PMB is back from private visit in London.

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived Nigeria after his United Kingdom trip which saw him travel on a private visit.

The president’s return was tweeted by one of his aide, Lauretta Onochie around 10: 19pm on Friday, November 15.

Recall that Legit.ng had reported that Buhari was expected to arrive the country today.

 

Legit.ng had also reported that the president’s flight took off from Stansted Airport, London, around 3:00 pm.

The president had travelled to London after attending the Economic Forum of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The president left Nigeria on Monday, October 28, for the economic forum in Saudi Arabia and from there procedded to the UK.

Also recall that Legit.ng reported that Buhari met the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby at the Lambeth Palace in London.

 

Legit.ng reported that the meeting between the Nigerian leader and the archbishop was disclosed by the presidency in a twit on Sunday, November 10.

This was however not the first time Nigerian president and Archbishop Welby would be having a meeting.

The clergyman visited Buhari during the period where he traveled to London for medical treatment.

Meanwhile, recall that Legit.ng compiled a list of the times President Buhari had traveled out of the country on private visits or for vacation since he was elected as the president of the country.

 

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MSN

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PMB sympathised with the family of Alex Akinyele.

President Muhammadu Buhari has sympathised with the family of a former Minister of Information, Alex Opeyemi Akinyele, who died on Thursday night.

A State House statement by the president’s media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, said, “The President commiserates with the government and people of Ondo State, friends and professional colleagues of the departed, urging them to take solace in the lasting legacies of the former colourful minister, who also served as Chairman of National Sports Commission and Chairman of National Reconciliation Committee.

 

“As a trained teacher and public relations specialist, President Buhari affirms that Chief Akinyele’s scrupulousness, discipline and diligence were always obvious to those who worked closely with him, and his love for the nation, which was zealously demonstrated through providing exemplary leadership.

“The President prays that the Almighty God will grant the soul of the former minister eternal rest, and comfort all members of his family.”

 

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MSN

How Lawan administered oath of office on Senator Olujimi

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Thursday, administered the oath of office on Senator Biodun Olujimi as Senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial District.

 

Olujimi replaced the former Senate Spokesperson, Adedayo Adeyeye, whose election was nullified by both the Ekiti State Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal sitting in Kaduna recently.

 

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MSN

How a Nigerian woman was jailed for 10 years for drug trafficking.

A Nigerian woman, identified as Tammy, has pleaded guilty to charges of drug trafficking and bank fraud in the US and may spend up to 10 years in jail.

In a statement by the Department of Justice, US Attorney’s Office (Eastern District of Virginia) last Tuesday (November 5), Tammy pleaded guilty to the allegations of conspiring with others to import more than five kilograms of cocaine, as well as to her role in a separate bank fraud scheme, and to making false statements relating to fraudulent claims submitted to Medicaid for reimbursement.

Zachary Terwilliger, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said “Tammy is a ‘triple threat’ of criminality – drug trafficker, a fraudster, and a liar. Tammy, a Nigerian immigrant who has spent the last two decades with the privilege of living in the United States as a lawful permanent resident, clearly has zero respect for American laws pertaining to our borders, controlled substances, our financial system, or our health care system.”

 

With her guilty plea, Tammy faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison for the cocaine importation charge when sentenced on February 28, 2020.

According to court documents, Tammy, who is 40-years-old, recruited men from the greater Washington, D.C. area to act as drug couriers. She was also accused of opening bank accounts in the couriers’ names, assisting them in obtaining passports and visas, and booking their travel arrangements.

Tammy’s suspected couriers travelled primarily to São Paulo, Brazil, where they picked up kilogram quantities of cocaine hidden in the lining of soft-sided briefcases or attaché cases. Altogether, law enforcement seized nearly seven kilograms of cocaine at three different US airports from three separate couriers allegedly recruited by Tammy.

 

The statement also revealed that in addition to the cocaine importation scheme, Tammy also submitted falsified and fraudulent claims to the D.C. Department of Health Care Finance, a health care benefit program funded by Medicaid.

It was reported that Tammy worked as a personal care aide for various home health agencies in the Washington D.C. area, and in order to receive payment for services rendered, Tammy was required to submit time sheets signed by her clients documenting the services rendered. Instead of submitting time sheets for time actually worked providing health care services, Tammy recruited Medicaid recipients to act as her “patients” and to sign her falsified timesheets in return for a small amount of money as a kickback. On at least two occasions, Tammy billed DHCF for home health services she claimed to have provided while she was out of the country.

Apart from the cocaine importation and the home health services scheme, Tammy alleged also used her African goods business in Maryland to carry out a bank fraud.

 

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MSN

Buhari expressed deep sorrow over the death of Prof Tam David-West.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday expressed “deep sorrow” over the death of a former Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Prof Tam David-West.

David-West died on Monday at the age of 83. He served under Buhari’s military regime that started in 1983.

The President, who described the former minister as an “ally and friend”, said he usually called him ‘the indomitable Tam David-West.’

 

A State House statement conveying the President’s condolence, read partly, “Professor Tamunoemi Sokari David-West, 83, was a consultant virologist of national and international standing.

“He served as Commissioner of Education in the old Rivers State, Minister of Petroleum and Energy under the Muhammadu Buhari military regime, and Minister of Mines, Power and Steel under Gen. Ibrahim Babangida regime.”

It quoted Buhari as saying, “He had an indomitable spirit, stood resolutely by whatever he believed in, and was in a class of his own.”

 

The statement, which was signed by the President’s media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, recalled that David-West was an academic, author of many books and a social critic of repute.

“He commiserates with the David-West family, the people of Buguma, Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers State, the academia, and all those who loved ‘the forthright Tam David-West.’

“President Buhari prays that God will rest the soul of the committed nationalist, urging all those who believe in the ideals he espoused to approximate same, for the betterment of Nigeria, and humanity in general”, it added.

 

Tam David-West spoke truth to power APC

The All Progressives Congress said with David-West’s death, Nigeria had lost a progressive voice and social critic who spoke truth to power.

The APC National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement on Monday, described him as an erudite scholar, who always held our leaders to account on issues of good governance.

The statement said, “We recall his strong advocacy for oil sector reforms, particularly the passage of a mutually-beneficial Petroleum Industry Bill, fixing moribund refineries and ending the fuel subsidy racket that was a drainpipe on the country’s resources before the advent of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

“While the death of the late patriot is painful and a sad loss, we take solace with the fact that he lived an accomplished and impactful life. In death, we remember and celebrate a man who served the country diligently and championed the cause of the poor and underprivileged.

“The party condoles with the late Tam David-West family members, friends, colleagues, the people and government of Rivers State. We pray the Almighty God gives them the strength to bear the loss.”

He was a great patriot, says Omo-Agege

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo -Agege, has described the late Prof. Tam David -West as a great patriot and intellectual of formidable standing at home and abroad.

Omo – Agege, in a statement by his media aide, Yomi Odunuga, on Monday said the late professor was one of those who truly left an indelible footprint on the sands of time.

He described David-West’s demise as a great loss to the nation.

He said, “My heart goes out to his family, the people of Buguma and the Kalabari Kingdom in Rivers State; a truly great son of the Niger Delta and a great Nigerian patriot has passed on at the age of 83.

“While we mourn, we must appreciate the noble essence of his time on earth as an idealist who consistently nursed an optimistic outlook about Nigeria’s capacity for genuine transformation.”

Senate President mourns David-West

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has David-West’s death.

Lawan, according to a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi said David-West contributed immensely to the development of Nigeria as a teacher and political office holder.

The statement read, “Professor Tam David-West was a vocal social critic who lived what he preached and never compromised his principles all through his lifetime.

“He will be missed for his deep and frank analysis of social challenges.

“Aside from pointing directions from the ivory tower, when the calls came for him to serve at the highest level of government, he discharged his duties diligently and conscientiously,” Lawan said.

Also, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chibudom Nwuche, has expressed sadness over his death.

Nwuche described David-West as an illustrious son of Rivers State, a brilliant academic and a statesman.

Wike commiserates with family

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has commiserated with the family of late Professor Tam David-West, over the death of the erudite Professor of Virology.

The governor, in a statement on Monday signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications, Mr Paul Nsirim, described his death as a huge loss to the people of state.

Wike said, “Prof. David-West was an accomplished academician who served the country well in various capacities.”

He, however, prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest and the family, the fortitude to bear the loss.

Nigerians’ll remember David-West for stance on good governance — IYC

The Ijaw Youth Council has said that Nigerians will remember the late former minister for his consistent advocacy for good governance.

IYC President, Mr. Eric Omare, explained that David-West had always held strong opinion about the need for good governance in the country without apologies to anybody.

