Sabinews Morning News Update for February 22, 2016
Rickey Tarfa sues MTN, EFCC, Falana, others for N5bn
Embattled Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Rickey Tarfa, has filed a fresh fundamental rights enforcement suit against telecommunications company, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, for the alleged violation of his right to privacy.
Tarfa is seeking a court declaration that his right to privacy was violated when the call records/log on his phone with mobile number 08034600000 was allegedly accessed without his authority and made available to Sahara Reporters and other online news media without any reasonable cause or a lawful court order. Read more
Boko Haram: Civilian JTF arrests Shekau’s suspected impostor
As the battle for the final clear out of Boko Haram remnants continues in the North East, the local security volunteer group, known as Civilian JTF, in Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State, yesterday, claimed it had arrested a notorious Boko Haram kingpin, named Bashir.
The Civilian JTF noted that the Boko Haram kingpin, popularly called Bashir Sarkin Yanka, which in Hausa means “Bashir the King of Slaughter” had been the terrorist acting as Abubakar Shekau in some videos on the social media. Read more
Alleged bribe: SERAP demands judge’s suspension
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has urged the United Nations to prevail on the National Judicial Council to immediately suspend a judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, over the allegation that the judge was paid N225,000 by Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN), which was alleged to be a bribe.
The group, in a statement on Sunday by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said its petition, calling for Justice Yunusa’s suspension, was addressed to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Ms. Monica Pinto. Read more
Senate panel submits report on Marafa on Tuesday
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, has said the committee will meet the deadline of Tuesday given the panel to submit the report of its probe of Senator Kabir Marafa following an interview the lawmaker granted Sunday PUNCH.
Anyanwu told our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday that the panel would today (Monday) meet with Marafa and his petitioners with a view to concluding its investigation and finalising the submission of the report at Tuesday’s plenary. Read more
Adetunji to be crowned Olubadan March 4
High Chief Saliu Adetunji has said he will be crowned the new Olubadan of Ibadanland on March 4, 2016.
The position became vacant following the death of Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade on January 19. The Olubadan-in-Council had pronounced Adetunji, who is the Balogun of Ibadan, the Olubadan-designate as he is the most senior in rank to mount the throne. Read more
Nigerian to Embark on World Solo Flight
A Nigerian, Mr Ademilola Odujinrin will be making history come April 2016 when he will be the first African ever to embark on a solo round the world flight, which will originate and terminate in Africa.
This will be Africa’s very first solo flight around the world, starting and finishing in Nigeria – the continent’s most populous country. Read more
Harsh economy: Fayose urges Buhari to devalue naira
EKITI State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to devalue the nation’s currency.
Fayose said: “With the gap between the official rate of N199 and open market rate of over N400 to one dollar, the naira has already been devalued.” Read more
B’Haram: NHRC clears Air Force of rights abuses
The National Human Rights Commission has lauded the men and officers of the Nigerian Air Force for their conduct in prosecuting the war against insurgency in the North-East.
The Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe, said record of “acrimony” between the Air Force and the public had been low even in the heat of the anti-terrorism war. Read more
Tompolo asks A-Court to set aside arrest warrant
Embattled ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, (alias Tompolo), has told the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos to set aside the order of a Federal High Court, Lagos, which issued a bench warrant for his arrest.
It will be recalled that on January 14, 2016, trial judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court, Lagos, issued a warrant for Tompolo’s arrest following an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Read more
Buhari Seeks Ban of Imported Tomato Paste
The wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Hajiya Aishat Buhari has called for a total ban of tomato paste importation into Nigeria to encourage local manufacturers and protect the health of Nigerian citizens.
Also, the federal government has been urged to create a separate ministry for industry to promote local production. Read more
EFCC begins probe of $2b Malabu Oil deal
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has initiated a discreet probe into the $2billion Malabu Oil deal to ascertain whether the country was short-changed.
The agency may interact with those who were parties to the agreement including five former ministers, an ex-Group Managing Director of NNPC and top officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources. Read more
FG Seeks to Double Foreign Investment amid Dollar Shortage
Nigeria wants to double long-term foreign investment to at least $10 billion annually as the economy of Africa’s biggest oil producer suffers under a plunge in crude prices and a shortage of foreign exchange.
According to Bloomberg, this was revealed by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah. Enelamah is in talks with local and international investors to improve the West African nation’s business environment and bring in foreign direct investment of about $10 billion to $20 billion a year, he said in an interview, without giving a time line for the target. Read more
Stock Market Plummets as Optimism Wanes
After rallying for five day the previous week following investors drive to build position ahead of probable positive earnings release by listed companies, the Nigerian equities market closed in the red last week as optimism waned, forcing anxious investors to book profit.
