May 22, 2018

* Magu: Presidency gets legal advice, to approach S’Court * NHIS seeks police presence as suspended ES threatens to resume

* Magu: Presidency gets legal advice, to approach S’Court  * NHIS seeks police presence as suspended ES threatens to resume



Magu: Presidency gets legal advice, to approach S’Court

The Presidency will soon approach the Supreme Court to make a pronouncement on the lingering crisis between the executive and the National Assembly over the powers of the President to appoint some heads of government agencies without recourse to the Senate based on the provisions of Section 171 of the Constitution.

A Presidency source, who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja, on Sunday, said the development was based on legal advice made available to the government on the different interpretations of the law on the matter. Read more

NHIS seeks police presence as suspended ES threatens to resume

The Federal Ministry of Health will, on Monday (today), write to the Nigeria Police Force to secure the National Health Insurance Scheme headquarters in Utako, Abuja, as the suspended Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the NHIS, Prof. Yusuf Usman, has vowed to resume this week.

Sources told our correspondent that the move had become necessary due to Usman’s rejection of his suspension by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole. Read more

Judges homes’ raid: Reps produce report, want DSS, Evidence laws amended

A panel of the House of Representatives is proposing to repeal the Evidence Act 2011 primarily to make evidence obtained during an illegal search on persons or their properties inadmissible in court.

Findings by The PUNCH on Sunday in Abuja indicated that the panel specifically proposed the repeal of Sections 14 and 15 of the Act to clearly provide that any evidence, tendered by security agencies or other authorities arising from an illegal search on persons or properties, be inadmissible. Read more

7.3 million trees planted in 10 years —Ambode

The Lagos State Government says over 500,000 additional trees were planted in the state on Friday to the existing 6.8 million trees, adding that such will protect the environment and promote healthy living.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode spoke at the 10th anniversary of the state tree planting campaign, organised by the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency in the Shasha area of Lagos. Read more

Lagos Assembly moves to slash ex-govs’ pensions

The Lagos State House of Assembly says it is making moves to reduce the pension of former governors in the state.

The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, at a parley with civil society organisations, explained that the action was to save money. Read more

Court cases won’t delay LG election, says LASIEC

The Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission has said the suits instituted against it on the usage of card readers and administrative fees will not cause the postponement of the local government election in the state scheduled for July 22, 2017.

The Chairman, LASIEC, Justice Ayotunde Phillips (retd.), stated this on Friday at a meeting with chairmen and secretaries of political parties, as well as their candidates for the election. Read more

National Assembly’s amnesty bill of evil

“The hottest part of hell will be reserved for those who in times of moral crisis maintain their neutrality”   – Dante Alighieri, Italian philosopher

Nigeria is today facing the greatest moral challenge of all times, perhaps, in all of human history, in the name of a voluntary amnesty bill currently before the National Assembly. This bill is proposed by Linus Okorie, representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo federal constituency of Ebonyi State in the House of Representatives. This bill, as we write, has gone through the first reading (meaning that it is on the express way to being passed already). Read more

Sheriff’s faction to boycott PDP meetings

There were indications in Abuja on Sunday that members of the sacked National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party loyal to its erstwhile National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, have decided to stay away from the party’s meetings slated for Monday and Tuesday.

A dependable source close to Sheriff confided in our correspondent on Sunday that the former governor of Borno State had travelled to the Middle East. Read more

2019: Nigerians won’t return PDP to power, says APC

The All Progressives Congress has said despite the hardship currently being experienced, Nigerians know better and will not return the Peoples Democratic Party to power in 2019.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said this in Abuja, on Sunday.

He was reacting to news making the rounds that the Supreme Court victory of the Ahmed Makarfi-led Peoples Democratic Party would mark the beginning of the party’s return to power. Read more

Fani-Kayode differs with JNI, Sani on alleged plot to Islamise Nigeria

The lawmaker, representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Senator Shehu Sani, and a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, have disagreed on the claim by the National Christian Elders’ Forum that there is an underground move by Islamic leaders to impose an Islamic agenda on Nigeria.

