Reps row over use of soldiers for polls
Sharp divisions in the House of Representatives over the use of the military for elections led to a rowdy session on Thursday.
But, a quick intervention by the Speaker, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, doused tension as the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress caucuses in the House engaged each other in a supremacy tussle. Read more
Boko Haram Releases 158 Kidnapped Women, Children
Boko Haram has released a total of 158 women and children after holding them captive for three weeks.
The women and children were abducted by insurgents from Katarko village in Yobe State. Read more
11 Bandits Killed, 4 Arrested in Niger
Eleven out of 45 bandits terrorising Aza and Kintako communities in Lapai local government area of Niger State have been killed even as it is not yet known whether they have a link with Boko Haram.
The state government in a statement by the chief press secretary, Israel Ebije said soldiers deployed to contain the menace of recent attacks on the communities are on top of the situation. Read more
Troops bombard Sambisa, Gwoza with air strikes
Many terrorist have been killed in air strike targeted at Sambisa Forest and Gwoza, it was learnt yesterday.
Sambisa is believed to be Boko Haram’s biggest hideout. Gwoza in Adamawa was seized by the sect, which abducted many policemen from the Police Training School in the town. The Defence Headquarters said hundreds of the terrorists were fleeing. Read more
166 illegal immigrants arrested in Kwara
Kwara State command of Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, has arrested 166 illegal immigrants from Benin Republic and Niger Republic.
Spokesman of the command, Mr. Adeyemi Adesola, who confirmed this development in an interview with journalists in Ilorin, yesterday, said the illegal immigrants would be deported to their respective countries as soon as their travelling documentation was completed. Read more
Bayelsa judicial workers suspend strike
The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, Bayelsa State chapter, yesterday, suspended its six weeks old industrial action following the decision of the state government to fully implement the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended with respect to the funding of the judiciary.
Chairperson of the union, Mrs Selepreye Koin, disclosed this in Yenagoa while briefing newsmen on the agreement reached between JUSUN and the state government. Read more
Buhari accuses NIMASA of sponsoring hate campaign against him
General Muhammadu Buhari (ret), yesterday, called on the National Assembly to investigate the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, following what he alleged as incontrovertible evidence linking the agency to the hate campaign against him and his family.
Buhari’s demand, articulated through the All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential Campaign Organisation, APCPCO, was upon what he claimed as clear evidence linking a top management staff of NIMASA to recent documentaries aired by NTA and AIT that were considered by the party to have impugned the character of the APC presidential candidate. Read more
FG to make degree minimum teaching qualification
The Federal Government has concluded arrangements to make university first degree the minimum teaching qualification in Nigeria, according to the Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau.
Shekarau said this while receiving visiting Finns ambassador to Nigeria, Pirjo Suomela-Chowdhury. Read more
CAN debunks report of N7bn largesse
The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has described as ridiculous, allegations that it collected N7 billion bribe to rubbish All Progressives Congress, APC’s presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), wondering why mischief makers would concoct lies to deceive the public.
Public Relation Officer, PRO, of Northern CAN, Mr. Sunday Oibe, said: “The allegation is a complete lie and just one of the many evil plots to dent the image of CAN’s leadership. Read more
Reps to Jonathan: Give Us Audit Report On Missing $20bn
The House of Representatives yesterday asked the federal government to make available to it the full forensic audit report on the alleged missing $20billion from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The House of Reps’ action is a direct consequence of the exclusive demand made by LEADERSHIP Newspaper, which had invoked the Freedom of Information Act, to compel the auditor-general of the federation (AuGF) to provide the newspaper with the full report of the forensic audit of the NNPC. Read more
ANCOPPS wants secondary schools commission
The All Nigerian Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools, the umbrella organisation for principals, has called on the Federal Government to establish a commission to oversee secondary education.
The ANCOPPS President, Hajiya Fatima Abdurahman, made the appeal when she led the executive of the association to visit the Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau. Read more
IG ignores N’Assembly order, warns policemen against strike
There were indications on Thursday that the Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, had ignored a resolution by the House of Representatives to reinstate one Inspector Simon Anyanwu, who was said to have been wrongfully dismissed from service.
