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Sunday, 30 August 2015

How Nigeria's State Security Nabbed 9 Boko Haram Leaders In Lagos, 1 in Enugu!

SSS Arrests 9 Boko Haram Leaders in Lagos, 1 in Enugu

The Department of State Services, on Sunday disclosed that its operatives in  the last two months arrested more than a dozen leaders of the Boko Haram terrorist organization, nine of who were nabbed in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital.
This was made known via a statement signed by the organization's spokesman, Tony Opuiyo who stated that the terrorists seem determined to extend their frontiers to other parts of the country.

Below is the full text of the statement:

"In line with the Department of State Services’, DSS, re-strategised Counter Terrorism measures to combat the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, the Service has continued to make significant breakthroughs in this direction. This followed the rounding up of notable commanders and frontline members of the notorious group from different parts of the country. It should be noted that the group’s new pattern of movement and spread is necessitated by the pressure being put on them in their core areas of strength in the North East.

2. Consequently, a number of them have been arrested in Lagos, Kano, Plateau, Enugu and Gombe States between July 8 and August 25, 2015. Of particular note was the arrest on July 8, 2015 in Gombe State of those responsible for the coordination and execution of the suicide attacks in Potiskum, Kano, Zaria and Jos. They are:

Usman SHUAIBU (a. k. a. Money):
3. SHUAIBU revealed that he coordinated the attacks under reference with the sum of N500,000 which was provided by his Amir, one Isa ALI. He claimed that the said Isa ALI has links to the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar SHEKAU, from where he collects monies to fund operations undertaken by their Markaz.  Also, he revealed that he has participated in several Boko Haram attacks, including the attacks at Gwoza Divisional Police Station in 2014.

4.  SHUAIBU admitted being the leader of the team of nine (9) sect members that was dispatched from Sambisa Forest to carry out the attacks. He disclosed that four out of the nine of them were used as suicide bombers in executing all the (suicide) attacks.

5. Suspect, an IED expert, confessed to the preparation of the IEDs used for the mentioned attacks. He also averred that he was the one who strapped the suicide bombers, notably SULE and his wives, with IED vests, which they used in the attacks in Jos.

Adamu ABDULLAHI (aka Babpa)
6. Suspect confessed that Usman SHUAIBU motivated him to work closely with Ahmed MOHAMMED (aka ABUBAKAR) in the preparation of the IEDs used in the attacks under reference.

Ibrahim ISA
7. Suspect confessed that he was the one who carried out reconnaissance on the targets in Jos ahead of the attacks.
Muttaqa YUSUF (aka Mohammed SANI/Mudtaka):
8. Suspect disclosed that one ALIYU, believed to be Aliyu GOMBE, in Sambisa forest, was the one that ordered the serial attacks which the syndicate carried out. He further confessed that he assisted Usman SHUAIBU in planning and executing the said attacks.

9. Other arrests include:
i. Bakura MODU:- He was arrested on July 20, 2015, at Kara, Isheri Berger, Ikeja LGA, Lagos State;

ii. Mustapha Alli JAMNERI:- He was  arrested on July 24, 2015, at Gowon Estate, Egbeda, Alimosho LGA, Lagos State;

iii. Abuyi SHERRIFF:- suspect was arrested on August 7, 2015, at Ebute-Metta, Lagos Mainland LGA, Lagos State;

iv. Babagana ALI and Babagana KOLOYE:- were arrested same day (August 7, 2015), at Eric Moore, Bode Thomas Street, Surulere LGA, Lagos State;

v. Abba Modu SAGMA: He was arrested on August 9, 2015, at Ijora Badiya, Apapa LGA, Lagos State;

vi. Grema ABUBAKAR and Tijani BAGUDU: were arrested on August 10, 2015, at Amukoko, Ijora Badiya, Apapa LGA, Lagos State;

vii. Baba Alhaji and Abass IBRAHIM:- were arrested earlier on the same day (August 10, 2015), at Alaba International Market, Alaba, Ojo LGA, Lagos State;

viii. IBRAHIM AUDU: Suspect was arrested on August 192015, at New Artisan Market, Enugu, Enugu State;

ix. Ibrahim HARUNA: The 30-year old suspect from  Kanawa village, Sumaila LGA, Kano State was arrested on August 21, 2015, at Kwomi village, Kwami Local Government Area, Gombe State;

x. Mal Ali MOHAMMODU: The 33-year-old suspect was arrested on August 22, 2015, at Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Fagga LGA in Kano State;

xi.   Adam Wakil Abdul JILBE: was arrested on August 23, 2015, at  Obanikoro Area, Mushin LGA, Lagos State; and

xii. Mohammed USMAN: was arrested on August 25, 2015, at  Atuashe Estate, Gbagada, Kosofe LGA, Lagos State.

10.  Nigerians and indeed the general public have to note that the arrest of Usman SHUAIBU aka Money and the core members of his cell, stemmed the spate of bombings by the extremist sect. It would be recalled that MONEY and his group were arrested on their way to Bauchi State where they had planned to execute another heart-rending bomb attack and this was frustrated by the arrest.
Furthermore, the sudden influx of Boko Haram members into Lagos State points to the determination of the sect to extend its nefarious terrorist activities to the State and in fact, other parts of the country.
The arrest of these confessed terrorist elements has however helped in no small measure to avert devastating attacks in the area. However, the Service is making efforts to conclude its investigations and commence prosecution of the suspects.

11. Drawing from the above, the DSS reiterates its avowed determination to work with other stakeholders in the fight against terror and other forms of criminality in our country. Citizens and residents are therefore called upon to rise to the occasion by volunteering useful information to the Service and relevant security agencies".

