SABINEWS MORNING NEWS UPDATE – FEBRUARY 21, 2019
Only an act of God can stop Saturday’s elections, says INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday assured the electorate that the rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections slated for Saturday would hold. It said only an ‘act of God’ could stop the conduct of the polls. The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this in Abuja while addressing a cross-section of the diplomatic community and international election monitoring groups in Nigeria on the elections.
Yakubu, who was represented by an INEC National Commissioner, Dr Mustapha Lecky, categorically stated that everything needed to ensure the conduct of the polls on February 23 had been put in place, adding that the commission had no reason to feel things would go wrong.
PDP’ll be defeated on Sat, says Tinubu
All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council Co-chairman Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday urged party members in Lagos to intensify the mobilisation for Saturday’s rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections. Noting that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was jittery, he said the ruling party will defeat the opposition party at the poll and put it to shame. The former Lagos State governor also explained why Igbo in Lagos should vote for the APC, saying that the government in the Centre of Excellence has never discriminated against them and other non-indigenes in the distribution of the dividends of democracy.
Tinubu refutes comments on “leaked” audio report
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Sen. Bola Tinubu on Wednesday refuted reports alleging that he boasted in Yoruba language to have stolen money. There are reports circulating in the media allegedly based on a “leaked” audio tape of Tinubu at a crowded public meeting of APC supporters in Lagos on Feb. 14. The reports claimed that Tinubu boasted that he stole money. Tinubu’s through his Media Officer, Mr Tunde Rahman, said in Lagos, however, that he could never have uttered what was ascribed to him. He said that in a desperate attempt to paint him in a poor light, the reports grossly mistranslated his statements to imply corruption and election malpractice.
Court of Appeal fails to hear Onnoghen’s suits
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has postponed its planned hearing of the three appeals filed by the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, to February 27. It was the third time, in one month, that the court will postpone hearing in the appeals filed against the decisions of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), before which the suspended CJN is standing trial for alleged breach of code of conduct for public officers. Justice Onnoghen is, by his first appeal, challenging the jurisdiction of the CCT to hear the charge against him, being a serving judicial officer.
Buhari Pledges Nigeria’s preparedness to reduce Oil Output
President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja pledged Nigeria’s cooperation towards the on-going efforts to reduce oil output with a view to attracting higher prices in the global market. The president, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, the president made the remark in the State House, while hosting Ahmad Qattan, Special Envoy of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Minister of State for African Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
FG recorded N3.4tn fiscal deficit in 2018
Between January and December last year, the Federal Government recorded a fiscal deficit of N3.4tn in its operations, figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria have revealed. The 2018 budget, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 20 last year, had total spending of N9.1tn. It is made up of N2.87tn for capital expenditure, N3.51tn for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure while N2.01tn was budgeted for debt servicing. The N9.1tn budget was expected to be financed from N2.99tn to be generated from oil revenue, N31.25bn from Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas dividend while N1.17bn was expected to be realised through revenue from minerals and mining.
Huggies manufacturer to shut Lagos factory in Q2
American multinational personal care company and manufacturer of Huggies and Kotex brands of diapers, Kimberly-Clark, has said that it will close its factory in Lagos in the second quarter of 2019 and build a new factory in its place. In a statement on Wednesday, the firm indicated that strong growth in the demand for its products had necessitated the decision to open a new factory with enhanced technology and capabilities. It said in the statement, “Kimberly-Clark can confirm that it will be closing its current factory in Lagos, Nigeria, in the second quarter of 2019, while it is in the process of building a new factory.
Police confirm attack on Kwara APC senatorial candidate, others
The Kwara State Police Command yesterday confirmed the attack on the campaign train of Kwara South senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lola Ashiru, by suspected People’s Democratic Party (PDP) thugs loyal to its Kwara South senatorial candidate, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim in Ojoku, Oyun Local Government Area. Police spokesperson Ajayi Okasanmi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said: “We received with astonishment the reported attack unleashed on Lola Ashiru, the APC senatorial candidate for Kwara South and his campaign train in Ojoku, Oyun Local Government Area, on Tuesday evening.
Body bag threat: ICC may prosecute El-Rufai, says Falana
Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), says Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, risks being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court over his “body bag” comment. The lawyer said the only thing that could save El-Rufai from being picked up and prosecuted by the ICC was for none of the foreign election observers in the country to be killed. He, however, challenged the United States and the United Kingdom, which had threatened visa ban against any politician who makes inciting comments, to begin with El-Rufai. Falana made this call in a paper he delivered at a public lecture organised by the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in honour of the late Dr Beko Ransome-Kuti, who passed on 13 years ago.
2 APC members shot dead by suspected PDP thugs in Kwara
The Kwara State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday said two of its members were shot dead by suspected People’s Democratic Party (PDP) thugs during a senatorial campaign tour at Ojoku in Oyun Local Government Area.
Oyun is the home town of Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, who is also the PDP senatorial candidate for Kwara South in this Saturday’s National Assembly election. The attackers were also said to have injured eight APC members and vandalised 20 vehicles belonging to APC Kwara South senatorial candidate, Lola Ashiru, during his campaign tour of Ojoku on Tuesday evening.