Anyanwu, who is currently hospitalised for diabetes, had petitioned the Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, over the termination of his appointment without recourse to police disciplinary procedures following which the House on October 16, 2014 directed the police to reverse Anyanwu’s dismissal and convert same to retirement with all his entitlements, salary arrears, allowances, gratuity and pension paid. Read more
Police recover stolen PVCs in Delta
The Delta State Police Command says it has arrested some of the people that were involved in the theft of 6,000 Permanent Voter Cards and voter registers from the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, in Oghara, on Monday.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Celestina Kalu, on Thursday, said 7,365 PVCs were recovered from the suspects. Read more
2015 budget: Reps reject $65 benchmark
The House of Representatives has rejected the $65 oil benchmark proposed in the 2015 budget by the executive.
It said the 2015 proposed budget was based on certain policy thrusts, instruments and assumptions that were flawed and needed to be “critically looked at.” Read more
Reject tenure elongation, Reps advise Nigerians
The House of Representatives, on Thursday, kicked against the perceived move by the Federal Government to prolong its tenure, warning that nothing should be done to truncate the general election.
Addressing journalists at the end of its plenary, the House Committee Chairman on Information, Media and Publicity, Zakari Mohammed, noted that though tenure elongation was unconstitutional, the present political arrangement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was a departure from the past elections. Read more
Bomb threat: Bash Ali arraigned in court
Ex-international professional boxer, Mr. Bash Ali, was yesterday arraigned before an Abuja Magistrate Court over threats to bomb the headquarters of NEXIM Bank, located in Central Business District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
According to the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Ali’s prosecutor, the ex-international boxer is being tried for criminal trespass, obstruction in public way, wrongful restraint and criminal intimidation, contrary to Sections 79, 85, 348, 194, 266 and 397 of penal code. Read more
APC asks INEC to recognise ex-scribe as assembly candidate
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reinstate Wasiu Eshilokun as the candidate of the party for election into Lagos Island Constituency 1 of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
The party, in a letter to INEC, which was attached as exhibit to a suit filed by Eshilokun challenging the substitution of his name, was jointly signed by the party’s National Chairman and Secretary, John Odigie-Oyegun and Mai Mala Buni, respectively. Read more
Lagos APC asks Senate to reject Obanikoro’s ministerial nomination
Lagos State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, has called on the Senate to reject Senator Musiliu Obanikoro’s consideration for a ministerial position due to his deep involvement in the alleged Ekitigate election scandal.
APC in statement signed by State Publicity Secretary, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, yesterday, cautioned that Nigeria should not continue to reward persons with questionable and dubious characters. Read more
Six die, eight hospitalized as cholera hits Ebonyi communities
No fewer than six persons were yesterday confirmed dead while eight others were hospitalized following cholera outbreak in three communities in the state.
The communities affected were Amachi, Edomia and Ikelegu in Abakaliki and Ebonyi Local Government areas of the state. Read more
Dollar now sells for N220 at BDCs
The naira on Thursday crashed further against the United States dollar from 215 to 220 at the Bureau de Change segment of the foreign exchange market, following the closure of the Retail Dutch Auction System and Wholesale Dutch Auction System window by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The naira also weakened to 199 to the dollar at the interbank market, compared to 197 on Wednesday. Read more
SEC working on rules for conduct of AGMs – DG
As companies quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and other public companies with December as year-end put finishing touches to their financial reports, ahead of the three-month deadline for submission, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), says it is putting finishing touches to rules regarding conduct of Annual General Meetings.
Going by the post-listing rule of the NSE, quoted companies are required to present their audited results 90 days after the end of their financial year, following which AGMs are held to present the account to shareholders. Read more
New dollar dealing system to stabilise naira
A new trading system introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria stabilised the naira and will result in daily intervention by the regulator, according to foreign-exchange dealers.
Currency traders can only buy dollars on the interbank market with quotes that are backed by orders from customers, Jibril Aku, Vice Chairman of FMDQ OTC Plc, told reporters in Lagos. Read more
Customs reads riot act to smugglers
The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has re-affirmed its zero tolerance on smuggling activities, saying that such illegalities jeopardizes the nation’s economy.
The Acting Controller, FOU, Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Deputy Comptroller Usman Turaki, who gave this warning during the Unit’s first Muster Parade at its Ikeja Headquarters, said the Unit will continuously decimate the activities of smugglers in the South-West region. Read more
NITEL investor gets April deadline to pay $176.76m
The preferred bidder for the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited, NATCOM Consortium, has till April to pay the balance of $176.76m for the acquisition of the national carrier and its mobile subsidiary, Nigerian Mobile Telecommunications Limited.
