Jonathan, Buhari Hold Secret Meeting
President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday night met behind closed doors with the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.
The meeting was held inside the President’s office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
That was the third time the two leaders would be meeting after the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Buhari winner of the March 28 presidential election.
The Wednesday meeting, just like the first one they had on a public holiday (Good Friday), was described as “private” and so it was not opened to journalists.
Buhari was said to have arrived for the meeting in a convoy of about four cars at about 9pm.
The meeting was said to have lasted less than 30 minutes.
Although there was no official communication on the meeting, it might not be unconnected with the ongoing transition programmes and preparation for Buhari’s inauguration on May 29.
At the end of their second meeting, Jonathan had told State House correspondents that a date would be picked during which he would conduct Buhari round the Presidential Villa before his inauguration day.
When contacted, the Director of Media and Publicity of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, Mallam Garba Shehu, said although he heard there was a meeting, he could not confirm it.
EFCC Arraigns FCT Minister’s Ex-Aide For N60M Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arraigned Muhammed Gital, who is a former Chief of Staff to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, before a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja on land fraud related offences.
The EFCC said in a statement by its Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, that Gital was arraigned alongside, Deputy Director, Mass Housing at the Federal Capital Development Authority, Sani Abba.
They were arraigned before Justice O. C Akpaza of the High Court on four counts including criminal breach of trust, obtaining money by false pretence and abuse of office.
The accused who pleaded not guilty to the charges allegedly conspired and defrauded the Managing Director of Visioni and Strauss Nigeria Limited, Chief Duru Ejiogu, of about N60m.
They were said to have defrauded their victim under the pretext that the said sum would be used to facilitate the change of land use in respect of Plot No. 523, Cadastral Zone BOO Kukwaba District from passive recreation plot to a residential one.
Justice Akpaza granted the accused bail in the sum of N50m and one surety each.
UI Students On The Rampage Over Colleague’s Death
Students of the University of Ibadan on Thursday locked the institution’s gate and closed down a major road while protesting the death of a 200 Level student of Human Kinetics and Health Education, Mayowa Alaran.
Alaran, who was alleged to be an asthma sufferer, was said to have collapsed while watching the European Champions League match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich at a crowded Common Room of Independent Hall on Wednesday night.
After his colleagues failed to revive him at the scene, he was taken to the school health centre, popularly called Jaja, where he eventually died. The students’ anger rose from the inability of the hospital ambulance to arrive early.
The students refused to allow journalists to use camera or record the protests as they also attacked those who used their mobile telephones to record their protest.
Mr. Sola Adeyemo of the New Telegraph Newspaper was beaten by the students while his blackberry Z3 mobile telephone was taken from him as he attempted to record an official of the school who addressed the students.
The journalist’s clothes were shredded before the police came to his rescue.
Jonathan Advises Buhari Against Policy Reversal
President Goodluck Jonathan has said he hopes the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, will not scrap the agricultural policy and other policies initiated by his administration.
The President said this in his message read at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp in Ede, Osun State, on Thursday during the swearing -in ceremony of 2015 Batch ‘A’ corps members posted to the state.
The presidential message was read by the Permanent Secretary, Osun State Ministry of Youth, Sports and Special Needs, Dr. Akinyinka Esho.
The President lauded the response of the nation’s youths to agriculture since he started his transformation programme, saying it was massive and should be retained by Buhari in the interest of the youths and the nation.
He said, “We have put in place many beneficial interventions, which have increased the skills, self confidence and self-sufficiency available to the youths. We have introduced training programmes, provided grants and loans, thus encouraging entrepreneurship and improving lives.
“I am particularly delighted with the unprecedented youth response to agriculture. Now, across the country, in cultivation, aquaculture, processing and packaging: all along the value chain, our youths are discovering their potential, making adequate incomes and producing more food with modern exciting techniques and equipment.
“It is my ardent hope that these programmes will retain their priority in continuity by the incoming government for the benefit of our teeming youths and the good of the nation.”
Transition: Jonathan’s Handover Notes Not Ready – APC
With barely 22 days to the May 28 handover date, the transition committee set up by outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan has yet to meet its counterpart, set up by the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.
This is even as it has come to light that the handover notes, which the Buhari team is to study and ask questionson, are not yet ready.
It was gathered in Abuja on Thursday that the bickering between the two teams over terms of reference of the Ahmed Joda-led Buhari Transition Committee is largely responsible for the stalemate.
