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PDP demands Adams Oshiomhole’s prosecution over Bayelsa violence

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, to immediately order the arrest of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, for questioning and prosecution, for incitement.

The party said the violence and arson perpetrated by agents of the APC in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital, on Friday, was in furtherance of Oshiomhole’s inciting statements.

In his reaction to the Supreme Court judgment that sacked Mr David Lyon of the APC as Bayelsa’s governor-elect, Oshiomhole had declared that nobody would be sworn-in as governor in Bayelsa state.

In a statement on Friday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said the APC chairman’s statement was a direct call for sedition and violent subversion of the 1999 Constitution, the statutory authority of the Supreme Court and the mandate of the people of Bayelsa state.

Violence erupted in Bayelsa on Thursday and Friday following the Supreme Court judgment that sacked APC’s Lyon and the recognition of PDP’s Douye Diri as governor-elect.

The PDP said Oshiomhole should therefore be pulled in immediately for prosecution for inciting violence and arson in the state.

The statement said, “Nigerians can recall that our party had on Thursday cautioned Oshiomhole over his utterances and apparent plots to cause violence and a breakdown of law and order in the state.

“The world however watched with horror as APC agents, chanting APC slogans, assaulted the people of Bayelsa state, set the PDP secretariat in the state ablaze, attacked the premises of Radio Bayelsa, vandalized vehicles and equipment, took over major highways and attacked travellers, all in the bid to violently subvert the judgment of the Supreme Court and forcefully take control of the state”.

The party called on the people of Bayelsa, the security agencies and Nigerians at large, to hold Oshiomhole responsible and accountable for the violence in Bayelsa state and deal with him accordingly, in line with the provisions of the laws.

“Oshiomhole must be brought to book and stopped from the use of garrulity and clear misuse of language to cause crisis in our country”, the PDP said.

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Cybercrime growing at speed of light – minister

Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Mallam Ali Pantami, yesterday, insisted that it is the duty of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) to collect Stamp Duty for the Federal government instead of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), saying it is selfish and an injustice trying to deny NIPOST of collecting the duty

The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has said cybercrime is growing at an alarming rate globally.

He also explained how cybercrime ‘generates’ massive income globally.

He said this at the annual cybersecurity conference in Abuja on Thursday organised by Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC).

The conference was aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the nation’s communication infrastructure.

The event served as a platform for discussion on developing a joint response in tackling internet crimes.

“In 2018, the cybercrime industry generated about $1.5 trillion while social media-related crimes generated a minimum of $3.25 billion. Bitcoin crimes generated $76 billion all within 2018,” he said

He said ”many people develop the expertise and embark on compromising systems, exploiting any opportunity they get and they are making money”.

“Cybercrime is growing at the speed of light, in view of this, as part of our agenda of promoting security, we are giving priority to cybersecurity,” he said.

Pantami said the digital economy of the government cannot be implemented without safeguarding the cyberspace.

“Countries that have the highest threat of cybercrimes, their participation and involvement in the digital economy is becoming slower by the day.

“We must join hands to ensure that our cyberspace is secured relatively because globally there is no system that is 100 per cent secured,” he said

Newsmen have reported several stories of sporadic arrests of internet fraudsters and cybercriminals, popularly known as ‘Yahoo boys’, who are usually youth, by the anti-graft agency, EFCC.

Meanwhile, the executive vice-chairman, NCC, Umar Danbatta, said the telecommunications regulator will establish more strategies to combat cybercrime in Nigeria.

He said as part of efforts to fight cybercrime, ”NCC began creating awareness among children and youth on the negative effects of the crime.”

The commission flagged off an awareness programme where students were invited and sensitised on cybersecurity.

The campaign gave concrete expression to the commission’s effort at strengthening ‘child online protection’ within the country.

Also, it sought to bridge the cyber workforce gap, strengthen national cooperation, exchange of information, and development of comprehensive strategies that will address the cybersecurity challenges confronting the communications industry in Nigeria.

