The Early Edition: Glancing The Major Headlines For 28th May, 2015

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Onasanya Set To Retire As First Bank GMD

The Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Mr. Bisi Onasanya, is set to retire this year upon the completion of his tenure.

His retirement will take effect at the end of the current financial year on December 31, 2015.

A statement signed by the Global Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, First Bank, Folake Ani-Mumuney, said Onasanya would be retiring on the heels of an inspiring and enviable career spanning over three decades of diverse management and operational experience.





N’Delta Group Shut Agip’s Facilities

Two oilfields run by Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited, a unit of Italian oil major, Eni, were shut down this week in the Niger Delta region by local communities over disputes with the company, protesters said on Wednesday.

Oil production in the Niger-Delta has often been disrupted by locals frustrated at the lack of development in their communities.

A spokesman for Eni was quoted by Reuters as saying the company had no immediate comment.

One group represented by the Agrisaba Oil and Gas Committee said it had shut down an oil facility in the Nembe 5 region following disputes over the provision of jobs for locals.

“The community has, therefore, decided that the facility be shut down until such a time that all these knotty issues have been resolved,” it said in a statement.



Don’t Limit Probe To My Government – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, said that if the incoming president, Muhammadu Buhari decides to probe upon assumption of office, he should not single out his (Jonathan) administration.

He asked Buhari to extend it to other administrations before him. Jonathan argued that limiting the probe to only his administration would amount to a witch hunt.



Libel: Court Adjourns Tinubu’s Suit Against AIT Till June 30

Justice Iyabo Akinkugbe of an Ikeja High Court yesterday adjourned hearing in the libel suit instituted by former Governor Bola Tinubu of Lagos State against DAAR Communication Plc to June 30 to enable the counsel to the plaintiff respond to the counter-claim filed by the defendant.

Tinubu had dragged Daar Communication, owners of African Independent Television, AIT to court claiming N150 billion damages for allegedly  peddling false accusations about his personality in the documentary titled “Lion of Bourdilion”. He claimed that the documentary was politically sponsored to tarnish his reputation in the eyes of the populace.

At yesterday’s proceedings, counsel to DAAR, Jeffery Kadiri, informed the court that the defendant had filed a counter-claim which had been served on the claimant.

Responding, Tinubu’s counsel, Mr. Ayodele Adesanmi, said the process was served on the claimant only two days ago, adding that he needed some time to study and respond to it.

Adesanmi, therefore, asked the court for an adjournment and the judge acceded to his request.

In the counter-claim, the broadcast outfit also denied each and every allegation of facts as contained in the claimant’s amended statement of claim.



Children’s Day Tragedy: Lightening Kills 3 Siblings, One Other

This year’s Children Day celebration was marred by tragedy at Gure town in Baruten Local Government Area of Kwara State, as four female children were killed by lightening.

This came on a day a woman went berserk at Otta in Ado-Odo Local Government Area of Ogun State, stabbing her three-year-old son to death.

Vanguard reliably gathered that the lightening at Gure, a popular ancient town and the commercial nerve centre of Baruten council, struck during a downpour between 12 midnight of Tuesday and 1a.m of yesterday.

The lightening was said to have killed all the children instantly, three of who were of the same parents. The fourth one came to pass the night with the other victims. The injured ones have been hospitalised.

Sources said the lightening broke down the wall of the house, and that the remains of the victims have been buried in accordance with Islamic rites.



Cameroonians Donate 3M Euros To Help Army Fight Boko Haram

A fundraising campaign to help Cameroon’s army battle Nigeria’s feared Boko Haram fighters has brought in more than three million euros and hundreds of tonnes of food, local media said Wednesday.

“2.1 billion CFA francs (3.2 million euros) already” collected to help troops fighting the Islamist group on Cameroon’s northern border with Nigeria, said the national CRTV radio and TV network.

But with corruption rife across Cameroon, the government has set up an inter-ministerial committee to ensure “transparent” management of the funds offered up by citizens of the struggling African nation, the broadcaster said.



Three Pastors, Herbalist Arrested For Kidnapping In Ogun

Men of Ogun State Special Anti Robbery Squad, led by Officer-in-Charge, Tijani Muhammed, have arrested three pastors and a herbalist for allegedly kidnapping a United State-based Nigerian in the state.

A 70-year-old woman, Monilola Lateef, her son, Modiu, and two others were also arrested for alleged armed robbery in Abeokuta, the state capital.

Parading the suspects, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, told newsmen that the three pastors and one herbalist belong to a five-man gang of kidnappers, who had been terrorising residents of Ijebu area of the state.

Adejobi said the suspects were arrested, Tuesday, at Ita-Marun, Ijebu Ode, by men of the state Anti-Robbery Squad.