Omare, who spoke on Monday in a telephone chat with one of our correspondents, said, “Prof. Tam David-West would be remembered as one of few Nigerians who had very strong opinion on issues, especially with respect to the governance of the country.

“Again, in taking those positions, he owed nobody any apology. He remained one of the prominent petroleum ministers we have had in the history of Nigeria. We remember his exploits during the Ibrahim Babangida administration.

Omare, however, stated that the younger generation would be motivated by the octogenarian’s stance on good governance.

ASUU mourns his passing

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has described the late David-West as the custodian and repository of university culture.

The union described the late don as a great struggler who believed in one Nigeria.

The Chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan, Prof. Deji Omole, while reacting to the death of the deceased octogenarian, stated that he was a supporter of the union.

Omole noted that the late don knew and articulated a clear vision of what a university ought to be.

“Tam David-West was a phenomenal success academically. He was a great struggler who believed in one Nigeria. He had a clear vision of what the university should be.

“He was a great fellow of our union especially at the branch who was always ready to assist whenever he was consulted.

“He was actually a custodian of the university tradition and culture, a repository and custodian of the university culture. The union will definitely miss him. He was among the last of the complete scholars,” ASUU added.

His final moments at UCH

For 11 days, former Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Prof Tam David-West, was admitted to private suit of the University College Hospital, Ibadan.

The Public Relations Officer of UCH, Mr Toye Akinrinlola, told The PUNCH that the former minister however died on Monday morning at 11:05.

Asked for further details, Akinrinlola simply said, “He was brought here over a week ago and admitted to a private suit.

‘’He died at 11:05am.”

A family member who escorted the deceased to the hospital but preferred anonymity said, “we took Baba to UCH precisely 11 days ago.

“The deceased had spent 11 days at UCH before he breathed his last. He was rushed to UCH when he fell sick.

“His children are already on their way to Ibadan,” he said.

How unidentified passenger died at Kano airport.

A passenger, whose identity has not been confirmed, reportedly slumped and died at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano on Sunday.

An eyewitness said the passenger, who was travelling to Abuja, was about to board a flight when he slumped and died.

The source said the deceased was with a colleague from Jigawa State on their way to Abuja to attend a seminar when the incident happened.

 

It was also learnt that authorities at the airport rushed the deceased to a hospital, where he was confirmed dead.

The police and the airport management have yet to confirm the incident.

In another development, the Emir of Karaye in Kano State, Alhaji Ibrahim Abubakar II, has called for a proper investigation into the death of a 26-year-old man, Abdulkadir Nasiru, who was allegedly tortured by the police.

 

The information officer of the Karaye Local Government/Emirate Council, Alhaji Haruna Gunduwawa, in a statement made available to newsmen, said the emir made the call after receiving a report on the incident from the father of the deceased, Nasiru Madobi, and the district head of Madobi in his palace.

The emir called on the state commissioner of police to ensure proper investigation.

When contacted for confirmation, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Abdullahi Haruna, who confirmed the killing, said four policemen had been arrested.

 

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MSN

How truck lost balance and spilled its content on airport road in Lagos.

Disaster was yesterday averted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos after a tanker conveying Premium Motor Spirit lost balance and spilled its contents on the major road, leading to the nation’s busiest airport.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the incident which occurred about 10:a.m caused heavy vehicular traffic around the airport and its environs for several hours.
A reliable source from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Fire Service Department told NAN that the disaster was averted by the prompt action taken by both FAAN fire fighters and the Lagos State Fire Fighters.

 

He said:

“The truck lost balance and spilled its content very close to the Airport Garage which is the road leading to the airport from Ikeja.
“Fire fighters responded quickly and diluted the contents with a ” foam blanket”, to prevent any fire outbreak.
“Also, some officers were quickly deployed to the nearby FAAN residential quarters to monitor the situation.”
DSP Joseph Alabi, spokesperson for the Lagos Airport Police Command, who also confirmed the incident to NAN, commended the roles played by all agencies to avert the disaster.

 

Alabi said following the incident, the Police from Area F Command and traffic officials embarked on rerouting vehicles coming and going into the airport to ease the traffic gridlock.
He said vehicles coming from Ikeja were directed to use the newly constructed Airport Road via Oshodi while those exiting were diverted to the MMA1 to link up with the Agege Motor Road via National.
NAN reports that as at the time of filing this report efforts were being made to tow the fallen truck away.

 

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MSN

Boko Haram’s child fighters released by Nigeria Army.

Following the effort to end insurgency in the northeast region of Nigeria, the Nigerian Military on Thursday, November 7, said over 86 children used as child soldiers by the Boko Haram insurgents have been handed over to the Borno state government.

The defence headquarters in a statement by its spokesperson, Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu, said the children were handed over to Borno state government by the Operation Safe Corridor.

 

Onyema said these children voluntarily surrendered to troops of Operation Lafiya Dole and that they are currently with the Borno state Rehabilitation Centre located in Bulumkutu.

Nwachukwu while stating that the Military released the children to the state government to ensure that other minors and other repentant Boko Haram fighters in the northeast region get all the support needed to embrace peace.

He also said that the children received by the state government are between the ages of 10 and 19 and that they were part of over 1,370 Boko Haram fighters who had surrendered to troops.

Nwachukwu also said that a fresh set of 500 Boko Haram members who have repented from terrorist activities will be transferred to Operation Safe Corridor for the De-radicalization, Rehabilitation and Re-integration Programme.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Nigerian Army had announced its plan to recruit 4,832 soldiers who would be deployed to different parts of the country.

The commandant of the Depot Nigerian Army, Major General Sani Mohammed said new recruits would be officially commissioned after a passing out parade.

 

Speaking on the training for the fresh recruits, Major General Aminu Maitama who represented the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, said training in the Nigerian Army is a continuous process that would last throughout a soldier’s career.

Also, some troops fighting Boko Haram insurgents in the region repelled an attempt by the terrorists to infiltrate the capital city of Yobe state, Damaturu.

The commissioner of Police in the state said the attack was averted following intelligence gathered about the suspicious movement of the insurgents ahead of the incident.

 

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MSN

On behalf of Federal Government,Aregbesola declared Monday as Public Holiday

The Federal Government has declared Monday as a public holiday to mark the 2019 Eid-ul-Maulud, the birthday of Prophet Muhammed.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, through the ministry’s spokesman, Mohammed Manga.

He congratulated the Muslim faithful on the occasion and enjoined them to live within the virtues and teachings of the prophet, which he said are love, courage and perseverance, adding that doing so would guarantee peace and security in the country.

 

Aregbesola expressed the hope that the challenges confronting the nation at the moment would soon be over and called on Nigerians to remain focused and determined.

He said, “With the immense potential the country is endowed with and its human and natural resources, if tapped and properly utilised, Nigeria will sooner than later join the league of developed nations.

“With love, commitment, self-sacrifice, patience and patriotism, we will certainly, build a greater Nigeria.”

The minister restated the government’s desire to ensure a peaceful and secure environment for all Nigerians and urged all citizens to pursue love for one another.

 

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MSN

Bill to halt sexual gratification in Nigeria’s Higher Institutions passed second reading.

During its plenary on Wednesday, November 6, the Senate in a crucial motion sponsored by the deputy president of the red chamber, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, deliberated on the proper punishment for lecturers who demand physical gratification from students in institutions.

The proposed bill, which has now passed its second phase at the Senate, came with 27 clauses and was tagged: A Bill for an Act to Prevent, Prohibit and Redress Sexual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Educational Institutions and for Other Matters Connected Therewith 2019.

 

The bill is seeking a 14-year jail term for offending lecturers with a minimum of five years, which comes without an option of fine as a deterrent, Channels TV reports.

The bill deals with offence ranging from actual gratification with students, demand for it, harassment, and threat from lecturers.

Making a case for the purpose of the bill, Omo-Agege said:

 

“The most effective way to deal with the offence of sexual harassment in our tertiary institutions is to penalise the very impropriety of the act, with or without consent.”

However, the deputy Senate president added that the bill prescribes expulsion as punishment for wrongly accusing lecturers of committing any of the listed related offences.

 

Omo-Agege said:

 

“An educator whose character is maligned is at liberty to sue for defamation under the law of defamation which is well-settled in our jurisprudence and needs no duplication in this bill.”

Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that not less than eight lecturers of the Akwa Ibom state University had been sacked after they were accused of harassing female students.

The lecturers sack was approved by the institution’s management and disclosed by the vice chancellor, Eno Ibanga.

 

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MSN

FG suspends fuel, diesel supply to border stations

The federal government has announced the suspension of diesel and petrol supply to filling stations within 20 kilometres radius to all Nigerian borders.

Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali, issued the directive in a memo on Thursday, November 6.

