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Certificate Fraud: Osun Government To Sack 422 Workers

3 hours 5 min ago


 

Osun State government has directed its ministries, departments, and agencies to immediately implement the report of the panel that recommended sacking of the workers who secured employment with forged certificates.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in the state,  Jacob Adekomi,  confirmed that 422 workers would be affected.

He said the NLC’s intervention helped to reduce the number of those listed for the exit door from 5,000 recommended to 422.

A statement by the Head of Service, Dr. Festus Oyebade, dated September 13 said the immediate past  Rauf Aregbesola government engaged the services of a firm, Captain Consulting,  to undertake to verify the certificates of all civil servants in the state in 2015.

The statement said, “The panel submitted its report and it was adopted for implementation by the immediate past administration.

“However, when the new administration came on board in November 2018, the leadership of  Organised Labour Movement in the state appealed passionately to the state government to have a rethink on the implementation of the report.

“After much pressure from  labour, the government set up  a five-man  panel to further examine the report and make necessary recommendations in line with extant public service rules and regulations.”

Adekomi said labour was involved in the verification from the beginning.

According to him, the  NLC insisted that the report and recommendations be reviewed because it was convinced that the recommendations of the firm were not a true reflection of the audit, Punch reports.

“When the report was reviewed, only 422 civil servants, whose cases were beyond us due to the rules of the service, will be affected.

“But we interceded for the affected officers to ensure that they were not prosecuted or even made to refund the money they earned during their stay in service,” he said.

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Nigerian Musician Dammy Krane To Be Arraigned Monday, Risks 3 Years' Imprisonment

3 hours 6 min ago


 

Nigerian musician, Johnson Oyindamola, aka Dammy Krane, risks three years in jail as the Zone 2 Police Command is set to arraign him on Monday, Punch reports.

According to the newspaper, Dammy Krane will be arraigned on three counts before an Igbosere magistrate's court in Lagos bordering on a threat to life, defamation, and conduct likely to cause a breach of peace.

The musician was accused of threat to the life of Merrybet Gold Limited employees on July 25, 2019, and also released a song in which he also made an allegation of the firm of breach of contract.

The act is said to be in contravention of sections 301, 412 and 168 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.

The musician was also accused of conspiring with others at large of conducting himself in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace and threat to life in contravention of Section 412 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.

Dammy Krane was also said to have threatened public peace when he posted an audio and video message on Cool FM 96.9 in contravention of Section 168(d) of the state’s criminal law.

The charges read in part, “That you, Johnson Hunga Oyindamola and others at large on the 29th day of July 2019, at Cool FM in the Lagos magisterial district did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: Conduct likely to cause breach of peace and threat to life and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 412 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.”

Another charge read, “That you, Johnson Hunga Oyindamola and others at large on the same date, time and place in the aforementioned magisterial district did threaten the life of the staff of Merrybet Gold Limited and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 301 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2015.”

Section 301 of the state’s criminal law states that any person who, with intent to extort or gain anything from any person; accuses or threatens to accuse any person of committing any felony or misdemeanour, or of offering or making any solicitation or threat to any person as an inducement to commit or permit the commission of any felony or misdemeanour… is guilty of a felony, and liable to imprisonment for three years.

The musician got into trouble after Merrybet Gold Limited wrote a petition to the police accusing the musician of threats and cyberbullying.

In a petition titled, ‘Petition against Mr Oyindamola Johnson Emmanuel aka Dammy Krane for false and libellous statement against Merrybet Gold Limited and signed by its lawyer, Nwabueze Anachebe, the betting firm said the musician perpetrated cyberbullying and criminal defamation.

The musician was said to have attended a game show sponsored by the betting company but lost.

However, Dammy Krane was said to have demanded some money for appearing on the show but the firm disagreed, insisting that the sum was only given to winners.

 

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Electricity Tariff Increase: Nigerians To Pay Over N1 Trillion In 2020

3 hours 14 min ago


 

Consumers will pay about N1.52 trillion for power next year, going by the recent tariff increase approved by the Federal Government, investigations have shown.

This is about N600 billion higher than the estimated N900 billion which the electricity distribution companies are expected to make this year.

The PUNCH had exclusively reported that the Federal Government, through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, had approved an increase in the tariff payable by power consumers across the country.

Findings by one of our correspondents from various documents obtained from the NERC showed that from next year, consumers would have to pay an additional sum of between N8 and N14 for every kilowatt-hour of energy.

More figures obtained from the commission’s headquarters in Abuja during the week showed that the 11 power distribution companies in Nigeria would receive increased quantum of energy in 2020.

Since not all power delivered to the Discos is distributed to end users, by adding the lowest tariff increase of N8/kWh to the current 2019 tariff of each Disco and multiplying same with the quantum of energy to be delivered to the Disco in 2020, it was established that power users would pay more next year.

For Abuja Disco, the end-user allowed tariff from 2017 to 2019 per kWh, as approved by the NERC, was N32.66 in each of the years, while those of 2020 and 2021 were put at N42.46 and N44.21.

