* Ex-Customs boss, Dikko, returns N1bn cash to FG * Gunmen hold judge, lawyers hostage in court

* Ex-Customs boss, Dikko, returns N1bn cash to FG  * Gunmen hold judge, lawyers hostage in court




Ex-Customs boss, Dikko, returns N1bn cash to FG

A former Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko, has returned N1,040,000, 000 to the Federal Government, The PUNCH has learnt.

Dikko, who served as the head of customs between August, 2009 and August, 2015, became the subject of an EFCC investigation last year when the commission established that about N40bn was diverted from the coffers of the NCS under his watch. Read more

Gunmen hold judge, lawyers hostage in court

No fewer than 10 gunmen stormed three courts in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, on Wednesday, when they held a sitting judge hostage.

The gunmen, who shot into the air, caused panic in the capital city as residents fled in various directions, the News Agency of Nigeria reports. Read more

Ogun workers sign MoU with govt, suspend strike

Public workers in Ogun State have suspended the strike which they started on October 20, 2016, after their leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state government on the modalities for the payment of unremitted workers’ cooperative deductions, union check off dues.

The state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, however, did not comment on the fate of the 16 dismissed labour leaders and 18 others that were suspended. Read more

B’Haram: Group earmarks N120m for widows

The Executive Director, Victims Support Fund, Prof. Sunday Ocheche, said the organisation had earmarked N120m to support 7,000 widows and other vulnerable women affected by Boko Haram insurgency.

Ocheche made this known at the inauguration of the project held in Maiha Local Government Area of Adamawa State on Wednesday. Read more

APC hasn’t managed its electoral victory well –Okorocha

The Chairman, All Progressives Congress Governors’ Forum, Mr. Rochas Okorocha, has expressed worry over the cold war among the executive arm of government, the National Assembly and the ruling party.

Okorocha, who is also the Governor of Imo State, said this when he visited the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday. Read more

Court convicts firms of laundering Patience Jonathan’s $15.5m

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday convicted four companies of laundering $15.5m kept in their accounts with Skye Bank.

The companies – Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited; Seagate Property Development & Investment Co. Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited – are linked with a former Special Adviser on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa. Read more

NDLEA quizzes four NAHCO workers over drug trafficking

Four employees of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc have been quizzed by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for their alleged involvement in a botched exportation of 144 kilogrammes of ephedrine to Maputo, Mozambique.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the suspects are the Chief Security Supervisor of NAHCO, Audu Garba, two security officers, Nasiru Ibrahim and Haruna Abdullahi, as well as a driver, Adamu Dasura. Read more

Suspect arrested for assault beats two Lagos policemen

One Lucky Okeke, a suspect held for breach of the peace and assault, has allegedly beaten up two policemen who arrested him. The policemen were identified as corporals Abubakar Hussaini and Yusuf Olaitan.

Okeke had earlier assaulted a resident of Assemblies of God Church Street, Badore, in the Ajah area of Lagos State, Funmi Dayafin, before beating up the policemen. Read more

Sharia police prosecute 11 Kano women for alcohol

The Kano State Hisbah Board has commenced the prosecution of 11 women, who were caught drinking alcohol as well as smoking cannabis.

The women were also accused of engaging in amorous activities with men, who were not their husbands. Ironically, there was no report on the arrest of the men, who engaged in alleged amorous activities with the women. Read more

Despite N’Delta talks, militants bomb crude export pipelines

A yet-to-be identified militant group in Niger Delta on Tuesday reportedly brought down two major crude oil delivery lines supplying the Trans Forcados Export trunk line in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.

Sources in the community told our correspondent on Wednesday that the incident occurred at around 1:40am on Tuesday around the Batan community in the Warri South West Local Government Area of the state. Read more

Buhari’ll resend $30bn loan request to Senate, says minister

President Muhammadu Buhari will resubmit the request for his administration to borrow $29.96bn from external sources to the Senate despite the setback the borrowing plan suffered at the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday. Read more

Day Ijaw women painted court red for Patience Jonathan

The Lagos Federal High Court on Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, Ikoyi was “painted red” last Wednesday as scores of flamboyantly dressed Niger Delta women showed up on the premises of the court. The occasion they came to grace was the hearing of a N200m fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Skye Bank Plc.

