The Early Edition: Glancing The Major Headlines For 19th May, 2015

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Foiled Coup: Burundi President Fires Key Ministers

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza has dismissed his defence and foreign ministers after last week’s failed military coup, according to a presidential spokesperson.

Emmanuel Ntahonvukiye, a civilian, was named on Monday to replace Pontian Gaciyubwenge, the defence minister, while Alain Aime Nyamitwe was appointed foreign minister to succeed Laurent Kavakure, the spokesperson said.

Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa, reporting from the capital Bujumbura, said Nkurunziza was “under a lot of pressure” not to stand for a controversial third term and perhaps he had put trusted allies in those positions “who won’t try to stab him in the back”.





Nigerian Scammers Penetrating Oil, Gas Industry ­– Report

A new report by a Spain-based cloud security company, Panda Security, has detailed a malicious and largely unknown targeted attack on the oil and gas industry, which it says is coming from the Nigerian scam industry.

The ongoing attack, said to have begun in August 2013, was first discovered by Panda Security in January 2014, and is designed to steal information and credentials for defrauding oil brokers.



Petrol Tanker Drivers Resume Strike

The Petroleum Tanker Drivers arm of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, on Monday a suspended loading of petroleum products in the entire South West zone, including Ilorin.

The action will worsen the petrol supply situation because products for most parts of the country are usually loaded from the zone for delivery to other parts.

Our correspondent gathered from sources in Apapa, Lagos that the suspension of product loading was indefinite.



First Sugarcane Bio-factory Begins Operations In Zaria

The Federal Government on Monday inaugurated the country’s first sugarcane bio-factory in Zaria, Kaduna State, as part of efforts to achieve national self-sufficiency in sugar production.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said the one-million-seedling per annum capacity plant was the first in the series of bio-factories to be established in the next five years, with combined capacity estimated at 12.5 million cane seedlings per annum.



Blair To Speak At APC Policy Forum

The All Progressives Congress is set to hold a two-day forum to unveil the policy plan of the incoming Muhammadu Buhari administration.

According to a statement by the party, a former British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair, will be the keynote speaker at the dialogue where input for the actualisation of the policies of the incoming administration would be made by experts drawn from different fields and members of the public.

The policy dialogue themed, “Implementing Change: From Vision to Reality,” and organised by the Policy, Research and Strategy Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council would hold in Abuja on Wednesday and Thursday.



Buhari Will Shock APC – Cleric

The immediate past Chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria in Cross River State, Bishop Emmah Isong, has said the actions of the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, will shock members of his party, the All Progressives Congress, when he assumes office on May 29.

He said Buhari’s neutral position on who became the next Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 8th Assembly was an indication that he would shock so many party members.

Isong, who spoke in Calabar on Monday during an interview with our correspondent, also said although Buhari won the March 28 presidential election, the real hero in that contest was President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat even before the final result was announced in order to avoid anarchy.

The cleric said, “APC members are going to be shocked. Buhari might shock a lot of them through his actions. They have already started having the shocker. He has said that he has no candidate for the positions of the President of the Senate or the leadership of the House of Representative.

“In the history of Nigeria, the Speaker of the House of Representative was usually picked from the kitchen cabinet of Mr. President, same with the Senate President and other leaders. To me, that alone should frighten all APC chieftains who should already know that Buhari is an exceptional person. I am not saying that an angel has come but he is a very different politician.”



Tribunal: PDP Youths Urge Fasting, Prayer For Agbaje

The Lagos State Peoples Democratic Party Youth Leaders Forum has asked the party’s supporters to pray and fast in order for the governorship petition of the party to be favourably considered by the Election Petitions Tribunal.

The group also called on its supporters to come forward with information and documents to strengthen the petition of its governorship candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje.

The Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr. Abiodun Abari, who addressed journalists on Monday, said through fasting and praying, “Agbaje’s stolen mandate would be retrieved.”



Jonathan Under Attack Over New Appointments

Pesident Goodluck Jonathan has been told some home truths about the wave of new appointments and removals.