While Sani, in a Facebook post on Friday, said it was unfair to accuse the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of having such an agenda, Fani-Kayode, in his Facebook post, on Sunday, endorsed the position of the group. Read more

Dasuki: Our N’East Interventions Aided Peaceful Elections in 2015

From his detention facility, incarcerated former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), has spoken on the interventions of the former president Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in tackling the Boko Haram menace and recovering dozens of towns and villages which led to the smooth conduct of 2015 general election in the North-eastern part of Nigeria.

Dasuki stated this in his foreword to a 308-page new book titled: “Boko Haram Media War – An Encounter with the Spymaster,” written by Yushau A. Shuaib. Read more

SERAP Urges FG to Sue Ex-govs Deputies over N40bn Double Pay, Life Pensions

A civil society organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has urged the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), to institute legal action to recover over N40 billion dubiously earned in double payment, by former Nigerian state governors, who are now either senators or ministers.

SERAP made the appeal in an open letter to Malami ssued yesterday, saying the former governors and their deputies are drawing the dubious payments based on retirement and pension laws crafted by them while in office. Read more

Cairo Ojougboh: We’re Still Members of PDP

Former Deputy National Vice Chairman of the defunct Senator Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, yesterday said they were still members of the party irrespective of the Supreme Court judgement.

Speaking twith journalists in Warri, Delta State, shortly after a meeting with members who were loyal to the former chairman of the party, Ojouigbo said they are still awaiting the receipt of the Supreme Court judgement for their lawyers to study and advised them appropriately. Read more

Saraki, Okowa, Ibori Express Confidence In Nigeria’s Unity

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, former Governor James Ibori have expressed faith in Nigeria’s democracy and unity.

Speaking at the 60th birthday thanksgiving mass of the senator representing Delta North, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi at St Augustine’s Catholic Church, Ibusa, they stated that Nigerians should put the interest of the country first before self. Read more

Ogbeh: Nigeria will Soon Stop Rice Importation, Reduce Cost

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has disclosed that the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari will stop importation of rice in 2017.

Explaining the reason behind the policy, Ogbeh hinted that the country has enough internal production that can sustain home consumption and meet  foreign  exchange earnings that can guarantee diversification of the economy. Read more

Niger Govt Releases N30m to Flood Victims

The Niger State Government has released over N30million to the state emergency management agency for the purchase of relief materials to victims of the recent flood disaster in parts of the state.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello who announced this when he paid an on-the-spot inspection to flood-affected areas at the weekend, blamed the heavy losses recorded as a result of the flood on non-adherence to building regulations. Read more

DAAR Communications Records N2.14bn Operating Loss

Pioneer publicly-quoted broadcast group, DAAR Communications Plc, has declared an operating loss of N2.139 billion in 2016, up from  N1.515 billion in 2015.

The Chairman of DAAR Group, Chief Raymond Dokpesi (Jr.) told shareholders at the weekend in Abuja at a combined 2015/2016 annual general meeting that the economic recession in the country pushed the company’s operating loss from N1.515 billion in 2015 to a new height of N 2.139 billion. Read more

Oni: I will Avenge Fayemi’s Defeat If Given APC’s Ticket in 2018

The former Governor of Ekiti State and the All Progressives

Congress (APC) Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Segun Oni, will today declare his intention for the 2018 governorship poll.

Oni, who was removed through judicial pronouncement in 2010 after three and half years in the saddle, said he would defeat the candidate presented by Governor Ayodele Fayose to avenge for the humiliation suffered by Dr. Kayode Fayemi in 2014. Read more

Allegations of fraud rock Customs e-auction … Nigerians demand suspension of exercise

there have been allegations and counter allegations from various interest groups and stakeholders across the country since the Hameed Ali led Customs service flaged off its first electronic auction to sell an estimated 2,000 vehicles seized at its various formation. The raging controversy trailing the auction was based on fears that it has been the veiled and shrouded in secrecy, prompting many to urge the Federal Government to suspend further auctions.