 

The authenticity of the memo was confirmed to Daily Sun by the Customs spokesman, Joseph Attah.

He said the directive has been given to all commands through Chidi A, Deputy Comptroller-General enforcement, inspection, and investigation Customs.

The comptroller general of Customs has directed that henceforth no petroleum products no matter the tank size is permitted to be discharged in any filling station within 20 kilometers to the border.

“Consequently, you are to ensure strict and immediate compliance please,” the memo read in part.

Attah said the move was in strict obedience to government’s desire to safeguard the economy of the nation.

Meanwhile, the federal government of Nigeria on Monday, November 4, said that until member nations of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) respect rules of origin, it will not reopen its land borders.

 

This was stated by he minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, who said that all goods exported into Nigeria from ECOWAS countries must have not less than 30% local inputs, adding that such goods must be escorted directly from the port of member nations directly to Nigerian borders.

 

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At least 10 Nigerian soldiers have been killed and nine severely injured in an ambush by suspected Boko Haram fighters in restive northeast Nigeria, military sources said Thursday.

At least 10 Nigerian soldiers have been killed and nine severely injured in an ambush by suspected Boko Haram fighters in restive northeast Nigeria, military sources said Thursday.

Another 12 soldiers were missing after a column of troops on patrol was ambushed by the jihadists on Wednesday in Damboa district of Borno state, a military officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“We lost 10 troops in the intense fighting with the terrorists who ambushed our soldiers conducting a clearance operation in the area,” said the officer, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to speak about the incident.

 

“Nine soldiers were injured and 12 are still missing.”

The decade-long jihadist insurgency in northeast Nigeria has killed 35,000 people, displaced two million others and spilt into neighbouring countries.

The troops came under attack while returning to their base in Damboa, 88 kilometres (55 miles) from the state capital Maiduguri, said a second military officer who gave the same casualty toll.

The area of the attack is on the edge of the Sambisa Forest which is a stronghold of the Boko Haram faction led by long-time leader Abubakar Shekau.

Soldiers were forced to withdraw after an hour-long battle in which nine jihadists were also killed, said the second source.

The militants burnt five military vehicles and took away a pickup truck along with six machine guns.

Troops destroyed one jihadist truck and recovered three Kalashnikov rifles, he said.

Boko Haram has splintered into two major factions: one loyal to Shekau and the other aligned to the Islamic State group.

There has been a lull in attacks on troops from the jihadist factions in recent weeks as the military has intensified operations against the fighters.

Attacks on Nigerian troops had increased since June last year, with most of the deadly assaults blamed on or claimed by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) faction.

ISWAP split from Boko Haram in 2016 and focuses on attacking military targets while Boko Haram is notorious for attacks on civilians.

 

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MSN

Our Roads Are Worse Than They Are Portrayed: Reno Omokri Tells Fashola — Information Nigeria

Popular social media activist, Reno Omokri has slammed Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola over his comments that Nigeria’s roads are not that bad. Nigerian author, Reno OmokriRecall that Fashola expressed during a recent interview that roads in the country are not as bad as they are portrayed, which has generated debate on…

via Our Roads Are Worse Than They Are Portrayed: Reno Omokri Tells Fashola — Information Nigeria

Trafficking ring accused of forcing Nigerian women into prostitution in France went on trial.

Twenty-four alleged members of a trafficking ring accused of forcing Nigerian women into prostitution in France went on trial Wednesday in the latest case to highlight the increasing use of migrants as sex slaves in Europe.

Only one of the 17 complainants was present for the first appearance of the accused in the court in Lyon — 10 women and 14 men, all but one Nigerian.

They risk 10 years’ imprisonment on charges, including human trafficking, pimping, money laundering and helping people live illegally in France.

 

Nigeria was the main country of origin of the tens of thousands of migrants who arrived in Italy by boat in 2016 and 2017.

Many were women and girls lured to Europe with false promises of jobs as hairdressers or seamstresses only to find themselves selling sex to repay their smugglers.

Nigerians outnumber Chinese or Eastern European sex workers on the streets of France and some other European countries.

 

Last year, 15 members of a Paris-based, female-led pimping ring known as the “Authentic Sisters” — many themselves former trafficking victims — were jailed for up to 11 years for forcing girls into slavery in France.

Similar gangs have been dismantled in Italy and Britain.

The investigation in Lyon, where police estimate half the city’s sex workers are Nigerian, began after authorities received a tip-off about a Nigerian pastor accused of exploiting sex workers who lived in apartments he owned.

Months of police wiretaps and surveillance led to the arrest of the suspects between September 2017 and January 2018.

The prosecution has presented the pastor as the kingpin of a family-based syndicate that includes one of Europe’s most wanted women, Jessica Edosomwan, accused of recruiting destitute women in Nigeria for the sex trade in Lyon, Nimes and Montpellier in France.

Edosomwan, who is believed to be on the run in Europe, will be tried in her absence.

From prostitution to pimping

The UN estimates that 80 percent of young Nigerian women arriving in Italy — usually their first port of call in Europe —  are already in the clutches of prostitution networks, or quickly fall under their control.

The accused in Lyon allegedly covered the entire gamut of sex trafficking activities, from iron-fisted “madams” and violent pimps to the drivers of vans in which the women performed sex acts, and those who laundered the proceeds.

Prosecutors estimate the victims, aged 17 to 38, made up to 150,000 euros ($166,000) a month for the syndicate by selling sex for as little as 10 euros.

Most of the women come from Benin City, capital of Nigeria’s southern Edo State, a human trafficking hotbed.

Many told investigators they had taken part in “juju” or black magic rituals before leaving Nigeria, during which they had to promise to repay the money for their passage to Europe.

The trip often started with a perilous trek across the Sahara Desert to Libya, then across the Mediterranean to Italy, and finally to Lyon.

The victims’ lawyers told the court Wednesday the women were absent because they feared coming under pressure from the accused or their representatives at court.

Unusually, one of the 17 victims in the case is also among the accused: a 28-year-old former prostitute who was released from sex slavery after paying off her debts only to then bring another young woman from Nigeria.

She was the only victim present.

 

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MSN

How Turkey captured Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s wife.

ANKARA, Nov 6 (Reuters) – Turkey has captured a wife of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, more than a week after the former Islamic State leader killed himself during a raid by U.S. special forces.

“The United States said Baghdadi killed himself in a tunnel. They started a communication campaign about this,” Erdogan said.

“But, I am announcing it here for the first time: We captured his wife and didn’t make a fuss like them. Similarly, we also captured his sister and brother in law in Syria,” he said in a speech at Ankara University. He gave no details.

 

A senior Turkish official said earlier this week that Turkey had captured Baghdadi’s sister, her husband and daughter-in-law, and hoped to gain intelligence from them about Islamic State, although Ankara has not said what knowledge they may have had about the group’s operations.

Baghdadi rose from obscurity to lead the ultra-hardline group and declare himself caliph of all Muslims, holding sway over huge areas of Iraq and Syria from 2014-2017 before Islamic State’s control was wrested away by a U.S.-led coalition.

 

World leaders have welcomed his death, but they and security experts warned that the group, also known as ISIS, which carried out atrocities against religious minorities and horrified most Muslims, remained a security threat in Syria and beyond.

 

Last month, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said two of Baghdadi’s wives had also been killed at the site of last month’s raid.

The group said a successor to Baghdadi, identified as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi, had been appointed. A senior U.S. official said last week that Washington was looking at the new leader to determine where he came from. (Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay Writing by Dominic Evans)

 

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Sowore, co-defendants have met bail conditions, will be freed today – Falana

Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), told the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, have met the bail conditions imposed on them in respect of their trial on charges of treasonable felony.

Falana, who is their lawyer, said the defendants would be freed later on Wednesday.

 

He said, “I have already explained to the learned prosecuting counsel that we are encumbered by the refusal of the State Security Service to allow us to prepare for the defence of the defendants.

“I had already asked my learned counsel for the prosecution, that we are confident that the defendants will be freed today (Wednesday) from the custody of the SSS having met the bail conditions imposed on them by this honourable court.

“Once they are liberated from the custody of the SSS, we will be in a position to take full instruction from them.”

id this while asking for an adjournment of the case on the grounds that the Department of State Service in whose custody the defendants have been detained and from where they were produced in court on Wednesday.

 

Mr. Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), who appeared for the second defendant at the Wednesday’s proceedings, also confirmed the development.

But the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Hassan Liman (SAN), opposed the application for adjournment on the grounds that the charges were filed and served on the defendants as far back as September 20.

He said the defendants had “ample time and opportunity to prepare for their defence”.