The equities market had closed positive the previous week with a 5.05 per cent gain after a five-day rally which strengthened benchmark indicator by 1,187.92 points. Both the NSE-ASI and market capitalisation closed higher ending the week at 24,689.69pt and N8.491trillion respectively. Market sentiment was positive with renewed active bargain tendency displayed toward large and medium cap stock in anticipation of positive earnings release and likelihood of dividend announcement. Read more
Buhari in diplomatic shuttle to stabilise oil price
President Muhammadu Buhari jets out to Saudi Arabia and Qatar today to engage officials of both countries in further talks to ensure stability of oil prices. Nigeria, yesterday, agreed to freeze the country’s crude oil production at 2.2 million barrels per day this month, same as the level recorded in January, in a bid to address the declining price of crude oil in the international market.
The government’s move is a reaction to Saudi Arabia and Russia which have agreed to freeze oil output at near-record levels, the first coordinated move by the world’s two largest producers to counter a slump that has pummelled economies, markets and companies. Read more
FG collects N8 per litre on imported PMS – PPPRA
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) said Federal Government would be collecting N8 per litre as subsidy on petrol imported by NNPC and other marketers.
Alhaji Farouk Ahmed, outgoing Executive Secretary of the Agency, announced this while handing over to Mr Moses Mbaba, General Manager Administration, and Human Resources, last week in Abuja. Read more
Seven Energy gas investment hits $1bn
Executive Officer of ASMA, Mr. Stephen Vineburg, will join the Board of Directors of Seven Energy.
According to the firm, the additional funds will enhance its liquidity as it completes the gas pipeline that integrates its existing pipelines in the South East of Nigeria over the next few months. Read more
CBN Refunds N17.5bn Cautionary Deposit To 500 BDCs
The Central Bank of Nigeria has refunded no less than N17.5 billion to Bureau De Change operators in the country who have so far come forward for their N35 million mandatory cautionary deposit.
LEADERSHIP findings have revealed that about 500 BDCs have received the sum from the apex bank. Read more
Bayelsa communities vow to shut down Shell’s operations
TWELVE aggrieved oil producing communities in Bayelsa State have threatened to shut down operations of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, over the company’s handling of its relationship with the host communities.
In a communique after a meeting attended by all the Community Development Committee, CDC, Chairmen and other stakeholders of the EA field host communities, the communities accused SPDC of defaulting on the implementation of General Memorandum of Understanding, GMoU, entered into with the communities. Read more
Minister, IoD reiterate need for diversification of economy
The need for collaborative efforts in ensuring an enabling environment and the support for economic diversification in the face of the dwindling fortunes of the crude oil has been reiterated at the quarterly luncheon of the Institute of Directors (IoD).
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, who made the observation, assured that the Federal Government is determined to create enabling environment for investment to thrive and improve trade, export and regulations, as part of efforts to diversify the nation’s economy. Read more
Forte Oil Shareholders to Receive N3.45 Dividend in April
Shareholders of Forte Oil Plc will receive the N3.45 dividend per share recommended for 2015 as from April 29, 2016, the company said at the weekend.
The integrated energy solutions provider recently recorded a profit after tax of N4.5 billion and while the directors recommended a dividend of N3.45 per share. The company notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) the weekend that dividend would be paid as from April 29 to shareholders after getting the shareholders’ approval at the annual general meeting slated for April 22. Read more
Report Cases of Illegal Charges by Banks, CBN Tells Customers
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged bank customers to report illegal and excessive charges by their banks to it (CBN).
The apex regulator gave the advice this in a statement titled: “Alleged Excess, Illegal Charges by Deposit Money Banks,” signed by its Director, Corporate Communications, Ibrahim Mu’azu, that was posted on its website at the weekend. Read more
We’ll increase oil production for domestic use —Kachikwu
Nigeria will keep striving to increase crude oil production to meet local demand and not to essentially sell it in the international market, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said.
Kachikwu also announced Nigeria’s backing of Saudi Arabia and Russia in freezing oil production, while giving Iran and Iraq a way out to regain some of their lost market shares due to sanctions and war. Read more
Nigeria committed to free trade, Buhari assures WTO
President Muhammadu Buhari at the weekend said Nigeria remains fully committed to free international trade, despite its present economic circumstances.
President Buhari spoke during an audience in the Presidential Villa with the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Ambassador Roberto Azevedo. Read more
PenCom: N5.32tr Pension Asset Invested
The National Pension Commission (PenCom) at the weekend said no part of the accrued N5.32 trillion pension asset is lying idle in any bank. The Commission has therefore challenged investors with good investment ideas, who are interested in the pension fund to study the guidelines on pension fund investment contained in its website and ensure their investment ideas meet the criteria stipulated by law before approaching the commission .