“The regulator will come up with policies, laws that will protect the cyberspace and protect internet users,” Mr Danbatta said.

He said the agency is doing everything possible to fight cybercrime, “including putting measures in place that are technical in nature and protecting our network from cybercrime we will come out with measures to provide digital protection.”

He said the agency is committed to making sure ”the internet has fewer cybercriminals, through educating members of the public on the negative impacts of cyber-crime.”

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Eedris Abdulkareem Calls Out Landlord For Sexually Harassing Wife, Denies Arrest By Police

Hip hop musician, Eedris Abdulkareem, has called out his landlord, one Mr Oladipo Abimbola, for allegedly sexually harassing his wife.

Speaking with SaharaReporters, the artiste denied being arrested by the police as claimed in some quarters, adding that he leads a discipline and transparent life.

He said, “My problem with our landlord is his pervasive and predatory ways. 

“He comes to my house whenever he knows that I am not around to harass my wife. He seems obsessed with her. I don’t understand why he cannot approach or talk to me whenever the need arises. He accosts her at home and on the streets. 

“He starts off with talking about the house before progressing gradually to his main interest. I have warned him several times to steer clear and stop harassing my wife.

“On a particular day, my landlord probably thought I wasn’t around; so he made his moves again using the electricity providers as a ploy. Unfortunately for him, I was upstairs and overheard my wife telling him to stop harassing her because she was a married woman and that she doesn’t tolerate such actions from men. 

“I came downstairs and went to his own side of the property (a twin duplex), through the adjoining gate and lashed out at him.

“He has deliberately kept his family away so as to have the freedom needed for his nefarious lifestyle.

Explaining that news of his arrest in the media was false, Abdulkareem said that he was only invited by the police over a malicious report made about him by his landlord.

He said, “When I received a police invitation from the Ikeja Area Command inviting me for a chat based on my landlord’s claims that I beat him up and threatened his life; I wasted no time in honouring the invitation on the same day.

“I was appalled by the lies and apparent pre-emptive haste on the part of my landlord to perhaps play smart since I have warned him to stop harassing my wife sexually.

“I also told the police about a case involving one of his tenants, a single mother living in one of his properties in Mangoro area, who had to arrest and lock him up at a police station in Shasha area of Dopemu, Lagos, over the same issue of harassment. 

“As a social crusader and a voice of the voiceless, humility has always been my watchword in my personal space, and that is not about to change overnight. 

“I am not materialistic and I have never been one to showcase and flash materialism as an achievement. 

“For me, the best achievement is that which uplifts the people and put smiles on their faces.

“The landlord who was present when the appointment made in the presence of the Area Commander the previous day was nowhere to be found. He even switched off his phone so the IPO would not be able to reach him.”

Denying reports that he was owing electricity bills and having issues with the distribution company, the musician said, “As for the issues with electricity providers, that is a war we have already taken on, personally and collectively. 

“Just a cursory look or assessment of my estate will tell you that we depend on our individual generators to provide power, while the electricity providers keep sending outrageous estimated bills every other month.

“There’s so much coming up concerning the electricity struggle soon.

“For naysayers and doubting Thomases, I will always be me. I keep my personal life quiet, so no one should think they know me. People only know what i allow them to know about me.”

Efforts to get Mr Abimbola to respond to the allegations were unsuccessful as calls and a text message sent to him were not responded to. 

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GPE offers Nigeria $125 million grant on basic education

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu

Global Partnership for Education (GPE), a multi-donor funding agent for interventions in basic education in developing countries, has extended a grant of125 million dollars to Nigeria to support development of Basic Education.

Malam Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education, disclosed this when he received a delegation from GPE on a working visit, saying that the aim of the grant was to improve access and quality of Basic Education in the country.