Obasanjo statements are to satisfy selfish interest. -Gani Adams

The National Coordinator of the Oo’dua Peoples Congress, Mr. Gani Adams, tells TOBI AWORINDEabout his grievances against former President Olusegun Obasanjo and a former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, recently passed away. What do you think the late monarch will be remembered for?
Kabiyesi (Oba Sijuwade) was one of the best to have ascended that throne. He was a socialite and a person who knew how to have his way in projecting the culture of Yorubaland. In Ife, hardly would you see any of the people taking Kabiyesi to court. And you know the Yoruba are known for seeking justice whenever they feel they have been treated unfairly. Ife happens to be a very big town; for him (Ooni) to have presided over the kingdom for about 35 years, he was a great man. He projected that stool to the extent that whoever succeeds him already has a template. There is no way he (the successor) can reduce the popularity. It is a great loss to the Yoruba race, to Nigeria, Africa and the whole world.
Hearing the news of his death was a huge shock. For the past four years during the Oduduwa Festival, you would feel the presence of Kabiyesi, despite the health challenges that came with old age — he was 85. He would sit with us for a period of up to three hours.
You would never have seen Ooni talking anyhow; he could attend 10 events, but hardly would he speak at two of the events. He would rather ask one of his aides to speak on his behalf. But during the Oduduwa Festival, Kabiyesi would give a speech of up to 30 minutes. That stool is the source of the entire Yoruba race; it has been in existence for more than 20,000 years. We pray that whoever will succeed him will be crowned from heaven.
How would you describe your relationship with the late Ooni?
Ooni was the kind of monarch that would not underrate any hard-working individual in Yorubaland despite the level of his affluence and influence. Whenever I host a birthday celebration, he would send three powerful chiefs to represent him. Before I became close to him, I had a wrong perception of him. When you sit down with some of our politicians, you would hear different things about him. But sitting down with him (Ooni) in his palace turned out to be a delight.
We discussed at length about the unity of the Yoruba race. I remember vividly that around November 1999, when there was a serious factional crisis in the Oo’dua Peoples Congress, he was the first human being in Yorubaland to call for a reconciliation between Dr. Frederick Fasehun and I.
You know how people perceived the OPC back then; even to call us together, you would think twice about your security. But he took the risk because he, as the Alaroye Oodua (Mouthpiece of Oduduwa), needed to reconcile us. His efforts singlehandedly reduced the tension between the two leaders, before God used (former Ogun State governor) Gbenga Daniel in March 2005 to completely resolve the dispute.
Anytime there was a challenge on how the Yoruba should move forward, Ooni would summon all the socio-cultural and political leaders. Apart from writing a letter, he would call you personally.
His last assignment for Yorubaland was last year when the national conference was approaching. He called a conference of all 50 Yoruba leaders to his palace and asked us, ‘What are you doing? What preparations have you made to defend the interest of the Yoruba? Form a committee in my presence’. So, in the presence of the Ooni and some other Obas, we formed a committee. (A former Secretary to the Government of the Federation) Chief Olu Falae was the chairman of the committee, (a former Chief of Defence Staff) Lt.-Gen. Alani Akinrinade was the vice chairman, and (former Secretary General, Yoruba Council of Elders) Dr. Kunle Olajide was the secretary. That was how we began the Yoruba agenda, there in Ooni’s palace. From there, we took the meeting to (a former Commissioner for Education in the defunct Western Region) Pa Olaniwun Ajayi’s residence in Ishara-Remo. Assuming he did not take the initiative, we would have gone to the national conference without an agenda.
I pray God will give us someone who loves the Yoruba heritage as he did; someone who will continue with a strong passion for our identity and be liberal about religion, not a religious fanatic, who will choose one religion and disregard the other two.
During the Goodluck Jonathan administration, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo displayed a strong dislike for the former’s leadership style. What is your view on Obasanjo’s criticisms?
Obasanjo did not normally agree with any President for a period of four years. If he is praising you at the beginning, within two years, he will have problems with you. There is no human being on earth that can satisfy Obasanjo. He is just like a father, but that is the truth. Even when former President Shehu Shagari was there, within four years, Obasanjo started nursing certain feelings towards him. When Buhari was there, from 1984 to 1985, Obasanjo refused to do anything with him; meanwhile, he was dining and wining tactically with (a former Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim) Babangida. If you don’t come to Ota farm, even coming to him, he can set you up.
He had issues with (Gen. Sani) Abacha before he was arrested and later was saying (late Chief Moshood) Abiola was not the Messiah—the same Abiola, who had personally prostrated before Prof. Wole Soyinka in Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, begging him to let Obasanjo become the United Nations Secretary General. But when Abiola’s turn came, he turned his back on him.
He was in prison when Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar came to in power. In 1999, he (Obasanjo) was given power; he dealt with virtually 90 per cent of the people that assisted him from prison to power. He disagreed with (the late President) Umar Yar’Adua for befriending Daniel.
When Jonathan came into power, within two and a half years as Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Board of Trustees, Obasanjo had issues with him. Before the end of Jonathan’s four years, he tore his PDP membership card. I have never seen any person on earth, who a party would bring from prison to become president for eight years. No matter the situation or issue, couldn’t he have been silent like Abdulsalami or Yakubu Gowon? Is it when one becomes an elder statesman that he should become an activist? If we, as activists, are heating up the polity, as an elder statesman, he should tactically caution us or persuade us. But when an elder statesman, who has been in power for 11 years, becomes an activist to the point that he campaigned publicly for the candidate of a party, then you can be sure something is wrong.National Coordinator, Oodua People’s Congress, Otunba Gani Adams
National Coordinator, Oodua People’s Congress, Otunba Gani Adams
Do you agree with Obasanjo’s view that Awolowo was not the political leader of the Yoruba?