Abuja Disco has been allocated 4,489GWh of power in 2020. Payments for tariffs are made in Naira per kilowatt-hour.

When converted to kWh, 4,489GWh will be 4,489,000,000kWh.

Since the Disco will likely not distribute all the power it gets, a summation of the lowest tariff increase of N8 with the Disco’s 2019 tariff of N32.66 gives N42.46.

When this is multiplied by the quantum of power which the Disco has been allocated in 2020, it indicates that customers of the AEDC will pay about N182.5bn for electricity by next year.

For Benin Disco, the end-user allowed tariff from 2017 to 2019 per kWh was N32.50 in each of the years, while those of 2020 and 2021 were put at N42.25 and N43.79.

NERC has allocated 3,513GWh to Benin Disco in 2020 and when the lowest tariff increase of N8 is added to the current tariff, N32.5, of this power firm, it gives N40.5.

Going by the earlier method of calculation applied for Abuja Disco, consumers of power under the franchise areas of Benin Disco are expected to pay about N142.28bn by next year.

For Eko Disco, the commission said the end-user allowed tariff from 2017 to 2019 per kWh was N28.3 in each of the years, while those of 2020 and 2021 were put at N36.8 and N39.2.

Eko Disco will get 4,294GWh of power next year and consumers of power being served by the firm will pay about N155.87bn in 2020, going by the earlier method used for the Abuja Disco.

Our correspondent observed that for Enugu Disco, the allowed end-user tariffs for 2019, 2020 and 2021 per kWh are N35.3, N45.9 and N41.6, respectively.

Enugu Disco has been allocated 3,513GWh. Still based on the established method of calculation, consumers of the power firm will pay about N152.1bn in 2020.

For residents who are served by the Ibadan Disco, the end-user allowed tariffs for 2019, 2020 and 2021 per kWh are N30.6, N39.7 and N44.2 respectively.

Ibadan Disco is to get 5,075GWh of power next year and going by the earlier established methods of calculation, customers of the Disco will pay about N195.89bn.

In Ikeja Disco’s franchise areas, the end-user allowed tariffs in the order from NERC for 2019, 2020 and 2021 per kWh were put at N27.3, N35.5 and N37.1 respectively.

Ikeja Disco’s allocation of energy for 2020 is 5,855GWh and the projected amount which its customers will pay next year for electricity supplied by the Disco, based on calculations applied earlier, is about N206.68bn.

For Jos Disco, consumers under this power firm will have to pay N43.9/kWh, as against N33.8/kWh which they currently pay.

Jos Disco got an allocation of 2,147GWh for 2020 and its customers will pay about N89.7bn as power tariff next year, based on our established methods of calculation.

For Kaduna Disco, the end-user allowed tariffs for 2019, 2020 and 2019 per kWh, as captured by NERC, are N30.3, N39.3 and N41.7 respectively.

This power firm will get 3,123GWh of energy next year and its customers will pay about N119.6bn in 2020, based on the established findings and calculations.

Also, for Kano Disco, NERC increased the end-user allowed tariffs from N30.1/kWh in 2019 to N44.7/kWh in 2020 and N41.8/kWh in 2021.

Kano Disco has been allocated 3,123GWh of energy next year and customers here will pay about N118.98bn for electricity in 2020, based on the established methods of calculation.

The tariff for Port Harcourt Disco increased from N33.8 in 2019 to N44.0 in 2020 and the power firm has been allocated 2,573GWh of energy by next year.

Its customers will pay about N106.04bn for electricity supplied to them by next year, based on findings.

Finally, Yola Disco also saw an increase in tariff from N26.8 in 2019 to N34.9 in 2020.

The energy allocation for Yola Disco in 2020 is 1,366GWh and customers served by the power firm will pay about N47.54bn, going by our established method of calculation.

The summation of what consumers of power of the 11 Discos will pay next year gives a total of about N1.52tn.

Energy increase for Discos

It was observed that there was an increase in the quantum of energy to be delivered to each Disco in 2020, when compared to what has been allocated to them in 2019.

Further findings from the NERC on the individual quantum of energy to be delivered to each particular Disco in 2020 showed that Abuja, Benin, Eko, Enugu, Ibadan and Ikeja Discos would receive 4,489GWh, 3,513GWh, 4,294GWh, 3,513GWh, 5,075GWh and 5,855GWh respectively.

These were in contrast to the 3,398GWh, 2,659GWh, 3,250GWh, 2,659GWh, 3,841GWh and 4,432GWh captured as power being delivered to the six Discos in their respective order in 2019.

In 2019, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Port Harcourt and Yola Discos got 1,625GWh, 2,364GWh, 2,364GWh, 1,920GWh and 1,034GWh as the energy being delivered to them respectively.

The quantum of energy allocated to each of the five Discos in 2020 increased to 2,147GWh, 3,123GWh, 3,123GWh, 2,537GWh and 1,366GWh respectively.

The 39,035GWh that is allocated to the Discos in 2020 is 9,489GWh higher than the 29,546GWh which the firms are getting in 2019.

Discos react

When contacted to state the quantum of power distributed by their respective Discos, the spokespersons for each of the 11 distribution companies gave different explanations.

