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Thursday, 21 February 2019

Herdsmen Kill 16 People In Agatu,Benue State In Fresh Attacks

Herdsmen Kill 16 People In Agatu,Benue State In Fresh Attacks

Suspected herdsmen yesterday killed 16 persons in an early morning attack on Ebete community in Agatu Local Council of Benue State. The Guardian learnt that the 1.30 a.m. invasion also left scores injured.

An eyewitness, Daddy Seni, whose father was slain alongside his siblings, said he was called on phone by his dad while heading for fishing in the neighbouring Aloko settlement.According to him, on arriving home, he saw his father in his pool of blood screaming, “my son, do no bother about me and your siblings again. Ours have finished. We cannot survive these gunshots. Run for your dear life and tell others about this.”

The council chairman, Alhaji Oyigocho, who confirmed the incident, stated that he and his entourage, including security personnel, heard the assailants speak Fulani language while fleeing the scene after perpetrating the act. Oyigocho appealed to government to urgently come to the aid of the people and contain further onslaughts.His words: “This is happening at a time Nigerians are preparing to elect new leaders in this Saturday elections. If the situation continues, it will disorganise so many things.

“My people have never taken laws into their hands despite provocations from herdsmen. They had in the past taken over farmlands in most parts of Agatu.”The council boss said of the 16 casualties, three were Jukum hunters while two others are currently receiving treatment for injuries sustained.

The Commander, Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), Major-General Adeyemi Yekini, was doubtful of the casualty figure.“I received a report this afternoon (yesterday) that some people were killed in Agatu by suspected armed bandits. We have sent a patrol team to the general area where the incident happened.

“Though the location is in Benue, it can better be accessed through Loko in Nasarawa State,” he said in a statement.In a similar vein, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has neutralised dozens of terrorists when its fighter jet bombarded a Boko Haram camp at Arboko village in Borno State.

Its spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, in a statement yesterday in Maiduguri, said the aerial strikes were launched after an intelligence platform established the presence of insurgents in the border town with Cameroun. He said: “The fighter jet of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has decimated a Boko Haram Terrorist (BHT) camp and neutralised some of their fighters at a settlement called Arboko in Borno State.”

On how the terrorists were eliminated, Daramola hinted: “The operation was conducted on February 18, 2019 while a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha.Jet and an Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform were providing close air support to troops of 82 Brigade, Nigerian Army.“During the operation, the ISR aircraft spotted a group of BHT fighters within Arboko village and vectored the Alpha Jet to engage their camp.”
Court Orders Immediate Release Of Ex Skye Bank Chairman Tunde Ayeni From EFCC Custody

Court Orders Immediate Release Of Ex Skye Bank Chairman Tunde Ayeni From EFCC Custody

A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has set aside an earlier order it granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to remand former chairman of the defunct Skye Bank, Tunde Ayeni, for 14 days.

The court, while vacating the order yesterday, held that the anti-graft agency misled it into granting the application on account of suppressed fact.

Justice Yusuf Halilu consequently ordered his immediate release from EFCC custody.

The ruling followed an enforcement of fundamental rights suit filed by Ayeni seeking his freedom.

The agency had last week approached the court through an ex-parte application.

The commission had hinged the request for a remand on the need to investigate a petition submitted by the office of the Vice President in respect of Ayeni’s alleged role as chair of the financial institution.

The applicant however approached the court to challenge the order, praying for it to be set aside.

In his argument, the Ayeni, through his lawyer, Ahmed Raji (SAN), submitted that the application was to challenge the jurisdiction of the court and EFCC’s action.

The lawyer informed the court that there was a pending suit before the Federal High Court against the applicant on same subject matter, and that the trial judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, had admitted him to bail, whose conditions he had perfected

Raji told the court that the detention of the applicant was a breach of his fundamental human rights considering that he went to the EFCC upon invitation.
Another Female Presidential Candidate Withdraws ,Backs Atiku

Another Female Presidential Candidate Withdraws ,Backs Atiku

The Presidential candidate of the National Interest Party, NIP, Eunice Atuejide, has withdrawn from the race. This came barely twenty eight days, when the former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili made her own announcement from the race.

