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
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has refused to respond to allegations levelled against him by the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu over Ondo State primaries. He may however, react after the Edo State governorship election.
Odigie-Oyegun said on phone yesterday that he has so much respect for Tinubu and should not be seen speaking against him. “I have to consult properly with other leaders of the party before we make any definite statement. Again, you know we have a crucial election here in Edo, which is my priority right now.
“We don’t want to lose focus and I know Asiwaju also wants us to win because we all have worked hard for this. So, may be after the election if there is need, I will speak. If there is no need, I will relax. But all I can say now is that most of the things said in the papers about me are not true. I have always believed in internal democracy, that the credibility of primaries must be taken seriously.
“I believe that if primaries of parties are not credible, it may derail any democracy, so I don’t play with these things at all. Everybody knows me and I don’t joke with my credibility and I have tried to maintain it. Like I said, Asiwaju is our leader and we all hold him in high esteem. So, I will never join issues with him.
“But may be after Edo elections, after we must have emerged victorious, we may speak on some of the issues raised. So, there is no problem at all. Edo is the focus for now and as you know this is my state, so it is a very serious election for us.”So, I want to be allowed to remain focused then after the election we can speak,” he stated.
Source: Guardian Nigeria
Leicester’s ‘Dragon Slayer’ cuts down Porto
Leicester City striker Islam Slimani resumed his torment of Porto as the Premier League champions preserved their 100 percent Champions League record with a narrow 1-0 victory on Tuesday.
Playing in their first ever Champions League home game, Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester prevailed thanks to Slimani’s 25th-minute header to make it two wins from two in Group G.
Slimani earned the nickname ‘The Dragon Slayer’ for his scoring feats against Porto with former club Sporting Lisbon and he has now scored seven goals in seven career appearances against The Dragons.
Eight years to the day previously at the King Power Stadium, Leicester had beaten Hartlepool United 1-0 in an English third-tier game.
Eight years on, they are the champions of England and having won 3-0 at Club Brugge in their opening group fixture, their fans will already be dreaming of a place in the last 16.
The European campaign is proving a welcome tonic for Leicester, whose faltering league title defence has seen them beaten three times already.
Two-time European champions Porto, meanwhile, have now played 17 games on English soil without winning, losing and failing to score on their last five visits.
Porto right-back Miguel Layun made an enterprising start to the game, working fit-again Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel with a curling shot and then whipping a low cross across goal.
But Layun’s defensive colleagues were quickly made to look uncomfortable by Leicester’s muscular strike pairing of Slimani and Jamie Vardy.
Brazilian centre-back Felipe was particularly discomfited, almost heading Christian Fuchs’s long throw into his own net and then being booked for blocking Vardy’s run.
The crowd sensed blood and in the 25th minute the breakthrough arrived courtesy of 28 million pounds ($36.3 million, 32.3 million euros) record signing Slimani.
Marc Albrighton switched play with a glorious crossfield pass, Riyad Mahrez shaped an inviting cross to the back post and Slimani outmuscled Felipe to plant a diving header past Iker Casillas.
It was the Algeria international’s third goal in four appearances for Leicester and the sixth goal he had scored past Casillas in 2016 alone.
Layun flicked the side-netting at the other end with a free-kick, but half-time arrived without Porto having seriously threatened.
Mahrez threatened to extend Leicester’s lead shortly before the hour with a zipping low drive that Casillas had to turn around his left-hand post.
Nuno Espirito Santo made a double change moments later, sending on Hector Herrera and Diogo Jota for Andre Andre and Adrian Lopez, and the entrants enlivened the visitors’ attacking efforts.
Both players tested Schmeichel shortly after entering the fray, Jota with a deflected shot and Herrera with an ambitious long-range strike that the diving Dane turned behind for a corner.
There was one big scare when Schmeichel came to punch a cross and missed, but substitute Jesus Corona’s volley flicked off Albrighton, struck the right-hand post and rebounded to safety.
Source: Guardian Nigeria
Armed robbers have attacked Balogun Market on the Lagos Island, hacking three security men with machetes, in a failed attempt to burgle some shops in the market.
PUNCH Metro learnt that in the attack on Friday at about 5am, one of the robbers, a Nigerien identified only as Saidu, was also hacked to death by a mob.
It was gathered that the robbers, whose number had yet to be ascertained, were armed with cutlasses and attempted to open some shops.
Our correspondent learnt that a distress call was put across to the Ebute Ero Police Division, after which policemen went to the scene. The robbers, except Saidu, reportedly fled.