Patience filed the suit to take possession of a sum of $15m which the EFCC seized in July from a former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Jonathan, Waripamo-Owei Dudafa. Read more

Don’t dare the military, M’Belt group warns militants

The Middle Belt Youth Leaders Forum on Wednesday urged the militants in the Niger Delta region to embrace the peace move initiated by the Federal Government to prevent armed conflict.

The group also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for meeting with Niger Delta leaders towards restoring peace to the region. Read more

Bayelsa communities groan as oil spills pollute environment

Residents of Ogbia and Yenagoa communities in Bayelsa State have expressed concern over the “massive” oil spills that have polluted their environment.

It was learnt that the spills occurred on Wednesday at Ekole Creek in the Yenagoa Local Government Area and Otuokpoti community in the Ogbia area of the state. Read more

Revoke unused mining licences in Enugu, Ugwuanyi tells FG

The Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, on Wednesday asked the Federal Government to compel companies with mining licences in the state to commence operations or have the licences revoked.

The governor made the appeal at a meeting with officials of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, who  visited him at the Government House in Enugu. Read more

FG okays eight new private varsities

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday granted licences for the establishment of eight new private universities in the country. The decision was taken at a meeting of the council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka; and the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, briefed State House correspondents on the meeting’s outcome. Read more

Soldiers kill two kidnappers, rescue 16-year-old in Bauchi

Operatives of the Nigerian Army, 33 Artillery Brigade, Bauchi State, have killed two suspected kidnappers during an exchange of fire at Rafin Gigi village, in the Alkaleri Local Government Area of the state.

It was gathered that the operatives also rescued a 16-year-old boy, Muhammad Musa, who was abducted from his house on Friday. Read more

PIB passes second reading at Senate

The process to unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation moved a step closer on Tuesday as the Petroleum Industry Bill passed second reading at the Senate.

Under the unbundling plan, the NNPC will be broken into two commercial entities limited by shares and to be known as the National Petroleum Company and the National Assets Management Company. Read more

NNPC posts N127.73bn loss in eight months

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation recorded a total loss of N127.73bn between January and August this year, its latest group financial report released on Wednesday showed.

The report for the month of August, however, indicated that the national oil firm reduced its losses to N11.22bn in the month compared to the N24.18bn recorded in July. Read more

Oil company tasks SMEs on succession plan

Concerned by the high rate of collapse of small and medium scale businesses Nigeria, the management of Italian oil giant, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), has resolved to focus on developing and building of capacities in the sectors as well as community content and sustainability.

Speaking on Tuesday, in Asaba, Delta State, at the 2016 Succession Planning Workshop for Small and Medium Scale Vendors, the Vice Chairman/Managing Director of the oil company, Massimo Insulla, explained that the initiative was designed to equip owners, partners, proprietors and management of small/medium sized enterprise with skills and best practices in planning for the continuity and sustainability of their businesses when the owner quits either by way of incapacitation or retirement or old age. Read more

Militants Attack Nigeria’s Trans Forcados Pipeline, Again

Just two days after the Nigeria’s state-owned Trans Forcados oil pipeline resumed operations following an attack in July, militants hit the pipeline again late on Tuesday, a community leader said on Wednesday.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack on the pipeline which carries crude oil and gas to the 400,000-bpd Forcados export terminal owned by Royal Dutch Shell. Read more

‘Electrified walls ’ll check pipeline vandalism’

The Federal Government should build electrified and non-electrified walls round  oil and gas pipelines in the Niger Delta region to protect them, the Executive Secretary, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Mr. Obafemi Olawore, has said.

This is coming on the heels of the Federal Government’s victory over militants, including pipeline vandals, in the region. Read more

Private sector vital to FG’s investment drive —Minister

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah, says private capital is vital to the Federal Government’s quest to enhance the country’s business environment and boost economic growth. He spoke in Lagos at a forum organised by Actis, a leading growth markets investor.

He said, “I want Nigeria to be the number one growth market. Nigeria presents diverse investment opportunities in areas that will not only support the local economy but also deliver significant yields to foreign investors like Actis. Read more

AfDB approves $600m loan for Nigeria

The African Development Bank’s Board of Directors on Wednesday approved a $600m loan for Nigeria, several months after the Federal Government had approached the lender for a budget-support facility.

The loan is meant to help Nigeria plug its budget deficit as the nation grapples with its first recession in more than 20 years. Read more

FG supports local firms to get shipping jobs

The Federal Government has disclosed that it will consider equipping indigenous service providers to provide services at competitive prices at the ports.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, said in Lagos on Wednesday at a programme to mark the World Maritime Day. Read more

Recession: MAN urges FG to sell idle assets

President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Dr. Frank Jacobs, says idle assets that no longer yield dividend to government could be sold to reverse the current economic situation.

