June 22, 2018 // Yesterday ago

DSS arrests two suspected IS commanders in Abuja.
The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested two commanders of the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) at Kukuntu village, Gwagwalada, Abuja. According to a statement by the spokesman of the agency, Mr. Tony Opuiyo, in Abuja, yesterday, the suspects, Bashiru Adams and Rufai Sajo, were picked up May 5, after special operations. He said that in a related operation on April 28, the service also arrested one Umar Dogo, a suspected member of ISWA at Muda Lawal market in Bauchi. The announcement followed a report within the week that the Islamic State was sneaking jihadists into Nigeria from Syria.


Two female bombers die in Borno military market blasts.
The Borno State Police Commissioner, Damian Chukwu, yesterday said two female suicide bombers died while attempting to infiltrate the military Mammy Market of 333 Artillery on Wednesday night in Maiduguri. According to him, the first suspect was shot by soldiers at the gate while the other detonated her strapped improvised explosive devices (IEDs), injuring 15 persons who were trooping into the night market. In a statement in Maiduguri, Chukwu said the shot suspect was trying to buy a ticket to gain entrance into the market where troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole socialise. The CP said the bomb exploded and killed the first suspect, while the second bomber detonated her explosives inside a tricycle. He noted that the driver of the tricycle fled the scene of the twin bomb blasts.


National Assembly under fire over budget alterations.
Some Nigerians have criticised the National Assembly for changes made to the 2018 budget, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday. The president during the event said the legislators "made cuts amounting to N347 billion in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578 billion. He described many of the projects affected by the cut as ‘critical," saying it "may be difficult, if not impossible," to implement them with the reduced allocation. Reacting, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) expressed anger over the lawmakers‘ actions. From within the ranks of the legislators themselves, the South East Senate Caucus declared it would investigate the cut in allocation for the Enugu airport terminal. The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) also criticised the National Assembly for reducing the budget estimate for the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, the East West Road and other key projects in the budget.


Nigeria, Germany explore new opportunities to strengthen economic ties.
As part of efforts to grow stronger economic ties between Nigeria and Germany, the delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria in collaboration with Nigeria-German Business Association and the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft) hopes to explore new investment opportunities at this year‘s forum. According to the organisers, the investment forum which kicked-off yesterday with the theme; "Leveraging partnership for economic growth", will provide opportunities for Nigerian and German businesses to network, exchange information and establish business contacts.



2018 Budget: No Security Vote for Presidency, Says Udoma.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Thursday stated that there was no security vote for the presidency, debunking the report by Amnesty International (AI) titled: "Camouflaged Cash: How ‘Security Votes‘ Fuel Corruption in Nigeria", which indicated, in part that the presidency is not only appropriating, but "has increased the number of security votes tucked into the federal budget in the last two years". Responding to questions during the 2018 budget briefing session in Abuja, the minister said it was necessary to state clearly that "there is no line item as Security Vote in the State House budget," adding that "provisions for security-related matters are contained in the detailed budgets of the Ministry of Defence, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Department of State Security (DSS) etc."


NNPC Extends $6bn Oil Swap Contracts to End of 2018.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has rolled over its crude for oil products contracts worth about $6 billion by six months until the end of the 2018, the Group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, has said. This is coming as a report from the World Bank, the Nigeria Biannual Economic Update, has shown that two unbudgeted costs incurred by the federal government in 2017 may have contributed to the reduction in oil revenues that it could have earned within the year. The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has also laid out plans on how he would lead African oil producers as the President of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO).


FG to Conduct Biometrics Registration of Migrants.
The federal government has unfolded plans to carry out biometrics registration of all regular migrants who have overstayed their visas in Nigeria. The Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Danbazau, made this disclosure yesterday, during a panel session at the opening ceremony of International Press Institute (IPI) Congress at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Danbazau, Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Okey Enelamah, were on the panel hosted by the President of Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and CEO of Channels TV, Mr. John Momoh. Danbazau said the biometrics on the migrants, who are resident in the country would provide data and would enable the federal government to monitor the movement of such individuals.


