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Updated: 3 hours 32 min ago

Kogi/Bayelsa Elections Update: Protest Rocks Bayelsa As Thugs Force Electoral Officers To Abandon Duty Posts In Kogi

9 hours 20 min ago


Punchng

 

Some residents of Opolo in the Bayelsa State capital, Yenagoa, on Saturday took to the streets to register their frustration at the conduct of the governorship election in the state.

The aggrieved protesters, who displayed placards bearing all kinds of inscriptions, claimed that voting did not take place in the community and that hired thugs had been unleashing terror on all those trying to exercise their civic rights.

At a polling unit at Eribo Square also in Yenagoa, a member of the National Youth Service Corps was said to have gone missing after armed hoodlums attacked the place.

The hoodlums were said to have invaded the polling unit at 1:00pm, threatening officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission and others around the place in the process.

It was a similar story in Kogi where reports of violence and ballot box snatching has been the order of the day.

INEC officials were said to have abandoned polling unit 001 in Asuta Ward under Kabba/Bunu Local Government Area following beating by suspected thugs.

Earlier, suspected thugs had invaded the polling unit of Senator Dino Melaye, shot sporadically and carted away several ballot boxes.

Though counting of votes had ended in some parts of both states, there is disagreement among stakeholders and voters alike on the conduct of the exercise in Kogi and Bayelsa so far. 

 

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Flooding Displaces 40,000 Persons In Borno –UN

9 hours 24 min ago


 

The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has expressed concern over the conditions of more than 40,000 displaced persons affected by flood in Rann under Kalabalge Local Government Area of Borno.

In a statement on Saturday, the OCHA said the affected persons including women and children lacked access to food and basic services due to flooding, which submerged Rann on November 7.

OCHA attributed the flood to the release of excess water from Kaalia River in neighbouring Cameroon.

The statement reads, “Stranded populations are running short of food and those who can afford it are paying high sums to be transported to the other areas, putting their lives at risks while crossing the river or running for safety.

“More than 300 people from Rann have managed to reach Ngala, a town some 40 kilometres away from the area, according to the International Organisation for Migration, they managed to leave Rann before the road became impassable.

“Humanitarian partners are mobilising resources to reach the stranded population via the UN Humanitarian Air Services, until access is secured for small boats.

“Providing food is the main priority, along with water, shelters and emergency health services.” 

 

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Boat Conveying Journalists Covering Bayelsa Election Capsizes

10 hours 5 min ago


Boat accident

Boat accident google

 

A boat conveying journalists across flooded parts of Sampou community in Kolokuma Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State on Saturday capsized and threw the four occupants into the water.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the boat was carrying four journalists covering the governorship elections, including its correspondent.

The journalists were returning from a polling station when the incident happened and left the victims submerged.

However, the timely intervention of sympathisers saved the journalists whose mobile phones, cameras and recorders were drenched.

Flood had submerged many parts of Amasoma, Yenagoa and parts of Sagbama, a development that displaced polling stations.

 

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Two Suspected Kidnap Kingpins Arrested In Anambra

10 hours 11 min ago


 

The police in Anambra has arrested two leaders of a kidnap gang terrorising the state.

In a statement by spokesperson for the police in the state, SP Haruna Mohammed, the command said the arrest followed a fierce gun battle with the criminals.

Mohammed said that police also recovered one revolver pistol, four live ammunition, and a victim’s body.

He said the gun battle between the police and the syndicate took place on Friday, at Owerrinta, Abia State.

He said, “Following actionable intelligence, Puff-Adder operatives in conjunction with the Command’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad, tracked and arrested at Aro Ngwa, Owerrinta in Abia State, one Anthony Robert.

“Robert was arrested alongside one Udoka Nwoko after a fierce gun battle.

“The two suspects were fatally wounded during the encounter.

“The suspects collected N3m ransom from a family and still went ahead to kill their victim.”    
 

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Police Confirm Death Of 60-year-old Cleric In Anambra

11 hours 28 min ago


 

The Anambra State Police Command on Saturday confirmed the death of a 60-year old priest, Rev Fr. Edmond Nwagbal, in a fire outbreak at St. Peter Claver Catholic Parish under Nnewi North Local Government Area.