Thank God for (former Ogun State governor) Chief Olusegun Osoba for giving us an opportunity to remember history at the national conference. As a journalist in those days, he refreshed our memories: On August 16, 1966, all leaders in Yorubaland endorsed Awolowo (as Yoruba leader) and Obasanjo was a garrison commander under Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo. After that, Obasanjo could not talk. I have never seen somebody in life who could say the best candidate would not win an election against Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1979 and we all know what happened in that election.
I don’t know how old one will be that he will start writing a book that will affect his future. Obasanajo is the luckiest person in Africa. I have never seen anybody who is belle-full (overfed) to the point that he would be looking for what would destroy his stomach. How can anyone be writing that kind of information to sell to the whole world? I am using this opportunity to appeal to people (eyewitnesses) to X-ray that book and write rejoinders. They should not underrate what he wrote as a former Head of State for fear of people using it for research. That book he wrote, My Watch, is highly condemnable. It is unacceptable. It is something a reasonable Yoruba should think twice before reading. How can anyone on earth be attacking Awolowo that gave us free education, the Liberty Stadium and the first 24-storey building — Cocoa House — as far back as 1957?
This man ruled the Western Region for five years and gave us the Rediffusion (television) in the same month France got it. He did all this with just agriculture; there was no oil then.
About 200 people were given scholarships, many of whom became professors. Awolowo is the reason for the education standard the Yoruba have today.
I cannot imagine why he (Obasanjo) would be abusing this man (Awolowo). Even if he doesn’t believe in his leadership, couldn’t he have even issued a statement (at the time) to say so? After the death of Awolowo in 1987, when no one has ever questioned his leadership, Obasanjo then wrote a book in 2014, saying he doesn’t believe in a Yoruba leader and that he (Obasanjo) was an Owu person, but that he would prefer to be recognised as a nationalist, an Africanist or a world leader. But how can a person be a leader in Nigeria without having a base? The Yoruba will tell you ‘adara n’ta, ma dara n’le’ (good abroad but not at home). When they say that, it means such a person is finished; that means the person has no base. So when a person dies, who will glorify him? Most of his statements have always been out of selfish interest.
You have been very vocal about your conflict with the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Have you settled your differences?
I will tell you categorically, he (Tinubu) is a person I was so close to. But I realise now that he didn’t like me. He was just trying to manage me.
Why doesn’t he like you?
I don’t know. He was trying to identify with the group (OPC) back then, but he was not planning to repackage it to make it great. We tried our best for him. We stood by him when Obasanjo was trying to water him down. As a matter of fact, when Obasanjo detained me for 14 months, I got information from the (Presidential) Villa that one of my offences was that I was very close to Tinubu. It took the intervention of the law of the land to effect my release in 2006. Obasanjo wanted to keep me in detention till the 2007 general elections so that Tinubu (as Lagos State governor) would not hand over power to his successor, Babatunde Fashola.
I was blackmailed by even most of the leaders of the PDP back then because of my closeness to Tinubu. We later realised that he (Tinubu) did not want the group to exist. In the middle of our (OPC) crisis — though we had no evidence at the time that he was the one fuelling it — he couldn’t call us for reconciliation. He preferred to dine with (OPC founder, Dr. Frederick) Fasehun and I separately. Majority of OPC members were in Lagos, but Tinubu did not do it (resolve the crisis). After Daniel’s reconciliation process, Bayo Banjo called me and said, ‘Gani, Lagos is your base as OPC. We need Tinubu to put finishing touches to this reconciliation’. This was after we had held a press conference, where I was named National Coordinator of the OPC and Fasehun, founding father. (Osun State Governor Rauf) Aregbesola was then the Lagos State Commissioner for Works. Together, we drove to Bourdillion to meet Tinubu.
After we got to Tinubu’s office and Banjo presented his case, the first thing he (Tinubu) did was to bring out a magazine. He said we should look at the publicity that Daniel used the reconciliation to make. We said, ‘Your Excellency, what is the problem? Do yours for the sake of history in Yorubaland, after all the bloodshed that had happened within the group’. But he just went into a long rigmarole and that was how we left that place. Banjo was highly disappointed, but God has said He is happy with anyone who initiates peace.
Tinubu and I disagree politically. The last election marked the first time that we had to disagree openly and from the beginning of the election, I had made up my mind that anywhere Tinubu is, I will not go there. Even if he is supporting the right candidate, I will go for the wrong candidate. You can ask some of the Yoruba APC members; some of them accused me of not supporting (President) Muhammadu Buhari. I told some people, who are close to Buhari in Abuja, that I wouldn’t align with them as long as Tinubu is still APC leader in the South-West. I could have supported Jonathan without making a noise, but I knew Tinubu was so smart. If he realises you are not supporting him, he will strike your structure from underneath. So, we made sure that we blocked those holes to a certain extent and that is why since 2007, he has been asking some OPC members to say a lot of things about me. But I told people that you can’t expect me to be joining issues with parasites. Politics is a game of number. If someone is supporting a candidate against you, you look for a way to tackle him. One cannot drag me into supporting a candidate on the pages of the newspaper. We have to negotiate.
Didn’t it appear that you placed your personal dispute with Tinubu before the interest of the Yoruba people?
Yes, politics is about interests, but I cannot give someone power (empower someone), then he starts working towards my downfall. Besides, there are two ways of getting power: through the barrel of the gun or through the ballot box. What we have now is democracy; it is through the ballot box. If you want to enlist me as your supporter and one of the people that will influence your progress, you must negotiate with me. I am not saying you should give me money. But I have followers; what will you give them? Assuming Tinubu was not confronting different leaders of self-determination groups, it is possible that the APC could have won 90 per cent of the votes and the people that lost interest might have done so because they couldn’t decide who to vote for.
