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IEDPU congratulates new Ilorin title holders

Emir of Ilorin Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari has named the elder brother of Kwara governor Alimi AbdulRazaq as the Mutabali of Ilorin.

AbdulRazaq was decorated with the title at a colourful event on Thursday.

The title was last held by his late father and the first commissioner of finance in the state, AbdulRazaq Folorunsho, who died last year.

The emir also appointed Saliu Mustapha as the Turaki of Ilorin, a position previously held by former Senate President Bukola Saraki.

The late Olusola Saraki once held the title before he was elevated to the position of a Waziri. His son Bukola Saraki stepped into the father’s shoes to bear the title between 2006 and 2018.

The younger Saraki was later turbaned as the Waziri, succeeding his father for the second time.

Mustapha is the founder of Saliu Mustapha Foundation and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress.

Others honoured at the event include Ilorin-born Islamic scholars; Sheikh Farouq Suleiman Onikijipa, Professor Yakubu Aliagan and Sheikh AbdulRahman Sholagberu.

Sheikh Faruq Onikijipa was honoured as the Grand Mufti of Ilorin and Waziri Yakubu Gobir as Dawaki of Ilorin; Saka Onimago as Shetimma of Ilorin; Abubakar Baraje as Tafida of Ilorin; and Kawu Agaka as Dan Iya of Ilorin.

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Army Chief commissions new office complex in honour of late Lt Gen Attahiru

Chief of army staff Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya has opened a new office complex named after the late army chief Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru who died in a military plane crash in May.

The office is located at the headquarters of the joint task force, north-east, Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK), in Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri, Borno State.

Army spokesman Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu in a statement on Thursday said the gesture was to honour Attahiru for his contributions and sacrifice towards uplifting the Nigerian Army.

He said that the new facility would provide befitting offices to meet demands of the recent expansion and restructuring of the counter-terrorism operation in the north-east.

The spokesman quoted the army chief as saying the facility would provide environment conducive for the staff officers and administrative staff to perform their duties.

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‘Why Senator Manager knelt before James Ibori’

Nigerians have begun reacting to a picture of Senator James Manager (Delta South) kneeling before former Delta governor James Ibori.

The picture was taken on Wednesday when Manager visited Mr Ibori who is considered a leader by many Delta politicians despite being convicted of fraud.

An associate of the senator told PUNCH that Manager’s gesture was a sign of respect in Urhobo culture.

“Whenever you go to pay homage to an Urhobo elder or someone you hold in high esteem, you kneel down,” the source said.

Ibori was governor from 1999 to 2007 while Manager has been a senator since 2003. The latter is rumoured to be considering a shot at the governorship seat.

Despite the gesture being a tradition among the Urhobo people, there have been varying reactions on Facebook.

Solomon Umebo wrote, “I don’t see anything wrong for kneeling down to someone while laying foundation for the future it’s sign of humility despite ibori is being a victim of money laundry he is one of prominent politicians in Nigeria because he has been offered pardon law according to the constitution (sic).”

Banjo David Babajide wrote, “Until Godfatherism is killed in Nigeria system/Politics. Things can never get better. These are the people and reasons they dictate the affairs of the administration.”

Ernest Lekweke wrote, “Enslaving ourselves in the name of godfather is evil. I blame the political structures and loopholes of both the electoral law and 1999 constitution. If elections truly counts in Nigeria, without rigging, all these nonsense will stop.”

Another Facebook user Beaty Anam wrote, “That means he’s Obi Cubana in politics. He must be a very powerful man.”

Alexander Seconds reacted, “During ibori regime Delta was truly the sunrise state.”

Debo Olutayo wrote, “He has been a good leader and that’s why he’s still relevant despite his shortcomings.”

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Court orders DSS to produce detained Igboho’s aides

A Federal High Court, Abuja on Friday ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to produce before the court 12 detained associates of Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho on July 29.

Justice Obiora Egwuatu gave the order after the applicants’ counsel Pelumi Olajengbesi moved the ex-parte motion dated July 7 and filed on July 8.

Egwuatu also ordered the secret police to show course why the applicants should not be granted bail.

The judge also granted the plea of the applicants, through the affidavit of urgency filed, on why the matter should be heard expeditiously irrespective of the imminent court vacation.

The applicants were arrested and detained by the DSS on July 1 after a raid on Sunday Igboho’s residence in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

The DSS had said it killed two of the activist’s associates during a gun duel. It later declared Sunday Igboho wanted for allegedly stockpiling arms, an allegation he denied.

Sunday Igboho and his wife Ropo, meanwhile, were arrested on Monday night by Interpol in Cotonou, Benin Republic just before they were to board a flight to Germany.

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Public display of affluence dangerous, DSS warns

The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned the public on the dangers of public display of affluence, saying it is great security risk.

Deputy director of security enforcement, DSS Kwara Command, Paul Oduh, who spoke on Friday at a symposium organised by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Kwara said such show of affluence in public was one of the factors that usually attract the attention of criminal elements.

He explained that uncontrolled exhibition of flamboyant lifestyle and deliberate show of affluence has the potency of attracting kidnappers, bandits and other criminals.

Mr Oduh pointed out that these were not the best of times to show off in the country, especially when considering current security challenges.

“People must adopt moderate lifestyles, so as not to fall prey to these criminal elements,” he said.

Oduh’s warning comes in the wake of the funeral of mother of businessman Obi Iyiegbu aka Obi Cubana in Oba, Anambra State where bundles of naira notes were sprayed by attendees.

The DSS official also noted that boastful attitude and maintaining habitual daily routine can also make someone prone to avoidable attacks.

He explained that negative habitual routines, such as keeping late nights all the time and driving on a particular route every time can also put individuals under observation by all manner of attackers.

“The country is ravaged by insecurity on daily basis. However, people should not despair, security should be the concern of all people and they must be enlightened on it,” he said.

Oduh advised the public to secure their homes and property with physical security measures like burglary proofs, protective security gadgets, security lights and perimeter fencing among others.

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Igboho’s Arraignment Not About Fake Beninese Passport: Lawyer

Ropo Adeyemo, wife of Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, has debunked reports that her husband was found with a fake Benin Republic passport.

Mrs Adeyemo and her husband were arrested on Monday night in Cotonou, Benin Republic while attempting to board a flight to Germany.

The couple appeared before a court on Thursday. While Mrs Adeyemo was set free, the court ordered Sunday Igboho to be remanded in the custody of Brigade Criminelle in Cotonou till Monday.

Freelanews said it spoke with the activist’s wife who said her husband did not possess a fake passport.

“I don’t know where Nigerian blogs got the information of the doctored passport from as that was not the case at all. In fact, the Nigerian government as we speak don’t even have access to Igboho as against the several claims in media,” she said.

She was quoted as saying that on that fateful day two of Sunday Igboho’s associates were also travelling to Dubai while she and her husband were returning to Germany when they were stopped over their names which appeared on Interpol watchlist.

“The other two going to Dubai are already there now. As for us, our passports were stamped by Benin immigration and while we were about boarding, the immigration officer that attended to us received a call and asked me to come back as he needed to check my passport again.

“Igboho, who was not called and already ahead then made a detour to the toilet while the immigration perused my passport again.

“After some few minutes, I was asked to proceed which I did but I was once again asked to stop as there was another need to check the passport,” she said.

The activist’s wife was also quoted as saying that when her husband got out of the restroom, they were immediately arrested.

“It was when he made an appearance that the Beninese security operatives swooped in on us and informed us that our names were on their watchlist and that they had the instruction that we should not be allowed to travel through their borders,” she narrated.

Mrs Adeyemo also debunked reports that her husband was chained in Benin Republic.

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Oyedepo right to have sacked 40 pastors – Fatoyinbo

Senior pastor of the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly Biodun Fatoyinbo has expressed support for the founder of Living Faith Church International, aka Winners’ Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo, who sacked some pastors for being “unfruitful”.