John Onyi of Port Harcourt Disco said, “We have an installed capacity of 1,393.7MW and the average allocation that we get on a daily basis is between 250MW and 330MW. So when you calculate that in weeks, months and year, then you may know the annual figure.”

For Yola Disco, the spokesperson, Kingsley Nkemneme, said, “In most cases, we get between 140MW and 150MW daily. And that is what we distribute on the average every day.”

The Head of Communications, Enugu Disco, Emeka Ezeh, said nine per cent of whatever was generated across the country was what Enugu Disco normally got and distributed to its customers.

He said, “The generation as at 00:24 hours of 31/08/2019 was 4,593.1MW and EEDC’s (Enugu Electricity Distribution Company’s) allocation was 438.38MW. We get nine per cent of total energy generated and that is what we distribute across the five states we cover.”

The spokesperson, Eko Disco, Godwin Idemudia, said the allocation for the Lagos-based power distribution firm was between 550MW and 590MW daily and the firm distributed around the figure.

For Abuja Disco, the spokesperson, Oyebode Fadipe, said in a text message, “This is a 2020 issue. Being so, it certainly will be a projection and that will be based on data from the past intake. I will need to consult extant records to see the data and also confer with the relevant desks on it.”

Benin Disco’s spokesperson, Adekunke Tayo, requested that a message on the enquiry be sent to him in order to get a more accurate response. This was done, but he had yet to respond as of the time of publishing this report.

Also, the spokesperson for Ibadan Disco, Busolami Tunwase, requested that a text message be sent to her and that she would get back to one of our correspondents on Monday.

A similar request was made by the spokesperson for Kano Disco, Ibrahim Sani, and a message on the required information was also sent to him.

For Ikeja Disco, the spokesperson, Felix Ofulue, said he was out of his station and would not be able to provide the required data when contacted. He promised to do so but did not do so as of the time of filing this report.

Jos Disco also promised to revert after demanding that a message be sent on what the enquiry was about.

Kaduna Disco could not be reached, as the mobile telephone of its spokesperson, Abdulazeez Abdullahi, was switched off.

Power consumers kick

Power consumers, however, are not pleased with the increase in tariffs, as they told our correspondents that the regulator failed to consult widely before approving the new rates.

Different groups that represent power consumers across the country declared that tariff increase would not stand until there was a considerable improvement in power supply.

The Nigeria Electricity Consumers Advocacy Network and the Electricity Consumers Association of Nigeria questioned why the power sector regulator would increase tariff at a time when power delivery was still poor.

In separate interviews with one of our correspondents, the Chairman, NECAN, Tomi Akingbogun, and the President, ECAN, Chijioke James, stated that it would be unfair for consumers to pay higher tariffs when service delivery by power distributors had yet to improve.

James said, “The commission did not consult with us. There is a framework for price review and it entails the process of consultations with those you intend to serve and your potential clients.

“The Nigerian consumers are not very difficult people and so we need to know why you (NERC) will want to increase tariff when the services are not really there. That cannot be tolerated.”

The ECAN president noted that the commission would be increasing the financial burden of the poor masses, as the incomes of most of them would not sustain such tariffs.

James said, “You don’t increase the tariffs of people whose incomes cannot sustain the payment of your new tariffs. So, there must be some mechanism to accommodate low-income earners. However, the fact is that as far as there is no reliable power, there will be no tariff increase.”

On his part, Akingbogun stated that consumers were not carried along by the regulator, as required in the standard practice before the announcement of new tariffs.

He said, “The first thing I’ll say is that consultation was not properly done before the announcement and for us, the details are just rolling out bit by bit.

“We first got to know about it by reading it in the paper and one thing for sure is that consultation with the private sector was not properly done.”

We’ll mobilise Nigerians against tariff increase – NLC, TUC

Reacting to the tariff increase, the General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Emma Ugboaja, said the union would mobilise Nigerians against the proposed increase in tariff.

He said, “The NLC will mobilise Nigerians against the increase in electricity tariff because that is not the way to go. There are still issues that need to be resolved; hiking the cost of electricity is not the best because electricity is still one of the products that have yet to get to the ordinary people.

“We cannot be talking about the challenges of rural-urban migration when we are hiking tariffs and we want people to remain to have more cottage industries and more entrepreneurial capacities. You can’t want that to thrive and at the same time be making electricity not to be accessible.

“You can’t be struggling to pay N30, 000 minimum wage per worker and yet expect the workers to spend the whole money on electricity.”

Similarly, the Secretary-General of the Trade Union Congress, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, said NERC should not encourage inefficiency in the Discos.

He said, “The NERC should not encourage inefficiency by approving higher tariff because the Discos do not collect the billed revenue for the current tariff. That is, they have very low collection efficiency.

“Increase in tariff means passing the low-efficiency loss to the customers. If collection efficiency is high enough, it will help reduce the gap in the cost of delivering electricity and reduce the need for higher tariff or make the increase minimal.”

Tariff increment not solution to electricity problem –MAN

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has kicked against the planned increment of electricity tariff.