He said the  suspects, including Ganiyu Olaiya, Segun Makanjuola, Bisi Akinleye and Bayo Adekunle, were arrested for allegedly abducting a man who just retur-ned to the country from abroad.



Kashamu’s Extradition: Follow Due Process, Court Orders AGF,NDLEA, Others

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, declared that  the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and nine others  cannot be restrained perpetually from carrying out their constitutional duties in the planned attempt to extradite embattled senator-elect, Prince Buruji Kashamu, to the United States of America (USA) over  alleged drug-related offences.
However, the court restrained the respondents from arresting the applicant without a warrant of arrest and from forcefully extraditing him without due recourse to the Extradition Act. The judge made the orders, while delivering judgment in a suit filed by Kashamu to prevent his extradition.



11 Die In Illorin Auto Crash

No fewer than 11 persons were confirmed dead yesterday when a Toyota Hiace bus collided with a trailer in Ilorin, Kwara State capital.
The head-on collision occurred at the point adjoining the farm of the late
 General Abdulkareem Adisa at Oko Olowo.
Eleven people were
 confirmed dead inside the bus with registration number
 GA 52 XA, while eight others were seriously injured. The trailer
 was marked XA 939 GZA.
The single lane Ilorin/Mokwa Road is one of the busiest roads in
 the country as it remains the shortest link between the North and the South-West. The administration of former president, Olusegun
 Obasanjo, had reduced travellers’ burden on the road by partially dualising the Ilorin/Ibadan end 
of it.
The road is plied daily by heavily loaded trailers and commercial 
buses on trade missions. The road has countless
 winding points, which make over taking dangerous.
Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in 
Kwara State, Mary Wakawa, said the crash occurred at about 2a.m.



UN Decries Boko Haram Insurgents’ Sexual Abuse Of Captives

United Nations (UN) Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms Zainab Bangura, yesterday decried reported rape and forced marriages of female captives of Boko Haram insurgents.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Bangura lamented in a statement signed by her Office’s Advocacy and Women’s Rights Specialist, Ms Letitia Anderson, that one-year after the Chibok girls’ abduction many were still in captivity.
“Over a year since the extremist group, Boko Haram, abducted 276 teenage girls in Chibok, Borno State in Nigeria, many still remain in captivity.
“I am appalled by reports that hundreds of the recently released female captives were repeatedly raped by Boko Haram militias and compelled to ‘marry’ their captors.
“These latest revelations suggest that Boko Haram is not only destroying existing family and community structures but is bent on controlling their future composition.
“In order to give rise to a new generation raised in their own image, they are waging war on women’s physical, sexual and reproductive autonomy and rights,’’ Bangura stated.



Bayelsa Plans Elaborate Reception For Jonathan

Bayelsa State government yesterday released plan for elaborate state reception to honour outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan, who is from the state.

Jonathan is expected to hand over state affairs to incoming President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, on May 29 at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

Briefing newsmen yesterday, Information Commissioner, Osueme Bikile, said the state government was doing this because Governor Seriake Dickson wants to demonstrate the love of the people of Bayelsa for the outgoing president.

Activities for the threeday event, according to the commissioner, will begin at 3pm when the president would be received at t Government House Helipad by the governor and other eminent Bayelsans.

He said the president would then proceed to the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre for a civic reception by the state government and thereafter proceed to his home town, Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area, where he will also be received by traditional rulers in yet another civic reception.



Fuel Scarcity Affects Academic Activities At Unilorin

The ever busy campus of the University of Ilorin which was usually beehive of academic activities has lately recorded low turnout of students to lectures due to the prevailing fuel scarcity.

Even as the institution begins its end of session examinations this month, most lecture rooms do not attract the usual large number of students owing to the hike in transportation cost and the low turnout of the campus shuttles to convey the students to the university.  At the university bus terminus, a commercial driver who identified himself as Sanni, described the situation as  “man’s inhumanity to fellow man”, saying most petroleum stations in Ilorin started hoarding the product even before the scarcity became a national issue.
“I spent over N5,000 to purchase 30 litres of fuel. The queue was so long that I had to pay my way to get the fuel early enough,” he said. Another driver at the university’s motor park who does not want his name in print described the situation as ‘battle of the fittest where only the strong comes out victorious’.



Support Northern Christian As Speaker, Cleric Tells Buhari

A Borno State-born pastor, Kallamu Musa Ali-Dikwa, has advised President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, to support the emergence of a Northern Christian as next Speaker of the House of Representatives, for fairness and equity.