Spokesperson for the police in the state, Haruna Mohammed, who confirmed the incident said, “Today 16/11/19 at about 04:00am, there was a fire outbreak at St. Peter Claver Catholic Parish Nnewichi in Nnewi North LGA of Anambra State.

“The inferno which cause is yet to be ascertained, affected part of the church residential building.

“As a result, the parish priest, one Rv Fr. Edmond Nwagbala, aged 60 was burnt beyond recognition inside his room.

“Police patrol teams attached to Otolo Division led by the DPO visited the scene and Fire Service Department was equally alerted, they responded promptly and put off the fire.

“Meanwhile, the victim was rushed to the hospital for medical attention but certified dead on arrival by the medical doctor and corpse deposited at the mortuary for post-mortem examination.”

 

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Don’t Pass Death Penalty For Hate Speech Into Law, Soyinka Tells NASS

11 hours 32 min ago


 

Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has written to the National Assembly over the consequence of passing a bill stipulating death penalty for hate speech.

He said this in his letter to Nigerian lawmakers.

Recall that the bill was sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North), and has already passed the first reading at the Senate.

However, Soyinka said he will never be in support of fake news and hate speech but a death penalty was not acceptable to him.

He said, “It is no fake news that I have denounced the purveyors of public lies and hate material as the very scum of the earth. I have called them names that come close to enrolling me among the very reprobates we all so fervently denounce. 

“I have utilised every available platform to highlight their perverse mentality and call for concerted action against their hyper-activism against humanity in general.

“I have singled out the Nigerian species of this criminal pursuit as an especially virulent breed, as a subhuman aberration without conscience, incapable of remorse, sustained by abnormal reserves of sadism.

“I have closed down dozens of fake sites instituted over my name, and set in motion mechanisms for the pursuit of those who steal my identity, even where the content is quite harmless, even positive.

“As you may have discerned so far, I again, and unapologetically, exploit this very development to reiterate my detestation and contempt for such pestilences that plague our humanity.”

Soyinka implored the lawmakers to find another way to resolve the issues at hand other than passing into law of death sentence. 

 

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FRSC, DSS Arrest Producers Of ‘Chip Whip’ Number Plate, Others

13 hours 6 min ago


The Federal Road Safety Corps and the Department of State Services have tracked down the producers of fake number plates in the country.

The Corps Public Education Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the Corps Marshal of FRSC, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, had ordered an investigation into a particular plate number in Kano with the inscription of “Chip Whip” purportedly for a member of the Kano State House of Assembly.

Kazeem said that both agencies had apprehended some syndicates in Kano and Kebbi states in connection with the production of illegal number plates including the fake Kano ‘Chip Whip’ number plate.

According to Kazeem, upon sighting the illegal number plate, the Corps Marshal immediately directed the Kano Sector Commander, Mr Zubairu Mato, to collaborate with security agencies to fish out the syndicates involved in producing fake number plates in the state.

“Consequent upon the directive, DSS Kano State was intimated and immediately swung into action to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to book.”

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Kogi, Bayelsa Elections Get Underway Amidst Reported Cases Of Violence

13 hours 7 min ago


The governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states have commenced despite initial hiccups that resulted in the late distribution of voting materials in some local government areas in both places.

In Kogi, voters turned out in large numbers to exercise their civic right as the process began on Saturday morning.

At Ayetoro ward 1 unit 004 where Senator Dino Melaye voted, hoodlums in two Hilux vans a Honda vehicle shot sporadically and snatched ballot boxes in the process.

A young man was said to have been shot in the leg by the hoodlums.

Meanwhile, in Bayelsa State, voters were left frustrated following the late arrival of election materials.

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, was disappointment over the late arrival of election materials to his polling unit in Otuoke, Ogbia Local Government Area.

After stepping out of his house at 8:30am to cast his vote, Jonathan was shocked to find no officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission at the place.

However, voting has since commenced in many parts of both states. 

 

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Aptitude Test Failure: Zamfara Governor Removes 21 Permanent Secretaries

14 hours 35 min ago


Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle, has removed 21 permanent secretaries because they failed an aptitude test conducted by the state government to assess their competence.

