Saraki must be prosecuted – EFCC

Saraki must be prosecuted - EFCC
Saraki must be prosecuted – EFCC

By Naomi Sharang

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says no amount of media campaign against its Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu will stop the prosecution of the former President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki.

Spokesman of the commission, Mr Tony Orilade made this known in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.

According to Orilade, the attention of the EFCC has been drawn to the false claim made by Saraki, who is to face investigation here in Nigeria.

“He seems to have chosen outside the shores of Nigeria as the launch pad of his campaign of calumny against the EFCC and its leadership.

“We wish to state without any contradiction that the ongoing investigation against the former senate president and other Politically-exposed Persons (PeP) are on course, while Saraki and his co travellers will surely have their day in court shortly.

“Particularly, of reference is the report published in the Punch Newspaper of Sunday, June 30, 2019 entitled, “Magu begged me to help his confirmation by the Senate, Saraki tells CJ Kafarati”.

“Saraki deviously chose to divert attention from the weighty allegations of financial fraud trailing his eight years stewardship in Kwara and leadership of the senate.

“Instead, he is coming up with mendacious reasons on why the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court should ignore the request of the EFCC, seeking the transfer of its cases from Justice Taiwo Taiwo who curiously granted ex-parte order to restrain the commission from performing its statutory duties.”  he said.

Orilade further said that incidentally, the EFCC had filed a detailed response against the judge’s restraining order and took up issues over the controversial interim order.

“While waiting for the careful response of the CJ over the commission’s request, we wish to advise ex-president of the senate to carry his cross and allow the judiciary to perform its constitutional role,” he added.

The spokesman said it was absurd for Saraki  to be raising issues on what transpired during the confirmation of EFCC boss in 2016 when he was no longer in charge of the senate in 2019.

“It is too late for him in the day, to be claiming innocence over the confirmation saga when every Nigerian knew what transpired under his watch.

“The Commission under Magu, has moved on and will not be distracted over mundane issues.

“Let it be stated in unequivocal terms that the investigation of Saraki’s stewardship, whether as a former president of the senate or as a former governor of Kwara, has absolutely nothing to do with the non-confirmation of Mr Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman of the EFCC.

“While the EFCC will not allow itself to be drawn by Saraki to take up issues with him on the pages of newspapers, it is pertinent to once again state in clear terms that the probes being carried out by the EFCC are nothing personal.

“They are all about enthroning probity in governance, and letting leaders know that even out of office, they will be held accountable for their stewardship.

“Again, it is worth reminding Saraki that he has no need to be scared of the EFCC and its leadership as long as he believes he has a clear conscience,” he said.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had deferred hearing on fundamental right enforcement suits filed by  Saraki.

Saraki had filed the suits to stop the EFCC from re-opening investigation against him.

The suits were originally scheduled for hearing on Monday, June 24 but were however, adjourned till July 2 to await the outcome of a petition the EFCC lodged against Justice Taiwo Taiwo who is presiding over the matter.

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Chief of Naval Staff tasks military on patriotism

Pic. 15. Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas (5th, L); his wife Theresa (4th,L); Chairman of the Occasion, retired Gen. Zamani Lekwot (6th, L); President of 26 Regular Course Alumni, NDA, retired Squadron Leader, Kayode Shobajo(7th, L); Commandant of NDA, Maj.-Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade (R) and other dignitaries during a dinner and award night to commemorate the Alumni’s 40th Anniversary celebration in Abuja on Saturday night.
Pic. 15. Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas (5th, L); his wife Theresa (4th,L); Chairman of the Occasion, retired Gen. Zamani Lekwot (6th, L); President of 26 Regular Course Alumni, NDA, retired Squadron Leader, Kayode Shobajo(7th, L); Commandant of NDA, Maj.-Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade (R) and other dignitaries during a dinner and award night to commemorate the Alumni’s 40th Anniversary celebration in Abuja on Saturday night.

By Sylvester Thompson

Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) has urged the military to continue to abide by the principles of patriotism, service to the nation and humanity at large.

Ibas gave the charge at a dinner heldb on Saturday night to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 26 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Abuja.

Ibas reminded officers of the security challenges presently facing the country, and urged officers and men of the armed forces not to remain aloof at this crucial period in the nation’s history.

He said after dedicating their youth and energy defending this cause, they should continue to pledge their loyalty and support to securing the future of the nation.