One of about 40 affected pastors Peter Godwin had brought the matter to public notice when he took to social media to vent over the sack.

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Following the controversy that ensued, Oyedepo told his congregation that the pastors were sacked for being “unfruitful”, adding that they were “blatant failure”.

Fatoyinbo, who considers Oyedepo one of his spiritual fathers, said in an Instagram post on Friday that there is no room for laziness and unfruitfulness.

“No room for laziness and unfruitfulness. Question: If you were fired in the bank for not meeting up with your deliverables, will you go on social media?” he wrote.

As contained in the Bible in Luke 13, Fatoyinbo said, “He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

“Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

“And if it bears fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.”

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Obi Cubana, wife, associates holiday in The Maldives

Chairman of Cubana Group Obi Iyiegbu aka Obi Cubana and some of his associates have begun holidaying in The Maldives.

The holiday comes after the luxury funeral of the nightlife entrepreneur’s mother in Oba, Anambra State.

Obi Cubana and his wife Ebere Iyiegbu on Thursday posted images of their getaway on Instagram.

In the pictures, Obi Cubana sports a fashionable red shirt and a pair of black trousers while his wife is seen in an off-shoulder gown as they enjoy the view of the open sea.

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“Whisked away,” Mrs Iyiegbu wrote as caption.

Moments before they left the airport, one of Cubana’s friends identified as Obi Obi shared videos and pictures of all taking part in the trip.

Mrs Iyiegbu recently defended her husband over money ritual allegations, saying Obi Cubana was full of grace.

She urged the public to work hard and not believe rumour that her husband became wealthy through diabolic means.

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Clarion Chukwurah celebrates 57th birthday with topless pictures

Nollywood actress Clarion Chukwurah on Saturday posted unusual pictures of herself on Instagram braless to celebrate her 57th birthday.

The movie veteran used the photos to depict the state of Nigeria, saying that the country’s lost glory needs to be restored.

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In one of the photos, Clarion is seen backing the camera braless and in another she uses her arms, facing the camera this time, to cover her breasts.

Her post read, “I AM NIGERIA with My Myriad of Culture And Ethnic Groups.. Sometimes, I look Confused To The Rest of The World In My Diversity, Outdated and Uncivilized with Customs Steeped in Tradition… Still, They Were Attracted To My Many Blessings.

“SMH, I Used To Be Called The Giant Of Africa, The Land of Black Gold, Fighting and Winning Battles For My African Kin, Commanding Respect!

“Now, on Wobbly Legs, I Say, I AM UNBREAKABLE! Cameroon has taken from Me, Ghana has lived in Me, Togo has worked in Me, Lebanon has traded in Me, Niger has overflooded Me, South African Liberty benefitted from Me, My Borders have been left open to Exploiters for as long as I can remember, My Values have sunk into the Pit; But, My Sons and Daughters Have Built The World. And, Though I Suffer Endlessly from Headaches And Stomach Pains inflicted by Poisonous Elements within Myself, I REMAIN STANDING!!!”

Continuing in reference to herself as Nigeria, the actress added that it has dawned on her that she was falling, stripped and begging for respect.

She added, “I Need Mercy to Uphold Me, Hope to Clothe Me, Restoration to bring back My GLORY ; So I Can Still Say That I AM Strong🦾In My Diversity And I Can Again Be Called The Giant Of Africa BECAUSE GOD IS IN THE MIDST OF ME.

“MY NAME IS CLARION CHUKWURAH, TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY….I AM A NIGERIAN AND I SAY I AM UNBREAKABLE. BY GRACE I WILL BE RESTORED.”

Clarion, who is the mother of music video director Clarence Peters, said her post was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Since 2016, she has been “born again”. Last year, Clarion graduated from Life Theological Seminary formerly known as Life Bible College.

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Yusuf Buhari’s Wedding Gets Date, as Bichi Emir Inaugurates Committee

Yusuf Buhari, son of President Muhammadu Buhari, will on August 20 wed daughter of the emir of Bichi Princess Zahra Ado-Bayero.

Spokesperson for Bichi Emirate Lurwanu Malikawa in a statement on Saturday said the Emir of Bichi Nasir Ado-Bayero had inaugurated a 145-man committee to facilitate a hitch-free wedding fatiha.

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According to the statement, the committee will also organise the emir of Bichi’s coronation, including his presentation of staff of office by Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

In addition, the statement indicated that the committee would be chaired by the district head of Bagwai, Nura Ahmad (Madakin Bichi), with Abba Waziri (Falakin Bichi), as the secretary.

While inaugurating the committee, the emir, represented by the Madakin Bichi, charged its members to use their wealth of experience to ensure the success of the royal wedding.

While the wedding fatiha would hold on August 20, the coronation will take place the following day August 21 at the emir of Bichi’s palace.

Yusuf met Zahra at the time he studied at the University of Surrey, UK, same school Zahra did her Architecture degree programme.

Yusuf survived a serious motorbike accident in 2017.

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Sunday Igboho Seeks Asylum In Benin Republic After Failed Germany Trip

Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, who is currently in detention in the Republic of Benin, has reportedly filed for asylum in Germany and is considering doing same in the country where he is being detained.

Sunday Igboho and his wife Ropo were arrested on Monday night at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin by Interpol after being declared wanted by Nigerian authorities.

The Cour De’appal De Cotonou ruled on Thursday that Ropo should be released unconditionally as there were no charges against her, while Sunday Igboho is to remain in police custody.

Reports say the activist was allegedly caught with a fake Beninese passport at the point of his departure to Germany through an Air France flight, an allegation the wife denied.

Punch reports on Saturday that Sunday Igboho had submitted application as a political refugee in Germany, while processes had also been completed to file another application for asylum for him in Benin Republic.

“Igboho has already applied for asylum in Germany and he hopes to file a similar application in Benin Republic in the coming days,” its source said.

It was gathered that the Cour De’appal De Cotonou adjourned the hearing of the case against Sunday Igboho till Monday following an appeal by representatives of the Nigerian government to allow more time for the necessary extradition papers to be filed.

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Sanwo-Olu Breaks Silence On Sunday Igboho’s Travails

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Saturday spoke for the first time publicly on the arrest of Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho.

Speaking after casting his votes at the Polling Unit 019 Ward 08, Ikoyi II during the local government/council areas election, Mr Sanwo-Olu said that people are “working behind the scenes” concerning the arrest.

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“These are very difficult times for all of us. I can assure you that people are working behind the scenes,” the governor said.

“At occasions like this, it’s not by how many Press people you call. I’m aware that a lot of people have responses that they are doing quietly and privately and it doesn’t have to be a public conversation.”

After the Department of State Services raided Sunday Igboho’s Ibadan home on July 1, southern governors which included Sanwo-Olu agreed that security operatives must inform the governor before carrying out operation in a state.

Sunday Igboho, 48, and his wife Ropo were arrested on July 19 by the Interpol at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin. The couple were trying to catch a flight to Germany.

The activist is wanted in Nigeria for allegedly stockpiling ammunition, an allegation he denied.

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66 passengers escape death at Ilorin airport, as Air Peace plane tire bursts

One of the tyres of an Air Peace passenger plane burst after landing at the Ilorin Airport in Kwara State on Friday, causing panic.

The B737-500 aircraft with registration number 5N-BQR was taxiing to the parking bay at the airport when the incident occurred.

It was carrying 66 passengers and six crew members from Abuja.

The airline released a statement on Saturday to debunk reports that the plane crashed or crash-landed.

“We can confirm that the aircraft in question landed safely but had a minimal tyre burst while taxing. This debunks all the mischievously headlined reports circulating online, which should be disregarded,” the statement read.

