​2023 Presidency: Akpabio lauds group for preaching peace, cautions against Endorsing political aspirants

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has charged members of the Ambassador For Voice Of Change Initiative (AVCI), to keep to their agenda of preaching peace as agent of change to Nigerians and not to rush into endorsing any politician for the Office of the President in 2023.

He gave the charge when he received in courtesy, members of the group made up of Nollywood actors, musicians and comedians in his office in Abuja.

Akpabio, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Jackson Udom, said: “I want to thank you for this laudable assignment of preaching peace and change in attitude to Nigerians. We need peace for development.

“I am happy to be part of this peaceful move. But let me caution here that you should not be in a hurry to adopt any political aspirant, as doing so, could derail this laudable agenda of the group.”

The former Senate Minority Leader said: “Don’t be ashamed of what you are doing. Even your colleagues will criticize and be enemies of what you are doing.

“Do not expect everybody to praise you when you are doing something good. The joy you will have at the end of this peace initiative, will shock you because we all, as a nation deserve peace.”

Speaking further, the former two-term governor of Akwa Ibom State said the drive for a peaceful Nigeria has to come with change of attitude and the way people relate and communicate.

“As entertainers, you keep the country united through your activities on stage and that is why I am always on the forefront to make sure that you are well appreciated,” the minister said.

Akpabio called on the group to give their support to the president saying, “President Muhammadu Buhari, is a president that is doing so much for Nigerians.

“He is working to put in place a lasting change for the future of this country. The rail lines, the good roads, and all other infrastructure he is putting in place are not to be used by him but by our children and those yet unborn.”

In his speech, the leader of the group, Mr. Godswill Ben Kureh, commended the effort of the minister for maintaining peace in the Niger Delta Region.

He said: “Your achievement as a governor, senator and now a minister are enough to endear people to you and that is why we are here to tap from that wealth of experience and vision that saw you excel in those offices and the one you currently occupy.

“You have done so well for the people of the Niger Delta Region and that is why we are here to solicit for your support in this task we are embarking on.

“Nigeria cannot move forward without peace at this point in our history. We all need Godswill to be done in Nigeria and that is why we have come for your support in this task.”

​Alleged N5.2bn fraud: Court grants ex-JAMB registrar Ojerinde bail

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday has granted the bail application of a former Registrar of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Prof Adedibu Ojerinde.

The court granted him bail in the sum of N200 million with two sureties in like sum.

According to bail terms, one surety must be a professor in a Federal University and the other must be a property owner in Abuja. The court also stated that their residences must be verified.

The court also ordered that Ojerinde must deposit his passport with the court registrar.

The matter was adjourned to July 22 and 23 for trial.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu made the order after the court resumed sitting to rule on the bail application after the case was stood down a second time.

The court had stood down the matter the first time after it was called up but Ojerinde was not yet produced in court for the hearing of his bail.

The Prosecution lawyer, Ebenezer Shogunle, informed the court that Ojerinde was on his way to court but was delayed by traffic.

Shogunle applied to the court to stand down the matter until Ojerinde makes it to court.

The Defense Counsel, Peter Olorunnishola (SAN), was not opposed to the application. Thus, the court stood down the matter and proceeded to take other cases on the cause list.

After the court had concluded with other matters listed for the day, Ojerinde was still not in court.

Justice Egwuatu, who was displeased with the situation, admonished the parties that the court sits by 9 in the morning and they should ensure they are in the court on time.

Consequently, the court had to rise.
Ojerinde, who was looking frail, was supported to the dock as it appeared he could not walk unaided.

Ojerinde’s lawyer, Olorunnishola moved his motion praying the court to grant his client bail. He moved the motion in terms of the motion paper.

The Prosecution’s lawyer, Shogunle, opposed the bail application. He argued that while Ojerinde was in their custody, they granted him administrative bail, but that he breached it.

Shogunle pointed the court to paragraph 5 (e, f, g) of his counter-affidavit.
He also asserted that other investigations were still ongoing and the witnesses in the investigations were subject to the influence of Ojerinde.

