Mrs. Margaret Emefiele, the wife of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has been released by her kidnappers.
Sources at the Police High Command told our correspondent Margaret and four others were released around 1am on Saturday (today).
Margaret, three women and a driver were attacked on Thursday along the Benin-Agbor Road and dragged into a nearby bush while their vehicle was abandoned.
The kidnappers were said to have demanded a ransom of about N100m.
A police source said, “The kidnappers released the victims around 1am. We found them around the bush beside the expressway where they were kidnapped. Investigations are ongoing.”
Source: Punch NG
It’s something we’re all guilty of. You’re suddenly awake in the middle of the night and decide – for no reason whatsoever – to check your phone .
Be honest with yourself, are you expecting a cheeky little booty call (in which case, as you were)?
Is there a transatlantic work situation which is about to blow up at 3am GMT?
Or, is it just one of those little habits you have?
If so, you’re really not alone. According to a Deloitte report, one in three of us are so addicted to our phones we check them during the night.
And if you’re in the 18 – 24 category, this number goes up to one in two.
It may seem harmless – but it’s incredibly damaging.
Yes, that sneaky little look at Facebook you have in the wee hours of the morning is seriously bad for you.
Don’t take it from us. Sleep experts, the Metro reports, have warned us over and over how looking at our phones at night can compromise our health.
How does my mobile phone affect my health?
It’s all to do with the blue light our phone’s screen gives off.
This light tells our body it’s daytime, which means when we do eventually fall back to sleep, that quality of sleep is not as good as it should be.
The blue light “shifts” people’s sleep schedules by up to three hours found researchers at Harvard. Other studies also showed how it prevents people from getting the most restorative REM sleep they need.
Paul Lee, head of technology research at Deloitte told the site, “What smartphones enable people to do is to keep tags of what’s happening, what people are saying, what people are posting.
“You can do that throughout the day and what smartphones are encouraging people to do is to do that at night.”
So unless it’s a matter of life or death, make sure you get some good shut eye. Facebook’s not worth it.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday said it was sheer madness for anybody occupying public offices to be looking for money.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari told him repeatedly that at his age, his only heart’s desire was to see a great Nigeria.
He said Buhari had no other objective in office than that.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, the Vice-President spoke while receiving a delegation of Christian Ministers Welfare Initiative also known as the Pastors’ Forum, Taraba State, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“This morning, I had a meeting with the President and he repeated to me twice, he said ‘at my age, there is only one thing I am looking for, I want to see a great Nigeria.’ He has no other objective and I feel very inspired by that,” Osinbajo reportedly told his guests.
He said anybody who had the opportunity of being the President of the country should only be thinking of how to improve the lot of the people.
Osinbajo said, “It is madness for anybody in our position to be looking for money.
“According to him, God put people in a position of authority for them to be able to do something for their people.
“I think if any Nigerian gets the chance to be President of the country, there is nothing he/she is looking for anymore, except that, while there, you improve the lot of the people.”
Osinbajo reiterated his position that no economy could tolerate the level of corruption seen in Nigeria without the consequence.
He regretted that while Nigerians were being killed by the Boko Haram fighters, people could not account for $15bn meant for the purchase of security equipment to fight the insurgents.
The Vice-President also explained how vandalism of oil installations had contributed to the recession being witnessed in the country.
He said Nigeria had lost several millions of barrels of crude oil due to the activities of militants in the Niger Delta.
On power, the Vice-President said the country was producing 5,000MW of power for the first time by early 2016, but by February 2016 the Forcados terminal was destroyed by militants.
As a result of the vandalism, he said 40 per cent of the gas used to fire the power plants was lost and the country was down to 2,500MW of power.
He observed that at the time the militants started blowing up oil and gas installations, the amnesty stipends were still being paid, insisting that they went violent because of ongoing investigation of corrupt persons.
“Nothing changed, the only reason is that we are investigating people who have stolen money,” Osinbajo said.
He added that the country was losing one million barrels of oil a day, nothing that, that was 60 per cent of the country’s revenues, and there was nowhere such an amount of revenue would be lost that people would not experience economic challenge and recession.