The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, confirmed this in a statement he made available to newsmen in Abuja.
Mohammed, who is a member of the Buhari Transition Committee, explained that while the Jonathan Inauguration Committee had been meeting with its counterpart in the Buhari team, “its transitional committee has yet to even meet with ours.”
Fashola Apologizes, Seeks Understanding On Policies
The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, says those that are offended by his method of administering the state in the last eight years should forgive him, adding that there is no way he could have got everything right.
Fashola, during an event to mark his 2,900 days in office in Ikeja on Thursday, said the decisions he took in his eight years in office were taken in the best interest of Lagos.
He said, “We are preparing for a change of baton, but without the support of the residents of Lagos ─ your taxes, understanding and perseverance, honest criticism and prayers ─ we may not have come this far.
“Our incoming governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, will need more of the support that you gave to me. I urge you to stand very firmly with his team.
“To those that I might have offended, I apologise. For 2,900 days, I was called to make decisions every hour. I made decisions through the treatment of millions of files on issues affecting residents of Lagos.
“I took those decisions in the best interest of the state. And they were taken based on the facts as presented to me.
“To those that we haven’t reached, please bear with us, the work will never finish. And I am sure that our new governor will continue from where I stopped.”
Power Failure Forces Reps To Adjourn Sitting
Proceedings of the House of Representatives were disrupted on Thursday due to frequent power outage.
The development forced presiding Deputy Speaker, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, to adjourn the plenary of the House till Tuesday next week. The outage affected the air conditioning system of the chambers, leaving lawmakers sweating profusely each time it occurred.
Members who had motions, bills and other issues to present also found it difficult to work as the discomfort in the hot chamber became unbearable. Our correspondent observed that the problem started before Thursday’s session began around 12pm.
Power was restored briefly as soon as Ihedioha and other principal officers settled down to work, but went off again almost immediately. He tried to continue with the business of the day amid the power interruptions.
At a point, the deputy speaker calmed members by explaining that the electrical system had some faults, which were being traced.
Lawmakers reacted to his explanation by shouting, “the beauty of transformation.” Several others, apparently from the camp of the All Progressives Congress, mouthed “change will take care of all this.”
FRSC To Introduce Fake Driving Licence Detection Card
he Head of Administration and Human Resources, Federal Road Safety Commission, Ogun State Sector Command, Mr. Steve Ayodele, has said the commission will soon introduce card readers to detect fake driving licence.
He said this on Thursday at Kuto Motor Park, Abeokuta, during a sensitisation programme for commercial drivers in the state. The FRSC organised it in partnership with CLEEN Foundation.
Ayodele said the card reader machine would be given to their officials carrying out routine check on roads, the police and in banks.
He said, “The FRSC will soon introduce a small machine that will detect fake driving licence.”
“The machine is like the card reader used by the Independent National Electoral Commission during the 2015 general elections.”
“It will soon be introduced. The machines would be given to our officials carrying out routine check on the road, law enforcement agencies, like the police and the banks. Once the driving licence is slotted into the machine, it will show whether it is fake or genuine.”
One Killed, Cattle Market Burnt In Kogi
An unnamed cow dealer has been feared dead after a cattle market in the Adavi Local Government Area of Kogi State was burnt down.
The incident was said to have occurred after hoodlums attacked the area. It was learnt that the hoodlums burnt the market on Wednesday as reprisal for an attack on the cow seller by yet-to-be identified gunmen.
The victim was said to be on his way to the market when the gunmen shot at him. An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, told journalists in Lokoja, the state capital, that the dealer was dispossessed of about N200,000 during the attack.
He said, “The cow dealer was on his way to use the money to buy cow from the market when he was attacked.
“The man later died as a result of the injury he sustained from the attack.”
UK Repatriates Three Nigerian Prisoners
The United Kingdom has repatriated three Nigerians in UK prisons under the prisoners exchange agreement signed by the two countries.
The convicts, who were brought into the country earlier this year, had been remanded in an undisclosed prison facility in the country.
The Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, who said this while responding to questions from journalists in Abuja on Thursday, stated that more Nigerians in the UK prisons would be transferred to local prisons in Nigeria before the end of the year.
“The prisoners exchange agreement is in place and the United Kingdom has repatriated three Nigerians in UK prisons since January this year and more prisons would also be transferred. The programme would continue after the exit of this administration. There is a committee in place to ensure the sustenance of the programme,” he explained.
