The Early Edition: Glancing The Major Headlines For 20th May, 2015

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Governors Unite To Fight Okonjo-Iweala

The nation’s governors, yesterday, put aside the two-year feud that factionalised the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, and demanded an account of the estimated $20 billion they claimed accrued to the Excess Crude Account, ECA, while the NGF crisis lasted.

The demand which was directed at the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was immediately rebuffed by the minister, who asked the governors to seek clarification from their finance commissioners.





Nyanya Bombing: How Ogwuche, 5 Other Suspects Were Arrested – Witness

Full-blown trial of the alleged mastermind of the April 14, 2014, bomb blast that killed over 75 persons and wounded 100 others at a crowded motor park in Nyanya, Abuja, Aminu Ogwuche, commenced before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday.

In a bid to prove its allegation that it was indeed Ogwuche and five other alleged members of the Boko Haram terrorist sect that perfected the terrorist act, the government, yesterday, brought its star witness to testify before the trial court.

The witness, who was simply identified as the ‘PW-1’, took his time and narrated how undercover operatives of the Department for State Service, DSS, apprehended each  of the six accused persons.

He told the court that aside the first accused person, Ogwuche, who, he said, was arrested in Sudan and extradited to Nigeria  to face trial, the five other accused persons scattered themselves to different states in the Northern part of the country.

The other accused persons on trial alongside Ogwuche are Ahmad Rufai Abubakar (a.k.a Abu Ibrahim/Maiturare), Mohammed Sani Ishaq, Ya’u Saidu (a.k.a Kofar Rama), Anas Isah, Adamu Yusuf and Nasiru Abubakar.



Chibok Girls Living In Bunkers – Governor Shettima

Borno State governor, Kassim Shettima, said yesterday that there was every tendency that the female students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, abducted by members of the Boko Haram sect, in April 2014, were being held in bunkers, inside Sambisa Forest.

To this end, he has asked the military, which is currently combing the forest not only to fish out members of the sect but to also liberate the over 200 girls.

Shettima, spoke in Abuja, while presenting a paper at a two-day post election conference on security and governance, organized by the Savanna Centre, a Non Governmental Organisation, NGO, established by former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.



Eight Kidnap Suspects Arraigned In Awe

Eight suspects arrested for allegedly kidnapping a business man, Chief Adebowale Omotoso, have been arraigned in court.

They were arraigned in a magistrate’s court  in Awe, the town where the kidnapping took place on March 11.

The suspects, seven men and a woman, were charged with  conspiracy, robbery and kidnapping.

When they were initially arraigned on April 22, the suspects were ordered to be remanded in prison till the next adjourned date, which was yesterday.

Magistrate N. A. J. Ogunbona directed the police prosecutor to duplicate the case file in the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for legal advice.

Chief Omotoso, who is the Chairman, Bond Chemicals Ltd, Awe, was kidnapped in his home



Health Workers Begin Indefinite Strike

Health workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) yesterday embarked on an indefinite national strike over alleged unwillingness by the Federal Government to attend to their demands.

The union had last week threatened industrial action, if the Federal Government fails to honour its demands.

Mostly to be affected are medical laboratory, X-ray, physiotherapy, pharmacy, nursing services and others.

A statement by NUAHP, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan branch yesterday reads: “This is to inform you that the NUAHP commenced an indefinite strike action to protest government’s unwillingness to attend to our demands after promising to do so immediately after the election.”

The beginning of the strike coincided with that of Association of Resident Doctors, UCH branch, over unpaid skipping allowances by the management.

The two unions’ action has further worsened the condition of medical services, leaving hundreds of helpless patients to suffer.



Buhari Has No Excuse Not To Perform – Salami, LP Chairman

What I will say here is that the APC people who clamoured for change, who told Nigerians they wanted change and campaigned on the platform and basis of change, Nigerians have given them the authority and the mandate to come out with the changes. Let nobody now begin to tell us that he cannot perform miracle, because they told Nigerians that when they come, they would perform miracle. We will not expect Buhari to go abroad for any medical treatment. Our health system must be properly put in place, he must focus attention on it. Let them not tell us that they cannot provide jobs for our teeming youths, let them not tell us that the security lapses will continue in any manner, since they told us that they would perform miracle.



Migrant Ships: Libya Rejects EU Military Action

Libya’s internationally recognised government rejected on Monday any military operation against ships carrying illegal migrants after EU nations approved plans for a naval mission starting next month to fight human traffickers.

“Any military action must be done with the co-operation of the Libyan authorities,” government spokesperson Hatem el-Ouraybi told AFP by telephone.

“The military option to deal with the boats inside Libyan waters or outside is not considered humane.”

Brussels gave the green light to a mission that would see warships and reconnaissance aircraft deployed in the Mediterranean after a series of deadly shipwrecks in which hundreds of people have drowned trying to reach Europe.