The governor announced this while addressing journalists at the Government House, Gusau, on Friday.

Matawalle, who said the decision was aimed at making the service more compact and result-oriented, stated that he decided to reduce the number of permanent secretaries because the state had the highest number of them in the North-West.

He said, “All assessments have shown our state has a far greater number of permanent secretaries than any of our sister states in the North-West, and we constituted a restructuring committee to verify their competence.

“The committee, therefore, invited all the permanent secretaries and six others whose appointments were reversed by the past administration and subjected them to a written test and interview to assess them.

“Based on the outcome of the assessment, only 26 qualified for retention as permanent secretaries.”

He, however, maintained that those who failed the test and were demoted would be considered for reassignment to parastatals as directors-general, managing directors and executive secretaries.

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EFCC Arrests Brothers For Using Commission’s Name To Extort 'Yahoo Boys'

14 hours 36 min ago


Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have arrested two brothers, Olatunji and Oluwayomi Beyioku for extorting Internet fraudsters with promises to shield them from possible arrest by the commission.

The siblings were arrested in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, on Friday, November 15, 2019.

EFCC operatives had embarked on discreet investigations into the activities of the suspects when it was discovered that they were in the habit of extorting ‘Yahoo Boys’ to help them evade arrest by the anti-graft agency.

According to the EFCC, “The brothers claimed to be spy police officers with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police and have ‘assisted’ the commission with information on the whereabouts of Internet fraudsters within the town, but it was discovered that they only expose those who failed to meet their demands, while others willing and ready to play ball were shielded.

“It was also discovered that they had made several millions of naira sabotaging the commission’s efforts and live large therefrom.

“A search conducted on the younger brother’s palatial residence along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway suggested that they may be living far above their means. 

“Items recovered from them include two cars, different brands of mobile phones and charms.”

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JUST IN: President Buhari Leaves London For Nigeria After Being Booed By Protesters

15 November 2019 - 3:23pm


President Muhammadu Buhari has departed London, United Kingdom, for Nigeria and is expected late on Friday.

#RevolutionNow Protesters had on Thursday gathered outside the Abuja House where Buhari was believed to have stayed to demand the release of rights activists, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare widely known as Mandate.

On Friday, a video that went viral showed a vehicle conveying President Buhari being conveyed out of Abuja House as angry protesters booed him.

The President’s flight was said to have taken off from Stansted Airport, London, at about 3:27pm Nigerian time, Premium Times reports.

Sources at the presidency said they had been asked to be at the airport by 7:30pm to welcome Buhari, who is expected to arrive at about 9:00pm. See Also Exclusive EXCLUSIVE: President Buhari To Spend 15 Days In UK For Medical Check-up 0 Comments 2 Weeks Ago

The President had been on a 15–day “private visit” in the United Kingdom since November 2. 

He was due to return on November 17.
 

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BREAKING: Two Out Of Six Soldiers Injured By Boko Haram In Borno Attack Dead Over Lack Of Medical Care

15 November 2019 - 11:51am


Two out of six Nigerian soldiers injured on Wednesday by Boko Haram terrorists has died due to lack of immediate medical intervention.

“Out of the six casualties on our side on Wednesday, due to lack of quick medical intervention, we have lost two soldiers,” a military source told SaharaReporters.

SaharaReporters had earlier on Friday reported that the Nigerian Army repelled an attack by Boko Haram terrorists on one of its bases in Borno State at about 5:30pm on Wednesday.

In the exchange of gunfire, three insurgents were killed.

The attack, however, left six soldiers injured and needing urgent medical attention.

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NAF Training Helicopter Crashes In Enugu

15 November 2019 - 11:46am


 

A training helicopter belonging to the Nigerian Air Force has crashed in Enugu State after returning from a routine exercise.

According to NAF Twitter account on Friday, the crash occurred on Thursday.

It said that although there were casualties, the cause of the incident was still sketchy and unknown.

The tweet reads, “NAF helicopter suffers mishap upon landing in Enugu.

“Helicopter has crashed on landing in Enugu after a routine flight today. Fortunately, there were no fatalities or injuries to any crew member or persons on the ground.

“@CAS_AMSadique has directed that a board of inquiry be constituted to determine the cause of the accident.