 

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MSN

 

 

 

How Osibajo aides were whittle down by the cabals in the Presidency

A report by Daily Nigerian indicates that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sack of at least 35 out of over 80 aides in the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

According to the report, the affected aides, who were issued appointment letters in August 2019, included some senior special assistants, special assistants, personal assistants and technical assistants.

Sources quoted in the report but preferred anonymity, said the aides may be formally issued their sack letters on Wednesday, November 6.

 

Preparatory to their eventual dismissal, the aides were reportedly posted out to some line ministries relevant to their designation last month.

The move was allegedly to deny them access to the Presidential Villa and reduce the influence of the vice president in the seat of power.

“Although more than half of the aides are under the payroll of donor agencies, the cabal eased them out in order to whittle down the influence of the vice president,” a source quoted in the report said.

“None of them were queried or interdicted for any wrongdoing. It is not about cutting cost, because no aide was sacked in the president’s office nor office of the First Lady, where six more aides appointed less than one month ago. They were just sacked to reduce the VP’s influence,” he added.

 

Last month, a media report indicated that Osinbajo has not been left off the hook by a powerful cabal in the presidency.

According to the report, some powerful persons in the seat of power are united in their bid to frustrate the vice president ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

Although he has not formally declared his interest, there are talks of the vce president angling to replace his boss in 2023.

Sources quoted in the report say the cabal have adopted another strategy to facilitate their plot, which is that they are now bringing together “a new array of forces, including former key federal government officials, and at least, one of his staunchest political allies to wage the ongoing political fight in the presidency.”

 

SOURCE:

 

MSN

How Senator Biodun Olujimi was declared winner by appeal court.

The Court of Appeal has sacked spokesman of the Nigerian Senate, Adedayo Adeyeye, as the lawmaker representing Ekiti South senatorial district in the upper chamber of legislature.

Adeyeye, a former spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The appellant court declared Senator Biodun Olujimi of the PDP winner of the election.

 

Olujimi, a former principal officer in the 8th senate, is a former deputy governor of Ekiti state. She had won the case at the lower tribunal in the state weeks back.

The news, which is making the rounds on social media, has triggered some reactions from Nigerians.

Legit.ng reported earlier that the Court of Appeal sitting in Makurdi on Friday, November 1 upheld the election of Senator Gabriel Suswam representing Benue North-East senatorial district.

 

Senator Suswam, a former governor of Benue state who is of the PDP, defeated Chief Mimi Orubibi of the APC.

 

SOURCE:

 

MSN

How Balogun Market in Lagos was engulfed with fire yesterday.

Reports reaching Daily Sun indicate that there is a major fire incident inside the Balogun market area of Lagos Island, Lagos.

Eyewitnesses report that the fire has engulfed a major building and surrounding properties at the Mandilas district of the market.

 

There are no reports of casualties, with LASEMA spokesman Nosa Okumbo telling Daily Sun that emergency personnel are on ground to attend to the situation.

@PureMind__:

A building is currently being engulfed by fire inside balogun market, Lagos Island, properties are being destroyed and the fire has currently extended to buildings around.

 

SOURCE:

 

MSN

How Nigeria Police discovered detention camp in Ibadan.

Barely two weeks after the discovery of illegal rehabilitation/torture centres in Katsina, the Oyo police command on Monday, November 4, discovered another torture centre in Ibadan, the state capital.
Legit.ng’s regional reporter in Ibadan, Ridwan Kolawole, reports that the state commissioner of police, Shina Olukolu, supervised the release of 259 inmates at an illegal correctional facility at Oloore Mosque around Ojoo axis of the state.
It was learnt that the inmates who were camped in a storey building has about 30 inmates lumped up in each rooms.

Five persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.
The new illegal correction or rehabilitation centers seem ubiquitous in Nigeria where hundreds of people are kept in the custody of private individuals who claimed to play rehabilitative roles whether social or spirituals.
Olukolu and the commissioner for women affairs, Fausat Sanni, said the intention of their owners may be good but they run illegally and seem not to have the requisite skills.
Beyond rescuing those in the center by law enforcement agencies, what is the state of legally recognised rehabilitation centers, correction centers and remand homes around the country? Freeing people without formal attending to what brought them to the center has greater security implication.

 

It was learnt from sources that the hint on the detention facility was made by a 17-year-old escapee of the facility
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that a special police team discovered and raided another torture centre located in Kofar Marusa area of Katsina state.
It was reported that the team which is from the inspector-general of police, Mohammed Adamu, carried out the raid on Wednesday, October 16.
The police team had arrived in three vehicles at Malam Niga centre at Kofa Marusa and took away the owner of the centre and his assistants.

 

SOURCE:

MSN

How Politicians and Oil Companies conspire to deny deny Nigerians conmesurate taxes from oil exploration.

President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed politicians and oil companies for conspiring to deny Nigeria commensurate revenue from oil production and sales, particularly taxes over the years.

He said this on Monday after signing the amended Deep Offshore Act in London, the Presidency stated.

He noted that for many years, taxes were kept at the “barest minimum above $20 per barrel.”

 

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, in a statement, quoted Buhari’s as saying at the event, “Today is an important day for all Nigerians, particularly the young generation.

“Today, I signed into law the amended Deep Offshore Act. Nigeria will now receive its fair, rightful and equitable share of income from our own natural resources for the first time since 2003.

“In that year, oil prices began a steep increase to double, and at times, triple over the following decade.”

 

The President also said, “All this time, Nigeria has failed to secure its equitable share of the proceeds of oil production, for all attempts to amend the law on the distribution of income failed.”

He noted that rapid reductions in the cost of exploration, extraction and maintenance of oil fields had occurred over the 25-year period.

“A combination of complicity by Nigerian politicians and feet-dragging by oil companies has, for more than a quarter-century, conspired to keep taxes to the barest minimum above $20 per barrel, even as now the price is some three times the value.,” he said.

The President said for the first time, under the amended law, “200 million Nigerians will start to receive a fair return on the surfeit of resources of our land. Increased income will allow for new hospitals, schools, infrastructure and jobs.”

Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Mr Abba Kyari, reportedly witnessed the signing of the new law on Monday.

 

SOURCE:

 

MSN

How one night guard was killed by armed robbers in Ibadan.

A yet-to-be identified night watchman was allegedly killed by armed robbers in Oju-Irin in the Akobo area of Ibadan, Oyo State, on Saturday, when robbers, numbering about 15, invaded the area around 2am.

The robbers were said to have operated for hours without police intervention.

Landlords in Idi-Isin and the leader of the security guard in the area, simply identified as Mr Fagbenro, said a security guard was shot dead at Oju-Irin by the robbers before they moved to other areas, adding that some of the attacked guards were on the danger list in various hospitals.

 

Our correspondent gathered that among the people, who were injured, were a couple and 12 guards, who were working in Yawiri, Idi-Isin, Tella, Anifalaje, Apata, Iyana Akanni and Oju-Irin, where the robbers operated for several hours.

There was blood around the transformer in the area when journalists visited the spot.

One of the executive members of the landlords’ association in the Idi-Isin area, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the robbers arrived the area in a Micra Nissan car and on motorcycles and raided houses in the Yawiri area before proceeding to other areas in the community.

He confirmed to our correspondent that a guard was killed around Oju-Irin and two others, who were instructed to keep watch over the transformer at Idi-Isin, were also brutally dealt with machete blows for preventing the robbers from stealing electrical wires from the transformer.

 

According to him, the residents alerted police personnel on duty at the Akobo Police Station when they noticed the arrival of the robbers, but there was no response until around 6am.

The source stated, “It is true that the robbers killed one night guard at Oju-Irin; they also cut our night guards with machetes. I am also aware that a couple was dealt machete blows at Yawiri and about 12 other night guards were also attacked with machetes.

“Our investigations revealed that the robbers got into this area around 2am in a Micra Nisan car and on three motorcycles. Our night guards were just returning from a round of patrol when they were attacked at the transformer area. The guards are in hospital recuperating.”

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Gbenga Fadeyi, confirmed that some night guards were attacked.

He, however, denied that one of them was killed in the attack.

Fadeyi said, “The robbers ran away before the arrival of the police in the area. Efforts are being intensified to clamp down on the hoodlums, who carried out the evil act.

“Information available to me has it that the one of the night guards, who was attacked, sustained injuries and was rescued by the police.

“He was taken to the University College Hospital for treatment and he is responding to treatment. No guard was killed.”

 

SOURCE:

 

MSN

The Islamic State on Saturday claimed responsibility for a devastating raid that killed 49 Malian troops.

The Islamic State on Saturday claimed responsibility for a devastating raid that killed 49 Malian troops as well as a blast that led to the death of a French soldier who became the latest casualty in the conflict-torn region.
The strikes underscored the fragility of an area straddling several West African countries battling increasing jihadist violence that has claimed hundreds of lives.
Friday’s assault on a Malian military outpost at Indelimane in the eastern Menaka region near Niger killed 49 soldiers, wounded three and left 20 survivors, the Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) said Saturday.