While expressing optimism that the country would come out of the recession, Osinbajo stated that “there is no question at all, God has a reason for bringing us in at this time and God helping us, we will see a change in this country.”
He urged the Church and all religious leaders to stand up against corruption, stressing that if this government had been doing the right thing by fighting corruption, the Church should support it.
He also assured his guests that the Federal Government was working hard to end the problem of the ravaging herdsmen.
Osinbajo said the President had instructed the police and the military to act and deal with the herdsmen’s menace.
He said those behind the herdsmen’s violence were criminals.
While calling on honest men in the country to work together, Osinbajo said God had structured Nigeria in such a way that no one could dominate another.
Source: Punch NG
The Code of Conduct Bureau has begun massive verification of assets declared by top serving and former public officers at the federal, state and local government levels.
A statement by the Chairman of the CCB, Mr. Sam Saba, released by the Press and Protocol Unit of the bureau on Thursday, stated that the exercise involved physical appearance of the concerned public officers before the bureau for conference and field verifications of their declared assets.
Conference verification requires public officers to present documents relating to their declared assets to designated officials of the bureau.
On the other hand, field verification involves public officers taking CCB officials to locations of their declared landed, fixed and other assets that could not be conveniently moved to the bureau’s office.
He stated that by virtue of Paragraph 11 of Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the 1999 Constitution (as amended), “every public officer is required to submit to the Code of Conduct Bureau a written declaration of all properties, assets and liabilities and those of his/her spouse (if not a public officer) and his unmarried children under the age of 18 years.”
He added that any statement in the declaration, found to be false by any authorities or persons authorised to verify it, “shall be deemed to be a breach of the code”.
He stated, “To this end, the Bureau has commenced its 2016 4th Quarter Cycle of Conference and Field Verification of Assets of top public officers. Accordingly, letters of invitation have been dispatched to ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, service chiefs and other top public officers.
“All invited public officers are to note that failure to honour the invitation by the CCB in this regard is a breach of the provisions of the constitution and could lead to prosecution at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
“Public officers not yet invited are to await their letters of invitation.”
He listed 76 public officers that had been invited by the bureau with a threat of the possibility of prosecution if they fail to honour the invitation.
Among the 76 invitees are 30 ministers whom, according to the bureau, have yet to submit themselves to the exercise.
According to the bureau, ministers who have yet to submit themselves for the verification are Rotimi Amaechi (Transportation); Babatunde Fashola (Power, Works and Housing); Ibe Kachikwu (Petroleum Resources (State); Abubakar Malami (Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice); Adebayo Shittu (Communications); Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Solid Minerals and Steel Development); Audu Ogbeh (Agriculture and Rural Development).
Others include Senator Aisha Alhassan (Women Affairs and Social Development); Solomon Dalung (Youths & Sports Development); Osagie Ehanire (Health (State)); Usani Usani (Niger Delta Affairs); Prof. Anthony Anwukah (Education (State)); Lai Mohammed (Information and Culture), and Gen. Ali Mansur (retd.) (Defence).
The list also includes Senator Udo Udoma (Budget and National Planning); Ibrahim Jibril (Environment (State)); Suleiman Adamu (Water Resources and Rural Development); Mustapha Shehuri (Power (State)); Prof. Claudius Daramola (Niger Delta Affairs (State)) and Kemi Adeosun (Finance) as those who have not submitted themselves to verification.
The rest are Prof. Isaac Adewole (Health); Okechukwu Enelamah (Trade, Investment and Industry); Geoffrey Onyema (Foreign Affairs ); Muhammadu Bello (Federal Capital Territory); Senator Hadi Sirika (Aviation (State)); Hajiya Khadija Bukar (Foreign Affairs(State)); Senator Chris Ngige (Labour and Employment); Heineken Lokpobiri (Agriculture and Rural Development (State)); Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu (Science and Technology); and Abubakar Bwari (Solid Minerals (State) ).
The rest of the public officers still expected to submit themselves to the bureau are the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Oyo-Ita Ekanem; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olanishakin; Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar Sadique; and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibas Ibok.