The chief of naval staff urged officers to be “ambassadors of mutual tolerance, peaceful co-existence, patriotism and national cohesion.’’

He also used the ocassion of the anniversary to salute colleagues who had passed on in service to their fatherland.

Ibas also pledged continuous support to families of the fallen heroes.

“I congratulate all gallant members of the 26 Regular Course on the successful inauguration of the 26 Regular Course Alumni Association
Endowment Service.”

Sqn Ldr Kayode Shobajo, president of 26 Regular Course Alumni Association, on behalf of the association donated N10 million as their contribution to the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA).

The CNS, who was conferred pioneer grand patron of the association, said the endowment fund was intended to boost teaching and learning at the academy in line with global best practices.

“It is our hope that the NDA as our partner in most of these novel intervention, will provide the enabling environment for the attainment of our collective objectives.

“On the part of the 26 Regular Course Alumni Association, I wish to assure that the alumni shall continue to provide the necessary support to ensure sustainability of the endowment,’’ Ibas said.

Chairman of the occasion, Gen Zamani Lekwot (Rtd), said the 26 Regular Course like their predecessors, were all in the NDA in their prime as potential officers with big dreams.

He said the NDA had produced great movers of the armed forces and custodians of the country’s security.

According to him, the curriculum of the academy provides a critical balance between a good university degree and high calibre leadership training.

Lekwot maintained that the NDA was the best tertiary institution in Nigeria because the academy balances university degree programmes and leadership training.

“The cadets and staff don’t go on strike and attending lectures is a parade, so every minute is used, he said.

Shobajo, president of the alumni association said  that it had been quite an achievement for them.

“ In the last 40 years, we have produced across the services over 40 generals that served the nation, including our very own CNS who has impacted so much on us.

“We are looking back 40 years, just like yesterday. We appreciate God’s goodness and mercies,’’ Shobajo said.

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Africa Cup of Nations: DR Congo thrash Zimbabwe 4-0 to stay in contention

Cedric Bakambu (second right) scored 23 goals in 28 games in his first season with Beijing Guoan

DR Congo gave themselves a chance of qualifying for the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 4-0 win over Zimbabwe.

Congo lost their first two games in Egypt but Jonathan Bolingi and Cedric Bakambu struck in the first half.

Bakambu added a penalty before substitute Britt Assombalonga improved Congo’s goal difference late on.

That saw them finish above Zimbabwe and they must wait to see if they are one of four third-placed teams to qualify.

Zimbabwe had to make a late change to their starting line-up when goalkeeper George Chigova was injured in the warm-up. His replacement was Elvis Chipezeze, their third-choice keeper, because Edmore Sibanda is also injured.

The 29-year-old only made his international debut on 5 June, with this his fourth cap, and in just the fourth minute he pushed a tame free-kick by Birmingham midfielder Jacques Maghoma on to the crossbar and Bolingi followed up to head in the rebound.

Right-back Issama Mpeko then released Bakambu and the Beijing Guoan midfielder, who moved to China last year for an African record fee, produced a composed finish to double Congo’s lead.

Zimbabwe almost pulled a goal back just before the hour mark as captain Knowledge Musona steered a low cross back towards goal and Congo keeper Ley Matampi made a fine reflex save to stop substitute Nyasha Mushekwi’s back-heel creeping into the bottom corner.

But Chipezeze then gave away a penalty as he brought down Bakambu, who sidefooted the spot-kick into the bottom corner for his 10th international goal, before Middlesbrough striker Assombalonga opened his Congo account, tapping in the rebound after Chipezeze spilled an Elia Meschak shot.

Energy, flair and fight – analysis

John Bennett, BBC World Service in Cairo:

It’s a waiting game now for DR Congo at this Cup of Nations.

The players will be nervously watching the matches over the next two days from their hotel in Cairo, hoping they’ve done enough with three points and zero goal difference to be one of the four best third-placed teams.

It was an excellent performance, full of energy, flair and fight.

You’re just left wondering where the energy, flair and fight was in the first two games, particularly the opener against Uganda when they were awful.

As for Zimbabwe, they failed to build on a promising performance in their opening match against Egypt and they never really got going against DRC. It didn’t help of course that they had a third-choice keeper in goal and he was at fault for three of the goals. A nightmare performance.