Ben Goong, Deputy Director Press and Public Relations in the Ministry made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

He said the grant which was a product of Nigeria’s Partnership for Education Project (NIPEP), was with particular focus on the Girl Child Education.

While disclosing that this was not the first time the country would be getting such grant, Adamu acknowledged that government received a grant of 100 million dollars from GPE in 2015 to help improve quality of education in some states of the North West.

According to the Minister, the benefitting states, under the100 million dollar grant, were Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna and Sokoto states.

He said that the states billed to benefit from the current grant were Oyo, Adamawa and Katsina.

Adamu, who stated that preparations were ongoing to access the grant before its deadline of June 2020, expressed delight at the opportunity to strengthen the country’s drive to improve its educational standard.

Sven Baeten, leader of the delegation said that the visit was necessitated by his organisation’s interest in the educational development of the country.

In addition to the125 million dollars, Sven disclosed that there was another 20million dollars grant to be made available to countries with ‘education emergency issues’ adding however, that the requirements for accessing the grant such as institutional arrangements with clear cut checks and balances among others, must be fulfilled before Nigeria can access its own share.

The leader, who expressed the willingness of his organisation to help Nigeria access the grant, also urged government to step up efforts to access the grants as there were other countries with similar challenges.

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JUST IN: Nigerian Highlife Music Icon, Victor Olaiya, Dies

Nigerian Highlife music icon, Sir Victor Olaiya, has passed away.

The musician, who was 89 at the time of his death, passed away after a brief illness at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital on Wednesday.

Managing Director of Evergreen Music Company Ltd, Bimbo Esho, announced Olaiya’s demise.

A gifted trumpeter, Olaiya rose to global fame in the 1950s and 1960s through his blend of gripping highlife sound. 

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Senate summons accountant-general, central bank over N596 billion ecological fund

Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Wednesday took his oath of office to represent Kogi West in the Senate.

The Senate, on Thursday, following an audit query from the office of the Auditor General of the Federation, summoned the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, to explain details of an ecological fund totalling N596bn.

Also summoned were the Accountant General of the Federation and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The Chairman, Senate Public Accounts Committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, said the AGF and the heads of the two agencies were expected to explain how N596bn in the Ecological Fund Account since 1999 till 2015 was managed.

The Auditor-General of Federation, Anthony Ayine, had said the amount was deducted from the Federation Account and transferred to the Ecological Fund between 1999 and December 2015.

The AGF also added that contrary to the provision of Section 5(4) of the Revenue Allocation Act which requires that an agency be established to manage the fund, no agency had been established for that purpose.

At the meeting of SPAC with heads of some MDAs on Thursday, Urhoghide asked the representative of CBN and Accountant General of the Federation to give explanation on the details of the Ecological Fund domiciled in the apex bank.

The Accountant General in his response told the lawmakers that the fund was domiciled in the Central Bank Account and that the money had been invested.

However, the CBN officials said that they did not come with relevant documents.

They therefore pleaded with the committee to give them another day to submit the details for the SPAC consideration.

The chairman of the committee thereafter asked the AGF to be invited while the apex bank should furnish the panel with the statement of Account on Ecological Fund.

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Senate tasks revenue agencies to set targets for performance

President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan (left) with the Senate Minority Whip, Senator Philip Tanimu Aduda, during the plenary on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. 4

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said on Thursday that the upper legislative chamber has asked revenue generation agencies to set measurable targets for their performance.

Lawan stated this while declaring open the maiden meeting of the Senate committee on Finance with heads of revenue generation agencies of the government.

The Senate President said Nigeria’s problem today is how to generate and remit revenue to the government’s treasury.

“We have very massive, noble and laudable projects lined up as a government and as an administration but the critical factor of revenue is militating against the realisation of some of these projects.

Infact, Nigeria has to go out to borrow to fund some of these projects. But we believe that we can do better in terms of revenue generation and collection.