“@NigAirForce continues to solicit the understanding and support of the general public as it daily strives to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.”

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Reps Makes Genotype Test For Intending Couples Compulsory

15 November 2019 - 11:18am


 

The House of Representatives has okayed compulsory genotype tests for intending couples as part of measures to prevent sickle cell disease, according to a report by PUNCH.

The House charged government registries, churches and mosques to demand the tests before joining persons as husband and wife.

This is part of the resolutions passed by the lawmakers at the plenary on Thursday when they unanimously adopted a motion moved by Mr Umar Sarki titled ‘Call on the Federal Ministry of Health to develop an efficient system for management of sickle cell disease in Nigeria’.

Adopting the motion, the House called on the Federal Ministry of Health to introduce free and compulsory new-born screening programme, which will include screening for sickle cell disease in all hospitals in Nigeria.

The House also called on the ministry to provide free treatment and counselling service to patients with sickle cell disease, while asking it to “sensitise religious institutions and the judiciary to include results of genotype tests as one of the conditions for marriage”.

They also urged the Federal Ministry of Education to include sickle cell education in science subjects in all primary and secondary schools, while mandating the House committees on Health Care Services, Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, and Basic Education and Services to ensure implementation of the resolutions.

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NECO Dismisses 70 Staff Over Certificate Forgery

15 November 2019 - 11:07am


The National Examinations Council have been dismissed 70 of its staff over certificate forgery.

This was made known through a statement by the Head of Information and Public Relations Division, Azeez Sani, in Minna, Niger State.

It was gathered that the dismissal affects mostly the junior staff while substantial number of the senior staff were affected.

According to the statement, the dismissal of the staff was as a result of a report submitted by a committee constituted to verify the certificates of staff by the management of NECO.

Further investigation by NECO revealed that when the body approached the schools of the affected staff where they claimed they had attended, the various institutions denied issue such certificates to the affected staff.

The statement reads, “The Certificate Verification Committee carried out its assignment diligently by inviting all staff with questionable credentials to appear before it, during which some staff actually attested that their certificates were fake.

“The committee also contacted the schools and institutions the affected staff claimed to have attended and the schools and institutions denied having certificated them.”

According to the statement, this will be the first phase of the dismissal of staff as more verification was still going on to reveal more people in the organisation.

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BREAKING: Sowore Prefers To Be Kept In Our Custody, DSS Claims

15 November 2019 - 10:49am


 

The Department of State Services has claimed that pro-democracy campaigner and Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, on his own volition made a choice to be kept in their custody instead of a correctional centre.

DSS claimed that instead of being remanded at the Kuje Correctional Center in line with the order of the court, Sowore preferred to be kept in their facility.

In a statement on Friday, Public Relations Officer of the DSS, Peter Afunanya, said, “There has been outcry about alleged illegal detention of some notable persons undergoing trials at the courts and disobedience to court orders by the Service.

“To put the records straight, the Service wishes to advert public attention to the circumstances that warranted the custody of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky in its facility.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the duo had appealed to the courts to be left in the custody of the Service instead of being taken to the correctional centres.

“Well-meaning Nigerians are equally witnesses to the case of Omoleye Sowore, who, on a similar order of the court was to be remanded at the Kuje or Suleja centres but preferred to be kept with the DSS.”

Afunanya added that Sowore had been accorded and treated with respect and courtesy in its facility.

He said the activist was allowed access to people and use of facilities like telephones, gymnasium, television, newspapers and medical treatment.

Recall that Sowore spoke from detention on Friday, alleging that the DSS was making frantic efforts to ensure that he was not be freed and that there were attempts to infiltrate the ranks of the #RevolutionNow movement by the secret police.

The DSS had come under intense pressure from within and outside Nigeria to release Sowore and Olawale Bakare widely known as Mandate after twice meeting their bail conditions.

Sowore was arrested on August 3, 2019 for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand a better country from the administration of President Buhari.

The government has cooked up frivolous charges against him – among them insulting Buhari and trying to overthrow his administration – claims analysts around the world have described as laughable.