The President of MAN, Mansur Ahmed, who spoke to SUNDAY PUNCH in Lagos on Saturday, said increasing electricity tariff without any improvement in supply would have negative effects on the manufacturing sector.

He said manufacturers were already subsidising.

Ahmed also stated that the Discos needed to build capacity to deliver and operators at that level should also have enough resources to be more effective.

He said, “We are still waiting for clarifications from the NERC on the tariff increment. The manufacturing sector is unhappy with the power situation in the country both in terms of availability and quantum and the price.

“The industrial consumers are already the ones paying the highest rate and subsidising other consumers. So, to continue to increase the tariff when neither the quantum nor the quality of electricity supply has improved is not fair to the manufacturing and industrial sectors.

“We do understand that the power sector is in a very difficult situation and a lot needs to be done to firm things up. It goes beyond just increasing tariff. The sector needs to be completely restructured and overhauled. They should ensure that proper capacity is built and the private operators, especially at the distribution level, must have the capacity and resources to run this sector properly.

“That really goes beyond just throwing money into the sector. Already, the government has invested hugely in terms of capital and interventions. Over a trillion naira has been thrown into this sector with very little improvement to show for it.

“Increasing tariff and injecting funds into the system is not the solution that will get us out of this situation. In the manufacturing sector, electricity is one of the most critical inputs.

“There is no way our products can be competitive if we have to cope with this kind of energy supply and the cost of it. Clearly, we cannot continue to do what we have been doing all over again. Something drastic must be done to change the situation.

“It should not be business as usual again. A very radical solution must be found to get us out of here. But we are still discussing with the regulatory body about this tariff increment.”

FG should ask power firms to recapitalise –Expert

Meanwhile, the Registrar, Chartered Institute of Finance and Control of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Eohoi, has called on the Federal Government to recapitalise power firms to enable them to deliver on their mandate.

He said almost five years after the privatisation of the power sector, consumers had yet to feel the positive impact of the exercise as many of them were still being subjected to arbitrary charges.

He said, “After the privatisation of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, the government retained control of the transmission aspect through the Transmission Company of Nigeria, while generation and distribution aspects were privatised, with the private sector having controlling shares.

“At present, the weakest link in the value chain is distribution, which is evidently bedevilled by inefficiency, poor revenue collection and weak capital.

“Most of the distribution companies have yet to invest in metering that will help them improve on the revenue collection capacity.

“If the Discos do not presently have capital to invest in transformers, meters, government, which is the 40 per cent owner of the Discos should simply call for recapitalisation and dilute the private sector interest in the first instance as a stop-gap while subsequently privatising its majority interest to investors with proven financial capacity to invest long term.” Culled from Punch.

 

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Ekiti Students Threaten Mass Protest If Demands Are Not Met

14 September 2019 - 11:50am


 

Federation of Ekiti State Students' Union, an umbrella organisation of undergraduates of Ekiti origin, has called on the state governor, Kayode Fayemi, and the Nigeria Police to release all students arrested during a protest leading to the killing of two students of the Federal University Oye Ekiti, by policemen attached to First Lady of Ekiti, Bisi.

In an interview with SaharaReporters, President of the union, Jide Akomolafe, said that they would embark on another protest if their colleagues were not released from police custody.

He said, “Our union rejects a mere visit without compensation for families of the deceased as we have earlier demanded from the state government.

“We expressly charge the Ekiti State Government to as a matter of importance announce compensation for families of the deceased, take responsibility of the hospital bills of the two students in critical conditions in hospital while the Nigeria Police Force should ensure the unconditional release of students in detention.

“They must investigate and prosecute officers involved in the attack and killing of our students who were only exercising their fundamental human rights.

“We are determined to hold a mass protest next week since our demands have not been granted by the state government and police authorities.”

 

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Revisiting “Zoning And Rotation” By Edwin Madunagu

14 September 2019 - 11:19am


Edwin Madunagu

Edwin Madunagu

 

At the end of the Nigerian Civil War (July 1967 – January 1970), and in preparation for a possible return to civilian rule, the ruling class established – or rather, creatively adapted – the dual principle of “zoning” and “rotation” of key political party offices and government positions among geopolitical segments of their class.

Some leading ideologues of the newly re-united class claimed that the principle emerged from one of the lessons of that bitter conflict: the need to protect and promote “national unity” at all time. The theory was that with this principle and complementary ones, the Nigerian ruling class, following the United Nations at the end of the Second World War, could vow, “Never Again!”. These ideologues were young, brilliant and idealistic. But since their horizon did not go beyond capitalism and the capitalist ruling class, their brilliant idea could not even survive the first substantive test.

It should be conceded, however, that it was not all the main factions and tendencies in this re-united but nonetheless non-homogeneous class that adopted the principle of “zoning and rotation” – or, more correctly, promoted it to a lead ideological principle. It was the dominant ruling class coalition which later appeared as Second Republic National Party of Nigeria that was in the forefront of the campaign, which it saw as furthering and strengthening the aims of “federal character” principle enshrined in the new (1979) constitution. The latter was a document whose final shape the party, at its formative stages, had dominantly influenced.