I witnessed a lovely moment after Brit Assombalonga’s first ever DRC goal. His dad was in tears with his head in his hands watching from the stands. He also played for DRC at the Cup of Nations.

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Maritime workers to begin nationwide strike July 3

Maritime transport
Maritime transport

By Aisha Cole

Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN)  will begin a nationwide strike on Wednesday, July 3, after the expiration of a two-week strike ultimatum issued by the union on June 13 over non-payment of stevedoring contractors.

Mr Abdul-Waheed Adeyanju, the President-General of MWUN made this known in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday.

According to him, the leadership of the union has directed that members of the union shall withdraw services throughout the nation’s seaports effective from 06.00 hours on Wednesday, July 3, 2019.

Adeyamju said that the two-week notice issued on this subject lapsed on Friday, June 28, saying that there was no indication that the issue was being addressed.

He said that the union had given the International Oil Companies (IOCs) two weeks’ notice concerning the matter.

The News Agency of Nigeria NAN (NAN) reports that the union gave a two-week ultimatum on June 13 pleading with the Federal Government to urge IOCs to pay government-appointed stevedoring contractor monies being owed.

Adeyanju had urged the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport to look into the issue so that dockworkers could be paid their salaries and wages.

He said that failure to pay government-appointed stevedoring contractors for jobs done had made it impossible for their workers to be paid salaries.

According to him, the situation had led to untimely death of members.

“Dear stakeholders, we want to use this medium to intimate you and the Federal Government of the non-payment of the stevedoring wages to dockworkers by the International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria.

“On June 1, 2018, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) appointed stevedoring contractors to provide stevedoring services at various off-shore jetties and on-shore locations to the International Oil Companies and other operators.

“It will be necessary to inform you that NPA had held several meetings with these operators to grant access to the government-appointed stevedoring contractors, process their invoices, and effect payment,’’ Adeyanju said.

According to him, unfortunately, the operators refused to comply with NPA’s directive one year after the stevedoring contractors were appointed.

“We commend the managing director and management of NPA for the efforts they had made to compel the IOCs to engage the services of appointed stevedores and registered dockworkers in their stevedoring operations.

“A stakeholders’ meeting was held on Feb. 28, 2018 organised by NPA in Lagos to sensitise IOCs, jetty owners, and terminal owners,’’ Adeyanju said.

NAN reports that the NPA management made it clear that in line with Section 27 OF NIMASA Act, 2007 only government-appointed stevedores and registered dockworkers are empowered by law to solely handle, discharge and embark on loading operations at the ports, jetties and oil platforms.

Adeyanju wondered why the IOCs refused to cooperate with the newly-appointed stevedoring contractors since the modus operandi remained the same.

The union boss said that while dockworkers were awaiting the payment of their wages, they could no longer meet their family obligations like payment of house rents, children’s school fees and hospital bills, among others.

Adeyanju said, “We can no longer continue to watch our members die prematurely because of the attitude of the IOCs.’’ (NAN)

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Kevin Durant to join Nets

The devastating Achilles tear that knocked Kevin Durant out of the NBA Finals has not hurt his bank account.

The 10-time All-Star and two-time Finals MVP is planning to agree to a four-year, $164 million deal with the Brooklyn Nets, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported.

Durant later confirmed the news via The Boardroom’s account on Instagram:

The Nets are obviously looking to build a contender, with Kyrie Irving and Deandre Jordan reportedly planning to sign there too.

Once considered the prize catch of the free-agent market, Durant now carries a significant amount of risk after suffering his Achilles injury at 30 years old.

Achilles tears are notoriously difficult for basketball players to recover from, consistently leaving their victims as lesser versions of themselves when they return to the court. That Durant may not see the court again until he’s 32 makes his situation even more precarious.

But Durant’s talent and athleticism are so transcendent that he’s worth the long-term risk despite the red flags.

Kevin Durant is headed to Brooklyn. (Warriors)

Durant led the Warriors to back-to-back NBA championships in 2017-18, earning Finals MVP honors amid a star-studded roster that included Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Last season, he averaged 26 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.1 blocks while shooting 52.1 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from 3-point distance. He did so with a reduced usage rate playing alongside multiple All-Stars.

The hope now is that even a diminished Durant can make the kind of difference that will lead to competing for championships.