For most Nigerians, any process, that shut out the majority from participation cannot be accepted as transparent and should be suspended forthwith.  Read more

Defiant Alison-Madueke Allegedly Informed Aluko She’s Ready to Go to Jail

Former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who is being investigated for a series of multi-billion dollar fraud and money laundering offences in Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the United States of America allegedly threatened to squeal on Kola Aluko and Jide Omokore, and said she was prepared to go to jail with them.

Omokore and Aluko were directors of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Ltd (AEDC) and Atlantic Energy Brass Development Ltd (AEBD), to whom the former minister awarded the contract to fund some oil leases jointly held by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NNPC), the exploration and production subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and local oil firms under a Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA). Read more

Soyinka: How Winning Nobel Prize Affected Me Negatively

Celebrated Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, at the weekend in Kaiama, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of  Bayelsa State, narrated how winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986 negatively affected his life.

The professor of Comparative Literature, who was taking questions from students of the Ijaw National Academy and other schools in the state, said the award had robbed him of his privacy and anonymity. Read more

Dickson Asks Sheriff to Support Makarfi

Following the Supreme Court judgment on the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, has called on the former National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, and his supporters to team up with the Senator Ahmed Makarfi –led National Caretaker Committee (NNC) of the party to move PDP forward.

The governor who is also the Chairman of the National Reconciliation Committee of the PDP, said the apex court judgment produced no victor, no vanquished; and called on the contending forces to see it as such. Read more

NPFL: MFM FC Cuts Plateau Utd’s Lead to Two Points 

The Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) leaders, Plateau United recorded a major setback yesterday in Lokoja as Niger Tornadoes FC snatched a nail-biting 1-0 victory in the Match-day 29 clash. Samuel Agba converted a fourth-minute penalty to seal maximum points for the Minna team.

Elsewhere at the Agege Stadium in Lagos, Stephen Odey got the winner in the 40th minute for MFM FC against visiting Wikki Tourists of Bauchi. That victory has now reduced Plateau’s lead to just two points. The Jos team is on 51 points while MFM is breathing down their necks on 49 points. That goal was the 17th for the season for the Super Eagles invitee. Read more

Federer claims historic eighth Wimbledon title, Cilic in tears

Ruthless Roger Federer thrashed suffering Croatian Marin Cilic 6-3 6-1 6-4 to become the first man to win eight Wimbledon singles crowns on Sunday, five years after landing his seventh, Reuters reports.

The Swiss maestro, appearing in his 11th Wimbledon final, was challenged early on but once he broke a nervous Cilic in the fifth game of the opening set the match became a no-contest. Read more

Chelsea set to dump Omeruo, demote defender

Chelsea have left the door open for  struggling Super Eagles defender Kenneth Omeruo to leave Stamford Bridge this summer after being banished from  the Blues’ first team to their youth side.

The Blues snapped up the  South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner from  Standard Liege  in January 2012 after he impressed at the Belgian side. Read more

Premier League transfer news: Manchester City, Joe Hart to West Ham

Joe Hart is set for a medical on Monday ahead of his planned loan move to West Ham, according to Sky sources

Hart is set to join the Hammers on loan from Manchester City, although it is understood the Londoners will have an option to buy the England international next summer.

The 30-year-old spent last season on loan with Serie A side Torino, having been deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester City following the arrival of manager Pep Guardiola. Read more

Manchester United move ruled out by Jose Mourinho

Jose  Mourinho ruled out any attempt to bring Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford after Manchester United opened their US tour with a 5-2 rout of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

United manager Mourinho is keen to bolster his ranks further after already strengthening his squad with the additions of Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku. Read more

Milan interested in Bayern’s Renato Sanches – Rummenigge

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed AC Milan have shown interest in midfielder Renato Sanches.