A number of the other ruling class parties of the Second Republic (1979-1983) acknowledged the principle of “zoning and rotation” in their basic documents. Those that did not explicitly endorse or acknowledge the principle, underlined the need for the protection and promotion of “national unity” which they all understood as the unity of Nigeria’s ruling class. But the Nigerian Left simply allowed its revolutionary programme of Workers’ Power, Popular Democracy and Socialism to subsume and transcend the principle of “zoning and rotation”. We may as well remark here that in those days, the Nigerian Left had the habit of summarily rejecting any idea that came from the ruling class. Though this was a legitimate protective mechanism, it was undialectical as a political tactic.

From records of what the NPN fed to the nation at the beginning of the Second Republic, the principle of “zoning and rotation,” as it applied to their party at the federal level, can be sketched like this: First, party offices and government positions are aggregated into a single list of positions. Then the states of the federation and the federal capital are grouped into a number of zones set up for the purpose of “sharing” the aggregated positions. The aggregated positions are then grouped into the number of zones. Finally, the groups of positions are shared between the zones in a “fair and balanced” manner – previously agreed upon. At the end of a four-year presidential tenure, the groups of positions rotate among the zones – again, in a previously agreed order.

This agreement was scheduled to be first tested in late 1981 or early 1982 (that is, half way into President Shehu Shagari’s first tenure) when party congresses and the process of nominating candidates for the 1983 general elections were scheduled to begin. The test collapsed disastrously. The national caucus of NPN was not able to confirm in practice what had been agreed on paper. Neither the grouping of offices nor the rotation of the groups of offices could be confirmed. A “genius” even suggested that the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should be above rotation!

The principle of “zoning and rotation” of positions was replaced by “allocations” dictated by the dominant coalition of factions and tendencies in the party. Since then, although neither the ruling class nor any of its leading political formations has disavowed the principle, no attempt to revive and put it into effect has proceeded beyond the stage it reached in 1982 or risen to the 1982 brilliance.

Why did the test of “zoning and rotation” so beautifully set down on paper by the NPN collapse so disastrously? The late Professor Claude Ake appeared to answer this question in a lecture he delivered a decade later at a Guardian event in Lagos. Speaking in 1992 on the prospects of Nigeria returning to civilian democratic rule, the globally-respected social scientist sounded pessimistic. He said something which may be paraphrased like this: “Members of Nigeria’s ruling class, the capitalist class, cannot practise democracy, stand as equals or operate in partnership. If any two of them are together one must be on top of the other, never side by side. That is the logic of their political economy, their history and their culture”.

The immediate inspiration for this particular article came from a media statement made recently by Senator Shehu Sani on the movement of Nigeria’s presidency in 2023. Shehu Sani is recognised as a consistent human rights activist and a progressive Nigerian politician. In 2015, he contested and won the Kaduna Central Senatorial seat on the platform of the rising All Progressives Congress. For the four years he was in the Nigerian Senate (2015-2019), Sani laboured to remain true to his credentials of Leftist populism. Failing, predictably, to get his party’s re-nomination for the 2019 general elections, he sought and obtained a nomination from the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), a radical social-democratic party led by the veteran Leftist politician, Balarabe Musa. He lost the senatorial contest, again predictably.

The experience narrated above merely re-confirms the historically-tested thesis that a true Leftist who strays into a bourgeois formation as a “revolutionary-at-large”, that is, without the background support of a revolutionary movement to which she or he is loyal, will either be completely absorbed and neutralised, turned into a traitor or be lucky to crash out alive.

Senator Sani was reported by the Sunday PUNCH of August 25, 2019 to have told journalists at a press conference in Abuja the previous day that the 2023 presidency “may elude the South if the South-East and South-West clamouring for it are not united”. For the avoidance of doubt, Sani said that “rotation of power is what I prescribe and stand for. Whether that power goes to the South-East or South-West is dependent on the people of the South”. He, however, warned that if any of the dominant political parties refuses to accept “power shift”, presidency may still elude the South. The major parties should therefore be persuaded to accept the principle.

My limited comment on Sani’s proposal will be the conclusion to this article. It is clear that the proposal is addressed neither to the Nigerian Left nor to Nigeria’s popular masses. It is addressed to Nigeria’s capitalist ruling class. It is the ruling class that talks of “North”, “South”, “South-East”, “South-West”, etc. as if these entities are classless or class-homogenous. While some fractions of the ruling class actually do not believe in the existence of classes, others assume that every reasonable person should know that when rulership is discussed, the reference is always to the ruling class. They are “Nigeria”; and the various geopolitical zones are the recognised segments of the ruling class!

Against Sani’s proposal, let there be a more democratic proposal which, in addition to being a real ideological challenge to the ruling class, will also be seen as issuing logically from this apparent difficulty in locating the presidency!

In place of the present office of the President, let there be a Collective Presidency or Presidential Council of six equal members, each member representing a geopolitical zone. The tenure of the Council should be four years and the headship within that tenure should rotate between the members every eight months.