When PUNCH Metro visited the market on Monday, most traders refused to comment on the incident, saying business activities had not started as of the time of the incident.
A night guard, who did not want his name in print, however, told PUNCH Metro that the injured security men were rushed to the Lagos Island General Hospital.
He said, “It was around 5.30am on Friday. We were the only ones on the market premises, except for some Muslims praying in nearby mosques. We observed that the robbers were armed with cutlasses. They wanted to break into some shops. We confronted them and they attacked us.
“They injured three security men with cutlasses. Some people called the police at the Ebute Ero division. Two policemen were also on patrol around the market. They assisted us in confronting the robbers.
“The injured security men were quickly rushed to a hospital on the Lagos Island. When the robbers sighted the police, they fled. But we made sure that all of them did not escape. One of them was caught, and he turned out to be a Nigerien. He was beaten up by a mob. I don’t know his fate.”
A police source at the Ebute Ero division told our correspondent that the injured robbery suspect was rushed to a hospital, but he did not survive.
“The robber was hacked with machetes. He was also beaten up. He was later rushed to a hospital where he died,” he added.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the case had been transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja, for further investigation.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the incident.
She said, “The robbery suspect, Saidu, of Niger Republic died on Friday at about 3pm. Some robbers, including Saidu, had attempted to burgle some shops in Balogun Market, before the police repelled them. Saidu’s corpse had been taken to a morgue. The case has been referred to SARS where further investigation is ongoing.”
Source: Punch NG
The Ogun Area Command, Nigeria Customs Service, has intercepted 70 packs of textile materials containing hemp.
The customs operatives of the command were said to have intercepted a motorcycle conveying the illicit drug at Olodo village, in the Yewa North Local Government Area of the state on Friday.
The Controller, Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun Area Command, Multafu Waindu, in Abeokuta on Monday, said a suspect, Abraham Ayinde, was arrested in connection with the seizure.
While handing over the hemp packs to the state Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Bala Fagge, Waindu said it was the second time this year that the state command of the NCS would intercept packs of hemp in the state.
He said the hemp seized in Olodo weighed 76.3kilogrammes with a market value of N2.1m
He said, “Our operatives intercepted 70 packs containing hemp, which weighed 76.3kg with a market value of N2.1m
“This type of illicit substance affects the youth in the country, it affects their brain, and some of them turn to crime.
“Since we have inter-agency synergy with the NDLEA, this is the second time this year that the state command of the NCS will be handing over such seizure to the agency.”
Speaking with journalists, the suspect, Ayinde, who claimed to be a commercial motorcyclist, popularly known as okada rider, said he was flagged down by the original owner of the hemp to convey him to the Sabo Roundabout area of Abeokuta.
The suspects explained that he picked the owner of the hemp at Oke Agbede Village in Imeko Afon LGA, adding that the owner fled after he was stopped by the customs operatives.
The NDLEA commander, Fagge, explained that his agency would investigate the matter further and charge the suspect to court.
The NDLEA commander, who attributed 60 to 70 per cent of crimes to drug influence, stated that his agency would continue to keep the country free of illicit drugs.
Source: Punch NG
A pastor with the Christ Apostolic Church, Onigbogbo, Atan Ota, Ogun State, Pastor Olusegun Omoniyi, is critically ill after he was allegedly abducted and tortured by some members of the Oodua People’s Congress.
It was learnt that 45-year-old Omoniyi had also gone into hiding after he was rescued by policemen from the Sango Area Command.
He said he feared for his life as the OPC members had threatened to recapture and kill him.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the OPC members were acting on the instruction of some relatives of Omoniyi’s late wife, Omolade, who had vowed to deal with him over the sickness and subsequent death of the woman.
Our correspondent gathered that Omoniyi and his wife married in 1999 and had a set of twins in 2000.
However, the twins were said to have died shortly after they were born.
It was learnt that since the death of the children, the couple had not been able to have any child, which resulted in pressures from Omolade’s family.
Early 2015, the wife was reported to have left the cleric despite entreaties from church leaders and relatives of the husband.
PUNCH Metro gathered that seven months after separating from the husband, the 42-year-old was attacked by a strange illness.
Omoniyi said, “She had told me that her family members didn’t want her to continue living with me, but I begged her to stay.
“However, sometime in 2015, I went for a church meeting when some of her family members came. They took away her property. Attempts at getting her family members to reconcile us were abortive as they said she had made her choice.