Jacobs said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja. Read more

CBN releases $300m to foreign airlines

To cushion the effect of the cash squeeze affecting foreign airlines flying into Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released $300 million out of the $600 million airlines fund stuck in the country.

Some of the airlines have either stopped coming into Nigeria or are threatening to stop because of the inability to remit their money out of the country. Read more

Algeria clash: Ezeugo defends Mikel invite

Former Nigeria defender, Emeka Ezeugo, has  defended the invitation of  Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi, for  the Super Eagles’ Russia 2018 World Cup qualifier against Algeria in Uyo on November 12.

Nigeria, who top Group B with three points, will host the third-placed Desert Foxes, who have a point, at the Uyo Stadium. Read more

It’ll be tough to beat Nigeria – Algeria coach

After naming his 18-man team for the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers against Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Algeria’s coach, Georges Leekens has admitted in his maiden press briefing that the Eagles would a tough nut to crack.

Despite acknowledging the quality of his team, Leekens confessed, “Being good will not be enough there, we have to be 200% and most effective. Nigeria will be a very difficult match, I supervised and I analysed their game, we still have a lot of work because our opponents have grown enormously. I can tell you that we shall be 200% for the fight; it must be really tough out there, because being good is not enough, believe me. We must be efficient, if we want to achieve a result. “ Read more

Mystery UK investors offer $1.5bn for takeover of Nigerian league

Forever cash-strapped Nigerian football could have a solution to its problems if rumours that a group of UK investors are ready to invest $1.5 billion into the Nigeria Professional Football League are true.

Sports minister Solomon Dalung said that the UK-based sports promo and marketing firm Arabella 21st Century made the proposal during a visit to his office in Abuja. Read more

We are ready for Nasarawa – IfeanyiUbah

Ifeanyi Ubah have said they are ready  for  Sunday’s Federation Cup final against  Nasarawa United. The two Premier League teams will clash  at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos,  for the title and a ticket to represent Nigeria at the 2017 CAF confederation Cup.

Midfielders  Tamen Medrano and Maduabuchi Okereke say  the  Nnewi team, who  are currently  training in Ibadan, are ready to lift the trophy. Read more

ITF Selects Quadri, Marylove, Osewa for Junior Masters in Kenya

Nigerian trio of Oyinlomo Quadri, Marylove Edward and Michael Osewa will slug it out with their counterparts from six other countries in the 2016 ITF/CAT 14 and Under African Junior Masters billed for 7th -14th November in Nairobi, Kenya.

According to the ITF, the three Nigerians were selected for the championship, which will see the top players bagging grants to feature in international tournaments in 2017, due to their impressive performances in ITF/CAT organised tournaments this year. Read more

At least 12 die in Karachi, Pakistan train crash

At least 12 people have died and at least 30 have been injured in a train crash in Pakistan.

Two trains collided early on Thursday morning near Landi railway station in the southern city of Karachi. Read more

U.S. naval base in Japan briefly in lockdown amid reports of gunshots

A U.S. naval base in western Japan was briefly locked down on Thursday after reports of gunshots, but operations were soon back to normal with no evidence of an active shooter and no casualties, the navy said in an official tweet.

Gunshots had been reported from a building on the base at Sasebo, 980 km (614 miles) west of Tokyo, on Thursday morning, and the base was put on lockdown as a precaution as the building was checked by security, said Darin Wilson, Deputy Public Affairs Officer for U.S. Naval Forces, Japan. Read more

ISIS Leader al-Baghdadi Emerges With Defiant Statement After Iraqi Forces Enter Mosul

A day after Iraq said its forces had re-entered the last ISIS-held city in the country, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi emerged Wednesday with a statement calling on supporters to spread their attacks to other countries.

The 30-minute message, titled “This Is What Allah and His Messenger Had Promised Us,” was the first official statement from the terrorist leader since last December. Read more

Trump hints Obama KNEW about Democratic Party dirty tricksters

Donald Trump suggested Wednesday night that President Barack Obama was aware a Democratic Party operative paid protesters to stir up trouble and cause physical confrontations in his rallies.

And he said Obama’s campaigning for fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton may be doing her more harm than good as the president fights against the tide of recent bad news about Obamacare premium rate hikes. Read more


























About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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