“We believe that in addition to the oil sector, those non-oil sector revenue generation agencies can meet their targets and even do better than the targets,” Lawan said.

The Senate President said the meeting which will hold every quarter was not intended as a probe or investigation but simply to enhance their capacity to perform.

“We want to see where we need to do more legislative intervention and give some supports including incentives.

“Every agency that is revenue generating should have a target. We have asked the minister of finance to furnish us with the targets set by the ministry in conjunction with the agencies.

“And we are going to work towards the realisation and actualisation of those targets. Where we are able to meet the targets, I think we should aim for higher targets. Where we are not able to meet the targets, we should find out why we are not able to meet those targets.

“Is it something that requires immediate legislative intervention to resolve the problem or the challenge? Or is the policy that is now becoming an ecumberance.

“What we intend to do is to ensure that there are no ecumberances. Revenue generation agencies should have no ecumberances.

“Where you have one, don’t waste time, we will provide legislative intervention required as fast, as expeditious as possible because time is of essence.

“Nigerians have given us four years. We have already gone beyond half of first year. We made so many promises to Nigerians.

“We want to provide better security, better infrastructure, better economy. An economy that will work for everyone. Both those who are at the top and especially those who are at the lower level.

“Those students who walk the streets. Those people who would graduate and have no jobs should have jobs. Or at least should have hope that jobs would be there.

Lawan said the quarterly engagement is basically to ascertain what the relevant agencies are able to accomplish in terms of revenue generation, collection and remittance.

“What have you been able to achieve in terms of revenue generation. How much has gone to the covers of the Federal Government. What are our challenges.

“This is not a probe. This is not an investigation. Its just to enhance your capacity, your ability and your drive to do your work and discharge your mandate,” Lawan said.

Chairman of the Senate committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, said the meeting was to set the framework for carrying out the oversight function with a view to adequately fund the 2020 budget

“It is our belief that the Federal Government revenue from non-oil and oil revenue sources can be greatly improved upon through strict adherence to the Fiscal responsibility Act 2007, the operation of the Treasury Single Account, broadening of the tax net and compliance with section 162 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended,” Senator Adeola said.

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APC reconciliation: Ondo APC group passes vote of confidence in Bisi Akande

Saharacable

Following rejection of appointment of Chief Bisi Akande as the Chairman of newly reconstituted National Reconciliation Committee of All Progressives Congress (APC) by a splinter group within the party in Ondo State, The Unity Forum, another splinter group within the party in the state, Sunshine Mandate, has condemned and nullified the vote of no confidence passed on the national leader of the party.

A statement by the group led by the current Ambassador to Nigeria in Togo, Ambassador Olusola Iji, described the action of The Unity Forum as a “reckless and unwarranted attack on Chief Bisi Akande.”

The group dismissed the claim of The Unity Forum as false and character assassination, adding that it was condemnable and recklessly done.

The statement made available to newsmen on Thursday in Akure, the state capital, the group said: “The Sunshine Mandate considers it curious that a vote of no confidence could be recklessly passed on a distinguished and nationally respected leader of Chief Bisi Akande’s caliber who got appointed by the Presidency to settle the disorganized APC in our home state when our own known leaders failed to so do.”

Nullifying the verdict of The Unity Forum, the group, therefore, passed a vote of confidence in Chief Bisi Akande.

The statement reads: “While publicly affirming SUNSHINE MANDATE’S confidence in the APC National Reconciliation Committee, under the leadership of former APC National Chairman, Chief Adebisi Akande, as presently constituted by the Presidency, to do justice to the onerous assignment given them, especially in the terribly divided APC in Ondo State, it is our expectation that all factional elders within APC here, will, in thinking, reasoning, disposition and expression of dissent on any emerging political issue in the Sunshine State or any other State, be civil, fair and scrupulously weigh their private or public outbursts on matters capable of wrongly dragging APC leaders’ image in the mud.”