Shiites Kill Police Officer as El-Zakzaky Arrives Court in Kaduna.
A policeman was killed yesterday in Kaduna, the capital of Kaduna State, following a clash with members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) otherwise known as Shiites. Members of the Islamic group had trooped out in large number during the trial of their leader, Shiekh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, at the Kaduna State High Court. However, armed security personnel prevented the Shiite members, including journalists, from accessing the High Court Complex along Bida road, Kaduna. The police were said to have been deployed to disperse hundreds of the IMN members, but the situation became violent around Ibrahim Taiwo Road as the Shiite members started throwing stones and other objects at the policemen who were firing teargas at them. The deceased policeman, according to the spokesman of the Kaduna State police command, Aliyu Mukhtar, was hit with several stones by the Shiite members.



Fayose can only vote and return to Afao on election day - Fayemi.
The All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in Ekiti, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said Governor Ayodele Fayose will not be allowed to move about on the election day of July 14. He assured the people of adequate security on the day, urging them to come out en-mass to perform their civic duties. According to him, Fayose will only be allowed to vote and go back to his house in Afao-Ekiti.


DSS detains ex-Benue gov, Suswam, PDP kicks.
A former governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswam, has been detained by the Department of State Services in Abuja. Our correspondent gathered that the former governor was invited by the DSS on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party has condemned the arrest and detention of the former governor. The PDP said there was no justification for the arrest of Suswam, which it said was politically motivated. The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, said at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday that the arrest of Suswam was to prevent him from attending a political meeting scheduled to hold in the North-Central soon.


Fire destroys 100 shops in Ondo commercial centre.
Goods said to be worth millions of naira were destroyed in a fire incident that occurred at a popular commercial centre at the post office area of Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Thursday. The fire also gutted an office of the Akure South Local Government Area inside the centre. The market shared boundary with the palace of the Deji of Akure. Although no life was lost in the incident, it was gathered that many of the traders collapsed when they saw the damage caused by the fire.


Messi faces early exit after Croatia drub Argentina 3-0.
Lionel Messi and Argentina are facing the very real prospect of an early World Cup exit after a dreadful error from goalkeeper Willy Caballero set Croatia on their way to victory and a place in the last 16. On a night when so much was expected of Messi, Chelsea reserve goalkeeper Caballero made the most telling contribution to his team‘s fate with an attempted chip over Ante Rebic that backfired badly, allowing the striker to volley into an exposed net in the 53rd minute. Messi – adrift for much of the match, especially during a pedestrian opening half – helped to rally his side after going behind, but neither he nor substitute forwards Gonzalo Higuain and Pablo Dybala could find a way through.



Good journalism key to good governance - Buhari.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja declared that good and responsible journalism remains vital to good governance, especially in an era of fake news and hate speeches. The Federal Government has also accused State Governors of being responsible for the security challenges in the country as a result of lack of good governance just as government has attributed the challenges in tackling insecurity at the border areas to family ties by neighbouring border communities where people of the same paternity are leaders in the different communities. Meantime minister of Interior, Abdulraman Danbazzau has said that there was no other candidate better than President Muhammadu Buhari for the 2019 elections, adding that the government was making steady economic growth.


APC chairmanship: Oshiomhole unopposed as govs head for consensus.
The All Progressives Congress, APC, was last night putting finishing touches to tomorrow‘s ‘coronation‘ of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as its new national chairman in the nation‘s capital city that has been suffused in an air of political festivity. The pathway to a rancour-free convention was being paved by meetings here and there by governors and other major stakeholders to reduce tension by political gladiators whose aspirations may have been underpinned by projecting their interests in the new national executive. The focus of the meetings, which were still on-going at press time, Vanguard gathered, was to ensure that a new executive is enthroned with as little rancour as possible.