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Tanker Explosion Kills Two, Destroys 17 Vehicles On Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway

15 November 2019 - 10:09am


 

Two persons were confirmed dead and six others injured in a fire accident involving a petroleum tanker at Bible College bus-stop along the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway on Thursday night, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

Federal Road Safety Corps’ Assistant Corps Commander in Ota, Ganiyu Akeem, disclosed that 17 vehicles were also burnt in the accident that happened around 11:55pm on Thursday.

He said the incident happened when the tanker fell and spilled its content into a drainage by the roadside.

He said the tanker ignited the fire that burnt many vehicles.

An official of the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, Mr Adekunle Ajibade, revealed that the fuel-laden truck was heading to Lagos from Sango-Ota when it developed a gear fault and overturned in the process.

He said, “The driver was trying to change the gear of the vehicle and lost control.

“The truck overturned and caught fire immediately.”

The FRSC commander said that seven fire-fighting trucks, three from Ogun and four from Lagos, were promptly mobilised to the scene.

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Policeman Rapes Nine-year-old Daughter Of Policewoman In Lagos Barracks

15 November 2019 - 10:06am


 

A 45-year-old policewoman has narrated to an Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court how a policeman named Mohammed Alidu allegedly defiled her nine-year-old daughter inside a police barracks in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the policewoman was the second prosecution witness in the trial of Alidu, a police sergeant, for defilement.

She said the defendant accosted her daughter on her way home from school, dragged her into his apartment and defiled her.

She stated, “We live at Makinde Barracks, Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos.

“On June 29, 2018, I was at work when my husband, who was out of Lagos, called to inform me that Sgt. Mohammed had defiled our daughter.

“I went to the police station which is within the same compound of the barracks and my daughter was there.

“My daughter told me that when she was coming back from school, Mohammed called her but she ignored him.

“She said he forcefully took her to his apartment, put her on a bed, tore her underwear and defiled her.”

According to the woman, Alidu was also at the police station begging and telling the Divisional Police Officer that it was the work of the devil.

The policewoman said her daughter was taken to the Mirabel Centre (a sexual assault referral centre) for medical examination, and doctors confirmed that she had been defiled.

During cross-examination by defence counsel, Mr Sunday Odise, the policewoman told the court that the defendant lived near her residence.

She said, “He did not have a house within the barracks. He was sleeping in a shop opposite our home.” 

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Bayelsa Election: Court Directs INEC To Retain APC, Candidate On Ballot

15 November 2019 - 9:56am


David Lyon

David Lyon

 

The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Friday directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to retain the All Progressives Congress and its governorship candidate, David Lyon, on the ballot ahead of Saturday’s election.

The directive followed an ex parte motion filed by Lyon’s counsel.

On Thursday, the Court of Appeal in Abuja granted stay of execution on the judgment delivered by the Federal High Court nullifying the primaries of the All Progressives Congress ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Bayelsa.

Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, made the disclosure after the court’s decision.

That ruling followed an earlier order by the court declaring that the APC in the state held no genuine primaries, automatically ruling it out of the ballot on Saturday.

 

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Nigeria, Bangladesh To Sign Bilateral Agreement On Agriculture

15 November 2019 - 9:52am


President Muhammadu Buhari receives Letter of Credence from Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shameem Ahsan in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari receives Letter of Credence from Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shameem Ahsan in Abuja NAN

 

The Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Shameen Ahsan, has announced plans by the country and Nigeria to sign an agreement in the area of agriculture.

Ahsan, who spoke at a Nigeria- Bangladesh business forum in Lagos, said there was the need to create a better link to foster commercial activities between the two countries.

According to him, “It is very important to interact with members of the civil society to further create a better understanding between the two countries and dispel misconceptions, while I try to make the country familiar in front of the Nigerian audience.

“We are currently working on signing an agreement on cooperation, in the field of agriculture and that would provide key platform to share best practices between the two countries.”

Also speaking, President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, disclosed that both nations had expressed mutual interest to expand bilateral relations overtime.

He said, “The Bangladesh Tariff Commission in 2014 prepared a feasibility study for the benefits of signing preferential trade agreement with African states and recommended that Nigeria along with Mali was the most promising countries for signing such agreements.

“We therefore urge Bangladeshi businessmen to invest in agriculture, ICT, food processing, garment production and industrial sectors of the economy.”

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