Therefore, the posited that the ongoing crisis needed to be resolved as a matter of urgency for the sake of the party and the people of the state.

“We are convinced that no good purpose will be served APC and the great people of Ondo State if the lingering party crisis is not resolved within the shortest time possible.

“We do trust and fervently believe Chief Adebisi Akande‘s Reconciliation Committee will be fair and just in discharging their historic assignment.

“Every reasonable effort must be explored and all public-serving sacrifices made to clearly open the door of fair politica| participation presently closed by Arakunrin Akeredolu’s administration to the majority of APC members in ‘Ondo State,” the group said.

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Ford recalls over 240K vehicles to fix suspension problem

Ford is recalling over 240,000 SUVs and cars worldwide because a suspension part can fracture and increase the risk of a crash.

Ford is recalling over 240,000 SUVs and cars worldwide because a suspension part can fracture and increase the risk of a crash.

The recall covers the Ford Flex, Taurus police car, Taurus SHO and Lincoln MKT from the 2013 through 2018 model years. Most of the recalled vehicles are in North America.

Ford says if the suspension moves a lot on the vehicles, the rear toe links can fracture. Toe links help keep the rear suspension stable and the tires on the pavement.

The company says it’s not aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the problem in this batch of recalled vehicles.

Dealers will replace toe links on both sides with new ones that are stronger. Owners will be notified starting March 2.

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Anambra: We didn’t collect bribe to confirm local council chairmen – assemblyman

The Deputy Majority Leader and Chairman House of Assembly Committee on Public Petitions of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Chief Emeka Aforka, has exonerated members of the 7th state assembly from rumours making the rounds that lawmakers allegedly collected N700,000 each from transition committee chairmen to confirm their appointments recently.

Aforka, who said that one of the constitutional obligations of the legislative arm was to fight corruption and all forms of illegality, stated that it was an act of defamation and character assassination to associate members of the state assembly with such scandal.

The Orumba-North representative in the 7th legislature who spoke with selected journalists in his office at the legislative complex, Awka yesterday explained that peddlers of such information should verify from the transition committee chairmen if they gave any lawmaker money to enable them to be appointed.

He said the 7th state assembly does not condone illegality in whatever guise but follows the provisions of the Constitution hook-line and sinker in its proceedings and activities.

Although he was cognisant that the appointment of local government transition committee chairmen was legal and backed by relevant provisions of the law, he said the chairmen emerged not by recommendations of members but through an electoral college of the legislature, stressing that there was no basis for anyone to bring the legislators to disrepute.

Aforka maintained, “Anybody who was not confirmed was not on the basis of whether you bring money or not because money doesn’t play any factor there as far as I am concerned. We do our work according to the Constitution and according to the laws of Anambra state that established local government administration.

“We are not part of illegality. All the 21 local government transition committee chairmen were confirmed. None was left out. But I want to quickly debunk and stand to be challenged, if anybody is telling you that Anambra State House of Assembly is demanding kobo from anybody for confirmation, it’s a lie!

“And if anybody has proof to that, he should bring it forward. The duty of the House of Assembly is to confirm the nominees from His Excellency provided that the nominees are qualified.”

The lawmaker also emphasized that it was not the duty of the legislature to compel the executive arm to conduct local government elections because the constitution has empowered the state executive council led by the governor to propose how local government should be run.

He said that the executive arm did not deliberately decide not to conduct local council elections as evident in the several efforts made by Governor Willie Obiano to conduct local government elections but due to litigations against the state government, it seems to be constrained in conducting local government polls.

Aforka opined that any person saying that the governor did not want to conduct local government elections in the state was only being economical with the truth because the resolution of the myriad of court cases hampering conduct of the elections would usher in duly elected officials and representatives at the local government areas.

According to him, “The issue of transition committees of various local governments is not illegal. If it is illegal the state assembly will not confirm their appointments. It is enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Local Government Administration Law of Anambra state.”

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