PenCom Director General Chinelo Anohu- Amazu who stated this at a media parley in Lagos at the weekend explained that contrary to the clamour that the huge accumulated pension fund is lying idle while the need for its investment abound, the accrued pension asset put at N5.32 trillion has been legally invested and the investments regularly and closely monitored. Read more
Nobody can reverse new electricity tariff —Ex-NERC boss
Despite current drop in power generation and supply, the directive by the Senate to suspend the new 45 per cent tariff hike remains invalid, as the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, said it lacked the constitutional authority to reverse the order.
This came as the leadership of organised labour called for the probe of the NERC, and former chairman of the commission, Dr. Dr Sam Amadi, CEO, NERC, over the controversy surrounding the recent hike in electricity tariff. Read more
AFCON 2017 qualifiers: Oliseh briefs NFF technical committee on Friday
Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh will defend his team list and preparations for the African Cup of Nations qualifiers against Egypt on March 25, when he meets the Nigeria Football Federation technical committee on Friday. Oliseh, only last weekend groaned about his inability to make contacts with the players he intended to invite for the must win double-header against the Egyptians, due to financial constraint.
But a swift reaction, a member of the technical committee hinted that Oliseh must be in Abuja on Friday February 26 to discuss his team list and match plans as the games are too important to be treated with levity. Read more
New Boys MFM FC Stun Hosts Nasarawa
Newly promoted MFM FC got off to a winning start in the Nigeria premier league after they defeated home team Nasarawa United 2-1 on Sunday.
Former Sunshine Stars striker Musa Newman shot MFM in front after 18 minutes. Read more
Ghana PL start sees fantastic action
SuperSport’s television coverage was at the center of a weekend of sleek performances and great goals as the Ghana Premier League kicked off in earnest.
At the Len Clay Sports Stadium, defending league champions AshGold beat Medeama 2-1 in the topliner, which was broadcast on your world of champions. Read more
Chelsea Draws Everton in Q’final
Chelsea who beat under-strength Manchester City at Stamford Bridge yesterday have been handed Everton challenge in the Emirates FA Cup sixth round draw.
The draw sees Crystal Palace away to second-tier Reading, a club once managed by Eagles boss Alan Pardew. Read more
NFF summons Oliseh to Abuja Friday
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have ordered the country’s coach Sunday Oliseh to appear before their technical committee on Friday in Abuja to defend his call-ups for next month’s crucial AFCON qualifiers against Egypt. A top official informed that Oliseh will on Friday, February 26, also be expected to discuss his game plan for the double header against the seven-time African champions. Nigeria will welcome group leaders Egypt to Kaduna on Friday, March 25, before a reverse fixture in Egypt two days later. Meanwhile Oliseh has revealed that his team list is being delayed because of the difficulty for him to move around Europe to meet the players he intends to invite for the tie. Read more
Eagles coach begs for salary
Ailing Eagles coach, Jean Francois Lusciuto has begged to be paid at least part of what the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) owe s him in salaries for him to proceed to Belgium for further treatment after his surgery in South Africa last month.
It was specially gathered that the Belgian coach is owed five months’ pay, which totals N10 million Naira at two million Naira a month. Read more
Nigeria must work hard for Olympic success – Bonfrere Jo
Former Nigeria coach, Bonfrere Jo, has said the country’s Under-23 team will not find it easy winning gold in the men’s football event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
Nigeria qualified for Rio 2016 after winning the 2015 CAF Under-23 African Cup of Nations in Senegal. Read more
Peters writes off Super Falcons’ coaches
Former national coach, James Peters has said that Nigeria Football Federation’s appointment of Florence Omagbemi, Pepertua Nkwocha and Ann Agumanu-Chijiene as coaches of the Super Falcons will not reverse the fortunes of the national women team.
Peters, who has coached the Super Eagles, Flying Eagles and the Super Falcons, said the three ex-internationals do not have the experience to carry the team. Read more
Morocco poised to become a solar superpower
Keeping in mind our energy needs and the fact that we have bright sunshine most of the year, here is an example we can easily follow and one which will solve our energy problems. Realising that demand for electricity has almost tripled since 1999 and that they were dependent on imports for 97% of that energy, the kingdom of Morocco had a vision to promote renewables at a time when oil prices were high; it undertook regulatory reforms; put institutions in place and has managed to establish what will eventually be the largest solar plant in the world. Read more
South Africa’s ANC accuses US diplomats of pursuing regime change
South Africa’s ruling party has accused US diplomats of “irregular activities”, claiming that Washington is trying to foment regime change inside the country.
A spokesman for the African National Congress on Sunday called on the US government to clarify the activities of some its diplomats. Read more
Egyptian anti-torture group vows to defy government move to shut it down
An Egyptian organisation that documents rights abuses and treats torture victims, including victims of sexual violence, has filed an urgent application to a court in the hope of halting plans by authorities to shut it down.