 Disclosing this in a statement, Atuejide opined that she stepped down from the election because her race for the presidency was programmed to end on February 16 “and it did.” Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, cancelled and postponed the Presidential and National Assembly elections billed to hold on the 16th February to 23rd February 2019, citing logistic issues.

 However, Atuejide, in the same statement obtained by PremiumTimes, said that she would support the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, because of his choice of VP. Her statement reads; “I choose to fight for the benefit of every Nigerian on the side of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. I cannot defend PDP for giving us bad leadership from 1999 to 2015, yet I cannot help but blame the APC for doing a much worse job from 2015 to 2019.

 “Plus, whether we call them PDP, APC, PPA, ANN, YPP, or NIP, we are all the same people moving from one political platform to the other in search of a place to speak out and be heard. Poll Shift: Onyema, INEC Chairman to meet diplomatic heads, Int’l organisations “To my mind, the political party platform is not the real issue nonetheless, it’s either Alhaji Atiku Abubakar under the PDP or President Buhari under the APC this time.

 “I make bold to state unequivocally that I stand with Atiku under the PDP this time.” “Mr Abubakar picked an amazing VP. In fact, even though I have never met or spoken to Peter Obi, it is thanks to him that I am today the Founder and National Chairman of a youth-led, digitally organised political party (NIP). His exemplary leadership as Governor of Anambra State led me and several of my team members to politics.”
Vote For APC..Tinubu Begs Igbos

Vote For APC..Tinubu Begs Igbos

National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday appealed to Igbos in Lagos State to vote the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February and March elections. Tinubu Asiwaju Bola Tinubu Tinubu made the appeal in Ikeja while addressing party members at a stakeholders meeting. ADVERTISING Reports have it that the meeting was called to perfect the party’s preparedness for the rescheduled elections on Feb. 23 and March 9 in the state.

 The party leader said the APC government never discriminated against people from the South East and others in the state in the delivery of democratic dividends. Tinubu said the state government had provided equal opportunities to all residents irrespective of whether they were from the state or elsewhere. The party leader said that the APC government had provided the environment for the people of the South East to conduct their businesses and succeed in the state. He said the party expected them to support its candidates at the polls for progress.

 “We appeal to our Igbo brothers from the east, this is the state where you conduct your businesses, your children are in our schools, we don’t discriminate against them in our WAEC fees. “We don’t discriminate against them for NECO fees. We don’t discriminate against them for JAMB fees. Even in our universities, they take the benefit of our tuition and allowances and all that. “Now this time, we say, help us, we say vote for us and our candidates,” he said.

 Tinubu said he had to intervene when the popular ASPAMDA market and other markets dominated by the Igbos were faced with threats of demolition. The party leader said he took the step to save the markets to protect the interests of the traders who are mainly from the South East. Tinubu said the party would be monitoring election results from Igbo-dominated areas like Amuwo-Odofin, Ojo, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, and Surulere in anticipation of votes for APC by the people of the South East in the state. Recall that in the 2015 elections, the APC lost some legislative seats to the PDP in the areas mentioned, though some of the winners later defected to the APC.

 On the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, the party leader said he was confident that the APC would emerge victorious. Election Observers, write your report and go home -Tinubu He said it was not possible for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to defeat APC as they do not have the strength of the ruling party in all parts of the country. Tinubu urged party members to work hard to make the victory a resounding one for the party on Saturday. “We will beat PDP on Saturday. They don’t have our strength in the North West, in the South West and even in the Middle Belt. So how do they want to win? We will beat them.

 “But I urge you our dear party members, you need to make the victory a resounding one. You must work hard and mobilise everyone to vote for our candidates,” he said. He urged members, particularly women, to embark on door-to-door campaigns in their neighbourhoods to canvass votes for the party. Tinubu warned members against violence but urged them to protect their votes to ensure victory.

 On the rescheduled polls, he said the party had put the disappointment behind it and was working hard to record victory on Saturday. He said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had the backing of law to reschedule elections if the need arises. Tinubu said the party hoped that the rescheduled elections would be conducted successfully. “INEC has the rule and the law on their side. They have postponed the elections; we believe anybody can run into crisis.