Pastor Dikwa, who had revealed that outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan had bribed officials of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, with billions of naira in the build-up to the presidential elections for support, said it would be in the interest of the incoming administration to have somebody from the North East head the House of Representatives.

Dikwa reminded the President-elect that some of them were called names and even persecuted for canvassing votes for him.

Dikwa, who was detained by State Security Services, SSS, to back down on his statement against President Goodluck Jonathan’s alleged bribe to CAN, in a three-page letter told the President-elect that the Christian community in the North East were watching with keen interest the plots by the leadership of All Progressives Congress to scheme out and marginalise Northern Christians in a yet-to-be announced power sharing arrangement of the party.



Aregbesola Prays For Chibok Girls

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, on Wednesday, offered prayers to God to give deliverance to the schoolgirls that were abducted in Chibok, Borno State, by Boko Haram insurgents, in April, last year.

The governor, who spoke at the Children’s Day celebration on Wednesday, with the theme, “Violence against children: Addressing the challenges?” in Osogbo township stadium, supplicated for the return of the kidnapped students and succour to their family.

Aregbesola noted that it was regrettable that violence against children had increased globally and that children have become easy targets of kidnap-for-ransom.

Represented at the event by his deputy, Mrs Grace Titi Laoye Tomori, the governor submitted that the nation was still distraught by the tragedy of the  Chibok girls kidnapped by terrorists in their school hostel, which the government was still groping to find solution.




Army Sacks 200 Cowardly Soldiers

THE Nigerian Army has sacked 200 soldiers from the force, following claims that the soldiers fled from the battlefront while Boko Haram advanced.

According to British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa service, the soldiers were sacked this week after allegations that they fled Mubi in Adamawa State in November 2014, while Boko Haram took the town.

A military source had told TheCable that as many as 4,000 soldiers were to be dismissed from the force, with the military hoping to “rid the force of cowardice in all its rank and file.”

The recently-dismissed soldiers insisted they were being unfairly targeted, saying they were dismissed without appearing before a court martial.

They added that their failure to fight was because they lacked the weapons to match Boko Haram’s firepower.

Earlier, one of the soldiers to be dismissed had told TheCable that they were to be dismissed without trial.



Fuel Scarcity Strike Organized To Sabotage My Government – Jonathan

For the first time since the nationwide fuel crisis began three weeks ago, President Goodluck Jonathan, spoke on Wednesday, attributing the scarcity and industrial actions by some labour unions to last-minute efforts at sabotaging his administration, even when it has few days to go.

Speaking at the Presidential Villa, during a valedictory session of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), the President also suggested that any probe by the incoming government must extend beyond his tenure in office.

Otherwise, he argued, such action would amount to witch-hunting.

The special session of FEC afforded every Minister an opportunity to pay tributes to Jonathan and cabinet colleagues. The praises for the President were so towering that he laughed off some of them as exaggerated.

He later held a valedictory session with members of the Security Council, chaired by him, comprising the Vice-President; Chief of Defence Staff; service chiefs; Inspector-General of Police; and head of the Department of State Security as members.



Blair Quits UN Job

Former United Kingdom (UK) Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is to stand down from his role as Middle East envoy representing the U.S., Russia, the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU), sources said.

He will leave the role next month after he fulfils “outstanding commitments”, a source said.

Blair, who took the role just hours after leaving Downing Street in 2007, has written to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, to confirm his decision.

He will “remain active” in the region in an informal role, the source said.

Blair remains “fully committed to assisting the international community in its work with Israel and the Palestinians to bring about progress on the two-state solution”, they said.

“He believes that he can best support these efforts through working with the key regional players, the USA, the EU and others, without any formal role.”



Enugu Government, Anglican Church At War Over Land

Many persons, including four Anglican priests and the Managing Director of the Enugu Housing Corporation, Emeka Vitalis Ona, sustained injuries last weekend when the latter led some officials of his agency to reclaim part of the land belonging to Christ Church, Uwani Enugu which the government claims it has revoked.
The reporter learnt that trouble started when the government agents, accompanied by armed policemen, moved into the land with five bulldozers to commence clearing of the land which was to be marked ‘Transparency Estate.’
There was resistance by both the clergymen and members of the church who at a point reportedly lay on the ground, urging the bulldozers to rather kill them.
The report of what followed next has since become controversial, as both sides are pointing fingers at each other over who threw the first stone. But at the end, several persons, including the managing director of the government agency were injured, although it appeared the church recorded more casualties.
The church claimed that its members and priests were attacked by the government agents for trying to prevent them from carrying out the clearing of the said land. They said the church officials and members were “overpowered by the invaders who unleashed terror on the unsuspecting church leaders.”

Henry Igwe

Henry Igwe

Copywriter. Sanguine. God understands me.

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