“However, in July 2015, I was told she was sick. On the instruction of the church leadership, I went with some other elders to give her N50,000. But her brother did not allow us to see her, saying I should go alone to see her. We refused.
“On February 6, 2016, while I was leading a church programme around 10am, four men entered the church. Two of them were OPC members and the others – Adebayo and Stephen – were my wife’s relatives. While I was on the altar, the two OPC members said they had come to take me away.
“I told them that I would not follow them since I did not know where they were taking me to. They beat me up and one of them showed me a gun and said if I didn’t cooperate, he would kill me.”
Omoniyi said he was thrown into a car belonging to his wife’s eldest brother, adding that he was blindfolded throughout the journey.
The cleric explained that he later found himself in Ijoko, the camp of the OPC, saying the men tortured him before taking him inside a clinic where his wife had been admitted.
“In one of the rooms, I saw my wife on the bed. Her legs were swollen and there was blood all over the place. I asked her why she left the house and what I did wrong
“While talking to her, my in-laws started beating me. I have never suffered such torture. I told my wife right there that God would judge our matter,” he added.
He said he sneaked into the clinic’s toilet where he made a call to a church leader informing him of his location, adding that the latter informed the police who stormed the area and rescued him.
It was learnt that Omolade died the following day.
The church leadership was reported to have sent a delegation to condole with the family, and Omoniyi also accompanied the men.
It was learnt that the deceased’s family allegedly attacked the group, insisting that Omoniyi must take his wife’s corpse with him.
“To appease them, I told them to find where they would bury her and I would bear part of the cost, but they refused.
“As I was leaving, they blocked the road and said they would burn the two vehicles we took there. The OPC members, who had earlier abducted me, came and dragged me to where the corpse was.
“After beating me again, they put me on the corpse and said I must die with her. They put me in a car with the corpse. I couldn’t recognise anybody until I saw some policemen who rescued me the second time,” he said.
Omoniyi said he was taken to a private hospital, adding that the location was not disclosed to protect his life.
He alleged that a top police officer was also backing his in-laws, saying he had gone into hiding for security reasons.
He lamented that his wife’s family had taken away his landed property, adding that his life was in danger.
Our correspondent learnt that the matter had already got to the CAC supreme council and the church had not been able to resolve the case as Omolade’s eldest brother was a top pastor in the church.
PUNCH Metro saw petitions addressed to the Inspector-General of Police, Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 2, Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Area Commander, Sango-Ota, Officer-in-charge, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Abeokuta, among others.
The petitions called for the arrest of Omoniyi’s in-laws and the OPC members for the alleged abduction and torture.
Our correspondent was told that nothing had been done on the petitions.
A top leader with the CAC, who did not want to be identified, said the case had become critical, appealing to Nigerians to rescue Omoniyi.
When contacted, one of the in-laws, Paul, said the case was a family matter, adding that he could not comment on it.
He said, “I am sorry; I cannot say anything about it. It is a family matter and only the family can talk about it.”
The eldest in the family also declined to speak with our correspondent.
The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, promised to call back after checking with the area command where the case was reported to.
Source: Punch NG
The Ogun State Police Command says it will prosecute a Pentecostal pastor, Wale Fagbere, who allegedly invaded a traditional shrine in the Ketu area of Ayetoro.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Abimbola Oyeyemi, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abeokuta on Monday that the cleric would be charged with malicious damage and conduct likely to cause a breach of the public peace.
“What he did was wrong and so he must be charged to court. If it was the other way round too, they would also be charged to court.
“Everyone has a right to worship whatever deity one chooses to worship without fear,” he said.
Oyeyemi, however, added that he could not tell in which court the accused would be arraigned as of press time.
NAN had reported that Fagbere on Saturday attempted to pull down a traditional shrine in Ketu, in the Yewa North Local Government Area of the state.
But he was reported to have gone numb upon entering the shrine, attracting a crowd to the scene.
He, however, regained consciousness after the traditional ruler of the town, Oba Abdulaziz Adelakun, intervened and directed that some traditional rites be performed on him.
Source: Punch NG
Rules out outright sale of shares in NLNG
The Federal Government has given conditions that must be met before the sale of certain national assets.
Top among the conditions is that government will insert repurchasing clauses in the assets sale agreements.
A top government source who declined to be named disclosed this to Daily Sun.
The National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, had, last Thursday, endorsed government’s plan to sell off some national assets as part of the solution to get Nigeria out of recession and revamp economic growth.