 “When a plane gets into turbulence, sometimes the passengers shake, the plane shakes and the pilots shake. “They eventually steady the plane. The prayer is that they should land safely and happily. We pray that INEC will land safely with the elections and APC will win,” he said. PDP alleges APC, Police, Army’s conspiracy to prevent polls in Rivers Tinubu urged Nigerians to turn out en masse to vote President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday for the continued progress of the country.

 Reports have it that prominent personalities at the meeting include Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, APC governorship candidate, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu and his running mate, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, and the APC chairman in the state, Alhaji Tunde Balogun. The South West Woman Leader, Mrs Kemi Nelson and the state Woman Leader, Mrs Jumoke Okoya-Thomas were also among hundreds of party faithful at the meeting.
FG Redeploys Permanent Secretaries

FG Redeploys Permanent Secretaries

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the redeployment of some permanent secretaries (PS) in the federal civil service.

Those affected are Mrs. Odusote Ibukun Abimbola who was redeployed from the Ministry of Labour and Employment to Ministry of Environment; Mr. Istifanus Musa Mik Fuktur who was redeployed to Ministry of Communication from the Police Service Commission (PSC); Mr. William Nwankwo Alo redeployed from Special Duties Office (SDO), Office of the Secretary to the Government or the Federation (OSGF) to the Ministry of Labour and Employment and Mrs. Ekaro Comfort Chukumuebodo redeployed from Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) to Ministry of Water Resources.

Also, the newly sworn-in PS who were deployed include: Dr. Bukar Wadinga who was posted to the Common Services Office (CSO), the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF); Dr. M. Kyari Dikwa deployed to Special Duties Office Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF); and Dr. (Mrs) Ajani Magdalene N. Olor deployed to Service Policies and Strategies Office (SPSO) OHCSF.

Others are Mr. Umakhihe Ernest Afolabi deployed to Ministry of Budget and National Planning; Mr. Mbaeri Maurice Nnamdi, posted to Police Service Commission (PSC); Mr. Babatunde Lawal, posted to Cabinet Affairs Office (CAO), OSGF; Engr. Festus Yusuf Narai Daudu deployed to Special Duties Office (SDO), OSGF and Abel Olumuyiwa Enitan deployed to Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC).

The circular conveying the redeployment was signed by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoCSF), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita.

According to a statement by Director of Communications, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Wunmi Ogunmosunle, the handing/taking-over processes should be completed on or before Wednesday, 27th February, 2019, except that of the PS, Ministry of Budget and National Planning whose take over will be on 29th March, 2019.
DSS Denies Tapping Phones Of Nigerians

DSS Denies Tapping Phones Of Nigerians

The Department of State Services (DSS) has said it does not tap or eavesdrop on private conversations of citizens and residents.

A statement on Wednesday from DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, denied the allegation he said was levelled against the Service by a political group.

He said, “Recently, the Agency has come under the focus of uninformed critics and unpatriotic commentators most of who feed the public with fake news and hate speeches against it.”

He said, “The social media is awash with wrong information of sorts regarding the Agency whose operations and activities are highly misunderstood and misrepresented.”

He said it is obvious that some merchants of violence are determined to use their platforms to misinform the public for their selfish and political ends.

He said the Service warns that those bent on entrenching this mischief should be aware of the consequences of their misleading action as the law will surely catch up with them.

He said, “the DSS is a responsible organization and thus professionally adheres to the ideals of intelligence and security governance expected of it in a democracy.”
Army Vows To Investigate And Punish Soldiers Making APC Signs

Army Vows To Investigate And Punish Soldiers Making APC Signs

 The attention of the Nigerian Army (NA) has been drawn to a picture of four armed men dressed in what looks like military camouflage in a 4 x 4 finger sign supposedly connoting a campaign symbol of a political party which is against the rules and regulations of the NA.

The NA wishes to dissociate itself from the picture even as it has commenced immediate investigation with the view to ascertain the source and authenticity of the pictures and the "soldiers' involved. If the outcome of the investigation comfirm this to be true, appropriate sanctions would be provided. NA of today under the command of Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai do not condone or encourage indiscipline and any form of professional misconduct.

On many occasions, the Chief of Army Staff has made it strongly clear that Army personnel will remain neutral, totally apolitical and will not compromise its constitutional roles under any guise