 

“Soldiers of the caliphate attacked a military base where elements of the apostate Malian army were stationed in the village of Indelimane,” the IS said in a statement on its social media channels.

On Saturday, French corporal Ronan Pointeau, 24, died after an armoured vehicle in which he was travelling hit an improvised explosive device (IED) near the city of Menaka, a French defence ministry statement said.
The IS late Saturday also claimed responsibility for that, saying its fighters had “detonated an explosive device on a French army convoy in the Indelimane area”.
Pointeau and his colleagues were escorting a convoy between the cities of Gao and Menaka.

“This insidious attack shows the importance and bitterness of the fight against armed terrorist groups” in the border region straddling Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, the French defence ministry said.

 

French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said she would be “visiting Mali very soon to hold discussions with Malian authorities.”
President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Pointeau and expressed solidarity with the French and African troops fighting in the region.

 
The Malian government initially said 53 people died in what it described as a “terrorist attack” at Indelimane.
An army officer said troops arrived at the outpost around 5:00 pm on Friday and “took back control of our positions.
“The terrorists carried out a surprise attack at lunchtime. Army vehicles were destroyed, others taken away,” he told AFP.
The attacks came a month after two jihadist assaults killed 40 soldiers near the border with Burkina Faso. Several sources have said the real death toll was higher.
MINUSMA, the UN mission in Mali, condemned the raid and said its peacekeepers were helping Malian troops secure the region.
‘We can resist’

“This bloodshed that Mali has been living through cannot go on,” imam Mahamound Dicko, an influential religious leader in Mali, said.

 

“Do you want us to resign ourselves to this suffering? We can resist,” he added.
Rights activist Alioune Tine, from Mali’s western neighbour Senegal, called for action across Africa to tackle the threat.

 

“If Africa does not mobilise for Mali and Burkina (Faso), it won’t be spared the bushfire that is quickly catching West Africa’s coastal countries, the next chosen targets” of the jihadists, he said.

 

The violence has also spilled over into Burkina Faso and Niger where extremists have exploited existing inter-communal strife, leaving hundreds dead.

In Mali, the attacks have spread from the arid north to its centre, an ethnically mixed and explosive region.

The recent assaults are a humiliation for the so-called G5 Sahel force — a much-trumpeted initiative under which five countries created a joint 5,000-man anti-terror force — and for former colonial ruler France, which is helping to bring security to the fragile region.

Northern Mali came under the control of Al-Qaeda linked jihadists after Mali’s army failed to quash a rebellion there in 2012.

A French-led military campaign was launched against the jihadists, pushing them back a year later.
But the jihadists have regrouped and widened their hit-and-run raids and landmine attacks to central and southern Mali.

 

SOURCE:

 

MSN

Nigeria’s border closure to last at least until end-Jan – spokesman

ABUJA, Nov 3 (Reuters) – Nigeria will keep its land borders closed to trade until at least January 31, 2020, the customs spokesman told Reuters on Sunday.
Nigeria launched a partial border closure in August to tackle smuggling of rice and other goods. Last month the head of customs confirmed that all trade via land borders was halted indefinitely.

 

Joseph Attah, spokesman for the Nigerian customs service said the “present phase” of the closure would end on January 31, 2020, and that would not be the end of the closure.

 

“The operation is in phases, it will continue until the set objective is attained,” Attah told Reuters by phone.

A private memo sent by the customs service comptroller for enforcement, Victor Dimka, to colleagues called the closure operation an “overwhelming success,” but said there were some strategic objectives yet to be achieved.
The memo did not outline which objectives these were.

 

SOURCE:

MSN

President Muhammadu Buhari commiserate with the families and associates of Mobolaji Johnson.

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a condolence message to government and people of Lagos state over the death of the first Military governor of the state, Brigadier-General Mobolaji Olufunso Johnson (rtd).

The late general breathed his last on Wednesday, October 30, at the age of 83.

Legit.ng reports that the president, through a statement issued on Thursday, October 31, by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, described the deceased as a thoroughbred military general.

 

The president commiserated with family members, friends and associates of the former governor, who, according to him, had a distinguished career in the Nigerian Army, starting out as a cadet in 1959 and retiring in 1975.

The statement read:

 

“As the first governor of Lagos state, which was then the Federal Capital Territory, President Buhari affirms that Brigadier-General Johnson laid a solid foundation for the development of infrastructure in the state and provided a good framework for the civil service.

“The president notes that the late Johnson’s footprints in promoting education and building durable health system will always be remembered.”

 

President Buhari, therefore, prayed God to accept the soul of the departed, while calling on all leaders of the state and citizens to uphold the legacies of discipline and selfless service bequeathed by Brigadier-General Johnson.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that political leaders in Lagos commiserated with the family of late Johnson.

 

SOURCE:

 

MSN

Rapist escapes into Ebonyi Govt House

A 19-year-old man, Ojukwu Chika, on Tuesday, escaped while policemen were taking him for arraignment in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.

The suspect, our correspondent gathered, first appeared in court on Tuesday, for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl.

It was further gathered that he escaped into the premises of the Government House in Abakaliki and the policemen searched for him to no avail until another security personnel on duty inside Government House spotted him and handcuffed him.

 

 

The security personnel, it was learnt, demanded to know his mission and where he was headed for before handing him over to the police.

The police prosecutor, Inspector Edet Effiong, said the accused committed the offence for which he was to be first arraigned on October 16, 2019, at Umoghara village in the Ezza South Local Government Area of the state.

He was re-arraigned on Wednesday before the Abakaliki Magistrates’ Court on one count of unlawful escape from police custody.

According to the police prosecutor, the offence is punishable under Section 135 (a) of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.

 

The first charge read, “That you, Ojukwu Chika, on October 16, 2019, at Umoghara village in the Ezza South Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, in the Abakaliki Magisterial District, did have an unlawful sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 34 (2) of the Ebonyi Child Right Law and Related Matters, 2010.”

The new charge read, “That you Chika Ojukwu, on October 29, 2019, at the Abakaliki Court gate in the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did unlawfully escape from police custody, while being taken to court for arraignment, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 135 (a) of the Criminal Code Law, Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.”

The Chief Magistrate, Ruth Nwali, directed that the case file be transferred to the Director of Public Prosecutions in the state for necessary action.

She remanded the accused in the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Abakaliki, and adjourned the matter till December 30, 2019, for hearing.

 

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MSN

What a surprising twist to Internet fraud in Nigeria.

n a surprising revelation, Ibrahim Magu, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has revealed that mothers of internet fraudsters, locally known as ‘Yahoo boys’ have formed an association in Lagos.

The EFCC chief disclosed this at the commission’s Lagos Office during the ongoing EFCC stakeholders conference on crusade against cybercrime fraudsters, The Nation reports.

Going further, Magu revealed that the Lagos state office of the anti-graft agency has since January this year made 300 cybercrime-related arrests and also secured 200 convictions.

 

Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that a group, Nigerians Against Corruption (NAC) urged President Muhammadu Buhari to re-appoint Ibrahim Magu for another four-year term.

Going further, the group noted that the EFCC’s collaborative efforts with the FBI resulted in over 200 arrests, 130 convictions and the recovery of a large number of proceeds of crime.

Magu is currently approaching the end of his tenure as the acting chairman of the EFCC.

 

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MSN

Why Hariri resigned as Lebanon Prime Minister?

BEIRUT (Reuters) – After hitting a dead end in efforts to defuse the crisis sweeping Lebanon, Saad al-Hariri informed a top Hezbollah official on Monday he had no choice but to quit as prime minister in defiance of the powerful Shi’ite group.

The decision by the Sunni leader shocked Hussein al-Khalil, political advisor to Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who advised him against giving in to protesters who wanted to see his coalition government toppled.

 

The meeting described to Reuters by four senior sources from outside Hariri’s Future Party captures a critical moment in the crisis that has swept Lebanon for the last two weeks as Hariri yielded to the massive street protests against the ruling elite.

The resignation has left a political vacuum and paralyzed a state in need of urgent action to steer Lebanon out of an economic crisis that is hitting all Lebanese hard, including Hezbollah’s Shi’ite constituency.

 

Officials at Hariri’s office and Hezbollah could not immediately reached for comment.

The meeting which began at 8 p.m. at Hariri’s Beit al-Wasat residence in central Beirut did not last long.

“I have made my decision I want to resign to make a positive shock and give the protests some of what they want,” Hariri told Khalil, according to one of the sources.