He should be courteous, elder statesman and war hero Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo said. The 87-year-old former Western Region governor is displeased at the manner of his removal as University of Ibadan (UI) pro-chancellor.

After his March 28 electoral loss, President Jonathan has gone on a strange sacking spree. He has also been making appointments, insisting that he is still in charge till May 29.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has kicked against the last-minute action.

Undaunted, the President yesterday removed the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive of Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Mrs. Saratu Altine Umar.

A statement by presidential spokesman Reuben Abati, which announced her removal, named Mrs. Uju Aisha Hassan-Baba as the new Executive Secretary/Chief Executive of NIPC.



Buhari Laments Mercenary Soldiers’ Use

He spoke in Kaduna when he received members of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF). He stressed that his administration will promote fiscal discipline and tackle insecurity, unemployment and corruption.

The president-elect who received the delegation privately. He said: “The Nigerian military has never been so incapacitated like now; It is a shame that the military cannot secure 14 local government councils out of the 774 local governments in the country.

“My administration will concentrate on three major areas on assumption of office, that is insecurity, the economy, unemployment and corruption. We will ensure we nip the insecurity in the bud.”

“The Nigeria Army could not do small things; they have to bring in South African mercenaries to enable them record the recent gains in the Northeast.

“I don’t know how many of you know this; I got to know about it few days ago – that the recent gain in the Northeast was because South African mercenaries were used.”

Buhari promised that the morale of the security forces will be raised and attention paid to needs of thousands of people displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.



Court Orders GTBank To Refund N5.3b Illegally Withdrawn From Customer’s Account

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) sitting in Apo yesterday found Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) guilty of illegally withdrawing N5.3billion from an account owned by one of its customers, Dr. Ted Iseghohi Edwards of Edwards and Partners Law firm.

Justice Valentine Ashi, in a judgment, held that GTBank was without any defence to its action and ordered the bank to pay the money – N5,240,516,186.21 to the owner through his Zenith Bank Plc account.

The judge further ordered that the N5.3billion should attract 10 per cent post-judgment interest, and another 21 per cent interest from December 12 last year when GTBank illegally withdrew the money, until the bank eventually paid Dr. Edwards.

The judge struck out the Central Bank (CBN), the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Jonah Otunla, Minister of State for Finance  Ambassador Yuguda, Anaocha Local Government Area and the Incorporated Trustees of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) from the suit as defendants on the ground that they were not necessary parties.



EFCC Re-arraigns Sylva For Alleged N2.45b Fraud

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday re-arraigned former Bayelsa State Governor Timipre Sylva before a Federal High Court in Abuja for his alleged involvement in about N2.45 billion fraud.

Sylva was said to have committed the offence between October 2009 and February 2010 while serving as governor.

His re-arraignment yesterday was informed by the retirement of the former trial judge, Justice Adamu Bello.

Sylva pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned before Justice Evoh Chukwu yesterday on a six-count charge.

Sylva also has a criminal charge pending against him before another judge of the same Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Ahmed Mohammed.

Shortly after his arraignment yesterday, Sylva’s lawyer, Israel Olorundare (SAN), applied orally for his bail.



APC To Unveil Buhari’s Policy Direction Tomorrow

THE All Progressives Congress (APC) will tomorrow unveil the policy direction of the incoming Muhammadu Buhari administration at the beginning of a two-day policy dialogue in Abuja.

The Deputy Head of Policy, Research and Strategy Directorate of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said this in a statement yesterday.

Abdullahi said Buhari is expected to open the dialogue, which would be chaired by Vice President-elect, Prof. Yemi Osibajo (SAN).

He added that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will be the keynote speaker at the dialogue with theme: “Implementing Change: From Vision to Reality”, adding that input to the roadmap for the actualisation of the policies of the incoming administration would be made by experts drawn from different fields and members of the public.