The first year of Durant’s deal is strictly an investment in those long-term hopes as the most optimistic prognoses have him sidelined for most of an entire year. If he does return for a potential playoff run, expectations of his performance will be severely tempered.

It’s not likely we’ll see what Durant will truly look like on the other end of an Achilles tear until the start of the 2020-21 season. Nobody expects him to be his former self when he does return.

But if he’s 80 percent of the Durant we saw prior to his playoff injuries this season, he’ll likely have been worth the risk.

More from Yahoo Sports:

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FG insists Ruga settlement will address farmers, herders conflicts

Armed herdsman
‘Ruga Settlement’ to address farmers, herders conflicts- Presidency

By Ismaila Chafe

The Presidency has frowned at recent unhelpful comments regarding the plan to stop roaming of cattle herders with the attendant clashes with farmers via the establishment of ‘Ruga Settlement’ across the country.

“Ruga Settlement” seeks to settle migrant pastoral families.

It simply means rural settlement in which animal farmers, not just cattle herders, would be settled in an organised place with provision of necessary and adequate basic amenities.

Such amenities include schools, hospitals, road networks, veterinary clinics, markets and manufacturing entities that would process and add value to meats and animal products.

Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, explained that beneficiaries of the Ruga Settlement would include all persons in animal husbandry, not only Fulani herders.

He said: ”The Federal Government is planning this in order to curb open grazing of animals that continue to pose security threats to farmers and herders.

”The overall benefit to the nation includes a drastic reduction in conflicts between herders and farmers.

”A boost in animal protection complete with a value chain that will increase the quality and hygiene of livestock in terms of beef and milk production, increased quality of feeding and access to animal care and private sector participation in commercial pasture production by way of investments.”

According to the presidential aide, other gains of the scheme are job creation, access to credit facilities, security for pastoral families and curtailment of cattle rustling.

Shehu dismissed the insinuation that Federal Government planned to seize state land or force state governments to embrace the scheme.

”Stripped of the politics and howling that has attended the recent comments, there is no government plan to seize state land, colonize territory or impose Ruga on any part of the federation.

”Government has made it clear time and again that the programme is voluntary,” he said.

Shehu also revealed that so far, 12 states had applied to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, making lands available for the take-off of the scheme in their states, adding that the number would be sufficient for the pilot scheme.

”Unfortunately, some state governments that have not signified interest in the scheme and, therefore, are not on the invitation list have been misleading people that the Federal Government is embarking on a scheme to take away their lands.

”Mostly, these are state leaders that have no explanation to offer their people for continued non-payment of workers’ salaries.

”It is true that government at the centre has gazetted lands in all states of the federation but because the idea is not to force this programme on anyone, the government has limited the take-off to the dozen states with valid requests.

The presidential spokesman, therefore, urged states to partner with federal government in encouraging all sides to these conflicts to make efforts towards finding a peaceful resolution.

”As we seek a permanent solution to these unwanted conflicts, efforts must be made to ensure that no innocent person faces any kind of deprivation or loss of right and freedom under our laws,” he added. (NAN)

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INEC strategising for better elections in 2023 — Okoye

INEC boss, Mahmood Yakubu
INEC boss, Mahmood Yakubu

By Mohammad Tijjani

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC ) said its ongoing review of the 2019 elections was to determine areas requiring improvement for better outcomes in 2023.

Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education, told newsmen on Sunday in Kaduna that the review would enable the Commission to determine areas requiring legislative action before the 2023 elections.

Okoye was in Kaduna for the Catholic Men Organization 2019 Fathers Day Celebration held at St. Joseph Catholic Cathedral.

He said that INEC would work with the National Assembly (NASS) to get good legislative framework that will lead to the conduct of better elections in 2023.

“What we normally do after every election is to start preparing for next election.

“We have finished what we call first state level review of the 2019 election, we have also done the review of the election with our electoral officers.

“This week we are going to review the election with political parties,  civil society organizations and other stakeholders.

“Next week, we are moving to Lagos State  to have a review with our administrative secretaries and our Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC).

“We are going to harvest and document all these reviews, look at the recommendations that have legislative flavour and work with the leadership of NASS to make sure we get good legislative framework that will lead us to conduct good election in 2023.

“The ones that need administrative review we will do it administratively.