Portuguese teenager Sanches has emerged as a transfer target for Milan, who reportedly want the 19-year-old on an initial two-year loan deal with the option to buy for €40million in 2019. Read more

AC Milan ‘on the verge’ of stunning Alvaro Morata coup

The Real Madrid striker is one of the transfer window’s most-wanted men, and while it was first Manchester United and then Chelsea that seemed in the box seat to sign the 24-year-old, Milan seems to have gazumped both Premier League clubs.

The paper says that Vincenzo Montella’s side have tabled a €70 million bid for Morata, and have offered a further €10m per year to the player in order to convince him to join the likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Lucas Biglia, Franck Kessie and Hakan Calhanoglu in heading to the San Siro. Read more

Wenger wants Lemar but Mbappe off radar

Arsene Wenger has given up on a world-record deal for France and Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe and is now focused only on Thomas Lemar in negotiations with his former club.

Two Arsenal bids have been turned down for Lemar by Monaco, who did not want to lose any more players ahead of the season, but Wenger is not giving up hope on a deal that may pave the way for Alexis Sanchez to leave. Read more

South Koreans dominate US Women’s Open

The South Korean juggernaut continued as long-hitting Park Sung-hyun broke a three-way tie with two late birdies to win the US  Women’s Open by two strokes at Trump National on Sunday for her first major championship.

The 23-year-old Park, runaway favourite to win LPGA Rookie of the Year honours, birdied the par-five 15th to forge ahead and, after co-leader amateur Choi Hye-jin double-bogeyed the 16th, added a six-foot birdie at the 17th for some cushion. Read more

One killed as gunmen attack Venezuelan opposition vote

Three more people were reportedly wounded in the attack, by armed men who arrived on motorbikes.

Footage showed voters running screaming from the gunmen, in a working class neighbourhood of the country’s capital Caracas.

Venezuela’s opposition coalition said the attack was carried out by “paramilitary groups” linked to the government of President Nicholas Maduro. Read more

Why case of Charlie Gard resonates in US

Americans were introduced to Charlie Gard’s plight by a tweet from Donald Trump.

The story of one British family’s agony has since become fodder for a familiar cultural argument in the US.

And, as with every other issue these days, everyone seems to have an opinion and most are pretty black and white. Read more

‘Trump is deporting our parents’

The four Duarte children were getting ready for school when their parents were arrested and taken into custody by US Border Control.

The eldest, 19-year-old Francisco Junior, was left in charge of his 12-year-old twin sisters and teenage brother. The children – American citizens – never thought it would come to this. Read more

China’s top graft buster attacks ‘unhealthy’ political culture

China’s top graft-buster launched a scathing attack on the ruling Communist Party’s members on Monday, writing that party political culture remained “unhealthy” and governance weak even after five years of renewed effort to fight the problem.

The comments by Wang Qishan, who runs the party’s anti-corruption watchdog, came after sources said a senior official who was considered a contender for promotion at autumn’s key party congress is being investigated for “discipline violations”. Read more

How Trump and Netanyahu pushed the Palestinians into a corner

Early October 2016, Misbah Abu Sbeih left his wife and five children at home and then drove to an Israeli police station in Occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem. The 39-year-old Jerusalemite was scheduled to hand himself over to serve a term of 4 months in jail for, allegedly, trumped up charges of ‘trying to hit an Israeli soldier’.

Misbah is familiar with Israeli prisons, having been held there before on political charges, including an attempt to sneak into and pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Al-Aqsa Mosque is part of a large compound known as Haram al-Sharif, which includes – aside from Al-Aqsa – the famed Dome of the Rock and other Palestinian Muslim sites, revered by Muslims everywhere. Read more

Report of plot to strip Qatar of World Cup was ‘fake’

A story claiming that six Arab nations had written to FIFA demanding that Qatar be stripped of the World Cup in 2022 was published on what appeared to be a fake version of a Swiss news website, the site’s co-founder said on Sunday.

The report, carried on a website resembling The Local, included quotes purporting to be from FIFA President Gianni Infantino. Read more


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