Also on the list are the immediate past Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase; Chairman, Police Service Commission, Chief Mike Okiro; Controller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Babatunde Mohammed; Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Waziri Adio; Director-General of National Pension Commission, Mrs. Chinelo Amazu; and Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Export Promotion Council, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo.
Also yet to turn up for the CCB verification are the Director-General, National Youth Service Corps, Brig.-Gen. Sule Kazaure; Executive Secretary, Nigeria Sao-Tome & Principle Joint Development Authority, Kashim Tumash; Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru; Controller-General of Federal Fire Service, Anebi Garba; Director-General, Budget and National Planning, Mr. Ben Akabueze, and Managing Director, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission, Ibrahim Umaru.
Others include the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Adamu; Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mrs. Hadiza Usman; Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, Ahmed Kuru, and Controller-General of MSCDS, Muhammad Abdullahi.
The Deputy Inspectors-General of Police, who are on the list, are Ntom Chukwu, Folusho Adebanjo, Emmanuel Inyang, Maigari Dikko, Joshak Habila, Shuaibu Gambo, and Hyacinth Dagala.
An Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Abdul Bube, is also on the list.
Military officers, whose names appear on the list, are Real Admiral Joseph Osa (Commandant, Operation Delta Safe) and Major General M. A. Koleoso (GOC Tradoc).
The CCB also listed a number of Federal Commissioners of the Civil Service Commission and three Group Executive Directors of the NNPC, who are yet to submit themselves to the CCB’s verification.
In the statement, the CCB stated that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, and five other ministers, among 15 other former and serving public officers, had submitted themselves to the asset verification.
Buratai recently became the target of scathing public scrutiny when reports of his choice $1.5m properties, which he claimed were acquired in the name of his wife in Dubai, hit the public space.
Saba, confirmed to our correspondent on the telephone that all the 15 persons, whose assets had been verified, had been issued a certificate of Conference Verification/Field Verification.
“The Chief of Army Staff was the first to be issued his certificate. We started issuing to others last week,” he said.
Responding to further inquiry about whether the certificate issued by the CCB implied that the cleared public officers were free from liability of criminal prosecution, Saba stated, “Even though the tribunal (Code of Conduct Tribunal) is the institution with the power of adjudication in asset declaration breaches, the certificate means that from our own end, we are satisfied with the verification that we have done.”
The five cleared ministers are Abdulrahman Dambazau (Interior); Zainab Shamsuna (Budget & National Planning); Adamu Adamu (Education); Aisha Abubakar (Minister of Trade, Investment & Industry (State)); and Amina Mohammed (Minister of Environment).
The rest of the former and serving public officers already cleared by the CCB are the immediate past Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim; Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Yakubu Mahmood; a former Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, and a former Controller-General, Nigerian Prisons Service, Ezenwa Peter.
They also include the Acting MD/CEO, Niger Delta Development Commission, Semenitari Tamunoibim; Controller-General, Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Ibrahim Ali (retd.); Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Boboye Oyeyemi; and Federal Commissioner, Civil Service Commission, Hope Ikrirko.
The CCB boss commended those that had turned up for the exercise.
Source: Punch NG
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said the outcome of the governorship election in Edo State reflected the mood of the people of the state.
He therefore congratulated the government and people of the state on the successful conclusion of the election and the victory of the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Godwin Obaseki, at the polls.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President conveyed his congratulatory message in a telephone conversation he had with Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
Buhari was said to have commended what he described as the well-articulated campaign programme of the APC in the state, the doggedness of the governor, governor-elect and party members.
He lauded them for going round the state to reach the people with records of good governance over the years and a promise of continuity.
The President said the outcome of the election clearly reflected the mood of the people to sustain the pedigree of responsiveness, forthrightness and diligence that Oshiomhole brought into the service of his people.
“The victory is good for democracy, for Nigeria and the people of Edo State,” he said.
Buhari said the victory was well-deserved as the campaign train, which he joined, worked hard to sell its people-centered manifesto.
The President also applauded the conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission, security agencies, corps members and electorate in ensuring a peaceful election.
INEC had announced that Obaseki won the majority of the votes cast, with a total of 319,483 votes, and he was closely followed by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu of the PDP, who polled 253,173 votes.