Khalil sought to change his mind. “These protests are nearly over, breathing their last breaths, we are next to you, steel yourself,” Khalil told Hariri.

But Hariri stuck by his decision.

 

He complained he was not getting the support he needed to carry out a major cabinet reshuffle that might have defused the street and allow the quick implementation of reforms. “I can no longer bear it and I am not getting any help,” Hariri said.

The main sticking point, Hariri said, was Hezbollah’s Christian ally Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, a son-in-law of President Michel Aoun with whom the prime minister had clashed repeatedly since his cabinet was formed in January.

While Hariri sought a major reshuffle that would remove Bassil – a target of protester ridicule – and others, Bassil and Aoun had resisted any reshuffle on the basis that demonstrators might not leave the street and demand even more concessions.

“You, Hezbollah, are standing behind Gebran and supporting him,” Hariri told Khalil, according to the source.

Bassil could not be reached for comment.

After announcing his resignation, Hariri expressed relief.

 

 

 

LEBANON

A senior official familiar with his thinking told Reuters he could form a new government if his conditions are met. [ID:nL8N27F1LU]

A BLOW TO HEZBOLLAH

The resignation is a major blow for Hezbollah, which is more deeply involved than ever in the affairs of Lebanese government and as keen as anyone to stave off deeper financial problems that could lead to a destabilizing currency crisis.

Ahead of the resignation, Nasrallah had twice said he was against the resignation of the Hariri government, suggesting that some of the protesters were financed by the group’s foreign adversaries and implementing their agendas.

The post of prime minister must be filled by a Sunni Muslim in Lebanon’s sectarian system, and while Hezbollah has Sunni allies, Hariri is seen as critical to navigating a way out of this crisis because of his international backing.

“This is a strong blow to Hezbollah. Its hands have now been tied,” said a source familiar with Hezbollah’s thinking. “The biggest winner is Hariri.”

Hariri entered this cabinet, his third, with the balance of power tilted against him and in favor of the heavily armed Hezbollah, which together with its allies won more than 70 of parliament’s 128 seats in a 2018 election.

Hariri had lost more than one third of his lawmakers in that election, including some to Sunnis aligned with Hezbollah.

Hezbollah allies, including the FPM of Bassil and Aoun, secured the lion’s share of cabinet seats in Hariri’s cabinet. Hariri clashed with Bassil, particularly over long-elusive reforms needed to plug gaping holes in the state finances.

Hezbollah forged its alliance with the FPM in 2006, winning an influential Christian friend as Lebanese politics was recast by the withdrawal of the Syrian government forces that had dominated the country since the end of the 1975-90 civil war.

As foreign minister, Bassil has consistently spoken in international forums such as the Arab league to defend Hezbollah and its possession of weapons. He is seen as a presidential hopeful.

In line with Hezbollah’s view, Bassil called for Syria to be allowed back into the Arab League at a meeting earlier this month, generating more friction with Hariri because it was at odds with Lebanese government policy.

The source familiar with Hezbollah’s thinking said the group had refrained from attacking Hariri over his decision to quit, to leave open the possibility of him becoming prime minister of a new coalition cabinet. Hezbollah “must preserve a way back” from the crisis, the source said.

 

SOURCE:

 

MSN

Nigeria lifts suspension of two aid groups in northeast -minister

Nigeria has temporarily lifted a suspension of the operations of two aid groups, Mercy Corps and Action Against Hunger, in the country’s northeast, the minister of humanitarian affairs said.

The army forced both groups to close some of their offices in September, accusing Action Against Hunger of aiding terrorist groups and alleging that a large amount of money in a car found in northeastern Borno state belonged to Mercy Corps.

The two groups did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Action Against Hunger has rejected the accusation of “aiding and abetting” a terrorist organisation and Mercy Corps has expressed concern at the consequences of suspending its operations in northeast Nigeria, saying it left hundreds of thousands of people at risk.

 

 

Humanitarian affairs minister Sadiya Umar Farouq told a news conference in the northeastern city of Maiduguri that the concerns raised by the army would “continue to receive attention and scrutiny,” and that the government would take new steps to vet and monitor all humanitarian groups working in the region

A decade-long insurgency by Islamist militant group Boko Haram has terrorised the northeast, killing some 30,000 and forcing two million to flee their homes. In 2016, Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) split from Boko Haram and has launched its own attacks in the region.

 

The United Nations has described it as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, estimating that 7.1 million people need assistance.

 

SOURCE:

 

MSN

Why Nigeria action is a big blow to regional integration in West Africa?

President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo of Ghana on Tuesday, October 29 lamented over the border closure by the Nigerian government.

The Ghanaian president described the action of Nigeria as a big blow to regional integration in West Africa, adding that it could negatively affect the regional integration agenda.

He made the comment at a meeting with a delegation from a top Nigerian bank at the Jubilee House in Accra, Daily Trust reports.

 

His words:

 

“We are about to enter a delicate period in the ECOWAS journey looking ahead of the possibility of a single currency and trying to forge greater integration among our economies and at the same time have important security and other issues which confront us.

“We have this business of the closure of the Benin Border, which seems to some people to be a big blow to the ECOWAS project.”

He argued that the overall interest of member states should override individual national interest.

 

“I believe that there are other considerations that we have to look at and examine to find a way so that we can live in this region in harmony and allow each one of us our national ambition to be fulfilled,” he added.

Recall that Nigeria’s minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, had a meeting with two Ghanaian ministers on the issue on Thursday, October 17 in Abuja.

Ghana’s minister of foreign affairs and integration, Shirley Botchwey and her trade and industry counterpart, Alan Kyerematen, visited Onyeama at his office in the Nigerian capital.

Onyeama told his visitors that no country was targeted in the border closure, adding that the move is a measure to address a particular issue.

 

SOURCE:

 

MSN

How a 14-year old Nigerian girl became a saint.

The Catholic pontiff, Pope Francis, on Sunday described the late 14-year-old Vivian Ogu as an example to all Christians in Nigeria and the rest of the world.

The Pope, represented by Archbishop Guampetno Dal Toso, International President of Pontifical Mission Societies, spoke at the closing ceremony of the National Mission Congress of Nigeria at the Vivian Ogu Missionary Animation Centre in Benin City at the weekend.

 

“She showed us how we can live our faith without minding the consequences,” the Pope said and expressed joy that “we have here in Nigeria this good example of a young woman who gave her life for the fidelity of her faith.”

Recall that Vivian was on November 15, 2009, shot dead by armed robbers after she resisted being raped by the robbers who invaded her family house in Benin City.

The robbers were said to have taken her and her sister out of town to a rural area where she was killed.

 

Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki; Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, Archbishop Augustine Akubeze, eulogised the life and times Vivian Ogu, saying her life was worth of emulation.

Onaiyekan said, “You must see the hand of God in this. How many times have we been hearing that armed robbers killed people? This is not the first time armed robbers are killing people but this particular case is special.”

Akubeze said her death was a clarion call for Christians to practise their faith.

 

SOURCE:

MSN

Nigeria mourns the death of Balewa Matriach

The only surviving wife of Nigeria’s first prime minister, late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Hajiya Jummai Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, is reportedly dead.

According to The Nation, she was recently discharge from an India hospital after she went to seek medical attention for her heart disease.

 

The late Hajiya Jummai reportedly died in Lagos in the early hours of Sunday, October 27,

Hajiya Hajara Yakubu Wanka, granddaughter of the late Balewa was said to have confirmed the development.

Meanwhile, recall that Legit.ng had reported that Senator Mojisola Akinfenwa, a former Alliance for Democracy (AD) national chairman, died at the age of 89.

The demise was confirmed by a former AD chairman in Osun state, Hon Oladape Fakunle, who said Akinfenwa enjoyed good health till his final moment.

 

SOURCE:

 

MSN

IPPIS: Sheathe Your Swords, Don Jazzy Pleads With ASUU, FG — Information Nigeria

Don JazzyNigerian music producer Don Jazzy has appealed to the Federal Government and the members of the Academic Staff Union of University ASUU over the use of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System IPPIS. The FG had given October as the deadline for the commencement of the use of the IPPIS but ASUU insisted it…

via IPPIS: Sheathe Your Swords, Don Jazzy Pleads With ASUU, FG — Information Nigeria

Raid against Baghdadi was named for Kayla Mueller, US hostage killed in ISIS custody

The “dark and dangerous” operation that claimed the life of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was named after American Kayla Mueller, 26, who was kidnapped by the extremist group and killed in 2015.

Mueller, who was described by her family as a “compassionate and devoted humanitarian,” traveled to Turkey in 2012 after her graduation and then crossed the border into Syria, on a mission to help those fleeing the civil war in the country. She was leaving a hospital run by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders in the Syrian city of Aleppo when she was kidnapped in August 2013.