Madunagu, mathematician and journalist, writes from Calabar, Cross River State.

 

 

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Alaibe Challenges Douye Diri's Emergence As Bayelsa PDP Candidate In Court

14 September 2019 - 11:18am


 

Former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Timi Alaibe, has challenged the emergence of Senator Douye Diri as candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party ahead of the November 16 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State.

Alaibe, who said that the PDP primary in the state was manipulated and held through a flawed process, has approached the Federal High Court in Yenagoa Judicial Division with an application for the cancellation of the result of the election.

Alaibe is asking the court to examine the entire process that resulted in the primary and rule in his favour in the light of violations committed.

He is also seeking an order setting aside the purported submission of Diri’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission by the PDP as its candidate in the November 16, 2019 election in view of the several legal and procedural infractions cited.

Additionally, Alaibe is asking the court to order the conduct of a fresh primary election for the party in the state.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the case.

 

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Xenophobia: Nigerian Galleries Boycott Johannesburg Art Fair

14 September 2019 - 11:16am


 

Sheila Chukwulozie, a Nigerian artist, left her booth empty with an evocative message at the Johannesburg’s FNB Art Fair in South Africa to show her displeasure with recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other African migrants in the former apartheid nation.

“Thanks, xenophobia,” was boldly printed on the wall of her portion at the fair to signal her unhappiness at the situation.

In the past few weeks, at least 12 foreign nationals including Nigerians, have been killed in repeated xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

A number of Nigerian artists including musicians have boycotted events in the country, vowing never to set foot in South Africa until the xenophobic tendencies in the country were addressed.



 

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We Now Live At The Mercy Of Robbers –Ondo Varsity Students

14 September 2019 - 11:13am


 

Undergraduates of the Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko in Ondo State have cried out over the incessant invasion of their hostels by armed robbers.

The students, who are currently in a state of panic, complained that the robbers had made the invasion a daily occurrence with less resistance from the school authorities and the police.

They said the hoodlum frequently burgles their hostels and cart away their valuables including cash while receiving lectures in school.

One of the victims, Titilola Adebola, told SaharaReporters that students had been under constant fear since the ongoing semester began.

Adebola noted that the robbers always invaded their hostels during the day and at night, molesting helpless students in the process.

She said, “The hoodlums come to our hostels both in the day and night to rob us off our personal belongings. We no longer sleep as a result of this.

“One of my friends whose hostel was burgled, had her pot of soup emptied by the hoodlums.

“They ate all the meat that was in the pot and stole her money too before terrorising the whole street occupied by students.

“We have cried to the school management about the robbery attack on us but they are not doing anything about it.”

President of the Students Union Government in the school, Samuel Adesomoju, said the robbery attacks on students had gotten out of hand.

He said, “The situation has now gotten out of hand because our students are robbed and attacked by these armed robbers on daily basis.

“Though the police have been trying to curtail the situation, the attack is getting worse by the day.”

A top management staff of the school, who asked not to be named, confirmed the attacks on students when contacted, stating that the school authorities would urgently address the situation.

Spokesperson for the police in Ondo, Femi Joseph, could not be reached for comments despite several attempts to reach him by SaharaReporters on Saturday.


 

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EFCC Arrests DG, Accountant Over N10m Fraud

14 September 2019 - 9:05am


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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested Director-General of Sokoto Marshal Agency, Abdullahi Sa’idu, and an accountant with the agency, Bashar Dodo-Iya, over an alleged conspiracy, money laundering and diversion of workers’ salaries to the tune of N10m.

They were arrested in Sokoto State on Friday by operatives of the commission.

Their arrest followed a petition jointly signed and sent to the EFCC by 39 members of the agency, alleging that their salaries for three months were being withheld without any reason.

The petitioners further alleged that the suspects refused to pay their salaries and diverted the money to personal use.

The investigation, however, is still ongoing and the suspects would be charged to court once it is completed, the EFCC said.

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Stable Power Supply Possible, Says NERC

14 September 2019 - 9:01am


Electricity

Electricity galaxytvonline

 

Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, James Momoh, has said that stable electricity supply can be achieved when the metering situation in the country improves, ThisDay reports.

Momoh also provided clarity on the current electricity tariff situation in the country, saying the commission had not increased tariff contrary to what had been making the rounds since it published what he called, "a minor review" last month.

Momoh said, “We (NERC) have not increased tariff at the moment. What we have done is ask the big question: When do we get things right given that the Discos say we need cost-reflective tariff to be able to provide services that we actually should do?

“So, we did a minor review which is a review that takes into account the exchange rate, gas availability, availability of capacity generation, network availability, to make sure there is meter available to customers.

“We are committed to improving the quality of lives of Nigerians every day and every minute.

“By the time we allow renewable energy before 2030, a lot will be done. Formerly, I am saying do we have a target when all Nigerians will be powered? Hopefully, in our lifetime it will happen.”

 

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Ex-Delta Commissioner Slumps And Dies

14 September 2019 - 8:58am


 

Former Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources in Delta State, Joe Utomi, on Friday slumped and died in Asaba, the state capital.