Mikel named in Championship Team of the Week
Chelsea legend, John Mikel Obi, has been named in the current English Championship Team of the Week after starring in Middlesbrough’s 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers on Sunday. According to allnigeriasoccer.com, the Nigeria captain has endeared himself to Boro fans who have labelled him the ‘African Zidane’ on the back of his imperious displays since transferring to the club last month. The Premier League, Europa and UEFA Champions league winner with Chelsea has played four league games for Tony Pulis’ side who are fifth on the table with 54 points after 32 matches.
‘African players believe in ‘juju’ men than doctors’
Former Super Eagles’ striker Osaze Odemwingie has explained how he received treatment from a voodoo man year’s back when he was injured while playing football. Osaze Odemwingie was born in Russia but was brought to Nigeria by his parents before he began his professional football career at Bendel Insurance of Benin. The 37-year-old who currently plays in Indonesia, has now revealed how he got injured in training before he was taken to a place for ‘juju’ treatment on his shoulder. ”I had a fall in training, I also hurt my shoulder and broke my arm. I was afraid to tell my mom so they took me to the local juju man.
Nigeria, others to get ANOCA’s $1m support
To ensure African teams win medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan, the Association of National Association of Olympic Committees (ANOCA) has launched a programme aimed at assisting Nigeria and other African countries to improve their medal haul. This was made known at the zone three workshop held last week in Ouagadougou, with officials from Nigeria, Benin Republic, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Liberia, Niger Republic, Togo and host – Burkina Faso. ANOCA President Mustapha Berraf, who was there, inaugurated the workshop titled “The Road to Tokyo 2020”.
Sala tragedy sparks unsavoury legal wrangle
The tragedy of the plane crash that killed Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala has now entered an ugly aftermath as Premier League club Cardiff City and French side Nantes threaten to go to court over his £15 million ($19 million) transfer fee. Sala, who was buried at the age of 28 in the Argentine village of Progreso on Saturday, never played a game for Cardiff. The plane carrying the striker and pilot David Ibbotson came down in the English Channel en route to the Welsh capital on January 21, two days after he completed his transfer from Nantes. Cardiff have so far refused to pay the first instalment of the club record fee, believed to be £5 million, as they await the results of an Air Accidents Investigations Bureau (AAIB) probe into the causes of the crash.
Stricker named US 2020 Ryder Cup captain
Steve Stricker was named the captain of the US 2020 Ryder Cup team on Wednesday, becoming the first American in the role without a major title. PGA of America President Suzy Whaley announced the appointment, confirming reports that Stricker, a Wisconsin native whose home state will host the event next year at Whistling Straits, would become the 29th captain and be charged with reclaiming the trophy from Europe. “I’m very passionate about this competition,” an emotional Stricker said at a press conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “We want to win this more than ever. I want to help any way I can.”
Jussie Smollett charged with filing a false police report over Chicago attack
Jussie Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report over the attack that took place in Chicago at the end of January. Empire star Jussie was attacked by two masked men, with reports stating he was ‘beaten up, a noose was put around his neck and bleach was poured onto him’. Jussie received treatment following the attack and had reported the incident to Chicago Police, with the authorities treating it as a ‘hate crime’, as his attackers allegedly hurled racist and homophobic slurs at Jussie throughout the ordeal. In an update on the investigation, Jussie has now been charged by Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office with disorderly conduct and filing a false police report. Police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi confirmed the news via a statement he shared to Twitter.
Mark Zuckerberg just accidentally undercut the rationale for Facebook Portal
Remember when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that his new annual personal challenge for 2019 would include participating in a series of discussions about the impact of technology on society? The first such discussion has been held, with Zuckerberg choosing to sit down with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain to talk about all manner of privacy and tech issues. At one point, Zuckerberg started making the case that he didn’t think society would ever get to the point where people feel comfortable having a camera in every living room. At which point — yes, you guessed it. Zittrain pointed out that Facebook is selling a hardware product that is literally that very thing.
Advertisers boycott YouTube after Pedophiles Swarm comments on videos of children
Nestlé, Epic Games and other major brands said on Wednesday that they had stopped buying advertisements on YouTube after their ads appeared on children’s videos where pedophiles had infiltrated the comment sections. The companies acted after a YouTube user posted a video this week to point out this behavior. For the most part, the videos targeted by pedophiles did not violate YouTube’s rules and were innocent enough — young girls doing gymnastics, playing Twister or stretching — but the videos became overrun with suggestive remarks directed at the children. The commenters left time stamps for parts of the video that can appear compromising when paused — like a girl’s backside or bare legs. They also posted remarks that praised the girls, asked whether they were wearing underwear, or simply carried a string of sexually suggestive emojis.
Google says it forgot to mention there’s a mic in its home alarm system Nest
Google said Wednesday it forgot to mention that it included a microphone in its Nest Secure home alarm system, the latest privacy flub by one of the tech industry’s leading collectors of personal information. The company said earlier this month that its voice assistant feature would be available on the system’s Nest Guard, which controls home alarm sensors. But Google hadn’t told consumers about the device’s built-in microphone when it began selling the hubs in the fall of 2017. As recently as January, the product specs for the device made no mention of a microphone. Google said in a statement that the omission was a mistake. “The on-device microphone was never intended to be a secret and should have been listed in the tech specs,” it said.