“So we are getting ready, there is significant lessons arising from 2019 election, we are taking all this on board by starting our own reviews,” he said.

Okoye added that the Commission was also reviewing the reports of local and international observers on the 2019 elections.

“We are looking at those reports critically,  the ones that are positive we are going to take the positive massage along with us and consolidate on them, the negative aspect of their reports we are going to look on them and also harvest what we believe are harvestable.

“The purpose is improving the electoral regime and electoral framework,” the INEC national commissioner said.

Earlier, the Chairman, Catholic Men Organization of the Cathedral. Mr George Igwesi, said the celebration is to bring all men in the church together in building the body of Christ as individuals and as community.

Igwesi also said the event was to guide the members to be responsible fathers.

“If the family is good, definitely the church and the society will be good.

“As a father one has responsibilities as bestowed on fathers in the Scripture right from onset, so fathers have a big task especially with the present economic situation.

“The responsibilities of parents is not only to teach morality to our children, we must also take care of them financially in every aspect of life.” he said.(NAN)

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Obafemi Awolowo’s grandson features in BBNaija show


Big Brother Naija: Fans impatient as new BBNaija season delays
Obafemi Awolowo’s grandson features in BBNaija show

Seyi Awolowo, the grandson of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo is among the  twenty one  housemates that were unveiled during opening of the Nigeria reality show, Big Brother Naija tonight.

The announcement was made few minutes ago during the opening of the show.

The long-anticipated fourth season of the Big Brother Naija reality show kicked off with 21 housemates

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this is the highest number of housemates so far as 2017’s ‘See Gobe’ had 14 housemates and 2018’s ‘Double Wahala’ had 20 housemates.

Seyi, 30, is a medical doctor.

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Kylie Minogue sparkles on Glastonbury stage 14 years after cancer battle

GLASTONBURY, England (Reuters) – Kylie Minogue delighted a huge crowd at Glastonbury with hits including “Spinning Around”, “Shocked” and “Better the Devil You Know”, 14 years after illness forced her to cancel a headline performance at the festival.

Kylie Minogue performs on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, Britain June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Kylie, as she is universally known, played all the catchy disco pop hits that the audience had come to hear, from “I Should Be So Lucky”, her breakthrough 1988 worldwide number one, to 2010 release “All the Lovers”.

Minogue was due to headline Glastonbury, the world’s largest greenfield festival, in 2005, but was forced to pull out after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I wished things were different but life is what it is,” she said, chocking back tears of emotion. “We’re all here together in this moment.”

She said some of the artists in 2005 had covered her songs, and she welcomed on stage one of them, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, to join her in performing “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”.

The gig changed gear midway when the 51-year-old was joined by previous collaborator Nick Cave for the murder-themed ballad “Where the Wild Roses Grow”.

But the serious interlude was brief in a show that featured a blast of rainbow Pride confetti, four costume changes, and mass singalongs from the sun-bathed capacity crowd, including for the “Spinning Around” finale.

Minogue was followed by U.S. singer Miley Cyrus, who opened with “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart”, her collaboration with Mark Ronson, who joined her on stage.

Her father Billy Ray Cyrus also appeared during the show, performing “Old Town Road”, with rapper Lil Nas X.

U.S. rock band Vampire Weekend will play the main Pyramid Stage later on Sunday before British goth rock band the Cure close the festival.

Additional reporting by Hanna Rantala; editing by Kate Holton

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Buhari condoles NGE over death of deputy president


President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

By Ismaila Chafe

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the death of Deputy President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) Malam Umar Tudun-Wada.

Tudun-Wada, the immediate past Managing Director of Kano State Broadcasting Corporation, died on Sunday in a ghastly motor accident on his way back to Kano from Abuja.

In a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Sunday, Buhari described the late journalist as a gentleman and thoroughbred professional, who lived up to the standards of professionalism in his career.

“Journalism is service to humanity because it serves as a watchdog of society by holding leaders accountable for their actions.

“I am proud that the late Tudun-Wada played his role very well, with an unblemished career record.

“Let me use this opportunity to extend my sincere condolences to the Guild of Editors, Kano State Government and family of Tudun-Wada. May Allah grant them fortitude to bear the loss, and reward the deceased with aljanna,’’ the president said.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Tudun Wada had the fatal accident while returning from Abuja with one of his wives and a daughter.(NAN)

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