Saturday, October 21, 2017 // 13 hours ago

Buhari urges D-8 to prioritise trade, investment incentives among member states.
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Istanbul, Turkey, urged the D-8 leaders to prioritise incentives and measures aimed at increasing trade and investments among member countries. Speaking at the ninth summit of the D-8, President Buhari said the private sector and business communities in the economic organisation should be assisted with incentives to widen economic cooperation among member-states. The President, in a statement by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, used the occasion to reiterate the country‘s commitment to international trade and development even as he affirmed the country‘s readiness to host the D8 Ministers of Industry from November 14–17 in Abuja.


Police rescue kidnapped DPO, 4 others in Niger.
The Police high command said it has rescued a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Niger State, Aliyu Amos, his orderly and four others who were kidnapped earlier this week in the state. In a text message sent to The Guardian yesterday, Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said Amos, a Superintendent of Police (SP) and DPO of Sarki Pawa, was rescued along with four others by Police special forces about 6:00 p.m. on Thursday. Moshood, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), however, did not reveal the identities of the four others rescued by the police special forces from the kidnappers. He added that some suspected kidnappers were also apprehended during the rescue operation and would be arraigned upon completion of preliminary investigation.


Abia judicial service commission dissolution splits members.
Members of the Abia State Judicial Service Commission (SJSC) have split into two, following its dissolution by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, in compliance with the resolution of the state House of Assembly, which declared them as incompetent, based on the report of the investigative panel it constituted into the commission‘s activities. The members at pitched in the camps of the state Chief Judge, Justice Theresa Uzokwe, and Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chief Umeh Kalu, and the scenario is negatively affecting activities of the state judiciary. The members had rejected the dissolution on the ground that the governor lacked the legal power to do so and consequently refused to vacate office. Their spokesman, Kalu Agbayi, told journalists that there was an attempt by the executive to emasculate the judiciary through the ministry of Justice, alleging: "What we are witnessing today is interference and blatant encroachment on the judiciary. The level of antagonism is so high that we are denied our allowances."


Amosun denies having extra marital affairs.
Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday dismissed rumours that he fathered a set of twins with a serving corps member and accused his political opponents of being behind the rumour to "destabilise" him. Amosun, who spoke at a town hall meeting with a cross section of members of the public in Abeokuta, the state capital, on next year‘s budget, appealed to his political opponents to play decent politics, insisting that no amount of falsehood against his person would intimidate or deter him from serving the people to the best of his ability. There were strong speculations that the governor had had twins with a female corps member he befriended.



Nigerians Fear Buhari, They Don‘t Trust Him, Says Jonathan.
The Media Office of former President Goodluck Jonathan has accused the federal government and the Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media, Femi Adesina of peddling falsehood over claims that Nigerians did not protest the hike in fuel price by the Buhari government because they trusted the government. In his response to Adesina and the Nigerian government, over the claims, Jonathan‘s Media Office said fear, not trust was why Nigerians did not protest en masse against fuel price hike under Buhari. "When Femi Adesina says that it is because of trust that Nigerians did not rise up against the Buhari administration when it increased the pump price of petrol from N87 to N145, he betrays a deep ignorance and arrogance. "First of all, it was not Nigerians that rose up again the Jonathan administration when that government increased the price of petrol on January 1, 2012. It was actually members of the All Progressive Congress who sponsored the protests," said the statement signed by Reno Omokri on behalf of the Jonathan Media Office.


Shell: 90 % of Degradation in N‘Delta Caused by Oil Theft, Sabotage.
The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) says the degradation of the environment in the Niger is mainly due to spillages from the activities of crude oil thieves, sabotage of facilities, illegal refining and other third party interferences, rather than negligence by the company. Representatives of the oil multinational firm who spoke in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, during the 2017 West Hub Integrated Stakeholders Engagement Forum for Tarakiri/Egbemo/Oporomor communities, urged all stakeholders to rethink the destruction being done to the environment with a view to effecting the needed change.


219 Retired Biafra Police Officers get Pensions in Enugu.
Forty-seven years after they were dismissed from service as a result of the Nigeria/Biafra Civil war, 219 retired war affected police officers from the South-east and South-south zone on Friday received their retirement benefits. Of the number, next of kin of 57 officers who had also not been paid their death benefits were equally paid. Speaking at the occasion of payment of pension benefits to retired war affected police officers held in Enugu, the Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Sharon Ikeazor said another 155 who were on payroll but were being short paid would be paid in the next batch as soon as their pension benefit computation was concluded. She said the event marked another milestone in reintegrating the hitherto neglected officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force who had suffered untold hardship over the years catering for their needs and that of their dependents.


Kogi CJ Frees 19 Awaiting Trial Inmates from Prisons.
No fewer than 19 inmates awaiting trial at Koton-Karfi and Okene Medium federal prisons have been released by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Nasidi Ajanah. The exercise was part of the effort of his office to decongest all the prisons in the state. Ajanah gave the order of unconditional release to the inmates awaiting trial after reviewing their cases. Of the number, six were released from Okene facility while the rest were from the Koton-Karfi prisons. At Koton-Karfi, it was discovered that there were 228 inmates consisting of 173 awaiting trial, 51 convicts and four life sentences out of which 13 were set free.