SaharaReporters gathered that Utomi, who hails from Ubulu-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the state, died on the spot before any help could come his way.

Recall that Utomi was appointed as commissioner by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa during his first term in office.

President of Ubulu-Uku Development Union and close ally of the late politician, Jones Ofunne, confirmed the news to our correspondent.

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Xenophobia: Crowd Boos South Africa’s President At Mugabe’s Funeral

14 September 2019 - 7:46am


President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa was on Saturday booed by a crowd while giving a speech during the state funeral held for Zimbabwe’s ex-leader, Robert Mugabe, in Harare, the capital, according to the AFP.

At least 12 people were killed in series of violence against African migrants in the former apartheid nation, forcing wide criticisms from across the world.

Speaking at the event on Saturday, Ramaphosa said, “I stand before you as a fellow African to express my regret and apologise for what has happened in our country.”

But unsatisfied with his plea, the crowd went on booing him, disrupting much of the activities for a few minutes before calm was restored.

Following the xenophobic attacks, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the evacuation of Nigerians affected by the crisis with at least over 180 citizens already airlifted back to Nigeria.

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I Didn't Deactivate My Twitter Account, I Only Ran Out Of Data, BudgIT’s Seun Onigbinde Claims

14 September 2019 - 7:45am


Co-founder of BudgIT, Seun Onigbinde, who had received bashing from Nigerians after his appointment as an adviser to the Ministry of Budget and National Planning by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, has denied claims that he deactivate his Twitter account to avoid attacks by enraged citizens.

Instead, Onigbinde has attributed his brief disappearance from Twitter to running out of airtime and mobile data.

He, however, apologised to Nigerians, who may have been hurt by the development.

He said, “The truth is I didn't deactivate/delete my account because of the advisory role. Those who follow me keenly know that I do sometimes to declutter and focus.

“I didn't know yesterday morning would be the day. But, I knew it would come.

“I am also glad that I wasn't online. I ran of airtime and data. Maybe if I read everything, I would have lost my emotional balance.

“I am grateful in all things. I pray to do my best and not undermine the values I mentioned in my note. If my tweets hurt you, I am sorry.

“Everything said had a context that was also packed with emotions and expectations. May the Lord make it easy. May our voice be strong.”

The truth is I didn't deactivate/delete my account because of the advisory role. Those who follow me keenly know that I do sometimes to declutter & focus.

I didn't know yesterday morning would be the day. But, I knew it would come.

— Olúseun Onígbińdé (@seunonigbinde) September 14, 2019

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‘Cheating’ Wife Forces Man To Commit Suicide In Lagos

14 September 2019 - 5:14am


 

A man has taken his life in Lagos after finding out that his wife of over 12 years was cheating on him, The Nation reports.

The body of the middle-aged furniture maker, Abiodun Tijani, was found dangling from the ceiling of his one room apartment on Abeokuta Street in the Alagbado area of Lagos penultimate Tuesday.

Sources said Tijani decided to end it all when he suspected that his wife was indulging in extra-marital affairs.

It was gathered that the deceased was residing in Abeokuta, Ogun State, until he recently relocated to Lagos to join his wife, who had been living in the house for nine years.

Residents described him as an easy going man, who operated his furniture workshop around the AIT Road in the area.

A source said, “His wife moved into the house they live about nine years ago and she is a quiet woman.

“The man (Tijani) used to live in Abeokuta, Ogun State, until he joined his wife here about a year ago. The couple is blessed with a 12-year-old son named Wasiu.

“Although the man was unassuming, he had been having issues with his wife for some time.”

Wasiu, the only child of the deceased, recalled how his father tricked him out of the house on the fateful before taking his own life.

He said, “He went out the day before the incident and returned home the following morning.

“By then my mother had gone out; he gave me money to go to a barber’s shop to cut my hair. By the time I returned home, I met him dangling from the ceiling.

“He didn’t share his problems with me and I wouldn’t know what could have led him to commit suicide.

“He lost his father several years ago but his aged mother is still alive. He hailed from Ago Ika, Abeokuta.”

The incident was reported to the Alagbado Police Station, while men of the station assisted in evacuating Tijani’s body from the scene.

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Two Nigerians Arrested In India For Drug Peddling

14 September 2019 - 5:07am


 

India’s Narcotics Control Bureau has seized heroin worth about $4.2m and arrested six persons, including two Nigerians, who were part of an international drug smuggling syndicate, Asian News International reports. 

The NCB in a statement did not identify the arrested Nigerians but said that the first was arrested in Vasant Kunj area and a search of his house led to the recovery of 6.02 kilograms of heroin.

The second Nigerian was arrested with 488 grams of heroin in the Uttam Nagar area, the agency said.

The statement reads, “The street value in the international drug market of the total seized contraband is more than $4.2m.

“Sustained operation by Narcotics Control Bureau against drug menace with special emphasis on international drug syndicates has further achieved breakthrough resulting in busting an Afghan-Nigerian heroin cartel which was being operated in New Delhi area.”