Are you disputing Tinubu’s influence in the last elections?
I don’t dispute his influence much because he tried his best to make sure some people in the South-West were persuaded. In Buhari’s case, I think his time had come; it was settled in the spiritual realm. Six to eight months to the election, nobody thought Buhari would win the election. Buhari’s clout grew beyond Tinubu; it became an image that could sell the APC. People chanted ‘Sai Buhari!’ They were not shouting ‘Sai Tinubu!’ I am not saying Tinubu did not work towards that image, but God had already made up his mind that Buhari would be the president.
Do you think the comparisons that have been drawn between Awolowo and Tinubu are true?
You cannot compare Tinubu with Awolowo. First, Tinubu was just a governor for two terms. I was in Lagos at the time and we didn’t enjoy free education or free health. There was nothing like employment for all. There was no welfare policy. All Tinubu did was to repackage Lagos State and he brought some elite to showcase that there was democracy, even to the extent that there are more private schools in the state than public schools. We are products of the free education provided by Awolowo’s Unity Party of Nigeria. I remember receiving textbooks and exercise books with stamps saying ‘not for sale’. So, the distance between Awolowo’s legacy and that of Tinubu is just like the distance from heaven to earth,
In the last elections, the Igbo and the Yoruba in Lagos were pitted against one another along PDP and APC divide, leading to heightened tensions in the state. Do you think it will have a lasting effect on their ability to coexist?
I think we can coexist, but I want to appeal to our Igbo brothers to be very careful, especially of our royal institutions. They are our pride; no matter what mistakes you find in their statements, there is no cause to downgrade or insult them. In our culture, the Oba is like a god. If they make a mistake, go to their palace and talk to them within the palace. I read an article in a newspaper directed at the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu, and I was not pleased. I asked myself, ‘What are the Igbo trying to cause in the South-West?’ The Oba of Oworo said if they had been allowed to do a normal appeasement, the helicopter crash would have been averted. I read about 20 comments of Igbos abusing him. I couldn’t believe it. There were also some foolish Yoruba who, because of their fanaticism, joined them. I wondered whether we are in a country where we are not entitled to our belief or speech. If this man, as a traditional ruler, says something about his tradition and some people are abusing him, it is an insult to the Yoruba people.
A former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, also recently spoke out against Yoruba monarchs that hosted Jonathan during electioneering, saying they lied to the ex-President. What is your reaction?
It is bad. I have my reservations about Cardinal Okogie because he is someone I respect a lot; I don’t like that statement at all. I am appealing to him, as one of our radical priests, to be very careful about statements concerning our kings. Any priest in Yorubaland is under a king, no matter how powerful he is. It is normal in any election for the incumbent President to visit all the respected kings. If the Cardinal could have extended it (statement) to the Emirs in the North and the Igwes in the South-South and South-East, I would have said he was being neutral, but why did he pick on the Yoruba kings alone? After all, Jonathan visited almost all the important traditional rulers beyond Yorubaland and we didn’t hear anyone of them saying he would not win. It is normal for them to pray for you. The (late) Ooni of Ife did not say he would win; the Alaafin of Oyo was so tactical; none of them made a categorical statement. Even Oba Akiolu was tactical. As a person fighting for the cause of the Yoruba, I don’t find that statement heartwarming.
People have a very negative perception of the OPC. They often think of it as a tool for political violence. What do you think of this perception?
Great and everlasting organisations have always had to deal with wrong perceptions. There is no way you can start and get it right. Do you know that the African National Congress (in South Africa) was listed by the State Department in the United States as a terrorist organisation until 1994? Check history, you’ll find that any great organisation, in its earliest form, is never accepted. But with time, it gains global acceptance.
During the elections, we heard of multiple attacks by the OPC in places such as Oshodi,…
(Cuts in) We were not given a chance to explain our side of that story. We are not part of the union (National Union of Road Transport Workers). We tried as much as possible to say we did not have anything to do with MC(Oluomo). Yes, MC was our boy before he became union leader. But we could not say because they want to arrest him for political violence, then we want to take his garage (motor park). What is our interest? Most of them are my boys. I don’t get involved in union issues, no matter how lucrative it is, because I hate insults. You won’t see me laying my hands on anything that will soil my name because of money. I would prefer to drink garri in my house.
What were the terms of the N4bn pipeline surveillance contract that you and other militant leaders signed with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation under the Jonathan administration?
The terms and conditions were very accurate. They (NNPC) formulated the agreement; we studied it and signed it. We have done the job; we wrote reports every week by which we communicated (with the NNPC). We also submitted monthly dossiers. We didn’t want to take chances because some people perceived that we were given that contract without due process. We made sure that all the agreements were concluded by us. We took the job on March 16 and handed over on June 15. But since we finished the contract two months ago, we haven’t been paid. They promised to pay us the first instalment for one and a half months. But then, we realised that they wouldn’t be able to meet up, so we called a meeting to tell the public. If we go to court, what of public opinion? People didn’t know we had signed that contact with the NNPC’s legal department. People thought Jonathan just wanted to throw money away, so, he gave us the contract. But people didn’t understand that about 90 per cent of the money was salary. The NNPC gave us a standard and we agreed to pay N50,000 per person. So, we informed the public so that the people would know how we got the contract, how it was signed and how we wrote a report. Knowing Nigerians, we just wanted to sensitise the public before taking the matter to court. In fact, on June 14, they sent us an email congratulating and commending us for completing the contract. They said they weren’t sure the contract would be renewed but that they thanked us for the completion of the contract.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