“Our aircraft neither crashed nor crash-landed in Ilorin or in any place for that matter. This kind of sensationalism is bad and was intended to cause panic in the minds of the flying public.

“It was duly reported to the authorities and passengers disembarked seamlessly. The tyres have, however, been fixed and the aircraft is intact.”

The airline restated its commitment to “providing peaceful connectivity across cities and relentlessly observes the highest standards of safety in its operations.”

A similar incident occurred in January 2019. The tyre of an Air Peace Boeing 737 aircraft burst at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja while it was taxiing for take-off on the runway.

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Ex-banker, wife, mother-in-law jailed 60 years for stealing depositors’ fund

An ex-banker Ebenezer Alonge along with his wife Olamide and his mother in-law Moradeke Isakunle have been convicted for theft of the Nigeria Customs fund.

Spokesman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) Wilson Uwujarem disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

According to Mr Uwujaren, Justice Adekanye Ogunmoye of an Ekiti State High Court on Friday pronounced Alonge, Olamide and Moradeke guilty of the 12-count charge instituted against them because none of the trio could prove his or her innocence in the suit.

Ogunmoye consequently convicted and sentenced each of the convicts to 60 years in prison.

According to the judgment, the convicts were sentenced to five years in jail for each of the 12 offences.

However, the judge said that sentencing would run concurrently.

He also forfeited the house found in possession of the convicts which would be restituted to the plaintiff.

Earlier, counsel to the EFCC in Ekiti Abdulrasheed Suleiman had told the court that a new generation bank in the state had on Feb. 2018 petitioned the agency that Alonge, one of their cashiers, was involved in a criminal act.

Suleiman further said that investigations further revealed that Alonge had transferred over N21 million belonging to one of their customers into his wife’s bank account as well as his mother in-law’s bank account.

The prosecutor stated that the offence contravened Section 390 (9) of the Criminal Code Act Cap 16 Laws of Ekiti State 2012.

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NFF vows to ‘unmask’ man who harassed Super Falcons in Austria

The Nigeria Football Federation says it would immediately report the case of a commuter harassing the Super Falcons on a train in Austria to world football body FIFA and would pursue the case to its logical conclusion.

The Falcons were on a tour of the city on public transport when they were subjected to harassment on Tuesday.

NFF president Amaju Pinnick also said the federation has kicked off moves to ensure “the unmasking of the self-acclaimed Nigerian who got on the train with the Super Falcons in Vienna, Austria on Tuesday and made the players uncomfortable with inflammatory political talks.”

He continued, “We are infuriated because these are young ladies who are our ambassadors and are there in Austria preparing for major international competitions. That was a dastardly act by that fellow and we are not taking it lightly. The girls simply wanted to go on sightseeing and there is nothing wrong with that. They do not deserve to be subjected to such diatribe by a so-called fellow Nigerian.

“We will unmask the fellow and then take it from there.”

FIFA match agent Jairo Pachon said the incident will not in any way affect the team’s camping programme and that they would remain in Austria until Saturday, July 24 as scheduled.

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‘You represent a terrorist government’ — Nigerian man harasses Super Falcons on public bus in Austria

Super Falcons have clashed with a man on a train in Vienna, Austria who accused them of playing for Nigeria despite the alleged atrocities going on in the West African country.

The team have been in Austria since July 15, officials said on Tuesday. The Falcons opted to have a view of the city after their morning training, and decided on public transport to the city centre.

The Falcons are in Austria on an eight-day intensive training camp as part of the preparation for the forthcoming Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Football Tournament.

In a video which has since gone viral, the man said, “I am also a Nigerian, and I have lived in Vienna for so many years and you people are representing a terrorist group. You Nigerian youths should be very ashamed of yourselves, every one of you should be ashamed of yourselves.

“This can’t happen in another country, that their youths are representing this government. Over 10 million Nigerian youths are abroad doing nothing and you people who are supposed to know about it are representing a terrorist organisation called Buhari, kidnapping citizens, killing youths.

“I am calling on you, go back home, don’t represent this country, you don’t understand what Nigerians are going through, you should be the ones to fight for everyone.”

The man claimed he played for the defunct Julius Berger FC, adding “corruption in Nigeria drove me here and I am here suffering.”

He also threatened to call the police on anyone who touched him.

Nigeria’s FIFA match agent Jairo Pachon said the matter has been reported to the Austrian police and the Embassy of Nigeria.

Pachon told thenff.com, “It is unfortunate. The girls were on the way to the city centre which was just a few minutes from the hotel. They entered this train and the guy got inside and started insulting them. He was bundled out at the next station and we have reported the matter to the Embassy of Nigeria and the Austrian Police. We have never had this kind of case with any of our teams and lessons have been learnt and we will be guided appropriately going forward.

“This incident will not in any way affect the team’s camping programme and they will remain in Austria until Saturday, 24th July as scheduled.”

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Nneka Ogwumike’s appeal to play for Nigeria in Olympics denied

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday denied Nneka Ogwumike’s appeal to play for Nigeria in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

It also rejected an appeal by Elizabeth Williams’ appeal to represent Nigeria.

Ogwumike was left off of the US roster for the Tokyo Olympics. She won gold medals for the US senior national team at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in 2014 and 2018.

FIBA had denied granting her request to play for the birth country of her parents, citing her “substantial involvement” with Team USA.

Acknowledging CAS’s decision, FIBA said in a statement, “In any event, the players would have to wait for a three-year period since their last game with the USA to be eligible to play at the Olympics, as per Bye-law to Rule 41 of the Olympic Charter.”

By petitioning to play for Nigeria, Ogwumike was hoping to appear alongside her sisters, Chiney and Erica, on the same Olympic roster. Chiney also encountered problems in her desire to play for Nigeria but was eventually cleared as a naturalized citizen and is now on the roster. All three Ogwumike sisters have dual citizenship in the US and Nigeria.

Speaking on her desire to play for Team Nigeria, Ogwumike said: “I just wanted to bet on myself and also be a part of an organization that prioritizes me. My perspective was like, ‘If it’s not impossible, I’m going to go for it.’ Because I believe I have Olympic status and I plan on being an Olympian.”

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Lagos seals 16 firms over ‘tax evasion’

Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) on Monday sealed 16 firms which involved companies and hospitality firms over unpaid consumption taxes.

LIRS director of legal services Seyi Alade said during the state-wide enforcement that the state had resolved to wield the stick on defaulters who insist on shortchanging the state government.

Alade noted that LIRS suspended for sometime shutting of corporate organisations and hospitality firms over unpaid taxes. He said the affected companies failed to meet up with March 31 deadline.

“Now, the service has resumed sealing of firms particularly the hospitality firms; it is committed to continue the exercise until full compliance to tax payment and remittance are achieved,” Alade said.

He said the firms sealed were restaurants, hotels and guest houses.

Alade listed the sealed companies to include Café Trance, Maple Cottage, Imperial Chinese Cuisine, New World Inn, Inspiro Galaria, Grace Garden Event, Cristabol Place, Queens Park Event Centre, Axor Suites and Blue Moon Hotel.

He said that the others included Citi View Hotel, Kamal’s Crib, 7th Heaven and Infinity Platinum Bar and Restaurant.

Alade said the tax liabilities of the affected firms covered from 2013 to 2020.

“Before LIRS embarks on sealing, it must send two letters to the management of the affected firm, reminding it of tax liabilities.

“Both the demand notice and letter of intention to distrain were sent to the management of the hospitality firms but they failed to act,” he said.

Alade claimed that less than 65 percent of the corporate organisations operating in the state paid taxes, saying that many of them operated without any tax remittance to the government.

He called on companies to ensure up-to-date tax payment.

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SEC settles lingering dispute with Oando Plc

Oando Plc has entered into an out-of-court settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) following a two-year legal tussle, the commission said on Monday.