He also argued that the claim of ill-health which Ojerinde was relying on as a ground for the bail application was not supported by a medical report.

Ojerinde’s lawyer responded that they have filed their reply to the prosecution’s counter-affidavit and also added that the prosecution had concluded their investigation which was why they had charged Ojerinde to court.

Recall that Justice Obiora Egwuatu on Tuesday had ordered that the former JAMB boss, Ojerinde, be remanded in prison pending the hearing of his bail application.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu gave the order after the former JAMB boss was arraigned on an 18-count bordering on alleged fraud and diversion of public funds to the tune of N5.2 billion.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CR/97/2021, Ojerinde was alleged to have committed the offence during his time as the Registrar of the National Examination Council and JAMB.

While taking his plea, Ojerinde had pleaded not guilty.

Source: Punch

Fight banditry, insurgency, not Kanu, Umar tells FG

A former military governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Umar (retd.), on Wednesday knocked the All Progressives Congress and Federal Government led by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) for giving undue attention to the arrest of leader of Kanu than the banditry, kidnapping ravaging the country.

Umar argued that it was disturbing that rather than concentrating on insecurity threatening to cripple the country, the Buhari regime was celebrating the arrest the IPOB leader.

The former governor stated this in a statement titled, ‘Nigeria: A nation challenged.’

Recall that Umar lost his commission in the Nigerian Army as a result of his principled stance on the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election acclaimed to be won by the late Chief MKO Abiola.

He said on Wednesday that the Federal Government must go beyond the arrest of the Kanu and pay more attention to more security challenges threatening to cripple Nigeria.

Umar argued that for the average northerners living in the North-West and North-East, who had been affected by the activities of banditry, kidnapping and insurgency, the arrest of Kanu had no consequence, “since it does nothing to ameliorate his harsh and brutal condition.”

He said, “The re-arrest of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, elicited congratulatory messages to the Federal Government which appears overwhelmed by the intractable security challenges and in dire need of any redeeming act.

“This is clearly an exaggeration of the security threat Nnamdi Kanu and indeed IPOB pose to our nation’s security and unity. It is quite strange and disturbing that the Federal Government is paying undue attention to the threats of separatist movements in contrast to the more daunting ones posed by bandits, kidnappers and insurgents in the North West, some parts of North-Central and North-East.”

He lamented those activities of “those criminals have resulted in the evacuation of over 20 per cent the villages in the North-West and North-East. Hundreds are being murdered and maimed every week. Many more are kidnapped for ransom.”

He said, “Over 1,000 schoolchildren were abducted in the past eight months with over 300 still in the hands of the bandits and kidnappers who are demanding humongous ransom. Rape of women and young girls has become a daily occurrence. Most economic activities, particularly farming, the mainstay of the people in these areas, are now all but impossible.”

Umar counselled the government to deploy non-violent means in addressing the growing restiveness in the South-East of the country.

He, however, noted that “IPOB and its leader may well be responsible for some of the violence, including the murder of security personnel, arson and destruction of public and private properties for which they should be held to account.”
While touching on the unity of the country, the former governor argued that Nigeria was better as one and indivisible entity than disintegration.
The former governor carpeted the Buhari regime for not processing the skills in the management of the nation’s diversity.

“Truth be told, the Buhari administration has so far exhibited poor skills in its management of our diversity. Yet it has the benefit of great examples by past administrations and statesmen which should guide it,” Umar said.
Malami lambasts Canadian justice minister.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has described the views of the Solicitor General of Alberta in Canada, Kelechi Amadi, regarding the arrest of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, as an “outrageously ignoramus opinion that is eccentric and weird.”

Malami, on Wednesday in a statement by the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Office of the AGF, Umar Gwandu, insisted that there was no illegality in the arrest of Kanu, saying, “It was abundantly clear that bench warrant was lawfully and judiciously procured through judicial process by a competent court of law, whose bail condition Nnamdi Kanu breached with impunity. There was no illegality in the entire process and the question of illegality does not even arise.”

Malami wondered why Madu never spoke up when Kanu was inciting violence against Nigeria.