2018 Budget: Stop playing to the gallery, milking naivety of the masses: Melaye to Buhari.
Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Dino Melaye, APC, Kogi West, Thursday took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that he should stop playing to the gallery and milking the naivety of the masses on the issue. Melaye in his reaction to President Buhari‘s lamentation and outright displeasure on the 2018 Appropriation bill before he finally signed it into law, said that the President should halt what he described as his chicanery and smear campaign of the National Assembly.


Benue tribal leaders reject FG‘s N179bn cattle ranches project.
Tribal leaders in Benue State, on the platform of the Mdzough U Tiv, MUT, Idoma National Forum, INF, and Omi Ny‘Igede, ONI, have rejected Federal Government‘s proposal to use over N179 billion to construct ranches in 10 states, expressing fear that the proposal could be a plan to grab and hand over Benue land to herdsmen in the guise of ranches. In a statement, yesterday, by the leaders of the three tribes - Chief Edward Ujege, President-General, MUT; Chief Amali Amali, President-General, INF, and Chief Ben Okpe, President General, ONI- they insisted that the provisions of the Benue Grazing Law should be the benchmark for grazing in the state.



England fans filmed giving Nazi salutes at World Cup.
A video showing a group of England fans singing anti-Semitic songs at a Russian bar is being investigated by British police. The footage was reportedly shot in Volgograd, where England was playing Tunisia in its opening World Cup game on Monday. "The abhorrent behaviour seen in this video is completely unacceptable and it will not be tolerated," said Detective Superintendent Caroline Marsh, Britain‘s investigations lead for the Russia World Cup, according to Reuters. "Our investigation team in the UK is already making swift inquiries to identify those involved and will seek to take all appropriate action against them."


Jakarta court: Extremist cleric sentenced to death.
An extremist Indonesian cleric was found guilty of inciting terrorism and sentenced to death by a Jakarta court Friday. Under heavy security, the South Jakarta District Court found Aman Abdurrahman, the leader of the ISIS-affiliated Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) militant group, guilty of inciting five terror attacks, including a January 2016 attack in which four people were killed and 25 wounded by a suicide bomber and gunmen in central Jakarta. His lawyer, Asludin Hatjani, said that he had met the cleric Friday morning before court proceedings began, and Abdurrahman had told him he would "praise God" if he was sentenced to death. Abdurrahman has the right to appeal, and Hatjani says he will consult with his client to determine whether they will exercise that right. Abdurrahman prostrated himself on the floor of the courtroom as the sentence was read out.


Airbus: ‘Catastrophic‘ Brexit would threaten our future in the UK.
Airbus has issued a stark warning to the United Kingdom over Brexit. If Britain crashes out of the European Union next year without a transition deal in place, Airbus (EADSF) says the outcome would be "catastrophic," throwing its production into chaos and threatening its future in the country. "This scenario would force Airbus to reconsider its investments in the UK, and its long-term footprint in the country, severely undermining UK efforts to keep a competitive and innovative aerospace industry," the European planemaker said in a statement late Thursday. Airbus is headquartered in Toulouse, France, but has significant engineering and production facilities in the United Kingdom. One large production center in Wales manufacturers the wings used on all Airbus civil aircraft. The company says it has 14,000 employees in Britain and supports another 110,000 jobs through its supply chain in the country.


Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister, charged with fraud.
The wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was charged with fraud and breach of trust Thursday over the alleged misuse of state funds at the couple‘s official residence.In a case known as the "Meals Ordering Affair," prosecutors say Sara Netanyahu used state money to pay for $100,000 worth of meals at the prime minister‘s residence, according to an indictment filed in Jerusalem‘s magistrate‘s court on Thursday.Sara Netanyahu also illegally paid approximately $10,000 for private chefs, prosecutors said. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 8 years in prison.Her lawyers slammed the indictment, describing it as "false and hallucinatory".

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