*Nnamdi Kanu: MASSOB vows to continue protests if…* *70 soldiers sentenced to death by courts-martial, says Falana*

*Nnamdi Kanu: MASSOB vows to continue protests if…* *70 soldiers sentenced to death by courts-martial, says Falana*

Sabinews Morning News Update for December 21, 2015

National News

Nnamdi Kanu: MASSOB vows to continue protests if…

Tension is building up in the South-East and parts of South-South geopolitical zones following the continued detention of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and Director Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, who was, last Wednesday, discharged and acquitted by a Magistrate’s Court in Abuja of the treason preferred on him by the Department of State Security Services, DSS.

It will be recalled that Justice Ademola Adeniyi of a Federal High Court, also in Abuja, had, last Thursday, ordered Kanu’s immediate release from DSS detention. Read more

70 soldiers sentenced to death by courts-martial, says Falana

Lagos lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) yesterday clarified that 70 soldiers and not 66 were sentenced to death by two military courts-martial last year.

He gave the clarifications in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday in reaction to the claims of the Army Public Relations Officer (PRO), Sani Usman. Read more

Train crushes 3 persons in Ilorin

Tragedy struck Sunday afternoon in Ilorin as three persons inside a car were crushed to death by a moving train.

Vanguard reliably gathered that the victims, two young men and a lady, were inside a Toyota Camry car with allfour windows wound up when they were crushed by the moving train said to be coming from the north to Offa. Read more

Breach of contract: Court orders bank to pay N4.5bn

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, has ordered Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc to pay a former Group Managing Director of Afribank Nigeria Plc, Patrick Olayele Akinkuotu and his company, Longterm Global Capital Limited the sum of N4.5 billion for breach of contract.

Trial judge, Justice John Tsoho  also ordered Stanbic IBTC and  Starcomms Plc to pay interest of 10 percent on the sum per annum until the date of final liquidation. Read more

 500,000 Lagos residents threatened by leaking sewage plant

NO fewer than 500,000 res­idents of Iponri Low-Cost Housing Estate, Surulere Local Government Area of Lagos State, yesterday ap­pealed to the state govern­ment to save their lives from looming epidemic.

The residents told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the sewage plant which drains dirty water from the soak-away of more than 400 housing units with 500,000 residents has been disconnected by Eko Disco (EKEDC) due to unpaid bills. Read more

 FG probes Aero Contractors use of ladder to disembark passengers

The Federal Government has directed an immediate investigation into the use of an unauthorized equipment ( a ladder) by Aero Contractors Airlines to disembark passengers at the conclusion of a charter flight to Bauchi over the weekend, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has said .

Most passengers who flew on the char­ter flight had raised an alarm bothering on safety with the decision of the airline to use a ladder for the passengers to come out from a Boeing 737 aircraft operated that day (Saturday December 19, 2015) at the Bauchi airport. Read more

Reps may invite Okonjo-Iweala over withdrawal of N1.17bn Sokoto River Basin fund

House of Representa­tives Ad-hoc Committee investigating the with­drawal of N1.17 billion meant for the Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority (SRRBA) may invite former Finance min­ister, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala to shed light on the matter.

The money was meant for the agency. Read more

We inherited N11.8bn pension liabilities –Masari

Governor Aminu Ma­sari of Katsina State has said his administration in­herited a pension liability of N11.8 billion at the end of June 2015.

Masari said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday. The governor added that the government was making ef­forts to clear the debt after proper screening and verifi­cation of pensioners. Read more

FRSC arrests 39 traffic offenders

Determined to ensure that the roads are accident-free during the Yuletide, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has stepped up crackdown on road offenders.

In the circumstances, therefore, no fewer than 39 drivers were arrested for various traffic offences on December 16 during a special patrol exercise organised by Ota Unit Command of FRSC at Lagos/Abeokuta Expressway in Ogun State. Read more

Economy

CBN to pump $90m into parallel market

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is expected to shut the official foreign exchange (forex) window for the year by Wednesday and pump $90 million into the parallel market, it was learnt yesterday.