In a letter to her family that she wrote while in captivity, she urged her loved ones not to let her situation burden them. “I DO NOT want the negotiations for my release to be your duty,” she wrote, adding: “I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing.

“I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator,” she wrote, invoking her religious beliefs throughout the letter.

In February 2015, the Islamic State claimed that Mueller was killed when a Jordanian fighter plane bombed the building in which she was being held. U.S. officials expressed skepticism about the claim, while the Jordanian government denied that its airstrikes had killed the American hostage.

The details surrounding Mueller’s death and the whereabouts of her body are still unclear.

 

SOURCE:

 

https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/raid-against-baghdadi-was-named-for-kayla-mueller-us-hostage-killed-in-isis-custody-1.605071

Nigerian pastor accused of abusing children who fled Boko Haram.

Deep in the tropical forest in southern Nigeria, an evangelical pastor runs a sprawling camp billed as a refuge for thousands of children who fled the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency in the north.

Solomon Folorunsho, known as Pastor Solomon, says he is on a self-proclaimed mission to help humanity, creating the International Christian Centre for Missions (ICCM).

His camp in Benin City claims to provide accommodation, medical care and education for 4,000 children, “most of them orphans”, as well as 500 widows and missionaries, using funding from local institutions, NGOs and churches abroad.

 

But witnesses AFP interviewed across Nigeria — children, their relatives, former missionaries and social workers — paint a far darker picture of the pastor and the treatment of those in his care.

“At first he’s very subtle, quiet — like somebody who wouldn’t hurt a fly,” one former church worker said of the charismatic preacher.

“I loved him, I loved his charisma.”

But during months of interviews, witnesses detailed how those living at his 30-hectare (75-acre) facility frequently go hungry and thirsty and endure atrocious hygiene conditions.

All accused the pastor of physical abuse, while some accused him of sexual harassment.

 

‘We don’t do abuse’ 

Pastor Solomon, aged in his 50s, admits having problems with food and sanitary conditions in the camp but denies any mistreatment.

“There is no bad treatment here. We don’t do abuse,” he told AFP.

“Feeding them is a challenge… but we don’t have anything to hide. We are helping humanity.”

 

Concerns about the camp have a long history. Three years ago, the UN children’s agency UNICEF sent an assessment team to the site, who filed a report with damning conclusions.

“Pastor Solomon runs this camp as if it is his ‘kingdom’. He controls the movement and actions of every person in the camp through a group of ministers and specially selected children,” the team wrote in the confidential report, seen by AFP.

The UNICEF investigators said what they saw, coupled with interviews with children, caregivers and NGO workers, prompted “strong concerns regarding the possibility that Pastor Solomon may be engaged in sexual activities, or at a minimum, displaying grooming behaviours with girls in the camp”.

Witnesses also told AFP that around a dozen young girls work for the pastor as his personal servants and receive preferential treatment.

“A girl who refused to work for him was punished and starved. When he beat you, he wouldn’t stop until you bled seriously,” said Rahila, a 16-year-old girl who left the camp several months ago.

“He had names that he called different girls… He would comment on the size of my b**t, and he would say our chests looked like pineapples or stuff like that,” she said.

All the witnesses’ names have been changed to protect their identities.

 ‘We got beaten’ 

Other children and adults said that those who upset the preacher were treated brutally.

“I was always hungry, there was never enough food or water. When we complained we got beaten with anything he could lay his hands on,” said 12-year-old Hauwa.

“No one leaves Pastor Solomon without a scar — whether it is psychological or physical,” a former follower told AFP after hesitating at first to talk about his ordeal.

Convincing people to talk about their experiences with Pastor Solomon is a painstaking task. Some have refused to speak out for 20 years.

“Most of the girls were coming from poor homes. They would sleep with him and in exchange, he would pay for their school fees,” said a former female follower who was at the church in the late 1990s.

She said her going to the authorities about the abuse she experienced and witnessed was out of the question in a country where powerful men are rarely brought to justice.

She was also scared of juju, the traditional black magic widely feared by people in the region.

“I was scared to talk. He uses juju, people told me I would die.”

Evangelical preachers draw fanatical followings across the deeply Christian south of Nigeria. Pastor Solomon’s power stems greatly from his beliefs.

“He says he’s sent by God. To confront him is like confronting God himself,” a former church worker said.

Those who have served under him and lived in the camp say the pastor uses the fear of devil to keep people in line.

On the church’s website, in a short biography entitled “I Saw Jesus” — translated into six languages including Russian and Chinese — he claimed that he was saved from Satan by God himself.

Foreign evangelical support 

Pastor Solomon’s International Christian Centre for Missions has expanded hugely since he founded it in 1990 with just a dozen young female followers.

In 1992, he set up the first “Home for the Needy”, taking in poor children whose parents entrusted them to his care on the promise of an education.

A former missionary said the pastor would sometimes misrepresent the children as orphans to raise sponsorship in Europe or the United States.

Ten years later, the church had grown to more than 200 branches, with missionaries and preachers working across southern Nigeria and funds coming from evangelical churches abroad.

“He was always browsing the internet to look for church organisations all over the world” to target for donations, the missionary said.

“He would send pictures of us or of the children, asking us to look sad. He was saying that white people are so emotional.”

But it was the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency more than 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) to the north of Benin City that caused a surge in the numbers at the camp.

As the violence displaced millions of people and grabbed global attention in 2013, Pastor Solomon’s group turned its attention to children in the conflict zone of northeastern Nigeria.

“The pastor’s people came (to Maiduguri) and convinced parents to send their children to Benin City where they would have a good education, with free food,” said Rakiya, who allowed five of her six children to go.

“At the camp, parents would be given bags of rice, bus fare, jerrycans of palm oil and the like. So when they returned to Maiduguri they would tell other parents ‘Benin is good’,” she said.

No records 

No records are publicly available about how many children were brought from northern Nigeria to the camp.

Pastor Solomon told AFP that the Nigerian army and the intelligence service “have a copy of the register”, but this could not be verified.

UNICEF and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) wanted to set up a programme to reunite children from the camp with their families, but were denied access to their identities.

“At this time, camp management has been unable/unwilling to provide this information,” UNICEF said in its report.

UNICEF maintains that it passed on the report to local authorities in 2016 to make them aware of the “concerns”.

But nothing appears to have been done.

On the contrary, Pastor Solomon had full support from the then regional governor, Adams Oshiomhole, now head of Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress.

“With the former governor, we once had a good relationship,” Pastor Solomon told AFP. “When parents wanted to get their children back, he would give them money, he would give them a gift.”

Today, while denying any accusations of maltreatment, the pastor admits that the huge influx of children placed a major strain on the camp and that the church struggles for money.

Camp workers have told local media that to feed the estimated 4,000 children and 500 adults at the camp costs hundreds of dollars a day — and that does not include medicine, water, education and clothing.

“We also have a problem with hepatitis, measles, chickenpox and scabies; we don’t have enough accommodation for them, this is a big challenge. the pastor acknowledged.

Witnesses said that children sleep on mats on the ground in huge hangars without adult supervision, relieving themselves in the forest, complaining of hunger and thirst and not washing, and that many have died in the disease-ridden conditions.

 ‘It’s our responsibility’ 

While conditions keep deteriorating at the camp, some European and US evangelical groups still send donations and materials to Nigeria.

The congregation of German pastor Gunther Geipel — who describes Pastor Solomon as a “friend and brother” — is one of them.

Geipel dismisses the allegations against the pastor as “tales” from “jealous people”.

“I cannot imagine that this is true,” he told AFP.

AFP put the allegations against Pastor Solomon and his camp to Edo State minister for social affairs Maria Edeko, who took up her duties several months ago.

She said she had never heard of the UN report or accusations of abuse and poor conditions at the camp but insisted they would be investigated.

She confirmed the authorities did not have access to the camp registry.

“From now on, I can assure you that my ministry will be on top of the situation. We need monitoring,” she said. “It’s our responsibility.”

 

SOURCE:

 

MSN

Christianity saved me and it’s now my “job to spread the gospel, to let people know what Jesus has done for me.”–Kanye West.

In a wide-ranging interview with Apple Beats 1 radio host Zane Lowe ahead of his new album, “Jesus is King“, West re-affirmed he “will be president of the United States.”

“There will be a time when I will be president of the US, and I will remember … any founder that didn’t have the capacity to understand culturally what we were doing,” he said.

The two-hour interview, which was released Thursday night, saw the unpredictable rapper chat with Lowe at his Wyoming compound. 

 

 

 

kw

“I am unquestionably, undoubtedly, the greatest human artist of all time. It’s not even a question at this point. It’s just a fact,” West told Lowe.