The AGF urged the Canadian public officer to educate himself in matters of the law, adding that Madu only left for Canada after failing to succeed in his country of birth.

Source: Punch

​Zamfara Governor sacks special advisers

Zamfara state governor, Bello Muhammad has sacked all special advisers, leaving only that on security.
This was contained in a statement by the acting Secretary to the State Government, Kabiru Balarabe made available to Newsmen on Saturday.

“His Excellency, governor, Bello Muhammed has relieved all special advisers of their appointments, except the special adviser on security matters.

“This decision is in line with the recent defection to the APC and to allow for an in-depth search of more competent hands in the administration of the state, irrespective of political affiliations.

“Accordingly, all the affected special advisers should hand over affairs of their respective offices, and government properties to their Directors General and/or accounting officers,” the statement reads.

The decision takes immediate effect.

Kano Emir Coronation: Buhari applauds Ganduje for generational change

By Habila Victor

As a show of support and encouragement to the newly coronated Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, thanked governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state, as he described the appointment and coronation of the Emir as generational change.

He made the statement during the Coronation of Emir Bayero held at Sani Abacha Indoor Stadium, Saturday, “Your Excellency Abdullahi Umar Ganduje I congratulate you on this period of joy as you midwifed a generational change of guards…with the swearing-in and handing over of the Staff of Office to the new Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero.”

He said “It is for me a special privilege to be in this city of proud history of exquisite culture to represent the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari to witness this historic Coronation of Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, as the 15th Fulani Emir of Kano.”

“Your Royal Highness I need not to say to you that this city of Kano is not ordinary city in both historical and modern times. Kano has always been revered as a major commercial and economic centre in Africa.

And a melting pot of diverse tribes and cultures, assimilated into a robust, vibrant and cohesive whole,” he observed. 

He continued appreciating that, “It is only with the tolerance of the culture of Kano where opposite ideas can co-exist peacefully. That you could have a thriving free market economy, with several Millionaires and yet also be the best of the radical centre left of political ideas.”

Adding that, “This is afterall the city of the socialist man of the masses, Malam Aminu Kano and many of his disciples. And Kano is also the home of the capitalist richest man in Africa, Alhaji Aliko Dangote. From wherever you come to Kano, you must feel at home.”

In a letter from President Buhari to the Emir, that was read by the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, who also coincidentally happens to be an uncle to the Emir, the President said “I wish to extend my whole hearted congratulation to you for your ascension to the throne of your forefathers, as the 15th Fulani Emir of Kano,  from the Sullubawa clan, culminating in a well deserved installation that has just taken place here on this Saturday, 3rd of July, 2021.”

The letter states “Your coronation and turbanning is providential, because it is happening at a time in the history of our country when the prevailing social and political conditions resonate from the ascension of my friend, your late father, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero. May his soul rest in perfect peace.”

“As I continue to pray for your success and look forward to your contribution to uplifting the people of Kano Emirate in particular, and the nation in general. I wish to assure you of my support for you to leave a sustainable legacy,” the letter concludes.

To express his gratitude governor Ganduje said “All the traditional leaders who have gathered here, particularly the Sultan of Sokoto, have done us a great honour, with their presence. The last time we witnessed a historic event like this, was when the late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, was handed over the Oath of Office here.”

“It is without any doubt that, all these celebrations up to this grand occasion are well received by the people of Kano. That is why wherever you go in Kano today people are celebrating because of this coronation. Which shows how people accepted this historic event. 

It is accepted by our religious leaders, by our youth and women, by business community and by all segments of society, including his blood relations within the Emirates,” he said.

Governor Ganduje said “Your Highness we are very happy with the way you are conducting yourself and the way you operate in this exalted Emirate. We are witnessing how you are helping government on many developmental spaces. We are happy with that. We pray that may Allah guide and guard you on this throne.”

Appreciating further that, there was no doubt that the late Emir Ado Bayero who ruled for over 50 years, had promoted peace and stability in the state. 