This week’s parallel market intervention is expected to curb prevailing naira volatility in the market. The naira last week exchanged at N280 to a dollar after the CBN supplied only $23 million to Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators, $67 million short of the expected $90 million. Read more

Domestic airlines at risk as naira drops to all-time low

With the naira hitting an all-time low of N280 to a United States dollar in the autono­mous market at the weekend domestic airlines are now in real danger and may die un­timely if palliative measures are not provided by govern­ment. Aside the drop in the value of the naira, the airlines are also hit by the prevailing forex scarcity as the Central Bank continued to ration for­eign currencies in its bid to strengthen the naira.

The situation is further worsened by local operators lack of maintenance facili­ties in the country. They also have to contend with reluctant foreign aircraft lessors who, following recent air mishaps, classified the country among “high-risk nations” for doing business. The development has also attracted very high insur­ance premium. Read more

SEC pushes for listing as requirement for govt contract

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has called on the Federal Government to include stock market listing as one of the conditions for companies seeking to secure government contracts to qualify for such contracts. This will force companies that wish to enjoy such contract to seek listing in the stock market, Mounir Gwarzo, Director General, SEC, said in a forum with journalists in Lagos.

He posited that highest rate of taxes paid to the government come from quoted companies, and hence, the need to encourage more companies to list. He said: “one way of ensuring that companies pay tax is when those companies are listed. Read more

Stockbrokers get NSE’s January 30 deadline for reclassification

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has directed all stockbroking firms to perfect their status by January 30, next year to align the firms’ capital and  capacity with their roles in the stock market.

In a circular to all its dealing members at the weekend, the Exchange directed  the firms that seek to reclassify their registered functions to complete the process on or before January 30 deadline. Read more

Nigeria targets 80% local content in auto industry by 2023

Nigeria plans to raise the portion of local manufacturing in the automotive industry to 80 per cent over the next eight years as Africa’s most populous country seeks to cut imports and diversify the economy away from oil, the industry regulator said.

The West African nation currently imports “almost 100 per cent” of vehicles, the Director of Policy and Planning for the Abuja-based National Automotive Council, Luqman Mamudu, said. He said that developing manufacturing and assembly plants would create jobs and reduce the $9 billion annual cost of bringing in vehicles and components. Read more

Oil and Gas

Ijaw/Itsekiri leaders petition Buhari, Okowa over Shell

Worried by alleged double standard being played by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, leaders of Ijaw and Itsekiri Oil and Gas Producing Communities have called for a total review of the company’s policy on manufacturer’s agents.

According to the aggrieved leaders, Shell workers are not only playing double standard but are using agents who are their cronies in procurement processes. Read more

Oil workers reject PIB

Oil workers in the industry’s three regulatory agencies have rejected the redrafted Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) soon to be presented to the National Assembly.

The PIB is to replace the one passed by the Seventh Assembly but which was not assented by the president. Read more

Fuel crisis defies solution nationwide

The perennial fuel crisis which has blighted the year worsened across the country, weekend, as hundreds of motorists slept in petrol stations with the intention of purchasing the products.

This was even as the Federal Government, yesterday, directed the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA , to commence a special supply intervention  measures to bring an end to the perennial fuel scarcity witnessed across the country. Read more

Kachikwu directs petrol supply for Christmas, New Year

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Group Managing Director Dr. Ibe Kachikwu has directed the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to embark on renewed special supply intervention measures to ensure availability of petroleum products ahead of the Yuletide and beyond.

The NNPC, in a statement, said the special supply intervention mechanism, which entails the ramping up of additional supply via massive truck-out to guarantee product penetration to the nooks and crannies of the country started over the weekend. Read more

Power

Forte Oil to raise capacity of Geregu Power Plant to 435Mw

Forte Oil Plc said it plans to grow its profit after tax for the financial year ended December 2016 to N11.09 billion. The company also targets profit before tax of N12.84 billion for the same period, while the revenue for the period is expected to settle at N22.30 billion.

Outlining some of the strategies to be deployed by the company to achieve the set target, the Group Managing Director, Mr. Akin Akinfemiwa, who spoke at the Investors’ Conference in Lagos, said the major driver of the expected financial objective would be the company’s involvement in lifting crude oil in the country, a development, he said was not reflected in expected financials of 2016. Read more

Sports

CHAN Eagles can lift the trophy – Anyansi

The Chairman of  Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical Committee, Felix Anyansi has stated that the home base Super Eagles will surpass the last record of third place in the  edition held in South Africa having been in action for the Glo Premier League just ended last month.