Visiting my daughter in Aso Villa is like going to jail - Soyode, father of Vice-President‘s wife.
The father of the wife of the Vice-President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, Elder Olutayo Soyode, says in spite of his daughter‘s position and the exalted office of her husband, he dreads going to Aso Rock for a visit. He said going to the villa was like going to jail, given the way his movement would be monitored and he would need to sign various forms before he could go out, for security reasons. Speaking in an exclusive interview with Saturday Punch on Friday, the 74-year-old said he loved to be free and he wasn‘t the type to sit in one place and be watching television under heavy security. Soyode, who was a close associate and son-in-law to late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, explained that it was the will of God that Prof. Yemi Osinbajorose from being a university lecturer to become the Vice-President, and that all her daughter wanted to be was a confectioner despite being a qualified lawyer.


Sani to FG: Include Presidency cabal, APC members in looters‘ list.
The lawmaker representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Senator Shehu Sani, has urged the Federal Government not to limit the names of treasury looters being compiled for publication to members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party. Sani, who spoke figuratively in a Facebook post on Friday, said the list should include members of the ruling All Progressives Congress and the cabal suspected to be in the Presidency. The post read, "The Federal Government‘s decision to publish the names of looters is commendable. Hope the ‘call-up‘ list will not be limited to the ageing ‘Umbrella United‘ players, but will include those in the ‘Broomers FC‘ and ‘Paris Saint Germain‘ and ‘Dynamo Cabal FC‘ players." While the APC was figuratively referred to as the broom party, PDP was referred to as the umbrella party. The lawmaker had also alleged that there was a cabal in President Muhammadu Buhari‘s government in a recent interview with The Punch. President Buhari had reportedly directed ministries, departments and agencies to compile names of public officials who embezzled government funds and from whom some loot had been recovered.


Fresh $5.5bn loan: Youth groups threaten mass protest.
Some youth groups across the country have vowed to protest against the Federal Government‘s plan to get fresh $5.5bn loan, thus adding to Nigeria‘s N19.2tn debt profile. The groups described the country‘s increasing debt profile as worrisome and capable of mortgaging their future and that of coming generations. They told Saturday Punch in separate interviews on Thursday that they would protest should the National Assembly approve the Federal Government‘s proposal of fresh $5.5bn foreign loan, noting that there was nothing to show for the loans previously secured by the country. As of June 2017, Nigeria‘s total indebtedness to foreign and local creditors stood at N19.16tn, according to the Debt Management Office. The debt had increased by N7.1tn between 2015 and 2017.


Lagos records another lagoon suicide, deploys divers, boats.
A man identified as Oluseyi Adekunle, jumped into the Lagos lagoon from the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge on Friday morning, prompting hours of search and rescue. Saturday Punch learnt that as of 6pm, the search for the victim‘s body had not yielded any result. It was learnt that officials of the Lekki Concession Company spotted the victim through their closed circuit cameras as he removed his clothes and shoes before jumping. Before the officials arrived the scene, the victim had jumped. His identity was determined through the ATM card and other documents found inside his bag. LASEMA search and rescue team along with officials of the Lagos State Waterways Authority, Marine Police, Lagos State Ambulance Services and men from the Maroko Police Division mobilised to the scene, kick-starting hours of search. A statement from LASEMA at about 6pm said there had not been any sign of the body in the water hours after recover operation started.



Budget 2018: FG to spend N8.06 trn.
The federal government plans to spend the sum of N8.6 trillion in 2018, going by the details of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, submitted to the National Assembly in the week. This indicates about 15.5 percent increase over 2017 figure of N7.44 trillion. The expenditure would be financed through an estimated federal government‘s revenue estimated at N5.65 trillion, about 11 percent or N562.50 billion increase over the 2017 estimate of N5.08 trillion, in addition to a borrowing plan that is expected to fund a budget deficit put at N3.52 trillion in 2018. According to the MTEF, 43.2 per cent of this is projected to come from oil sources, while the balance is to be earned from non-oil sources.


2019: Buhari hasn‘t done enough for re-election - Junaid, Shettima.
Some eminent Nigerians of northern extraction evaluated the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari in the light of recent calls on him to seek re-election by some northern governors and declared that the President had not done enough. This verdict which was made by a Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed and Chairman of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, AYCF, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, in a chat with Saturday Vanguard, came as the National President of Arewa Youths Forum Alhaji Gambo Gujunju told Saturday Vanguard that the North was not aware of the President‘s perceived second term ambition. He also said the President‘s anti-corruption fight was losing steam, especially as a result of what many considered the inaction towards the report of the panel that investigated a former Secretary to the Federal Government and ex-Director General of Nigeria Intelligence Agency, NIA, Ambassador Oke. However, the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Oyegun, last Thursday, absolved the President of under-performance allegations, saying the government had done well on economic recovery, anti-corruption, and security.