The SEC made this known in a circular posted on its website. The commission had in 2019 said it found Oando guilty of serious infractions, barring its CEO Wale Tinubu, and its deputy CEO Mofe Boyo from the boards of public companies for five years.

SEC also instituted an interim management to appoint new board of directors and management team for Oando.

The circular said the company had reached a settlement with the commission on immediate withdrawal of all legal actions filed by it and all affected directors.

It said the agreement included payment of all monetary penalties stipulated in the commission’s letter of May 31, 2019; and an undertaking by the company to implement corporate governance improvements.

“Part of the terms required the submission by the company of quarterly reports on its compliance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement; the Investments and Securities Act, 2007; the SEC Rules and Regulations; the National Code of Corporate Governance and the SEC Guidelines to the Code of Corporate Governance.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred on the Commission by the Investments and Securities Act 2007, and the Rules and Regulations made pursuant thereto, the commission on July 15, entered into a settlement with Oando Plc (the company).

“The commission in its letter to the company dated May 31, 2019, gave certain directives and imposed sanctions on the company, following investigations conducted pursuant to two petitions filed with the commission in 2017.

“The company and some of its affected directors had challenged the said directives in a series of suits commenced at the Federal High Court,” it said.

The circular said Oando approached the commission for a settlement of the matter, and both parties had agreed to settle in consideration of the impact that a further prolonged period of litigation would have on the company’s shareholders and the value of their investments.

The commission also reiterated its commitment to ensuring the fairness, transparency and integrity of the capital market, while upholding its mandate to protect investors.

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100 kidnapped victims rescued in Zamfara

About a hundred persons kidnapped in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State on June 8 have been released, police said on Tuesday.

Police spokesperson Muhammed Shehu said no ransom was paid to secure their release.

Mr Shehu said the police got assistance from the state’s ministry for security and home affairs.

The abducted persons were mostly nursing mothers and children.

“The Commissioner of Police, CP Hussaini Rabiu psc, warned the recalcitrant bandits to renounce criminalities and embrace peace or face the full wrath of the law,” Shehu said in a statement.

“The Command uses this medium to call on the good people of Zamfara State to support the Police and other security agencies with credible information about the hideout, movements and other activities of Criminal elements.”

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President Buhari applauds Airforce Pilot for gallantry

President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the pilot of the Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet, Flt. Lt. Abayomi Dairo, who survived an air crash.

Dairo successfully ejected himself from an aircraft that reportedly came under “intense ground fire from bandits” in Zamfara, last week

Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday said Buhari, who was briefed on the successful operation by the nation’s defence forces to rescue the pilot, said he was pained by news of the air crash.

“I was shocked by the devastating news of the air crash but felt much relieved, following the successful ejection by the pilot and his eventual rescue.

“May the injured pilot recover at the earliest time,” Buhari was quoted as saying.

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BREAKING: How INTERPOL arrested Sunday Igboho, wife in Benin Republic, by lawyer

Lead counsel of the Yoruba Nation agitator Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho has given more information on the arrest of the activist.

In a statement on Tuesday, Yomi Alliyu said Sunday Igboho and his wife Ropo, a German citizen, was arrested by the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol).

He confirmed that the activist was arrested on Monday night while he tried to catch a flight to Germany with his wife.

The senior advocate described the arrest of his client as shocking and urged the government of Germany, Benin Republic and the international community “to rise up and curb the impunity of the Nigerian Government by refusing any application for extradition of our Client who already has application before the International Criminal Court duly acknowledged”.

The Department of State Services had declared Sunday Igboho wanted after allegedly finding illegal ammunition at his Ibadan residence in the Soka area on July 1, 2021.

About 12 of his aides were arrested during the raid and two killed in a gun duel.

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Yoruba People Are Sunday Igboho’s Potent Enemies – Sokoti, Popular Actor

Nollywood actor Adewale Abdulrasak Sokoti has said that the most potent enemies that Yoruba Nation activist Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho has to contend with are people from his own tribe.

The actor also said that those who are working against the struggle for the emergence of an independent Yoruba nation are Yoruba people especially those in the diaspora.

Sokoti gave these submissions while featuring on a weekly radio show, Ayekooto on Radio’ anchored by Olayinka Agboola and broadcast live on Lagelu 96.7 FM, Felele Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Tuesday evening.

According to the culture enthusiast, “Those Yoruba people in the diaspora are putting spanners in the works of Sunday Igboho, who, as far as I am concerned, has woken Yoruba people from their deep slumber. However, our people have been betraying him. Those close to him, those that have dined and wined with him are the ones revealing his secrets.

“Like I said, those in the diaspora will still abuse me for these submissions I am making here. It does not matter. I am used to it. These people are the ones abusing our elders and monarchs accusing them of doing all sort of things. And these kings and elders are the ones that can lead us to the land of promise. By abusing them and lying against them, will they want to join us in the struggle for freedom?

“You see, it seems as if the curse placed on the Yoruba people by late Aole is still affecting us but then, there was a time my father, the Alaafin of Oyo, Iku Baba Yeye told me that he already made sacrifices to neutralise the curse. But it looks as if it is still with us.

“This is why things are not working for us. Yoruba people seem not to be capable of speaking with one voice. When they want anything, at the point of success, it would be the same Yoruba people that will scuttle the plan and they will be back to point zero.”

Sokoti, who became an actor shortly after leaving primary school, was further encouraged by his late Uncle Pa Supo Kosemani. He has produced over 25 movies.

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Lavish Burial: Pastor Apologises To Obi Cubana For ‘Harsh Criticism’ After Watching Interview On His Humble Beginnings

A preacher has issued a public apology to businessman Obi Iyiegbu, popularly known as Obi Cubana, for criticising the nightlife entrepreneur and his associates.

Obi Cubana had last week held what is considered the most extravagant funeral in the history of Nigeria. Images from the burial of Obi Cubana’s mother showed the businessman’s associates spraying cash non-stop.

Pastor Ntia Ntia of Full Life Christian Centre, Akwa Ibom State, was among those who criticised the show of wealth.

He had said, “The place where you are standing to spray money, the road is not tarred…. Can’t you see the stupidity of illiteracy?”

Following backlash, Ntia retracted his statement and apologised to Obi Cubana and associates. In a clip which has gone viral on Facebook, the Pentecostal preacher said he immediately changed his perception about Obi Cubana after watching a BBC interview where the latter talked about his humble beginning, his struggles, and how he made his first N1 million.

He said, “I want to say that the comments came out very wrong and prematurely. With further information, the life that the man has affected, the people that the man has lifted, the destinies that he has invested in, sincerely I want to say that it is not my intention as a preacher to preach to cause hurt or to cause pain or to preach to discredit anybody, at all.

“As a preacher, my assignment is to preach words that heal, not hurt, words that help, not harm. Therefore, in any way those comments might have caused harm or pain, I sincerely apologise.”

Ntia said his wife is from Anambra State, and, therefore, Obi Cubana is his in-law.

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We’ll ensure release of kidnapped Bayelsa SSG’s mother – Police

Police in Bayelsa have begun investigating the abduction of Betinah Benson, mother of the Secretary to Bayelsa State Government (SSG).

The 80-year-old woman was taken into captivity for the second time in eight years on Tuesday night at her residence in the Old Assembly Quarters, Azikoro Road, Yenagoa.

She was first abducted in January 2013 but was freed by the police after one week.

Bayelsa police commissioner Mike Okoli said that the Command had launched a manhunt for the suspects, with a view to rescuing her unhurt.

Police spokesman Assinim Butswat in a statement said the commissioner of police had led a team of detectives to the crime scene.

He said the abductors, who were dressed in military camouflage, stormed the residence and kidnapped the victim to an unknown destination.