Governors Ask Okonjo-Iweala To Give Account Of Over $20bn Of Excess Crude Account In 3 Years

THE thirty- Six State Governors under the aegis of Nigeria Governors’s Forum, NGF yesterday asked the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala to as a matter of urgency account for the money that were accruable to the Excess Crude Account which they put at over $ 20 billion.

Rising from a meeting in Abuja yesterday, the Governors urged the minister to explain how much of this money entered the said account in three years from June 2013 to April 2015, adding that funds in the excess crude were last disbursed in May 2013.



Boko Haram Kills Many, Abducts 6 Women In Adamawa

Boko Haram insurgents have killed several people and abducted six women at Sabongari town in Madagali Local Government of Adamawa State.

Sources from the area indicated that the insurgents  invaded the town weekend, forcing residents to run into the bushes.

This was even as about 108 displaced  Nigerians, mostly women and children who were  rescued from Niger Republic have been received by officials of Adamawa State government in Yola, the state capital.

However, a  resident, who simply gave his name as Musa said the insurgents  arrived the village at about 10 pm Sunday night and started shooting sporadically, killing many people and injuring others before abducting the women.

The Chairman of Madagali Local Government Area, Maina Ularamu who confirmed the incident, called on government to provide more security in the area.



How 197 Drug Convicts Escaped From Jail – NDLEA Boss

Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, disclosed yesterday that a cartel comprising some court clerks and prison warders aided 197 convicted drug traffickers to evade serving their sentences”. The NDLEA boss who disclosed this while supervising the destruction of illicit drugs valued at N3.5 billion at Ibereko area of Badagry Lagos revealed how the convicted drug traffickers manipulated their way out of lawful custody.

Giade, who accused prison officials and court clerks of criminally aiding the release of notorious drug traffickers added men of NDLEA uncovered this plot when a drug convict who ought to be in prison was re-arrested while attempting to smuggle drugs at the Kano airport. According to him, “a cartel that aided 197 convicted drug traffickers to evade serving their sentences was detected by my men.



Pray Instead Of Trekking For Buhari, Aide Tells Youths

Alhaji Mohammed Shehu, an aide to President-elect Muhammadu Buhari has advised youths to pray instead of trekking for the incoming leader’s administration.

Shehu gave this advice during interview  in Abuja on Monday.

According to him, the incoming administration acknowledges the excitement of youths over Buhari’s election but would prefer that they channel their energies towards praying than embarking on, sometimes dangerous, journeys.

“It’s kind of overwhelming. Last week, I told youths to stay where they are, stop trekking, and pray for the incoming administration instead.”



Be Less Critical Of Political Leaders, Uduaghan Urges Clergymen

Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, has charged clergymen to be less critical of decisions made by political leaders in the country.

Speaking at Saint Andrew’s Cathedral Anglican Church, Ekpoma in Edo State at the weekend, Uduaghan said since clergymen do not have all the facts and challenges leading to political decisions, they should be less critical about those decisions.

He said: “A lot of challenges confront political leaders while making decisions in governance, which hinder their performance and are not usually known to the public. We need to have all these facts and challenges in the process of decision making before criticizing them.’’



We Will Resume Our Struggle If Buhari “Draws First Blood” – Asari Dokubo

Following the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28 presidential election, leader of the militia group, Niger Delta People Salvation Front, Asari Dokubo, has declared that his group is ready to commence its armed struggle against the Nigerian state.

Mr. Dokubo on several occasion in the recent past promised to make Nigeria ungovernable if Mr Jonathan, an Ijaw from the Niger Delta, was not-re-elected.

Speaking on Sunday at the Annual Major Isaac Adaka Boro’s Memorial Public Event, the militant said whatever restraining order the Jonathan’s administration had on the armed struggle for the self determination of the Niger Delta people has now been voided with the emergence of the in-coming Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

He said a new phase in the struggle will soon be unveiled​,​ but ​that militants ​will wait for the new government to “draw the first blood.”

Henry Igwe

Henry Igwe

Copywriter. Sanguine. God understands me.

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