I will send rumour mongers to jail - Amosun.
Ogun State governor, Senator, Ibikunle Amosun on Friday vowed to smoke out those purveying rumours and falsehoods against him, and ensure the are sent to jail. The governor while speaking at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, during a Town Hall meeting of stakeholders for the 2018 Budget, veered off the prepared speech and cleared the air on some speculations against him. The meeting was organized by the state‘s Ministry of Budget and Planning for the purpose of collecting inputs of all stakeholders and build them into the preparation of the 2018 Executive Appropriation Bill, but Amosun used the avenue to clear air on rumours being circulated against him. The governor accused some unnamed politicians, whom he said, are aspiring to govern Ogun State in 2019, of being responsible for the spate of falsehood churned out against him and his administration. The Governor who cited the reported raid of his Lagos home by the Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as the latest in the series of falsehoods being circulated against him, vowed to "smoke out" the perpetrators and jail them.


Lagos fights mosquitoes, to inaugurate Community Vector Control Point.
An environmentalist, Mr. Oluwasegun Benson, on Wednesday said that Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State would officially inaugurate the Community Vector Control Point (CVCP) in Lagos on Thursday, Oct. 26. Benson, who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Phosgard Fumigants Ltd., said this in an interview with newsmen in Lagos. He said that the CVCP project was expected to help provoke a rapid decline in diseases caused by mosquitoes and other vectors in the state. He noted that the diseases were posing a threat to the well being of the state, adding the CVCP would aid efforts to reduce the incidence of malaria and other vector-borne diseases in the state. Benson said that the project, which aimed at complementing the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, would turn Lagos into a clean mega city, thus becoming the first of its kind in Lagos State.



Missing soldier found nearly a mile from Niger ambush, officials say.
Sgt. La David Johnson was found nearly a mile away from the central scene of the ambush in Niger that killed four US soldiers -- including Johnson -- and wounded two others, four administration officials familiar with the early assessment of what happened told CNN on Friday. Officials who have spoken to CNN have cautioned that as the investigation continues, new information is likely to emerge and their understanding of what happened could change. The Pentagon is still looking at the exact circumstances of how and when Johnson became separated from the 12-member team as they were ambushed by 50 ISIS fighters but is emphasizing that the search for Johnson began immediately and dozens of US forces were quickly moved to Niger‘s capital Niamey to be ready to go into the field, which some did. Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie told reporters on Thursday that US, French and Nigerien forces "never left the battlefield" until Johnson was found. The entire Green Beret-led team has been interviewed about when they last saw Johnson, officials said. Johnson‘s body was recovered in a remote area of the northwestern African country by Nigerien troops nearly 48 hours after he was discovered to be missing in the wake of the attack, according to US officials. Details of what happened remain murky two weeks after the incident in Niger as investigators work to determine precisely what happened, a US official has told CNN.


Egyptian police killed in shootout with ‘militants‘.
Several Egyptian police officers were killed in a shootout with "militants" Friday in Egypt‘s western desert, according to state-run media outlet Ahram Online, which cited Egypt‘s interior ministry. The firefight occurred as police were attempting to raid "a terrorist elements‘ hideout" in the Bahariya Oasis, located in the desert approximately 370 kilometers (more than 220 miles) southwest of Cairo. "A number of policemen" were killed in the shootout, the interior ministry said, but it did not provide an exact number. Police said "a number of militants" were killed, but an exact figure wasn‘t released, Ahram Online reported. Reuters, citing security sources, reported that at least 30 police officers were killed.


Dozens killed in two Afghan mosque attacks.
Suicide attackers in Afghanistan killed nearly 60 people at two mosques Friday -- one in the Afghan capital of Kabul and the other in the central province of Ghor. At least 39 people died and 45 were wounded in an assault on a Shiite mosque in Kabul, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said. The attacker detonated his suicide vest in Imam Zaman mosque in the early evening, police said. At least 20 people were killed and 10 were injured in an attack on a Sunni mosque in Ghor province, west of Kabul, Danish said. Abdulhai Khatebi, Ghor provincial spokesman, said the attacker detonated his suicide vest during worship services in the late afternoon. The mosque is in the province‘s Doleena district. The US State Department condemned the attacks in a statement Friday, as well as others that took place in Afghanistan earlier in the week.


Australia receives ‘unprecedented‘ letter from North Korea.
In an open letter addressed to parliaments in a number of countries, North Korea has declared itself a "full-fledged nuclear power" and accuses US President Donald Trump of "trying to drive the world into a horrible nuclear disaster." Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop called the message "unprecedented," noting that North Korea usually chooses different means to communicate. Her office confirmed to CNN that the letter published by The Sydney Morning Herald was accurate. The document, dated September 28, appears to have been distributed about a week after Trump‘s address to the United Nations General Assembly, when he said "the United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea." In the letter, North Korea condemned that statement as tantamount to a declaration of war, something North Korean officials said shortly after the speech. The United States denied that Trump had declared war on North Korea, which is also known as the Democratic People‘s Republic of Korea. The letter said: "If Trump thinks that he would bring the DPRK, a nuclear power, to its knees through nuclear war threat, it will be a big miscalculation and an expression of ignorance."Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the letter "basically a rant about how bad Donald Trump is" during an interview with 3AW Mornings with Neil Mitchell.

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