"President Buhari is Sending Wrong Signals That Nigeria Is A Conquered Territory", says Ajulo

An Abuja-based lawyer and founder of the Egalitarian Mission- an NGO established to champion the rights of the downtrodden has reacted to the recent announcement of federal appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing the president of treating the nation like a conquered territory.
Responding to questions from correspondents, Ajulo described the development as "scary and ominous, - it gives insight into the manner of things to be expected from this administration".
"I have been stricken speechless by this recent development. It is unfortunate that at a time like this, the president appears to be reneging on his promise to forge a united Nigeria, as has resorted to acting like a vindictive conqueror.
"It is particularly mind-numbing when one considers the manner in which the appointments so far has sidelined a major region of the country- the SouthEast- completely," he said.

Ajulo stated further that the president was sending signals that seem to state that he(the president) considers the nation occupied territory, and the recent appointment he has announced, to him, are spoils of war to be shared amongst his kin.
‎ "You will remember that in the post-Civil war era, the government of the day despite the gory war against the Igbos declared a No Victor, No Vanquished policy, and strove to heal wounds and build a united nation. The Gowon-led administration was magnanimous in victory. However, what we have now in 2015 is shocking, we just had an election not a war, what we have after a transition that followed a successful election period, is a president who appears to be totally oblivious and unmindful of the psyche of his fellow countrymen.

"What we are seeing now, appears to be the fulfillment of the fears of many who warned us that Buhari, as president, would not augur well for the continued work towards nation-building in peace and unity.

Ajulo lamented the plight of the people of the South-East, who he described as "stranded or marooned at sea in the Buhari administration.

"Why is it that President Buhari appears to be fulfilling the prophecies of those who, prior to the March elections, described him as a champion of the Northern Agenda? Didn't he say that he is for everybody and at the same time for nobody? Are there no competent people in the South East from which he could choose? These were the questions that ran continually through my mind ever since the news broke yesterday."

Ajulo expressed fears that nigerians were in for a dark night, if the president persists in the path of sectionalism, as expressed in the recent appointments he has made.

"Even though he may have good intentions, I am afraid that President Buhari may indeed be out of touch with the political realities of the present times, and also grossly insensitive to the political aspirations of any people apart from his immediate kin from the northern parts of the nation.
He finally lampooned those justifying Buhari's appointments particularly the traditional critics and the so called activists for presently keeping mute because they're expectant of getting and have been lobbying for appointments from President Buhari.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Presidency assures of balanced appointments after outcry

Posted by MailExpress 

 The presidency has assured that President Muhammadu Buhari will properly balance appointments as the executive cabinet begins to take shape.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adeshina made this assurance on Friday morning on a live radio show monitored by Mail Express after outcries trailed the appointments of officials into five more key positions on Thursday evening.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adeshina
According to Adeshina, the president is aware of the concerns of Nigerians who feel that yesterday’s appointments and the ones preceding it were lopsided and in favour of the Northern region of the country.
Adeshina, who admitted that he has been inundated with calls in the last 24 hours over the matter, explained that the president was aware of the constitutional provision of ‘Federal Character’ which directs that all appointments must be shared as equally as possible between the six geo-political zones of the country. He also noted that the appointments have so far been on merit, so Nigerians should understand why the appointments so far have gone the way they have.
“The first thing I tried to call their attention to is the merit of the appointments, the personal merit of each of the persons that have been appointed. We cannot run away from the fact each one of those appointed merit the position. They are qualified.
“But then in terms of the spread, what I often like to say is that the president has the prerogative to make appointments and he knows there is Federal Character in our constitution. I am sure that he bears that in mind as he makes the appointments that will come in the future. I believe that at the end of it all, there will be a balance.
“These are still early days in the appointments he is going to make. At the end of it all, I believe that we are going to have a balance,” Adeshina said.
He however argued that some appointments were not the president’s fault because he could not control the circumstances surrounding them.
“Don’t let us forget that some of those positions (appointments) were by elections, some were statutory whereby the next person in rank took over. There is nothing the president can do about that. If it’s an election, what would he do about it because he does not control the elections? The National Assembly came by election, so you can’t lay that at the feet of the president.
“The ones that he can control, there are still many of those ahead. (On) this issue of key or not key, I believe that every position can be made key depending on the person that has been appointed and how he applies himself to that position.
“I am sure that by the time we have more appointments coming, you will see that these things will balance out. The president is trying to make a very good job of it and to bring out the very best that Nigeria can afford; those that can bring about the change that we desire to bear on the country. As we go along, we will see that it will balance out.”
Culled from Daily Express

Does Role Importance of SGF Inform President Buhari's Choice of Engr. Lawal ?

NUJ Europe takes a look at the pedigree of the person to perform the arduos tasks of administrative functions in the government of Buhari. The perspective at which Nigerians consider the role of SGF is nonetheless an integral part of government administration. On the latest appointments announced on 26th, August 2015, less to expectations of political observers that some well known figures in the ruling  political party, All Progressive Congress (APC) have not been thrown such juicy positions. President Buhari, noted for having kept names of prospective appointees to his chest, has started taken steps to have a new order to check his corruption campaign in the government, by appointing and replacing public officials where he believes urgently needed.

NUJ Europe is keenly monitoring the trend of politics being played out since the election of President Buhari. The choice of Secretary to Government of the Federation by Mohammadu Buhari is informed by the need to have technocrats whose experience is significant to the success of his administration. Basically, the Secretatry to Government of the Federation is charged with responsibility to ensure effective coordination and monitoring of the implementation of government policies and programmes for the overall development of Nigeria. President Buhari must have sought to put the round peg in the right hole by going for a  technocrat to be Secretary to the Government of the Federation in the person of Engineer Babachir Lawal who hails from Hong Local Government Area, Adamawa State.

Engr. Babachir David Lawal
Engr. Babachir David Lawal - SGF
Engr. Lawal is an alumnus of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria having graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in 1979.  He worked with the Delta Steel Company, Aladja, Nigerian External Telecommunications Limited and Data Sciences Limited before establishing his own ICT and Telecommunications consulting firm in 1990. According to the statement made by the Special Assitant to President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, Engr. Lawal is a member of the Nigeria Computer Society, the Nigeria Society of Engineers and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria. 