Responding to allegations of manipulation of the ongoing recruitment into the Nigeria Immigration Service by some applicants, Moro stated that his ministry had no hand in the exercise, noting that the recruitment was being handled by a committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to him, those accusing the Interior Ministry of manipulating the recruitment exercise were not being fair, stressing that the presidential committee was solely responsible for the process.
Moro regretted the loss of lives during the failed NIS recruitment exercise, describing it as “the lowest point for the ministry which has cast some clouds over the level of achievements by the ministry.”
55% Of Lagos Commercial Drivers Hooked On Hard Drugs – LASG
Lagos State government has disclosed that of 801 commercial drivers screened for hard drugs through urinary test, 442 representing, 55 per cent, tested positive.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, made the disclosure at a ministerial press briefing at Alausa, Ikeja, on the activities of his ministry in the last one year. According to Idris, the state Ministry of Health has been engaging its transportation counterpart in securing health and safety of commercial drivers and conductors.
He said this was to reduce the prevalence of road traffic accidents and ensure the safety of residents.
He said the drivers were also at different times, screened for hypertension and diabetics, among other ailments. Idris stated that the screening was carried out in some specific motor parks in the state in December last year.
According to him, breathalysers were used to screen 929 commercial drivers to know the level of alcohol intakes.
He said of this number, 202, representing 22 per cent, tested positive to alcohol, while 801 drivers screened through urinary test, 442, representing 55 per cent tested positive.
Liberia To Be Declared Ebola-free Tomorrow
The World Health Organization, WHO, will, tomorrow, declare Liberia free of the Ebola virus, even as the global health body said total number of deaths from the Ebola epidemic has exceeded 11,000 with more than 26,500 people being infected.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Liberia, Karin Landgren, said if no new case of Ebola was reported by tomorrow, the West African country would be declared officially free of Ebola.
When this happens, Liberia will be the first of the three worst affected countries to be rid of Ebola. To date, Liberia recorded the most deaths with 4,716, followed by Sierra Leone with 3,903 and Guinea where 2,386 have died.
Man Attacked By 7 Dogs Gets N30,000
The 45-year-old commercial driver, Saturday Akpomose, who was attacked by seven dogs at Ajah area of Lagos State, has received N30,000 and a job offer from the owner of the dogs.
However, his family members expressed anger when they heard that Akpomose collected money from the dogs’ owner, who is a soldier.
Vanguard learned that the victim, who was admitted at Akodo General Hospital after the attack, was discharged on Friday, May 1, after about eleven days.
It was gathered that before the victim was discharged from the hospital, he demanded N5 million compensation from the soldier, but was persuaded and later given N30,000 to take care of himself, while a bag of rice and beverages were also given to his wife.
When Vanguard visited Akpomose in his residence, he said the money given to him was not a pay-off, as the man had promised to further take good care of him and his family.
He said: “I believe you saw all the injuries on my body. They have not healed completely. I collected the money from him because I am not a troublesome person. I have left everything to God.
‘How I defended myself’
“When the dogs attacked me, I tried to protect my neck, my private parts and my stomach, because I knew if the dogs touch any part of these places, I am gone.
“That was one of the reasons I decided to settle out of court with the owner of the dogs. If I had died my family member would have collected the money and enjoyed it.
“However, I cannot work with him. All I want him to do for me is to assist me in my hotel business. How can I start waiting for salary at this stage, when I have grown up children who are in the university to cater for?”
Police Kill 3 Suspected Kidnappers In Nnewi
Three suspected kidnappers have been killed at Nnewi, Anambra State, by a crack team of anti-kidnapping squad from Imo State police command, which had been trailing the hoodlums for a while.
Narrating how the dare devil hoodlums succumbed to the superior power of police operatives, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Andrew Enwerem, a deputy superintendent of police, DSP, explained that following a credible tip off, the operatives trailed the suspects to Nnewi.
“The police operatives killed the suspects during a gun battle at Nnewi, Anambra State, last Tuesday. The police successfully rescued the captives unhurt, while the lifeless bodies of the suspects were brought back to Imo State Police Headquarters, Owerri,” the PPRO said.
According to Mr. Enwerem, the kidnappers abducted their victims at different locations in Imo State, before moving them to their hideout at Nnewi.
“On spotting the police operatives as they were heading to the hideout, the kidnappers opened fire, which was returned by the advancing policemen. ‘’However, when the firing died down, the three suspects laid dead but the victims were rescued unhurt,” the PPRO recounted.