According to the source, government has also ruled out outright sale of assets.
“The federal government has no plan to sell-off its shares outrightly in the LNG where it owns 49 per cent shares and the balance 51 per cent owned by private foreign interests.
“Government doesn’t own the entire gas company and will certainly not sell-off its entire shares but is open to the possibility of selling its 49 per cent ownership by five per cent or thereabout.”
On the repurchase clause, the source said: “Just as in other potential asset sales, there would be a repurchase option that guarantees the federal government’s opportunity to buy-back any such assets if circumstances change anytime in the future.”
Though a list of national assets to be sold is yet to be drawn-up, the source said that there is also a clear decision not to sell any critical asset of the country.
“Some of the intended sales could be in form of time-bound leases, advance renewal payments on leasing licenses and concessioning which would attract buoyant signature fees. If we even want to sell certain assets, while our target is to get foreign currency, specifically dollars, the option would also be opened to Nigerians at some point to buy limited shares through the Nigeria Stock Exchange.”
The source disclosed that one of the concessioning deals almost completed is the East-West lines of the Nigeria Railways, with the General Electric (GE)-being the concessionaire. He also said the firm will invest $2 billion in the Nigerian economy including refurbishment of the single-gauge lane of the lines that have been left idle for years.
GE under the deal, the source added, is expected to hire back some of the laid off staff of Nigeria Railways and also open a Transport University in Nigeria while building/assembling train coaches in Nigeria.
Under the deal, the Federal Government would also receive a signature fees in foreign currency as it would in other assets that might be concessioned.
Source: Sun News Online
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday re-arraigned a former governor of Abia, Orji Kalu and two others on a 34-count amended charge bordering on fraud.
Kalu, his company, Slok Nigeria Limited and his former Commissioner for Finance, Jones Udeogo, were re-arraigned before Justice Anwuri Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Tuesday.
The defendants’ plea that the court should await the pending appeal by Slok before the Supreme Court failed.
NAN reports that Chikere had refused the defendants’ objection to their arraignment and ordered that the charge be read to them.
Kalu and others were, in the amended charge, accused of diverting about N3.2 billion from the Abia government’s treasury during Kalu’s tenure as governor.
They all pleaded not guilty to the charges and Chikere allowed them on bail on the terms attached to the bail granted them on April 30, 2008.
They had, eight years earlier been arraigned before Justice Adamu Bello, who is now retired.
The court adjourned the case till Dec. 6 for commencement of trial.
Source: PM News
What could have become a major disaster in Lagos State was averted on Sunday after a loaded petroleum tanker fell and spilled its content in the Ikorodu area of the state.
However, a motorist, whose identity had yet to be ascertained, was crushed to death as his Hyundai Saloon car with number plate, KJA 421 AH, was mangled under the weight of the fallen tanker.
The driver was said to have been trapped inside the car and was unable to escape.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the incident happened around 3.30am at the Ikorodu Township Roundabout.
It was learnt that the tanker, which belonged to Forte Oil, was at top speed when the driver lost control at the roundabout, which led to the accident.
Officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, the Lagos State Fire Service, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Federal Road Safety Corps, the National Emergency Management Agency and the Nigeria Police Force, were said to have brought the situation under control.
A LASEMA official said the agency arrived at the scene around 4am, adding that its emergency response team brought out the victim dead from the wreckage.
He said, “Preliminary report revealed that the truck was laden with 33,000 litres of petrol belonging to Forte Oil. While the driver was trying to turn at the roundabout, the truck fell on the Hyunda Saloon car, which had the driver as the only occupant. The man was trapped in the car.
“The prompt response of emergency responders and security operatives prevented the incident from escalating into a major fire disaster due to the spillage and the proximity of the scene to a filling station.
“The truck was carefully lifted upright, while the dead body was extricated by LASEMA men with the use of light duty equipment. There was nothing on him or in the car with which we could identify him.”
He said the vehicles were cleared off the road to allow for free flow of traffic, adding that the police later towed them away to the station.
The LASEMA General Manager, Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu, said proper investigation would be carried out into the cause of the accident by relevant government agencies.
“Motorists, especially articulated truck drivers, must avoid speeding and adhere to all traffic rules and regulations to avoid a recurrence,” he added.
The spokesperson for NEMA, South West Zone, Ibrahim Farinloye, said the victim’s corpse was deposited in the morgue of the Ikorodu General Hospital.
He said, “The operation was concluded without an explosion in any of the densely populated area where the PMS spilled into through the drainage channels.”