The Secretary to Government of the Federation is expected to carry out the following staturory functions:
1. Coordinating policy design and formulation by Ministries, Departments and Agencies for approval by Government.
2. Serving as Secretary to the Council of State, the Federal Executive Council and other Constitutional Councils, which are chaired by the President.
3.Coordinating the activities of Ministries and Government Agencies on the implementation of Government decisions, policies and programmes
Dealing with constitutional, political and socio-economic matters as may be referred to the Presidency.
4. Àdministrative Tribunals, Commissions and Panels of Enquiry; vi) Coordinating national security and public safety matters.
5. National Honours Award
6. Prerogative of Mercy
7. Protocol Matters
8. Channeling of papers and directives of the President
9. Processing and granting Government approval for Overseas Tours, Intergovernmental Meetings/Conferences, medical check-up/treatment by Public Officers.
10. Processing requests for Overseas Duty Tours/Conferences including medical check-up/treatment abroad for members of the Judiciary, Chairmen and Members of Statutory Commissions/Bodies for approval by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
11. Coordinating the appointments to Headship of Statutory Bodies, Commissions and Agencies by the President.
12. Dealing with matters relating to conditions of service of political office holders.
13. Intergovernmental Affairs and relations with State and Local Governments.
14.Liaison with Secretaries to State Governments.
15.Allocation of office accommodation to Political Office Holders.

The roles specific of Secetary to the Government of the Federation are nonetheless ardous task which hardworking, experience and commitment to the public service of the position holder will come to play.

Nigeria Union of Journalists Europe Chapter wishes Engr. Babachir David Lawal the very best and a successful tenure as Nigeria's Secretary to Government of the Federation.

Lashley Oladigbolu, Acting President of Nigeria Union of Journalists in Europe, writes from London.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Breaking: Buhari Appoints Chief of Staff, Secretary to Government of the Federation, Others.

By Lashley Oladigbolu

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday disclosed the appointments of  Secretary to Government of the Federation, Chief of Staff, Senior Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Comptroller Gen of Customs, as well as the new head of Nigeria Immigration Service. President Buhari disclosed this during a briefing to our colleagues at State House in Abuja.

The new Presidential Appointments are as follows:
1. Engr. Babachir David Lawal - Secretary to the Government of the Federation
2. Alhaji Abba Kyari - Chief of Staff to the President
3. Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.) - Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service
4. Mr. Kure Martin Abeshi - Comptroller-General, Nigerian Immigration Service
5. Senator Ita S.J. Enang - SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate)
6. Hon. Suleiman A. Kawu - SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives)

In an official statement made available to NUJ Europe the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina a brief profile of some of the appointees was cited as follows:

"Engr. Lawal, the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation hails from Hong Local Government Area, Adamawa State. He graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1979 with a Bachelor of Engineering Degree and worked with the Delta Steel Company, Aladja, Nigerian External "Telecommunications Limited and Data Sciences Limited before establishing his own ICT and Telecommunications consulting firm in 1990. He is also a member of the Nigeria Computer Society, the Nigeria Society of Engineers and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria."

"Alhaji Abba Kyari, the new Chief of Staff to the President holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the University of Cambridge and the University of Warwick in Law and Sociology. He has worked with the New Nigeria Development Company, New Africa Holdings, African International Bank, United Bank for Africa, Unilever, and Mobil in various capacities over the years."

"The new Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Ali holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Criminology. He was military administrator of Kaduna State from 1996 to 1998."

"The new Comptroller- General of Immigration, Mr. Abeshi hails from Nasarawa State. He joined the Nigerian Immigration Service in 1989 as an Assistant Comptroller. His educational qualifications include a Masters Degree in Public Administration."

The appointments announced on Thursday have doused much expectations that ignite issues of public debates among Nigerians.

According to the statement made available to NUJ Europe, the appointments take immediate effect.
For more instant updates follow NUJ Europe on Twitter

Corruption in EFCC? Diversion of N2t: Ribadu, Waziri, Larmode fingered

-As Nigeria's anti-corruption boss Ibrahim Lamorde  denied allegations that $5bn (£3.2bn) has gone missing at the commission he heads.

Former Chairmen of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission – Nuhu Ribadu and Farida Waziri – and the incumbent Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde, were on Wednesday fingered in the alleged diversion of N2.051 trillion meant for the Federal Government.This was revealed at the commencement of the investigative hearing of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions into the alleged disappearance of the fund.

According to the petitioner, Gorge Uboh, who appeared before the Committee to unveil shocking alleged mismanagement of funds by the Commission, the monies recovered by the Commission during Ribadu’s tenure as the chairman of the Commission from former Governor of Bayelsa State, D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha, were not mentioned in the exhibit records.
Uboh said the Commission got N3.7 billion from former governor, ‎but remitted N3.1 billion into government’s purse.
Uboh also accused the commission of doctoring its accounts with Access Bank from time to time.Farida Waziri, former Chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commisssion.
Farida Waziri, former Chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commisssion
Uboh said on on Naira recoveries alone: “In a December 02, 2011 letter EFCC sent to the Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, EFCC stated that the aggregate recoveries from 2004 to 2011 (8 financial years) was N1,326,754,554,482:80. EFCC did not mention where the N1.3 Trillion recovered was remitted to. EFCC’s claim that it did not recover up to a Trillion is complete false.”
Uboh gave the breakdown as follows:
He disclosed further: “In EFCC’s “SUMMARY OF EFCC MONETARY RECOVERIES 2003-MARCH, 2013” (11 financial years), EFCC stated that the aggregate recoveries for eleven financial years is N497,385,427,485:63; EFCC did not mention where the N497.3 Billion recovered was remitted to, going by the following breakdown-
Uboh, who stated that the documents submitted were prepared under the chairmanship of Lamorde, went further to disclose that total recoveries to be remitted as confirmed by the EFCC are 1.995 Trillion + 48.9 Billion + 7.3 Billion + .4 Billion =N 2.051 Trillion, asking: “AFTER RECOVERING OVER 2 TRILLION HOW DID THE FUNDS MELT AWAY?”
He went further by alleging that in defrauding the nation of seized funds from corrupt Nigerians under investigation, the EFCC under Lamorde also indulged in doctoring of Bank Accounts and diversion of already seized loots. 