The director of the Nadeem centre for the rehabilitation of victims of violence and torture told a news conference on Sunday that a health ministry decision to shut it down was part of the toughest crackdown on dissent in Egypt’s modern history. Read more
Newly Elected Central African Republic Leader Faces Hard Realities
A former prime minister, Faustin Archange Touadéra, has won election as president of the Central African Republic, according to preliminary results, setting the stage for the first elected government in three years for a poverty-stricken country that is just emerging from a devastating civil war.
Mr. Touadéra was declared the winner after receiving nearly 63 percent of the votes in a runoff election, the National Elections Authority said late Saturday. The results still need to be confirmed by the country’s constitutional court, but are expected to stand after Mr. Touadéra’s main rival said he would not contest them. Read more
Ethiopia: No Let Up in Crackdown on Protests
Ethiopian security forces are violently suppressing the largely peaceful protests in the Oromia region that began in November 2015. Almost daily accounts of killings and arbitrary arrests have been reported to Human Rights Watch since 2016 began.
Security forces, including military personnel, have fatally shot scores of demonstrators. Thousands of people have been arrested and remain in detention without charge. While the frequency of protests appears to have decreased in the last few weeks, the crackdown continues. Read more
El Chapo a family man being ‘slowly tortured’ in prison, says wife in first TV interview
The wife of drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán claims her husband is a loving family man unfairly scapegoated by Mexican authorities, and whose life is at risk because of harsh prison conditions imposed since his recapture in January.
In her first ever interview, Guzman’s third wife Emma Coronel, 26, said her husband was being “slowly tortured” in prison and was suffering from dangerously high blood pressure which made her “afraid for his life”. Read more
Ex-Thai PM Thaksin dismisses constitution draft, election plans
THAILAND’S former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra has criticized attempts by the ruling military junta to push forward a constitution, calling it “crazy” and part of a strategy to avoid a long overdue election.
Speaking to the Financial Times in Singapore recently, the former leader called for talks with the generals, warning that otherwise, the country could soon become an autocratic nation similar to dictator-ruled North Korea or pre-reformation Burma (Myanmar). Read more
Hundreds of migrants BRAWL inside refugee centre after ‘woman refuses to wear headscarf’
POLICE have arrested nearly a dozen migrants who were allegedly among hundreds rioting when a woman refused to wear a headscarf, according to reports.
The Afghans were taken into custody after the fight which reportedly saw attack each other with chairs, broomsticks and rubbish bins. Read more
New Zealand remembers victims of 2011 Christchurch earthquake
A public memorial service has been held in New Zealand to remember victims of a powerful earthquake that struck the city of Christchurch five years ago.
A total of 185 people died in what was considered to be the country’s worst natural disaster in more than 80 years. Read more
Iran’s Thwarted Reformers Set Careful Goals for Coming Vote
They clapped and cheered, and many shouted for the release of their political leaders under house arrest for the past five years. Some held up pictures of a popular former president, Mohammad Khatami. Pictures of his hands, to be exact, because displaying his portrait is illegal.
The young supporters of Iran’s reformist movement gathered behind the safe walls of a sports hall last week to campaign for elections on Friday for Parliament and an influential clerical council. Their longstanding demand has been tangible change, but the forced absence of most of their political leaders illustrated how far they were from their goal of a new and modern Iran. Read more
Asylum baby stand-off between doctors and Australian government ends
An Australian-born baby from an asylum-seeking family from Nepal was discharged from a Brisbane hospital after a 10-day stand-off between medical staff and the government.
They were at odds over whether the baby should be sent back with her parents to the Pacific island nation of Nauru. Read more
U.S. Scrambles to Contain Growing ISIS Threat in Libya
The Islamic State’s branch in Libya is deepening its reach across a wide area of Africa, attracting new recruits from countries like Senegal that had been largely immune to the jihadist propaganda — and forcing the African authorities and their Western allies to increase efforts to combat the fast-moving threat.
The American airstrikes in northwestern Libya on Friday, which demolished an Islamic State training camp and were aimed at a top Tunisian operative, underscore the problem, Western officials said. The more than three dozen suspected Islamic State fighters killed in the bombing were recruited from Tunisia and other African countries, officials said, and were believed to be rehearsing an attack against Western targets. Read more
Bolivian President Evo Morales ‘loses fourth term bid’
President Evo Morales of Bolivia has narrowly lost a referendum to allow him to stand for a fourth term in office, exit polls suggest.
One poll suggests 52.3% voted against the proposal to amend the constitution, while another suggests it was 51%. Read more
Victims of San Bernardino attack will oppose Apple
Some of the victims of the San Bernardino attack will file a legal brief in support of the U.S. government’s attempt to force Apple to unlock the encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the shooters, their lawyer told Reuters.
Apple has vowed to fight a court order requesting that it help FBI investigators break into a phone used by one of the San Bernardino killers. Read more