Source: Punch NG
Most Nigerians who have seen popular comic actor, John Okafor, aka Mr. Ibu, in action will agree that he is a talented comedian and one of a few Nollywood practitioners that are naturally cut out for the roles that they play in the movies.
Okafor has, so far, been able to prove to his fans that he does not only live by making other people to laugh away their sorrows; he is also humour personified.
But the actor, in an interview with our correspondent, also reveals that despite his commitment to making people to laugh, he has had cause to be unhappy, even bitter, on some occasions.
On one of such, Okafor had an axe to grind with the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba. He was so bitter that he almost instituted a court action against the management of the hospital.
Recounting what happened, he says, “The matter was actually between the Paediatric Department of the hospital and me. It was in 2011. My wife and our two-year-old son had been kidnapped. After I paid the ransom demanded and they were released by the kidnappers, I returned to Lagos from Enugu.
“Then on January 18, 2011, my son fell ill. He was diagnosed with inflammation of the liver. The hospital suggested that he should be scanned. At the same time, I was informed that I could take my son out of the hospital to get the scan done elsewhere. But the same people later declined, saying that everything had to be done in the hospital because he was too weak to be taken outside.
“After a while, I was told that there was no electricity in the hospital. When I asked if there was no standby generator, they said there was no fuel in it. I offered to pay for fuel only to be told that the man that operated the generator was not around. When I left the place and got back later, the man still had not returned. Then I was advised to write an application and to submit to the admin department.”
After writing the application, Okafor found that there was nobody to receive and treat it. While he was waiting, he was told that his son’s condition required blood transfusion. The actor did everything possible to ensure that the ailing boy was given treatment at the hospital, but his efforts were in vain. Finally, the little boy gave up the ghost.
“That was how my son died. Later, one of the doctors came to me and, without even sympathising with me, asked if I could release my boy’s corpse to him so that they could cut it open and use it to teach other medical students. In that moment, I felt like committing murder for the first time in my life.
“When I told my lawyer what happened at the hospital, he was shocked. He said it was actionable. I told him that I was ready to take the hospital management to court and sue it for $100 million in damages because my son’s death was caused by the carelessness of the professionals whose duty was to save his life. But my lawyer advised me to let go”.
Reflecting on his career, Okafor says he has been publicly embarrassed by fans at different times and in several places. “I quickly forgive them because I was the one that looked for trouble in the first place. On one occasion, somebody came to me and said, ‘Ibu, because of what your jokes have done to me and my family, I promised God that anywhere I meet you, I would slap your face.’ I told him them to go ahead. Then he slapped me so hard that I couldn’t see clearly for two hours,” he says.
Mr. Ibu obviously relishes his status as a popular and relatively comfortable Nollywood actor. It is doubtful that, given a choice, he would have given up acting for any other career. Going down memory lane, the actor reveals that he used to be a boxer and a Karate practitioner. Admitting that only a few people are aware of this aspect of his personal history, he says, “I practised Shotokan Karate for 16 years and I was a member of the Karate Federation of Nigeria. I happen to be the first instructor that was teaching Karate in federal government colleges in Nigeria.”
The actor, no doubt, cuts the picture of a man enjoying a blissful marriage. But, asked if he ever had a girlfriend before he got married, he replied, “I had problems with my relationships with women. Each time I had a new girlfriend, other men would always take her from me. Whenever I fell in love with a girl, somebody would snatch her from me. But I don’t fear any sense of loss because I married the best woman on earth. My wife is a former beauty queen. She was the winner of the 2004 Face of Imo beauty pageant.”
But Okafor says that even now that he is happily married, women have not stopped coming to him for a date. “I don’t woo them, though. They are the ones chasing me. That is part of the price I have to pay for being popular.”
Source: Punch NG
The Lagos State Police Command has arrested three men for allegedly raping and impregnating a 14-year-old girl in the Agric, Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
Our correspondent learnt that the suspects – Kingsley Oke, Henry Osadere and Francis Ekwe – were arrested in the Majidun, Ikorodu area of Lagos State, before they were transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja.
