the party‘s governorship candidate for the November 18 poll. It was gathered that the lawmaker attended the primary from his hospital bed. A party member told our correspondent in confidence that "because of his patriotism and love for our party, he sneaked out of his hospital bed to attend our primary. His doctor had advised him to have some rest and even to switch off his phone, but he placed patriotism above his health. "He was hospitalised for a few days and was being treated for an undisclosed ailment." The Press Secretary to the House of Assembly, Mr. Emma Mmadu, told our correspondent on the telephone that the House had not been officially informed about the death.


Attack: #ResumeOrResign group suspends protest in Abuja, moves to Lagos.
The #OurMumuDonDo Movement has given President Muhammadu Buhari 21 days ultimatum to resume or resign from office. It said if the President failed to resume or resign, it would seek a court order compelling the Federal Executive Council to set up a committee to appraise his health and determine if he was fit to continue running the country. The protesters also announced the suspension of their sit-outs following the Tuesday attack on them at the Wuse Market in Abuja, saying they needed to restrategise. Giving reasons for the suspension of the protests, which had entered its 10th day, Charly boy stated that it was to enable the coalition to restrategise on ways to make their processions less open to violent attacks. This, he said, was also to better ensure the safety of all members and other participants at sit-outs and peaceful processions in future. The group in its statement said sit-outs would however continue to hold in Lagos daily and at the Abuja House in London on Friday. However, the management of Wuse Market, Abuja, has said it may take legal action against Charley Boy, and other members of the #ResumeOrResign group following the crisis that rocked the market when they came to stage a protest on Tuesday.


Confusion as APC cancels meeting with governors.
There was confusion at the national secretariat of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja on Wednesday as the party failed to hold its monthly meeting with the governors elected on the platform of the ruling party. Some party members said the meeting could not hold due to the short notice to the governors, even as two governors were present at the secretariat to attend the meeting. The two governors are those of Jigawa State, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, and the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Philip Shuaibu. The two were at the party secretariat before they reportedly learnt that the meeting had been cancelled. It was gathered that the meeting was shelved after the National Working Committee got hint that some of the governors would not attend because of their grievances against party leaders. The recent ward congresses held in Kano and Kogi states, which ended in controversy, were said to have made the governors of the state angry because they were not happy with the positions taken by the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led leadership.


Oyo releases N13bn for workers‘ salaries.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Mr. Bimbo Kolade, on Wednesday said N13bn had been released by the state government to pay five months‘ salaries owed council workers, primary school teachers and pensioners in the state. Also, the state Governor, AbiolaAjimobi, has assented to the Community Service Punishment Bill, that will enable convicts to undertake hours of community service for minor offences instead of prison terms. The governor also advocated the promotion and adoption of alternative dispute resolution to reduce what he described as the unacceptable high number of cases awaiting trial before the courts. According to the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, the N13bn released by the office of the state‘s Accountant General was from the April, May and June allocations for the councils and their share of the Paris Club loan refund.



Boko Haram: Troops neutralize 10 terrorists in Borno, recover logistics assets.
In continuation of ongoing efforts to deny terrorists freedom of action in its Area of Responsibility, troops of 8 Task Force Division have neutralized 10 terrorists in Maza village in Marte Local Government Areas of Borno State. A statement by Col Timothy Antigha, spokesman of the division said, "The terrorists fell into an ambush laid by troops at about 9pm Wednesday night, as they attempted to sneak back into their swampy hideouts in the Lake Chad. "Items recovered from the terrorists include 10 bicycles, 11 carts containing food items and 2 cows. "In a related development, troops also recovered 50 cows abandoned by fleeing terrorists, during clearance operations conducted in Danari and Mowo villages in Monguno Local Government Area. "It should be noted that as the noose continue to tighten on Boko Haram terrorists, couple with the wet season, they have resorted to the use of bicycles and charts as means of transportation", he said.


APGA: Appeal Court sacks Agbaso, authenticates Oye.
A three-man Court of Appeal panel sitting in Enugu, last night, repudiated the factional chairman of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, Chief Martin Agbaso and confirmed Dr Victor Ike Oye as the authentic national chairman of the party. The court based its decision on the premise that Oye was not a party to the decision of the Enugu state High court that declared Agbaso chairman. The lead Judge, Abdul Aboki, cited Supreme Court decisions on such matters and resolved the two grounds of Oye‘s appeal in his favour. The appellate court was of the view that Oye would have been joined by Mike Alioke who had approached the court to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to recognise Agbaso as national chairman of the party following Oye‘s purpoted suspension from the party. The court maintained that Oye was not given the chance to be heard at the lower court and so, was not given fair judgment.


Obiano‘s many enemies‘ll not allow him win - Ojukwu.
MEGA Progressives Peoples Party, MPPP, governorship aspirant, Prince Angus Chuma Ojukwu, said that even if Governor Willie Obiano emerges as the APGA candidate he would not win the main election because of the main enemies he created in the last three years. Prince Ojukwu, a former Assistant National Secretary, and South East Zonal Secretary of APGA in an interview with Vanguard said that Governor Obiano created a lot of enemies for himself that are fighting his re-election for second term of office. Prince Ojukwu said that he would personally make sure that Governor Obiano did get a single vote from his town, Awka-Etiti.