The Acting Head of Public Communications, Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Alex Okoh, confirmed this in a telephone interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Thursday. Read more
Oil and Gas
Subsidy on petrol hits N1.2bn in two days
With the gradual appreciation of prices of crude oil in the international market, the subsidy on petrol that the Federal Government will pay has been rising after it slashed the price of the product by N10 per litre on January 18, 2015.
According to figures from the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, the government will pay about N1.2bn as subsidy on fuel imported into Nigeria in the last two days. Read more
Blast-hit Exxon refinery recently cited for violations – California
The Exxon Mobil Corp refinery in Torrance, California, that was hit by an explosion this week was cited in November for eight serious violations following state inspections last year, according to documents released on Thursday.
The blast and blaze that ripped through a gasoline processing unit at the refinery near Los Angeles on Wednesday injured four workers slightly. It prompted schools in the area to keep students and staff indoors as a precaution. Read more
Tensions up in Venezuela as Police Arrest Opposition Leader
Police broke into Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma’s office and carted off the longtime critic of Venezuela’s socialist government, adding to tensions on the anniversary of the outbreak of protests that paralyzed the nation a year ago.
President Nicolas Maduro took to television and radio to say that Ledezma, one of the most vocal opposition leaders, would be punished for trying to sow unrest in Venezuela, which is struggling with severe economic problems. Read more
Cyclone Marcia Batters the Coast of Queensland
Tropical Cyclone Marcia made landfall in Queensland, Australia on Friday morning, battering coastal communities before heading south.
The cyclone moved across the coast as a category five storm with wind speeds of up to 296 kmph. On Friday morning it tore through the towns of Yeppoon and Rockhampton, ripping apart roofs and uplifting trees and power lines, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Read more
Yemen parties agree on transitional council – U.N.
Yemen’s feuding parties have agreed on a “people’s transitional council” to help govern the country and guide it out of a political crisis, U.N. mediator Jamal Benomar announced on Friday.
The move follows the takeover of power by the Houthi movement, a Shi’ite Muslim militia, which led to the resignation of the president last month and the paralysis of many of Yemen’s state institutions. Read more
Rebels control key Ukraine town
For the rebel fighters who seized control of the strategic town Ukraine of Debaltseve, it was a day of jubilation and bragging of victory.
The retreating Ukrainian soldiers were grim, stunned and relieved to have escaped with their lives as the scope of their losses became clearer – at least 13 dead and hundreds missing, captured or wounded. Read more
ALSCON, KVT to generate 410Mw
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has issued two on-grid electricity generation licences to KVK Power Nigeria PVT Limited and Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria Plc to generate electricity from solar and gas respectively.
Alscon application for an on-grid electricity generation is in respect of a 360MW gas-fired plant at Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom and a permit in respect of a 180MW Captive Power Generation in the same location, was approved and issued after the review of an objection to the license issuance by BFI Group was found not to affect the grant of the license. Read more
CAF Champions League: Galadima Hails Malakia’s Hospitality
Former NFF President Ibrahim Galadima has praised the hospitality of officials and fans of Al Malaika Football Club of Sudan, who lost 0-2 to Nigerian champions Kano Pillars FC in the first leg of their 2015 CAF Champions League fixture in Juba at the weekend.
Goals from Gambo Muhammad and former Enugu Rangers ace Christian Obiozor condemned the hosts to defeat and with a mountain to climb in the return leg at Sani Abacha Stadium next weekend. But Galadima, who is vice chairman of Kano Pillars’ Continental Campaign Committee, was full of adulation for the South Sudan champions. Read more
NFF plans two-year contract for Keshi
Details have emerged from the contract paper prepared by the Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation for their returning coach, Stephen Keshi.
Our correspondent who spoke with a member of the committee on Thursday learnt that one of the major elements in the prepared document is that the former Nigeria captain gets a two-year contract rather than one or four years. Read more
Pillars begins title defence away at Heartland
Reigning GLO Premier League champions, Kano Pillars, will begin its title defence against Heartland in Owerri.
This was the highlight of the week one fixtures billed for March 7-8 released on Thursday in Abuja . Enyimba will be at home to next door foes, Akwa United, while Dolphins FC will be home to Kwara United in a weekend action in Port Harcourt where Sharks FC also faces a massive challenge against Sunshine Stars. Read more
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