EFCC boss Ibrahim Lamorde
ImageEFCC boss Ibrahim Lamorde said he was planning to publish an audit of EFCC seizures

A Senate committee is investigating charges that assets and cash recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were diverted.
Mr Lamorde told the BBC it was a smear campaign, as the EFCC was prosecuting the man making the allegations.
This showed that the case "should not be taken seriously".
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, who is championing the investigation, was passed the petition by George Uboh, a security consultant.
Mr Uboh is currently fighting charges of stealing government property, which he denies.

Uboh said: “Two access bank recovery account statements tendered herein show Opening balances of -0- as of 1, July 2004, but no transaction occurred until June/July 2008 respectively. These transactions are expunged Where are the funds deposited between July 2004 and June/July, 2008?
“EFCC diverted and concealed N779 Million Naira of recoveries from Tafa Balogun in its record (aggregate should be 3,037,255,521.60 – not 2,258,100,516.98); Instead of transferring 3.3 billion from Spring bank to its Access bank recovery account, EFCC transferred only 2.2 billion and concealed it by understating the summation of the balances in the various accounts hence the access bank statement had 2.2 Billion Naira after the concealment.”

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Why Court Remands In Prison Online News Publisher Charged With Defamation

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday remanded in Ikoyi Prisons, the publisher of a news website,, charged with publishing a defamatory story against Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Managing Director of Fidelity bank PLC.
The accused, Seun Oloketuyi, 39, was arraigned before Justice Mohammed Yunusa, by the police in Lagos, on a two-count charge bordering on defamation.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges after they were read out to him.
Delivering ruling on an “oral application“ for the bail of the accused by Mr A.A Adetunji, his counsel, Justice Yunusa refused the oral application and remanded him in Ikoyi prison, pending the hearing of a formal bail has gone down and sources confirmed that Mr Seun Oloketuyi might never use this again as the authorities have taken control of the website. According to City, another online medium. In what appears to be resuscitation move, a similar website to maintain his presence online has been formed at in which moderate copied stories are being updated as of mid-day of Tuesday, 25th August, 2015.

Currently this site, Naijahottesgist is down and could be transferred to the Lagos office of the Department of State Security (DSS).

According to a  various sources who want to remain anonymous , these false stories have reportedly led to friction and tension in the homes of the MD’s, customers, shareholders and stakeholder trust in this brands are reducing due to the negative impact the false stories have on this brands and their MD’s.

The last of Oleketuyi’s false stories was likely to be on Fidelity Bank Managing Director, Mr Nmandi Okonkwo.The source said used the same line of story used in the past on brands like Union bank, Access bank and Unity bank.
Okonkwo (left), Oloketuyi (right)
“But unfortunately for him his cup is full and the collation of the affected banks MD have put their foot down. We will not run from him and give adverts like he expects us to. We can’t continue like this. The negative impact of the stories on our homes, reputation, investors and stakeholder trusts cannot over emphasized. Trust makes almost 85% of our assets. Intangible assets like trust cannot be impacted and we sit and look, we are loosing 85% of our business by doing so”, a  source said.

While the Banks CEOs are not revealing their full plan yet, there are deep concerns that this time Seun Oloketuyi might end up in jail as plans might be in place to make sure he does not even escape abroad. reported that one of the Managing Directors has said an apology will not repair the damage done at all stressing that the situation has gone out of hand.

“We support online journalists in our best possible way and we all run open and transparent corporate organizations, we are open to journalist reporting our stories but objectively not maliciously. Using blackmail to get ads and patronage from us so to remove negative stories from us will no longer happen. While we all don’t claim that our organizations are perfect, we treat feedback from customers and stakeholders with urgency and use those feedbacks to improve our services, products, brand and others”, a source quoted the Managing Director.

Meanwhile, the bank CEOs have promise to strengthen online publishing in Nigeria as they are currently working on training, sponsorships and various partnership for Nigerian digital journalists. An international acclaimed journalist, and leading online editors in the world has been contacted to help in training.

Mr Oloketuyi could not be reached as all calls made to his telephone line was unreachable.

Earlier, the Prosecutor, Mr Olakanmi Omisope, told the court that sometime in June, in Lagos, the accused, knowingly and intentionally, published the alleged false and defamatory story on the internet in, to annoy and insult Okonkwo.
According to him, the offences contravene Section 24 (1) (b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention) Act, 2015, and Section 375 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation.
The Street Journal reports that Section 24 (1) of the Cybercrime Act provides that “any person who intentionally or knowingly sends a message which is grossly offensive or obscene and found to be false, by means of computer network, is liable on conviction to a fine of N7, 000 or three years imprisonment or both.”
However, while the prosecutor urged the court to remand the accused in prison custody pending trial, his counsel asked the court to allow him make an oral application for bail of his client, which was refused by the trial judge.
The judge adjourned the case to September 1, for hearing of the “formal“ application for bail of the accused.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Foreign Office Pledges UK Support for President Muhammadu Buhari

By Adenike Lucas

The British Foreign Office has pledged support for President Muhammadu Buhari's war against corruption.

In a letter addressed to the Press Secretary of the All Progressives Congress UK (APC UK), the Foreign Office's Magdalena Williams noted that "it is an important time in Nigeria," adding that the Prime Minister, David Cameron stands "ready to support President Buhari and his new Government on his clearly stated priorities" - one of which is to tackle corruption.

The UK Government stated that it was looking "forward to working with President Buhari, "in the fight against the terrorist group, Boko Haram which has killed many and left millions displaced in the North East.

It expressed new hope of building an "excellent platform for a new beginning to a long-standing partnership and reiterated that effort would be made to help Nigeria's Commander in Chief in "stabilising the economy in the face of low oil prices."

The Foreign Office's support for the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) comes a few days after a group of Nigerians known as Nigerians March Against Corruption, marched to the Presidential Villa and Lagos, to show their full support for his administration's anti-corruption campaign.