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Mother of Bayelsa SSG abducted in Yenagoa

Betinah Benson, mother of the secretary to the Bayelsa State Government Konbowei Benson, has been abducted, police said on Wednesday.

Mrs Benson was taken into captivity by gunmen clothed in military camouflage on Tuesday night at her residence in the Old Assembly Quarters, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.

Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri is yet to issue a statement on the incident.

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IPOB sacks Kanu’s successor in Radio Biafra

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has terminated the appointment of Simon Ekpa as a broadcaster on Radio Biafra radio over alleged failure to follow rules of operation.

IPOB spokesperson Emma Powerful in a release said Mr Ekpa refused to sign the broadcast station’s rules of engagement and code of conduct.

Also known as Voice of Biafra, the radio station is believed to have its first transmission before the Nigeria-Biafra war.

“Our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu gave the directive while in detention but Mazi Simon Ekpa has refused to follow the principles,” a statement by the group said.

“Mazi Simon Ekpa has refused to sign the rules of engagement and code of conduct guiding those broadcasting on Radio Biafra. We don’t understand why Mazi Ekpa would not like to follow the steps of other broadcasters on the platform who have since done the needful.

“IPOB is a big movement, and cannot just change the rules because of one individual as this may set a bad precedence.

“Mazi Simon Ekpa is hardworking Biafran whose immense contributions towards the restoration of Biafra are highly appreciated, but for not signing the code of conduct as a broadcaster on Radio Biafra, he may not continue to have the opportunity of broadcasting via the platform.”

The group, however, noted the decision to disengage Ekpa was not to ridicule him but to prove to all that due process could not be compromised in IPOB as a well-structured movement.

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Judge abandons Sowore’s treason trial

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu has indicated she no longer had interest in presiding over the trial involving the publisher of SaharaReporters and convener of #RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore and co-defendant Olawale Bakare.

Justice Ojukwu, who has been transferred to Calabar informed Chief Justice Justice Tsoho that although she would continue with other cases, she would no longer preside over Mr Sowore’s.

There have been controversies in Sowore’s trial since his arraignment in 2019.

Justice Ojukwu had ordered that Sowore and Bakare be released on bail but the Department of State Services disobeyed the order for several weeks. After granting him bail, the DSS re-arrested Sowore inside the court, causing commotion which made the judge flee.

He was, however, released following nationwide condemnation.

In February 2020, the Office of the Attorney-General took over the case, amended the charges and re-arraigned Sowore and Bakare.

The judge ordered the Federal Government to pay N200,000 as the cost to the defendants for the frivolous application for adjournment and adjourned till February 13.

A court official told PUNCH that two other judges also refused to take up Sowore’s case due to its ‘sensitive nature.’

“It seems some of these judges feel intimidated. They don’t want Federal Government trouble. The case is high profile and controversial. So, they have been avoiding it,” the source said.

It was also learnt that the fundamental human rights suit instituted by Sowore against the head of DSS Yusuf Bichi for unlawful detention, which is pending before Justice Inyang Ekwo, has also been returned to the chief justice for reassignment after several adjournments.

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Breaking: DSS prevents Nnamdi Kanu from seeking UK’s assistance – Lawyer

Aloy Ejimakor, a lawyer for the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra Nnamdi Kanu, says the Department of State Services has prevented the IPOB leader from signing the UK consular assistance form.

The British High Commission had expressed interest to take up Mr Kanu’s case as he is also a British citizen. The commission wants clarification from the Nigerian government about the circumstances of Kanu’s arrest.

However, after visiting Kanu in DSS custody last week where he handed the secret police the forms to be signed, Mr Ejimakor in a statement on Monday said the forms were returned to him unsigned.

The statement read, “Last Saturday when I visited Mazi Kanu, I expressed strong concerns about the inordinate delay in having Kanu sign the two Forms I had taken to the DSS for Kanu’s signature some days before.

“Both Forms relate to affirming his consent to consular and diplomatic interventions by the United Kingdom and her High Commission in Nigeria.

“Surprisingly, the Forms were returned to me unsigned.

“Let me make it clear that the day I took the Forms to the DSS, the officers on location were amenable to Kanu signing them until somewhere along the line, they tarried and decided to send it to the legal unit for vetting.

“So, my sense is that it’s the legal unit of the DSS that disapproved of Kanu signing the Forms for reasons that were not given to me.

“As a lawyer, I don’t see any legal advantage the government of Nigeria stands to gain by blocking Kanu from signing those Forms. The Forms are but a mere routine in matters like this.

“Instead of any advantage, the refusal will help fuel the notion that the government of Nigeria is deliberately isolating Kanu from having consular and diplomatic access to the United Kingdom.”

Ejimakor said the DSS act was not in conformity with the best practices of fairness.

“For these reasons, I am now compelled to call on the British High Commission in Nigeria to banish every red tape and exert the full weight of its diplomatic clout in gaining immediate access to Kanu. This is especially important, given the prospects of better welfare, including adequate medical care for Mazi Kanu.

“Further, the prompt intervention of the High Commission will mean that Kanu will have another layer of human contact in addition to his legal team who are the only ones currently allowed to see him,” he added.

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Sunday Igboho ‘Arrested’ On His Way To Germany

Activist Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho has been arrested in Cotonou, Benin Republic after being declared wanted by the Department of State Services.

The Yoruba Nation agitator was apprehended by local police on Monday night at an airport in Cotonou. He was reportedly heading for Germany.

A source quoted by PUNCH said Sunday Igboho will likely be repatriated to Nigeria on Tuesday. “He was arrested in Cotonou while he tried to travel out on Monday night. His destination was Germany. The security forces in Benin Republic should repatriate him to Nigeria on Tuesday,” the source said.

The activist is wanted for allegedly stockpiling arms after security forces raided his Ibadan residence in the Soka area on July 1, 2021. Twelve of his aides were arrested while two were killed in a gun duel.

Sunday Igboho had denied the allegations levied against him.

The Federal Government recently raised alarm that the activist was trying to obtain a fake passport in order to leave the country.

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IGP charges Abuja woman for allegedly blackmailing ex-Imo Gov, Ohakim

Inspector-general of police Usman Baba has arraigned Chinyere Igwegbe before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory for allegedly blackmailing and providing false information against former Imo governor Ikedi Ohakim.

Igwegbe was also alleged to have exposed her genitals and intentionally caused distress to other parties through a selfie video with the intention of deriving sexual pleasure from such an act and thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 26(3) of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015.

Igwegbe was accused of alleging that Ohakim and another man Chinedu Okpareke threatened to release her nude pictures to the public.

Four-count charges were filed against her. In count one, Igwegbe was alleged to have “furnished police authorities with false information and via allegations in a petition by your solicitors, Agala and Agala Chambers, to a public servant against Dr Ikedi Ohakim and Chinedu Okpareke on allegations of criminal conspiracy, criminal intimidation, defamation of character, attempted kidnapping and threat to life, punishable with imprisonment, which could not be substantiated and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 140 of the Penal Code, Laws of Northern Nigeria.”

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Pastor dies separating fight between couple in Imo

A pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God has died while trying to intervene in a couple’s brawl in Imo, police said on Monday.

Imo police spokesperson Mike Abattam in a statement said the incident occurred at Umukoto Nekede in Owerri.

Thompson Onyekwuru, 62, was trying to prevent Obumneke Onyemechileuzo from stabbing his wife, Ogechi Onyemechileuzo, during a fight between the couple, before he was allegedly killed, according to the police.

Mr Abattam said the attacker Mr Obumneke later died after the police shot him in the leg.

“Following a distress call on 19/7/2021 at about 1400 hours, at the Divisional Police Headquarters Nekede, Owerri, that one Obumneke Onyemechileuzo armed with a kitchen knife was beating his wife, Ogechi Favour Onyemechileuzo.