SEC to begin phasing out Annual Reports before March 2018.
The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has said that more than N1 billion will be saved annually by listed companies as a result of the plan to stop the printing of Annual Reports and Accounts. The Commission also confirmed that telecom provider, MTN Group, is still on course to list its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, alongside other Initial Public Offers, IPOs, being expected. The Director General of SEC, Mounir Gwarzo, who disclosed these at the post third quarter Capital Market Committee, CMC, press briefing in Lagos, yesterday informed that besides institutional investors, 98 per cent of other shareholders do not get their Annual Reports before the Annual General Meeting, AGM, of their companies. He, however, said that electronic version and hard copy of the Reports would be issued concurrently at the initial stage of phasing out the hard copy version of Annual Reports before the first quarter CMC meeting in March, 2018 when the progress made would be assessed. Gwarzo said that in order to carry every minority shareholder along, company secretaries still have the responsibility of depositing the Annual Report and Accounts with shareholder groups to help their members who might have limitation accessing them online do so through their various groups.



32 killed in bloody night for Duterte‘s war on drugs.
Thirty-two suspected drug dealers were killed in shootouts across one province in the Philippines on Tuesday, police said, in a bloody 24 hours for the country‘s war on drugs.Police conducted 66 "buy-bust" operations, in which undercover police attempt to buy illegal drugs from suspected dealers, in the province of Bulacan, just north of the capital, Manila, Romeo Caramat Jr., Bulacan Provincial Director Senior Superintendent, said. Twenty of the "buy bust" operations and 14 searches "resulted in armed encounter," Caramat added. Since coming to power in June 2016, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has unleashed an aggressive crackdown on drugs that has left at least 3,400 alleged dealers and users dead. On Wednesday he praised the operations, saying, "That‘s good. If we can only kill 32 every day, maybe we can fix what ails this country," according to a translation by CNN affiliate CNN Philippines.


More than 300 bodies recovered from Sierra Leone mudslide.
Rescuers have recovered over 300 bodies after Monday‘s deadly mudslide on the outskirts of Sierra Leone‘s capital, the country‘s tourism minister said Wednesday. Sidie Tunis told local radio that 297 bodies have been brought to the overwhelmed city morgue at the Connaught Hospital, including those of 105 men, 83 women and 109 children. A further seven bodies were found at the site on Wednesday morning, raising the death toll to 304 people, Col. Abubakarr Bah, who is leading recovery operations, told CNN.Residents told CNN that an unknown number of bodies were found on a beach later Wednesday, but that hasn‘t been confirmed by officials. A mass burial will be held on Thursday. It was postponed to allow families to identify their loved ones.Around 600 people are still unaccounted for after heavy rains struck the Regent district in the early hours of Monday morning, causing torrents of mud to wash down Mount Sugar Loaf, about 5 miles outside the capital, Freetown, according to government officials and aid agencies. Between 2,000 and 3,000 people have been displaced, Abu Bakarr, spokesman for the Red Cross in Sierra Leone, told CNN on Tuesday.


Grace Mugabe asks for diplomatic immunity over alleged assault.
Zimbabwe‘s first lady Grace Mugabe is seeking diplomatic immunity over allegations of assault in South Africa.Mugabe was supposed to present herself at a police station in a Johannesburg suburb on Tuesday to give a statement but failed to appear, despite her appointment being rescheduled several times throughout the day, South African police said.Mugabe‘s attorneys informed authorities that she had "changed her mind" about speaking to police and subsequently, requested diplomatic immunity, according to a police statement. The alleged assault took place Sunday at a hotel in Sandton, a wealthy suburb north of Johannesburg, according to police, who were called to the scene where a case of "assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm" was registered. The move comes after Gabriella Engels, a 20-year-old woman, used her personal Twitter feed to accuse Mugabe of attacking her, according to Vishnu Naidoo, a spokesman for South Africa‘s police.Engels said she was in a hotel room with Mugabe‘s two adult sons when the attack took place.


5 crewmen missing after Army chopper crashes near Oahu.
An Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter went down during a training exercise about 2 miles off the Hawaiian island of Oahu, according to the US Coast Guard.Responders are searching for five missing crewmen. The aircraft went down Tuesday night off the largely uninhabited Kaena Point on the west side of the island. Two Black Hawk air crews were training between Kaena Point and Dillingham Airfield, a few miles east, when communications were lost, the Coast Guard said. Three helicopters, a Coast Guard cutter and response boat and the Honolulu Fire Department were among those responding. The Coast Guard spotted a debris field near Kaena Point at 11:28 p.m. (5:28 a.m. ET), roughly 80 minutes after personnel at Wheeler Army Airfield in central Oahu lost communications with the helicopter.Weather in the area is partly cloudy with winds of 15 to 25 mph and 2-foot seas.

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