Anyansi  said football was a game that is not predictable but with hard work and appropriate  preparations, one can boast of reaching the semi-final. Read more

Ighalo scores 12th goal of the season

Nigerian international, Odion Ighalo was in blistering form for Watford at the weekend as he guided the Hornets to a comprehensive 3-0 win against Liverpool.

The 26-year-old scored twice in the encounter to take his tally for the 2015/16 season to 12 in 17 premier league appearances to hand Liverpool their heaviest league defeat against a promoted side since losing 3-0 to Newcastle United in November back in 1993. Read more

NFF earmarks N286.2m for coaches’ salaries

The recurring disappoint­ment over the arrears of salaries for the national team coaches seems to be a thing of the past, as the Nigeria Football Federa­tion (NFF) has set aside a whooping sum of N286.2 million as amount for payment of national team coaches in the 2016 foot­ball year.

According to the bud­get estimate, the football federation presented to the National Assembly and reflected in its Annual General Assembly (AGA) document under the cap­tion 2016 Budget Summa­ry Sporting Activities, the Glass House however did not give a breakdown of whether the arrears of 2015 was captured in amount set aside. Read more

World News

Fake bomb forces emergency landing in Kenya

Detectives were continuing to question six people after a device discovered in the bathroom of an Air France flight was confirmed to be a fake bomb, the airline’s chief executive officer revealed.

The Boeing 777 was heading to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris from Mauritius when its pilots requested an emergency landing early yesterday in the Kenyan city of Mombasa. Read more

Tanzania schools to cut tuition

With the ongoing drive to cut back on costs, Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli recently called for affordable free education.

Now, education Minister Shukuru Kawambwa has banned state schools from collecting contributions from parents, who were required to pay the equivalent of $19 annually since 2002. Read more

Over 300 Ghanaians to be sentenced in Libya today

Over 300 Ghanaians will be sentenced to death in Libya on Monday, December 21, 2015, if the Ghana Embassy does not intervene.

The detainees according to reports have been in prison in Libyan town called Pejora for the past three months awaiting the intervention of officials from the Ghana Embassy. Read more

Burundi rejects African peacekeepers as ‘invasion force’

Burundi’s government said Sunday it would not agree to the deployment of African Union (AU) peacekeepers, warning that they would be seen as “an invasion force”.

 

The announcement came a day after the 54-member bloc said it would send a 5,000-strong force to halt spiralling violence in the tiny central African country as fears grow that it is rapidly sliding towards civil war. Read more

13 dead in Mexico crash

A collision between a tourism bus and a passenger van in southern Mexico killed 13 people and injured seven others, local authorities said.

The large tour bus was empty, but the passenger van was carrying families who were returning from a martial arts competition. Three children and seven women were among the fatalities, the state government of Oaxaca said Sunday. Read more

91 missing in Shenzhen after pile of construction waste collapses

The number of people missing after a landslide in southern China has almost doubled to 91, after a huge mound of construction waste collapsed and buried 33 buildings in China’s latest industrial disaster.

Premier Li Keqiang ordered an official investigation into the disaster in the southern city of Shenzhen, which comes four months after huge chemical blasts at the northern port of Tianjin killed more than 160 people. Read more

76 People Still Missing at Sea Following Indonesian Ferry Disaster

Close to 80 people remain missing following the disappearance of a ferry of the coast of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Saturday, with officials saying more than 24 hours into a search-and-rescue operation that there was a possibility the vessel had capsized.

The country’s transport ministry confirmed on Sunday that 39 people were rescued, leaving 76 of the ferry’s 118 passengers still unaccounted for, Agence France-Presse reported. Read more

Miss Philippines crowned Miss Universe in first post-Trump era pageant

A 26-year-old actress and model from the Philippines was crowned Miss Universe on Sunday after host Steve Harvey mistakenly first announced that Miss Colombia had won the 64th edition of the pageant broadcast live on the Fox television network.

The pageant ended with a gaff, after its first edition since the annual beauty show was thrust into controversy when then co-owner and U.S. presidential candidate, Donald Trump, made disparaging remarks about immigrants. Read more

 

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