Edo Police Arrest 14 JSS Students For Alleged Cultism

The police in Edo State have arrested 14 Junior Secondary School students for their alleged involvement in cult-related activities in Benin, the state capital.
It was learnt that the students, aged between 12 and 15, were nabbed when a crack team of policemen stormed Oguola Secondary School at Saint Saviour in Ikpoba Okha Local Government Area of the state last Thursday.
No fewer than 56 persons had been arrested by the police for cult-related activities ‎in the state.
According to a source in the school, eight of the suspects were apprehended at flash spots within the school compound.
Their arrest, it was learnt, had prompted the police to conduct a search on some students in the classrooms, where items believed to be emblems of notorious cult groups were recovered from them.



Court Fixes June 10 For Ruling On Trila Of Pro-Biafra Group

Federal High Court, sitting in Enugu, on Tuesday fixed June 10, 2015, for ruling on application brought by the prosecution counsel that further trial of treason trial of 11 pro-Biafra group, Biafran Zionist Federation(BZF), be held in secret away from the public.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr. David Emmanuel Kaswe, had argued that it was in the best interest of the witnesses that the trial should not be held in open court but behind closed doors.

Kaswe, however, stated that not holding the treason trial in open court did not mean that it would amount to secret trial because the media and key witnesses would be allowed into the court hall.

“We are not asking for a secret trial.  Accredited journalists can be allowed to participate for the public to know what is happening,” he argued.

To back up his plea that the public be excluded from future trial of the case, the prosecuting counsel cited the case of KabiruSokoto of Boko Haram and the federal government that was held behind closed doors.



Amaechi Is The Best Governor Rivers State Has Ever Produced Since Its Creation – Rivers APC

he leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has described the eight-year reign of Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, as unequalled since the creation of the State in 1967, stating that Governor Amaechi is the best governor in the history of Rivers State.

“Governor Amaechi has set new standards in governance, not only in Rivers State but, indeed, nationally. History will record him as not only the best Governor Rivers State has ever produced since its creation but also as one of the best in the country,” Rivers APC said in a statement issued on Tuesday in the State capital, Port Harcourt.

APC, which made this declaration in the statement signed by its State Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, said it came to the conclusion after a detailed study of Amaechi’s performance in office and comparing it with that of his predecessors, as well as his brother-governors across the country.



Medical Doctor, 63, Remanded In Prison Over Alleged N13.5m Fraud

A 62-year-old medical doctor, Obinna Monagor, was, on Tuesday, remanded in prison for alleged fraudulent conversion of N13.5 million.
Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye of an Ikeja High Court gave the order following his arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a one-count charge of stealing by fraudulent conversion.
According to the anti-graft agency, through its counsel, Mr Ademola Omeiza, the accused had sometime, in 2010, approached the complainant, Mr Godwin Achi, that he had a three-storey edifice for sale.
Omeiza said that the property, located at No.7, Tade Aromolate Close, William Estate, Surulere, Lagos, was offered to the complainant for N150 million.
He said that the complainant paid a first instalment, but could not pay the balance following inability to obtain a credit facility from his bank.
The EFCC counsel said Achi finally got the loan in 2012, but discovered that the said property had been sold to another party, Edscob Suites.
The prosecutor said that following the development, the complainant demanded the refund of his initial deposit from Monagor.
He said that the refusal of the defendant to pay back the money after one year of selling the property prompted Achi to seek redress via the EFCC.



Chinese Nationals Charged For Illegal Firearms In Ghana

Authorities say 10 Chinese citizens suspected of illegal gold mining in Ghana are facing firearms charges in court.

Justice Francis Obiri on Monday granted the defendants $12 000 bail each and adjourned the firearms case until a hearing later this month in Accra, capital of this western African nation.

Each of the defendants is accused of illegal firearms possession and they pleaded not guilty to the charges through an interpreter.

Authorities say they were tipped off to reports that the Chinese were illegally mining in the Ashanti region of Ghana.

Police say a search of their premises prompted the seizure at least nine firearms along with ammunition.

It was not clear what authorities were doing about the alleged gold mining.



France, Niger Forces Kill Three Fighters, Detain Others

The French Defence Ministry says troops from France and Niger killed three armed combatants and detained three others who tried to force their way through a checkpoint near the Libyan border.

The ministry said on Monday that the clash happened on Thursday in the Salvador pass region near Manama, Niger, where the two countries began a joint counterterrorism operation on May 9.

The incident took place when two pickup trucks sought to force their way through a checkpoint, with armed fighters on board opening fire after troops fired warning shots.

The ministry said that afterward, 1.5 tons of drugs, which were unspecified, and automatic weapons were seized.

France has deployed 3 000 troops in a vast counterterrorism operation along with five countries in Africa’s vast Sahel region along the southern Sahara.



Bomb Explodes Outside Afghan Ministry Of Justice

A car bomb exploded in the parking lot of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Justice on Tuesday as civil servants were due leave work for the day, police said.

There was no immediate word of any casualties. Sirens could be heard in the minutes after the blast as rescuers and police rushed to the scene.

It was the fifth major attack in Kabul in just over two weeks, coinciding with a new offensive by Taliban insurgents across the country.

A police official said a car packed with explosives detonated in the ministry’s car park in the late afternoon. He had no further information.


Henry Igwe

Henry Igwe

Copywriter. Sanguine. God understands me.

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