“When a pastor with the Redeem Christian Church Owerri, Pastor Thompson Onyekwuru, intervened by stopping him from stabbing his wife, the suspect rushed at him, stabbed him on his back and he fell down unconscious.

“On arrival at the scene, the police team saw the suspect seriously beating his wife, threatening to stab her and ran to prevent him from stabbing his wife.

“On sighting the police, he attempted stabbing one of the officers on the neck and he was shot on the leg in self-defence.

“He fell down and was immediately disarmed. But the victims and the suspect were rushed to Rosana hospital where the doctor on call referred the victims to Human Race Hospital, where the pastor and the suspect were confirmed dead.

“The woman was admitted in the intensive care unit of the hospital and she is responding to treatment, while the corpses were later deposited at Agbala Mortuary, Agbala,” Abattam said.

The spokesperson said the exhibit knife was taken to the police station, while the commissioner of police had ordered discreet investigation into the case.

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DCP Abba Kyari poses with Obi Cubana at his mother’s burial

Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari has uploaded pictures of himself and club owner Obinna Iyiegbu, popularly known as Obi Cubana, from another funeral on social media.

The leader of the Inspector-General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team shared the pictures on Instagram and Facebook on Saturday night following his presence at Obi Cubana’s mother’s burial in Oba, Anambra State on Friday.

Politicians, businessmen men and celebrities were at the burial where bales of money were openly flaunted and women brought in from several parts of the country.

Some of the persons who saw pictures of Kyari at the burial expressed shock, alleging that he was associating with criminal elements amid rising insecurity in the country.

Reacting in a post early on Saturday morning, Kyari said he attended the funeral because of his relationship with Obi Cubana, whom he described as hardworking.

The post read: “Obinna Iyiegbu popularly known as Obi Cubana is one of the most hardworking entrepreneurs and humble personalities that I have known for many years. He is a brother and good friend.

“For his good nature and good heart, today I had to squeeze out time from my busy schedule to honor him, by attending the burial of his beloved mom In Oba town Anambra State.

“May God Almighty give the family the fortitude to bear the great loss. Amen.”

Not done, the man referred to as super cop by his admirers, shared another post on Saturday evening with pictures of him and Obi Cubana taken at a funeral in 2020.

“Last year with my good friend and brother Obi Cubana during the burial of our friend Hon Collins Ezenwa Ilo’s father In Imo State,” he captioned the post.

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Buhari gives reasons for food inflation

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday spoke on the rising food prices in the country ahead of the Eid El-Adha.

In his message marking the auspicious Muslim occasion, the president restated the determination of his administration to create a just, harmonious and prosperous country in which the safety of life and property is assured.

Reflecting on current challenges facing the country, the president stated that “COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the economies of all countries, including Nigeria, in addition to the fact that floods have caused large scale destruction to agricultural farmlands, thereby impacting negatively on our efforts to boost local production in line with our policy to drastically reduce food importation.”

This, he explained, has led to food inflation which the government is working hard to address.

According to Buhari, “No government in our recent history has invested as heavily as we are doing to promote local production of about 20 other commodities, through the provision of loans and several other forms of support to our farmers.”

He continued, “Apart from the destruction caused to rice farms by floods, middlemen have also taken advantage of the local rice production to exploit fellow Nigerians, thereby undermining our goal of supporting local food production at affordable prices.

“As an elected president who enjoys the goodwill of the ordinary people that gave us their mandate, let me assure you that we are continuing with measures to bring relief to Nigerians, including making fertilizer available at affordable prices to our farmers.”

On the country’s security challenges, he said, “We have started taking delivery of fighter aircraft and other necessary military equipment and hardware to improve the capacity of our security forces to confront terrorism and banditry.”

Speaking on the significance of the Eid El-Kabir celebration, the president appealed to Muslims “to demonstrate the good virtues of Islam through personal examples and practices.”

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Court issues criminal summons against Charles Soludo

The Upper Area Court Zuba in Abuja has issued a criminal summons against an ex-governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Charles Soludo.

The summons originated from a criminal complaint brought before the court by a man named Oliver Bitrus.

Mr Bitrus alleged “serial abuse of office and breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers by the defendant, while he held office as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria between May 29, 2004, to May 29, 2009.

He also alleged that “Between the period the defendant held office as a Public Officer he flagrantly breached the Code of Conduct for Public Officer by buying or acquiring interest in a property known and described as No. 50 Brondesbury Park, London, NW6 7AT, United Kingdom.”

According to him, the property was acquired using a proxy known as Universal Energy Company Limited. He further alleged that the purchase price £2,150,000 was paid in a single tranche on October 20, 2006 which was not fairly attributable to Soludo’s income as CBN governor at the time.

Soludo was recently named the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in Anambra.

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Britain, firm seek Kanu’s consent to take over case

A lawyer of the separatist leader Nnamdi Kanu has revealed details about his visit to the IPOB leader in the custody of the Department of State Services.

The lawyer Aloy Ejimakor said he delivered two forms to Mr Kanu during the visit on Wednesday.

One of the forms was from the British High Commission and the other was from a law firm in London, Bindmans. Kanu is also a British citizen.

“The forms will open a whole new chapter of legality, including the filing of a Writ of Mandamus, against the Nigerian government in a UK court to compel it to produce Kanu, because his detention is illegal under the British law. It was an extraordinary rendition, which is an international crime by which a state kidnaps a suspect or a fugitive without the due process of law,” the lawyer told PUNCH.

“They will be filing all these processes in the UK and there is a prospect of a UK court assuming universal jurisdiction or extra-territorial jurisdiction and reaching into Kenya so that they can arrest every Kenyan official, either authorised or not, and every Nigerian official involved in this case.”

Mr Ejimakor said the DSS collected the forms, saying they must first go through the vetting of its legal unit.

He said that during the three-hour meeting, the IPOB leader told him he was blindfolded and flown on a private jet on June 27 from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi without any extradition hearing or immigration process.

“The people that abducted him said they were told by their sponsors that Kanu was a Nigerian terrorist linked to Islamic terrorists in Kenya, presumably Al-Shabab. But after several days when they discovered his true identity, they tended to treat him less badly,” he said.

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Candlelight procession for late Sound Sultan postponed

A candlelight procession scheduled to hold on Friday, July 16 in honour of the late singer Sound Sultan has been postponed.

The Satellite Youth Forum had planned to hold the procession at Satellite Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos where the singer who was born Olanrewaju Fasasi grew up.

In a statement, the committee chairman Patrick Morah said the decision was taken after consultations with the police and other security agencies.

“The Satellite Town Youth Forum, organisers of the Sound Sultan Memorial Walk, hereby officially announce a postponement of the event,” he said.

“This decision was arrived at after due consultation with relevant security agencies in and around Satellite Town, Lagos.

“Following a series of very violent cult-related clashes, general insecurity and a few deaths in recent time, our security advisers, made up of retired and serving military officers and the Nigeria Police have made it clear that this is not an ideal time for public gatherings of any procession as security cannot be guaranteed.

“As a responsible organisation, we value life and cannot risk the lives of Sound Sultan’s numerous fans and members of the general public by going ahead with the event as planned.

“We deeply regret any inconvenience this decision may bring.”

Sound Sultan died on July 11 after battling Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma. He has since been buried in New Jersey, USA.

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NBC bars broadcast stations from reporting ‘details’ of terror attacks, naming victims

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has ordered broadcast stations to exercise caution in the reportage of terror activities in the country.

In a letter dated July 7, 2021 to television and radio stations which was signed by the director, Broadcast Monitoring, Francisca Aiyetan, on behalf of NBC’s new director-general Balarabe Ilelah, the commission directed that broadcasters should not “glamourise the nefarious activities of insurgents” during their daily newspaper reviews.