Adding that, “He worked with many governors in the state. He worked with many military governors and worked with civilian governors. Then worked again with other military governors. 

Then from 1998 he worked with civilian governors. And there was no point in time when there was clash between the Emirate and the state.”

Explaining further that it was a very welcome development that the new Emir fits into the shoes of his late father, “…since his ascension to the throne he moved to continue with the good relationship that his father left between Kano Emirate and other Emirates across the nation.

He respected them very well in their palaces. That is why they said they would reciprocate back. This is why we are seeing them all here.”

Over 100 Emirs/traditional leaders from across the nation and other nations of the world graced the occasion. Many came from each of the six geo-political zones of the country. 

Not less than 8 governors from parts of the country were physically at the occasion, these are governors of Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto, Bauchi, Kogi, and Lagos were there. 

The Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan and many Principal Officers of the National Assembly, alongside many members of the National Assembly were also there. 

Those at the occasion included the Sultan of Sokoto Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, Shehu of Borno, the Imperial Majesty Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, His Royal Majesty Oba of Benin, Omo N’oba Ewuare III, His Royal Majesty Ooni of Oni, and His Highness the Emir of Gwandu, among many others.  

Many traditional leaders from Senegal, Tchad Republic, Cameroon, Niger Republic, and Ambassadors from South Africa, India among many other foreign diplomats were present at the grand event. 

Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria were there. Along heads of federal government agencies, departments and parastatals. 

​No bullet fired at Yoruba Nation agitators ― Police

The Oodua Republic Mega rally held at Ojota area of Lagos on Saturday, was marred by the death of a 14-year-old girl alleged to have been hit by a stray bullet fired by the Police in a bid to disperse the protesters.

But in a swift reaction, the Lagos State Police command exonerated its personnel of culpability, stating categorically that no bullet was fired at the rally.

The lifeless body of the 14-year-old girl was reportedly discovered in front of her mother’s shop, about 15 to 20 meters from where the Police team was with her stomach and wrist reportedly perforated by a bullet.

It was gathered that the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, CP Hakeem Odumosu, visited areas mapped out for the rally, by the organisers to ensure adherence to his earlier warning that the command would not entertain any rally in Lagos. 

On arriving Ojota, he was said to have addressed some journalists who were on ground to monitor the situation. At that point, some protesters who posed as journalists gathered to hear the CP.

Immediately he left the scene, the protesters mobilised and started singing praises of Sunday Igboho and Yoruba slogans in solidarity of the Yoruba race.

At that point, a team of policemen stationed at Ojota, fired water cannon first, to disperse the protesters. But when that didn’t achieve its purpose, they fired tear gas canisters, which forced the protesters and journalists to take to their heels.

However, some protesters said the policemen also fired gunshots into the air, apparently to disperse the protesters. 

But the Lagos State Police Command maintained that no live bullet was fired at Ojota. It described the alleged killing of the teenager by police stray bullet as rumour.

The command in a statement signed by its image maker, CSP Muyiwa Adejobi, said, ” the attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to news making rounds that a 14- year-old girl was hit and killed by police bullet today July, 3,/2021 at the venue of the Oodua Republic Mega Rally in Ojota,  Lagos. 

“The Command hereby wishes to debunk the rumour and state categorically that it’s a calculated attempt to create confusion and fears in the minds of the good people of Lagos State and the country at large. 

“The Command did not fire a single live bullet at Ojota rally. The said corpse was found wrapped and abandoned at a distance, far from Ojota venue of the rally, behind MRS Filling Station, inward Maryland, on the other side of the venue, with dried blood stains suggesting that the corpse is not fresh. 

“After a close look at the corpse, a wound suspectedly sustained from a sharp object was seen on it. 

“The news is false and mischievous. The Command, therefore, urges the general public to disregard the news and go about their lawful normal daily activities while investigation to unravel the incident will commence immediately.

“The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, therefore commiserates with the family of the found deceased and assures that thorough investigation will be carried out.

“The Command equally wishes to warn against the spread or peddling of fake and unconfirmed stories as such could be dangerous and counterproductive”.

Vanguard News Nigeria