It was gathered that the suspects, who lived in the same area with the parents of the teenager, identified only as Ijeoma, allegedly raped the girl in August 2016, after the mother went for a vigil.
Our correspondent gathered that Ijeoma, a primary 6 pupil, was later discovered by the mother to be pregnant, and she reported to the police at the Owutu division.
The police said the three men were arrested on September 9, 2016.
Speaking with PUNCH Metro, Ijeoma said one of the suspects threatened to kill her if she disclosed the rape to anyone.
She said, “It was Uncle Kingsley (Oke) who first raped me. On that evening, he called me and said he would send me on an errand. When I went to his room, he immediately locked the door.
“I started begging him, but he forcefully carried me to his bed and raped me. On the second occasion, it was one man called Baba Ijebu that molested me. I had been sent to his house to collect an item.
“While in his house, he raped me. I cried, but he said I would die if I told anyone. The third man was Henry (Osadere). I don’t want to talk about it again.”
Forty-three-year-old Osadere, however, denied raping Ijeoma, saying she was a wayward girl.
He said, “She came to my place and said she had many boyfriends. I asked how a teenager like her had several boyfriends. Anytime she came to my apartment, she would steal some items. That was why I sent her away.
“I was surprised that she said I was one of those who raped her. She said she had a three-month-old pregnancy. I don’t know the other suspects.The girl lied against me. She knows the people who messed around with her. It was because I stopped her from coming to my house that she lied against me.”
Oke, 30, a welder, said, “I have known the girl since 2014. She usually came to my house to play. She is a wayward girl. Everyone knows about her promiscuity. I never raped her.”
Ekwe, 52, said Ijeoma and her mother had begged him in August to borrow them some money, which he did, adding that he did not rape the girl.
The state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said the suspects would be charged to court at the end of investigations.
Source: Punch NG
The Deputy Director linked to the plagiarism incident in President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech when he launched the “Change Begins With Me” campaign has been redeployed from the State House.
Investigation by Daily Trust indicates that the disciplinary process has begun for the officer, who was discovered to have copied part of a speech by President Barack Obama of the United States.
“At 8 o’clock on the Monday morning following the allegations, he reported at the office of the Head of Service, and he was immediately asked to vacate his position and office at the State House pending further measures which will be guided by civil service rules and regulations,” Daily Trust gathered.
The Presidency has also taken steps to avoid a repeat of such an embarrassing occurrence which sources said goes against everything that President Muhammadu Buhari represents and stands for.
A new digital process has been put in place in the State House to aid the process of drafting speeches. This includes the provision of tools that detect plagiarism, similar to those used by editors and academics around the world.
When contacted over this development, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity simply said “the officer is no longer in the State House.”
The government of President Buhari had since expressed regret over what it said was an unfortunate incident, expressing hopes that Nigeria can look beyond it to embrace the message of change.
Source: Daily Trust NG
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday took a swipe at the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, declaring that his advice on the prevailing economic crisis was ignored two years ago.
Obasanjo also blamed Jonathan for lifting the ban on importation of products like toothpick, which he said could have been taken over by local industries without encumbrances.
At the official opening of the National Council on Finance and Economic Development (NACOFED) in Abeokuta yesterday, Obasanjo said the only way Nigeria could urgently step out of the current economic recession is for it to seek foreign loan.
Obasanjo, who was the Father of the Day at the opening session, said he had warned the former President on the impending recession in November 26, 2014 When he joined others to celebrate the birthday of retired Justice Akanbi.
“I reminded the government that we were spending more than we were earning. that very soon, the country would not be able to fund the budget… Unfortunately, the government then refused to listen to my advice,” he told the gathering.
Obasanjo shocked the gathering when he recalled how it was discovered that the ban on the importation of toothpick was reversed by the Jonathan administration, saying he had visited Jonathan in Abuja to ask why he lifted the ban on toothpick and Jonathan said he did not read before he approved.
Speaking further on the way out for Nigeria, Obasanjo said there were three options, explaining, “The three options are we have to spend less, we must endeavor to earn and then the last one is to borrow, and this if we must, we do it fast and now. “
He however cautioned against doing the bidding of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Source: Daily Trust NG