The letter partly reads: “Headlines of most Newspapers on a daily basis are replete with security topics. While bringing information on security to the doorsteps of Nigerians is a necessity, there is a need for caution as too many details may have an adverse implication on the efforts of our security officials who are duty-bound to deal with the insurgency.

“The Commission, therefore, enjoins broadcasters to collaborate with the government in dealing with the security challenges by;

“Not glamourising the nefarious activities of insurgents, terrorists, kidnappers, bandits etc

“Advising guests and/or analysts on programmes not to polarise the citizenry with divisive rhetoric, in driving home their point.

“Not giving details of either the security issues or victims of these security challenges so as not to jeopardise the efforts of the Nigerian soldiers and other security agents.”

The Commission also reminded the broadcast stations to be guided by provisions of Sections 5.4.1(f) and 5.4.3 of the NBC Code which states thus:

“The broadcaster shall not transmit divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the divisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.

“In reporting conflict situations, the broadcaster shall perform the role of a peace agent by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.”

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Court clears ex-NBA president of N1.4bn money laundering charges

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday acquitted an ex-president of the Nigerian Bar Association Paul Usoro of money laundering charges to the tune of N1.4 billion.

Justice Rilwan Aikawa gave the judgment while ruling on Mr Usoro’s no-case submission.

The judge said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to establish any prima facie case against Usoro which could prompt him to enter a defence.

Usoro was first arraigned for the alleged offence on December 18, 2018, before Justice Muslim Hassan of the same court.

He was re-arraigned on March 1, 2019, on a 10-count charge bordering on laundering money for Akwa Ibom State Government officials.

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INEC disqualification: I’ll participate in Anambra gov election, says Soludo

Former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Prof Chukwuma Soludo on Friday shunned the Independent National Electoral Commission, saying he would contest in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra against all odds.

INEC published the list of candidates for the election and excluded Soludo who emerged as the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance in a primary election conducted by the mainstream members of the party on July 23.

The electoral body instead recognised Chukwuma Udoji as the authentic candidate of APGA in the poll based on court order.

Mr Udoji had emerged as the candidate of the party in a primary election conducted by a factional national chairman of the party, Jude Okeke.

Addressing the development, Soludo in a statement by his media aide Joe Anatune said he was still in the running for the governorship seat.

“The Chukwuma Soludo Campaign has been briefed on a publication by the Independent National Electoral Commission where Honourable Chukwuma Umeorji has been published as the candidate of the APGA in the November 6, 2021, gubernatorial election in Anambra State,” the statement read.

“The INEC publication is based on a judgment by a High Court in Jigawa State, and the electoral body sensibly wrote that its inclusion of Umeorji as a candidate in the election is “By Judgment”.

“Our millions of supporters in Anambra State and elsewhere in the world are advised not to be dispirited by the publication seriously.

“Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo will participate in the governorship election as the APGA candidate. His nomination was strictly in line with the Electoral Law and INEC guidelines. INEC observed the APGA Congress on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, where he was nominated after winning 93.4 per cent of the valid votes cast in a free, fair and transparent manner which was broadcasted live on national television networks as part of deepening the democratic process in Nigeria.

“Our team of dedicated and competent legal experts has studied the judgment and is confident of overturning it effortlessly. The party is at liberty to nominate the right candidate so long as due process is followed. Soludo’s nomination followed due process religiously.”

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Army general killed by gunmen buried in Abuja

The remains of the former provost marshal of the Nigerian Army Maj.-Gen. Hassan Ahmed have been buried in Abuja.

Ahmed was buried on Friday with full military honours at the Guards Brigade Cemetery, Lungi Barracks, Abuja in accordance with Islamic rites.

The army general, a member of the 40th regular course, was killed in an ambush by yet-to-be-identified gunmen on his way from Lokoja to Abuja on Thursday night around Abaji, close to Abuja.

His sister, who was in the vehicle with him, was abducted by the gunmen while his driver escaped.

Speaking during the burial, the chief of army staff Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya described the death of Ahmed as a great loss to the Nigerian Army and the nation at large.

Yahaya described Ahmed as a fine officer with a high sense of commitment to the course of the army and the service to the nation.

“Ahmed was a friend and colleague and we have been together for a long time. He was a very dutiful, responsible and professional officer but everyone has his time.

“On behalf of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army, we heartily condole with the family of late Maj.-Gen. Ahmed.

“May his gentle soul rest in peace and may God grant us and his family the fortitude to bear the loss,” he said.

Chief of defence staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, and representatives of other service chiefs and the inspector general of police attended the burial.

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COVID-19: UNILAG directs immediate shut down of halls of residence

The management of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has ordered students to vacate the campus following cases of COVID-19.

The senate of the university took the decision during an emergency meeting held on Wednesday.

According to a statement by the varsity, classes would continue virtually for the rest of the second semester of the 2020 academic session until July 26, 2021.

The statement reads: “The University of Lagos commenced physical classes at the end of May 2021 when the positivity rate of the COVID-19 infection dropped to about one per cent.

“The University Management continued to enforce the COVID-19 protocols in all the teaching and learning spaces as well as the student halls of residence.

“In addition, the COVID-19 vaccination was made available to the staff and students through the support of the Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council. Lately, some students have tested positive. These students have been sent to the appropriate designated facilities in the State and contact-tracing has enabled us to identify those who have had exposure and directed them to isolate.

“The situation is, indeed, worrisome especially noting the reluctance of the majority of students to comply with the COVID-19 prevention protocols.

“To avoid the escalation of cases on campus, the University Senate at an emergency meeting held on Wednesday, 14th of July 2021 approved that all students vacate the halls of residence by 12.00pm on Thursday indefinitely. Lectures for the rest of the semester will continue to be delivered virtually with effect from 26th July 2021.”

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Army fingers ESN, deploys troops as gunmen kill six soldiers in Enugu

The Nigerian Army says two soldiers were killed on Tuesday in Enugu when members of the Eastern Security Network (ESN) engaged troops in a gun duel.

The incident took place at Adani community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, army spokesman Brig-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu said in a statement on Wednesday.

According to Nwachukwu, members of the ESN whose mother organisation is the Indigenous People of Biafra attacked troops at Iggah/Asaba checkpoint on Tuesday.

He said, “Troops deployed to checkmate activities of gunmen at Adani community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State repelled ESN gun attack at Iggah/Asaba checkpoint on Tuesday.

“Sadly, during the firefight that ensued, two soldiers paid the supreme price. Troops are currently on the trail of the criminals.”

Nwachukwu assured the public of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to provide adequate security in collaboration with other security agencies.

“We also urge members of the public to complement the efforts of security agencies by remaining law-abiding and by providing useful information on the fleeing gunmen,’’ he added.

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Miriam Olusanya appointed Managing Director of GTBank

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc has completed its re-organisation to a holding company structure with the aim of strengthening its long-term competitiveness and growth prospects.

Under the terms of the re-organisation, a new operating company has been established and amendments made to the articles of incorporation for a corporate name change. The corporate name of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc and GTCO Plc will be used by the newly established operating company.

In a release on Wednesday, the newly established Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc announced its new board of directors as well as changes to the board of its banking subsidiary, Guaranty Trust Bank Limited.

It said all the appointments have been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria and disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Nigerian Exchange Group.

Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (“GTCO Plc”) will be governed by a board of directors comprising, Sola Oyinlola as chairman of the board and Segun Agbaje as the group chief executive officer, Adebanji Adeniyi as executive director, Cathy Echeozo as non-executive director, Suleiman Barau and Helen Bouygues as independent non-executive directors.

It said the Guaranty Trust Bank Limited will be governed by a board of directors comprising Ibrahim Hassan as chairman of the board, Miriam Olusanya as managing director, Jide Okuntola as deputy managing director, Haruna Musa as executive director, Olabode Agusto as independent non-executive director, Imoni Akpofure and Victoria Adefala as independent non-executive directors.