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Goalkeeper Gets AK-47 Rifle As Prize For Man Of The Match Performance In Russia

14 September 2019 - 4:23am


 

A ice hockey goalkeeper in Russia, Saveli Kononov, has received a brand new AK-47 rifle as prize for emerging man of the match in his team's victory over Chelmet in the second-tier VHL.

The Izhstal Izhevsk goalkeeper stopped 36 of the 38 shots he faced during the match and photos shared online revealed that he was happy with the gift, which was handed over to him in the dressing room.

“Today we too are introducing a tradition,” head coach, Ramil Saifullin, told his team whose home is a city known for producing one of the world's most recognisable rifles after the game.

“As we live in an arms manufacturing city, the city of the Kalashnikov, every match you are named the best player, the previous recipient will hand it over to him,” he added.


 

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Nigerian Government Massaging Terrorists But Detained Sowore Who Carried No Weapon –Dele Momodu

14 September 2019 - 4:16am


 

Veteran journalist, Dele Momodu, has condemned the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for the continued detention of pro-democracy campaigner and convener of RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore.

In a post on Twitter on Saturday, Momodu said that Buhari’s government was massaging terrorists while Sowore, who carried no weapon, had been held in detention for over a month.

He said, “My heart prays for Omoyele Sowore as I find it painful that a man who carried no weapon is in detention while those who terrorise others are being massaged like new born babies.

“Please join me in pleading with the Federal Government to dialogue with Sowore like the others.”

Sowore was arrested on August 3, 2019 by operatives of the Department of State Services in Lagos for calling on Nigerians to pour out to the streets and express their frustration at the poor state of leadership in the country.

Despite growing calls for his release, Buhari’s regime has continued to hold on to him, breaching his fundamental human rights in the process.

 

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I Find Memes About Me Creative And Funny –Osinbajo

14 September 2019 - 3:47am


 

Nigeria's Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said that he has noticed that Nigerians usually call him out especially whenever he uploads a picture of him with President Muhammadu Buhari on the Internet.

Reacting to the situation in a post on Twitter, Osinbajo said, “I see quite a few memes that "roast" me on social media and to be honest, I find some of them creative and funny.

“For example, it appears every photograph of me talking to the President must be characterised as though I am saying something mischievous.

“I am a firm believer in the freedom of press whether it is responsible press or irresponsible press. What is often lacking though is the deliberate or advertent lack of curiosity about facts.

“See the issue on the President's WAEC certificate, one would have thought that a simple investigation by the media houses would establish the truth or falsehood of the matter.

“With the ubiquity and anonymity of social media, everyday problems of a free press are becoming complex. 

I see quite a few memes that "roast" me on social media and to be honest, I find some of them creative and funny.

For example, it appears every photograph of me talking to the President must be characterized as though I am saying something mischievous🤦🏾‍♂️😂 pic.twitter.com/n4fRu8BfYY

— Prof Yemi Osinbajo (@ProfOsinbajo) September 14, 2019

“There was a video of an occurrence in India showing some people jumping out of a burning high-rise building in May.

“This provocative and fake video had a woman cursing the President and I, our families and generations.

“My elderly aunt called me in February just before the elections and asked why I resigned.

“I told her I didn't but she was convinced and insisted I did because she had read it on WhatsApp. Media is powerful, social media is perhaps, even more so.”

 

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Fayemi Sends Delegation To Visit Family Of Deceased FUOYE Students

14 September 2019 - 3:40am


 

Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has sent a delegation to visit the families of slain students of Federal University of Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State.

Two undergraduates of the institution, Okonofua Joseph and Dada Kehinde, were killed during a peaceful protest of students expressing their frustration at the lack of power supply on campus.

The students had blocked the convoy of the First Lady of the state, Bisi Fayemi, while she was on a tour before police officers attached to her opened fire on them, resulting in the deaths of the two students and injury of several others.

The Ekiti State Government in a tweet on Friday said that the visit was ordered by Governor Fayemi to commiserate with the families of the victims.

The tweet reads, “Ekiti State Government commiserates with the families of Joseph Okunofua and Kehinde Dada, students of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, who lost their lives during Tuesday’s protest in Oye-Ekiti.

“The delegation led by Hon. Oyebanji visited Mrs Esther Okunofua, mother of Joseph, who was a 300level student of Biology Education in Ido-Ekiti and Mr and Mrs Adedayo Dada, parents of Kehinde Dada in Usi Ekiti.”

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DPR Threatens To Withdraw Licenses Of Five Filling Stations In Adamawa

14 September 2019 - 3:36am


 

The Department of Petroleum Resources has threatened to withdraw the operational licenses issued to Oando and four other filling stations in Adamawa State.

Acting Controller of DPR in the state, Laminga Mohammed, said the affected filling stations were caught under-dispensing petroleum products to customers.

Speaking with journalists in Yola, the capital, on Friday, Mohammed said, “DPR has sealed five filling stations in Southern Adamawa during its routine monitoring exercise.

“We are warning that DPR will withdraw the operational licence of any filling station caught engaging in sharp practices.

“A situation where you pay for 10 litres but get only eight litres cannot be tolerated.”

 

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