President Buhari has revealed plans to engage Nigerians in the Diaspora in the anti-corruption war. The Federal Government which is expected to declare open the 2015 Diaspora Day/Conference today, (25th August) hinted that the expertise of Nigerian professionals living abroad would be sought in prosecuting the ongoing war against corruption.

A former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo also made his support for President Buhari known, while hosting the leadership of the National Association of Nigeria Students, NANS.

"For me these points that you have made about what is going on in this country, about corruption, about the economy, about security, we all know these and that is why some of us are prepared to stick out our neck to achieve change," he expressed from his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

"We have seen a ray of hope in President Buhari, so I will say let us be objective where we need to be objective, let us show solidarity where we need to show solidarity," he said.

Adenike Lucas is the Press Secretary of All-Progressives Congress,United Kingdom Chapter.

Sunday, 23 August 2015


Usain Bolt has beaten Justin Gatlin to take gold in the men’s 100m final in Beijing.
Bolt, who stumbled in his semi-final before taking first, had looked short of his best throughout the rounds.

Usain Bolt beats Justin GatlinREUTERS/Kai PfaffenbachBolt nips Gatlin at the line.
Usain Bolt is still the fastest man in the world. 
The 100-meter world record holder defended his title as the world's fastest man on Sunday, winning the 100-meter run in a thrilling race at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. Bolt ran a seasons-best time of 9.79 seconds for the win.

However, the Jamaican recovered from sluggish start to overtake Gatlin in the final strides and claim his ninth gold at World Championships.
Gatlin, who has earned a reputation in some circles as a villain of athletics after serving two previous doping bans, had run faster in the semi-finals and was unbeaten in 28 races heading into the Beijing final.
However, the American was forced to settle for silver in 9.80s as Bolt came through to take his third world title at 100m, matching the feats of Maurice Greene and Carl Lewis.
US teenager, Trayvon Bromell, took joint bronze in his first major event, clocking 9.92s alongside Canadian Andre De Grasse as five of the field dipped under the 10-second barrier.
Tyson Gay, who won gold in Osaka in 2007, was unable to rediscover his form of old as he finished fifth, ahead of former world record holder, Asafa Powell.

Contributors:  Bowale Odutola and Lashley Oladigbolu

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Stunt Dead in Sussex as Shoreham plane crashes: Seven dead after Hawker Hunter hits cars

  • 23 minutes ago
  • From the sectionSussex

Media captionVideo footage shows the Hawker Hunter plane crashing in a ball of flames
Seven people have died after a Hawker Hunter jet crashed into several vehicles during Shoreham Airshow.
South East Coast Ambulance Service said the victims all died at the scene, with a further person being taken to hospital in critical condition.
The plane crashed on the nearby A27. Fourteen people were treated for minor injuries at the scene.
Eyewitnesses said the plane was performing a loop but did not complete the manoeuvre and crashed.
Stephen Jones, who saw the crash, said: "The aeroplane involved is a Hawker Hunter T mark 7. And he'd just begun his flying display.

Plane crash
Police said the plane hit several vehicles

"He'd gone up into a loop and as he was coming out of the loop I just thought, you're too low, you're too low, pull up.
"And he flew straight into the ground either on or very close to the A27, which runs past the airport."

Media captionStephen Jones: "I thought 'this is wrong, you're too low, you're not going to make this... then there was a huge explosion'"
Ailish Southall, who was driving along the A27 in West Sussex with her two children, said the plane came down close to them.
"We were waiting for it to go back up and it didn't - it seemed to kind of split in two," she said.
"There were huge amounts of fire and we ran from the car to kind of avoid the debris because we were about 15 metres away, we were just across the road from where the accident happened."


Check if this is affecting your journey

Another eyewitness, tweeting as Jon B, said: "It (the plane) turned from the north by Lancing College, went to go low towards the airfield and went behind some trees below where I was.
"Then there was a crunch sound and a ball of flames and thick black smoke came up from the ground."

Plane crash
The plane is believed to have crashed after attempting a loop
Scene of crash
Emergency services arrived on the scene after the crash

At the scene

BBC Sussex reporter Simon Jenkins
I'm standing on the middle of the A27 and it's deserted.
The police are taking no chances whatsoever. I've been asked to move back in case of any further explosions.
I've been speaking to people and they are absolutely stunned. The plane seems to have stalled mid manoeuvre and came crashing down on the A27.
The acrid smell and thick black smoke has just been fanning across the area and the skies are completely quiet.


A spokesman for Sussex Police said emergency services had declared a "major incident" with a number of helicopters deployed to the scene following the crash at 13:20 BST.
He said: "The casualties are all believed to have occurred on the road at this time and there are not thought to be any injuries to anyone actually on the airfield."
"The Air Accident Investigation Bureau are attending the scene and have asked anyone who has video or photographs of the plane in the time leading up to and including the crash to hold on to them and await advice as to whether they may be wanted to assist with the investigation."
The road is likely to remain closed for several hours.

Shoreham map

Tim Loughton MP, who represents East Worthing and Shoreham, tweeted: "Tragic news that there have been fatalities at the Shoreham Air Show crash and our thoughts and prayers must be with the families and casualties."
It is the second incident at the Shoreham Airshow in recent years.
In September 2007 James Bond stuntman Brian Brown, 49, died when he crashed a World War Two Hurricane after carrying out an unplanned barrel roll at a re-enactment of the Battle of Britain.

Hawker Hunter

Hawker Hunter
The Hawker Hunter flew over crowds during the display at Shoreham Airshow
The Hawker Hunter was a mainstay of the RAF through the 1950s and early 1960s.
First flown in 1951, the single-seat plane was used as a fighter, fighter-bomber for reconnaissance and for aerobatics.
There was also a two-seat trainer version, which served with many other air forces. Two-seater variants are still used by the RAF for training.
The Hunter Hawker was deployed in major operations such as Malaya and Suez.
The plane was also flown by an RAF display team dubbed the "Black Arrows".
Are you in area? Did you witness the crash? You can email with your story.
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

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