Commenting on the completion of the corporate reorganisation, Mr Agbaje said: “We believe that a Holding Company Structure will allow us take advantage of new business opportunities in the emerging competitive landscape and strengthen our earnings base. We are very excited to get started on the next phase of our incredible journey to driving Africa’s growth by making end-to-end financial services easily accessible to every African and African Businesses by leveraging Technology and Strategic Partnerships. As a bank, we were always looking to meet every customer need; with our corporate reorganization, we will be able to do more to help our customers thrive in this new world of digital technologies and unprecedented possibilities.”

He further stated that, “Whilst we are evolving as an organization, we remain committed to our founding values which have endeared our brand to millions of people across Africa and beyond, and which continues to drive our financial success. As a Proudly African and Truly International band, we will continue to live by these values—of excellence, hard work and integrity, even as we create faster, cheaper, safer and more diverse products for people and businesses of varied types and sizes.”

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Nigerian army launches manhunt for soldier accused of killing lover

The Nigerian Army says it has launched a manhunt for the soldier who allegedly killed his lover Jennifer Ugadu an undergraduate of Niger Delta University, Ammasoma, Bayelsa.

Army spokesman Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu said in a statement on Thursday that it was alleged that the student was shot in her apartment by the suspect now at large.

Nwachukwu said there was no place for such barbaric act in the army, adding that the Nigerian Army had commiserated with the family of the deceased.

According to him, the army is an institution that is accountable to the people and would ensure justice is served.

”The NA has taken the allegation seriously and joint investigation has commenced, while effort to profile and ascertain the true identity of the suspect is ongoing.

“The NA being a professional and disciplined organisation will continue to uphold and respect the Fundamental Human Rights of citizens as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.

Nwachukwu said members of the public should be rest assured that details of the investigation would be made public.

“The NA also wishes to reaffirm that as a force with zero tolerance for any form of criminality, such allegations will not only be investigated, but the culprit will be made to face the full wrath of the law,” he said.

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Nnamdi Kanu speaks from detention, reveals how he was arrested in Kenya – Lawyer

Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra Nnamdi Kanu has met his lawyers for the first time since his re-arrest and repatriation to Nigeria.

His lawyer Alloy Ejimako told BBC that the IPOB leader told him that he was arrested in Kenya.

“The separatist leader did not look well, he has bruises on his hand and the back of his head,” Mr Ejimako said.

The lawyer further said that his client told him he was kept in a private facility in Kenya and chained to the bare floor for several days.

Ejimako said the IPOB leader was tortured and kept incommunicado before being handed over to Nigerian authorities.

Kanu was first arrested on October 14, 2015, and arraigned on 11-count charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, managing an unlawful society, publication of defamatory matter, illegal possession of firearms and improper importation of goods, among others.

Following his re-arrest, Kanu was brought before a Federal High Court in Abuja on June 29. The court remanded him in the custody of the Department of State Services till July 26.

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Confusion Over TB Joshua’s Successor At Synagogue

There is confusion at the Synagogue Church of All Nations in Lagos over the successor of the church’s late founder Prophet T. B. Joshua.

While Evelyn, Joshua’s wife, was reportedly chosen by some elders in the church to succeed the SCOAN founder, the press briefing held by the church days before Joshua’s week-long burial began proved that the church’s hierarchy did not approve of the elders’ choice.

An international member of the church Gary Freng, who spoke on behalf of the church, said no one has been appointed to lead the affairs of the church at the moment, adding that the decision is a spiritual matter and not an administrative one.

“It’s not about machinery. It is about suitable people, and it’s about the move of the Holy Spirit. So there is simply no administrative answer to the question because it is not an administrative issue,” he told City People.

A faction believes a successor should come from a group of men known as the five wise men appointed by Joshua.

In no particular order, the wise men are Wise Man Racine, Wise Man John Chi, Wise Man Harry, Wise Man Daniel, and Wise Man Christopher.

ThisDay reports that it had information that some top members of the church have begun referring to the last interview Joshua granted to the newspaper where he explained why his wife was always in the shadows.

“I would have loved my wife to be like me, but I cannot make her what I am, it is God. It is not possible for me to anoint her; God is the one that anoints people. So it is not possible for her to sit here at the same time; this is not a biological issue, it is inheritance from the saints, it is a partaker from the saints, therefore, I should not use anything in my biological life to stop my spiritual life,” Joshua had said early this year.

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Census, Election Results of northern Nigeria fraudulent: Pastor Adefarasin

Senior pastor of Lagos-based House on The Rock Church Pastor Paul Adefarasin has labelled the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as a fraud.

In a sermon that went viral on Thursday, Adefarasin described Lord Frederick Lugard as the “devil’s incarnate” who amalgamated the northern and southern protectorates which would later become Nigeria.

“You have got to go into politics and government deliberately. By the way, if we don’t fix this Nigeria’s problem… by that I mean Independent National Electoral Commission… I am saying it plainly,” he said.

“Put me in trouble if you like, INEC is a fraud. Numbers in Nigeria as far as census is concerned, as far as election is concerned are a lie.

“And if nobody will speak about it, the righteous will speak about it. Our righteousness is not of ourselves but it is of him and he will protect.

“Where the numbers are not properly reflected in our voting, this is the only country in West Africa, when you move to the ocean through the desert and the numbers decrease or rather the only country in the world that you move a large number of water or little or no water and the numbers increase it was not Nigerians that started it.

“It was the parents of Nigeria, who were not good parents. The man, Lord Lugard was a devil incarnate. What he did to this country, we have been suffering it since many years and it is time that we must tell the truth.”

Adefarasin said those “who benefit from the system” should act like the movie character Robin Hood by taking from the rich to give to the poor.

The clergyman had in the past described Nigeria as a scam. At one time, he urged Nigerians to prepare a “plan B” in case there is need to leave the country.

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Imo govt seals Rochas Foundation College in Owerri

Imo State Government on Tuesday sealed Rochas Foundation College in Owerri, the state capital belonging to former governor Rochas Okorocha.

A senior aide of the governor on print media Modestus Nwamkpa told the press that the governor was committed to recovering state property allegedly “looted by Okorocha and his family members”.

Mr Nwamkpa said Governor Hope Uzodimma was implementing the recommendations of various white papers by committees set up by the state government.

The college is located in the old quarters of the staff of Imo Broadcasting Corporation.

However, Okorocha’s spokesperson Sam Onwuemeodo said it was the fourth time Imo State Government was announcing the sealing of the college.

“EFCC had also announced that they had sealed it but the truth is that Uzodinma should wake up. There is hunger in the state,” he said.

Mr Onwuemeodo said Uzodimma was using Okorocha’s name to distract the people.

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D’Tigers paid Tribute to Sound Sultan with their Warm Up Shirts for the Australia Game

Nigeria’s senior basketball team D’Tigers on Tuesday night honoured the late singer-songwriter Sound Sultan at its last warm-up game against Team Australia before the Olympics proper in Japan.

Sound Sultan who died on Sunday of throat cancer at the age of 44 was a known supporter of basketball development in Nigeria.

The team posted the shirt on Instagram, saying Sound Sultan’s legacy would live forever.

“We lost a member of our family this week. D’Tigers will honor the great Sound Sultan with these warmup shirts tonight. RIP. Your legacy will live forever,” it said.

Friends of Nigerian Basketball also honoured the rapper. “We honor Sound Sultan leading up to today’s matchup against Team Australia,” the group said in an Instagram post.

D’Tigers lost to Australia 69 to 108. The Nigerian team had recorded morale-boosting wins against USA and Argentina.

Nigeria is grouped alongside Germany, Australia and Italy at the Olympics holding between July 25 to August 7, 2021.

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