When asked about his controversial relationship with the current US President Donald Trump, West said: “For the greatest artist in human existence to put a red hat on was God’s practical joke to all liberals. Like, ‘No! Not Kanye!'”

Aside from politics, West spoke about his battle with porn addiction, which began as a child.

“For me, Playboy was my gateway into full-on pornography addiction.

“My dad had a Playboy left out at age five, and it’s affected almost every choice I made for the rest of my life, from age five to now, having to kick the habit.”

But the rapper said Christianity saved him and it’s now his “job to spread the gospel, to let people know what Jesus has done for me.”

West’s views on sexual relationships are now much more conservative – he said he even asked people working on his new album to abstain from premarital sex.

West thanked fans Friday morning after the release of “Jesus is King” was delayed due to mixing issues. At the time of writing it has still not been released.

 

 

SOURCE:

 

MSN

Russia is set to help Nigeria in fighting Boko Haram

Russia is to sell 12 attack helicopters to Nigeria after both countries signed a military deal on the side-lines of the Russia-Africa summit holding in Sochi.

Reuters, citing a report from Moscow-based news agency RIA, stated that the agreement was signed on Wednesday, October 24 in Sochi.

Earlier, a presidential aide, Garba Sheh, had disclosed that President Buhari was to have discussions with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, part of which will concern arms procurement.

Ahead of the Russia-Africa summit, Legit.ng had reported that the Russian Federation could help Nigeria battle Boko Haram terrorists if both countries sign a military-technical cooperation deal scheduled to take place on October 2019.

 

The Nigerian ambassador to Russia, Steve Ugbah, had told Russia’s RIA news agency in an interview that president Buhari was due to meet President Putin on the side-lines of a Russia-Africa summit in the Black Sea city of Sochi.

Ugbah said deal between Russia and Nigeria which he said had already been drafted ahead of the meeting between both leaders.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari met President Vladimir Putin of Russia at the Russia-Africa Economic forum in Sochi on Wednesday, October 23.

The Nigerian president attended the forum alongside more than thirty African heads of state and governments including the chairman of the African Union and president of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

Nigerians set 2nd term agenda for President Buhari – on Legit TV.

 

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MSN

How Lagos Residents carried placard in protest over bad roads.

Residents of Kirikiri town have lamented hardship caused by the bad condition of Karimu Road, in the Oriade Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.

The residents claimed that the companies in the community neglected the road and failed in their corporate social responsibility.

They identified the companies trading in the community as Techno Oil and Gas Limited, Fatgbems Oil, Sam Star Nigeria Limited, Bovas Oil, Chisco Energy, Best Staff Construction Company, Kam Wire Nigeria Limited, Bolingo Nigeria Limited, Ratel Engineering Limited, Bao Yao Nigeria Limited, Reynold Nigeria Limited, among others.

 

The protesting residents, including women and youths, carried placards with different inscriptions indicating the bad state of the road and adjoining streets.

The woman leader of the community, Florence Nnakife, said the gridlock caused by the road had led to the death of many residents.

She said, “This protest is long overdue. Some of our children can no longer go to school; the ones that go to school struggle to get there because their school buses no longer ply the road because of its bad state.

“We are suffering. About two weeks ago, a young boy lost his life. He had been sick and became unconscious, so his family decided to take him to Hilton Hospital in the Berger area. They were on the way when they ran into gridlock caused by the bad road. The boy died in the car.

“We want the road to be fixed. We want the trucks plying this road to be diverted to another route because they cause gridlock. Sometimes, we pass under the trucks to enter our houses. We want all these to stop.”

The youth President of the community, Popoola Odoji, alleged that the companies, despite being notified of the hardship, feigned ignorance of their plights.

 

He added that the residents were determined to voice out their aggression to get a solution.

“We have spent over N70,000 writing letters and we have also had a series of meetings with the concerned companies, but they have been promising us that they will do something, but nothing was done. So, the elders, women and youths in the community decided to protest. We have decided that if they don’t do the road, we will prevent them from working,” Odoji said.

The Chief Security Officer of the community, Doherty Olukoya, while urging the companies to improve the condition of the road through its CSR, appealed to the government to respond to the plights of the residents.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the companies in the community established the Depot Owners Association to facilitate CSR projects to improve the condition of the community.

The Secretary, Depot Owners Association, Simeon Anabor, denied the claim that the companies abandoned their CSR to the community.

He noted that the association had sent its technical committee to assess Karimu Road and the palliative measures that could be put in place.

He said, “If the residents are saying that we have abandoned our CSR, it is very unfair because the association constructed Kadoso Road, constructed drainage channels in the community and offered employment opportunities to youths in the community.

“The challenge is the economic downturn that has affected the oil sector and made operations very difficult. Most of the depots there are not operating and that is why they have not been able to put funds together because constructing the road is a capital intensive project.

“Over N50m was spent on constructing Kadoso Road. Because of low economic activities, the companies did not have the money to undertake the construction of Karimu Road. The association has been in charge of maintaining all these roads for over five years now.

“The association has sent a technical committee to assess Karimu Road to see what could be done in terms of palliatives. We also appeal to the state and the Federal Government to come to our aid.”

 

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MSN

How a lecturer was sacked over sex for grade allegation in Nigeria.

The Kaduna State University on Wednesday suspended one of its academic staff, Mr Bala Umar, popularly known as A.B. Umar, for allegedly soliciting sex for grade.

In a management meeting on Wednesday, KASU said a committee was set up to investigate the allegations against Umar, following a one-man protest at KASU by a female graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

The lady, whose name was not given, alleged that Umar, who was sacked by ABU for sexual misconduct and later employed by KASU, was not fit to be a lecturer in any institution.

 

KASU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Prof. Abdullahi Ashafa, who chaired the meeting, said KASU had zero tolerance for such misconduct by its members of staff and would deal appropriately with anyone found wanting.

Ashafa said the university was therefore proceeding with investigations into the allegations levelled against Umar.

“This is a normal management meeting that holds every week as mandated by the institution’s management to receive reports from faculties, directorates and units of the university.

“Sometimes in the first week of October, a lady who was an ex-student of ABU tweeted that a former staff of the institution who is employed by KASU, had sexually harassed her when he was a staff at ABU.

“She mentioned his name and the vice chancellor of KASU quickly formed a committee to investigate the issue, not only to clear its name, but to reassure parents and students who are studying here or intend to study of their safety.

“KASU is building a reputable name as a centre of excellence, so such allegations need to be investigated and cleared.

 

“The incident did not occur in KASU, but the way the issue is being portrayed is like we are providing a safe haven for those whose appointments had been terminated elsewhere.

“Umar was appointed in error; there was no much investigation to ascertain what made him leave ABU at the age of 54.”

Ashafa disclosed that two committees were set up; one was to investigate Umar’s case, while the second was for general investigation on events on campus relating to both academic and non-academic employees of the institution.

“The second committee is to also collect testimonies and memoranda from past and current students who are victims of such misconduct; and who are willing to share their experiences.

“The university is interested in unravelling such incidences that have not come to light; and would take drastic measures to serve as a deterrent to would-be offenders,’’ he said.

The DVC assured Nigerians that though Umar was a management staff, he had been summarily suspended for proper investigation.

Prof. Hauwa Evelin-Yusuf of the Sociology Department, who chaired the first committee, said that members were to investigate the appointment of Umar, as well as the reasons he left ABU, and make recommendations.

“ABU terminated Umar’s appointment on misconduct bordering on extortion of students in July 2013 and KASU absorbed him in September 2013.

“Our findings showed that Umar should have been employed on contract basis if his services were needed because he has no PhD and was 54 years at that time.

“We also discovered some discrepancies in his submission and that of some students that were interviewed, there were allegations of unethical behaviour and sexual advances.”

Evelin-Yusuf’s committee recommended that Umar’s appointment be converted to contract with immediate effect; and the university could take further decisions.

She called on the Nigerian students to be bold and report all forms of extortion, harassment or unethical behaviour by lecturers that were capable of tarnishing their future and the reputation of Nigerian universities.

 

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MSN

How a Nigerian Army officer was butchered in Abuja.

An officer of the Nigerian Army, Second Lieutenant VL Henry, has been found dead in Abuja. Nigeria’s capital city.

Premium Times reports that Henry was found beside the Mabushi Bridge which approaches Utako district at about 8.40 am on Tuesday, October 22.

It was also gathered that Henry was found with cuts and bruises to his head and on him was his Nigerian Army’s identity card.

 

Sources also said that the deceased who was newly commissioned had just returned from an amphibious course which he just completed in Calabar on October 18.

While the Police and the Nigerian Army are yet to comment on the reported death of the officer, the Nigerian Military in a fresh memo has advised its personnel around Abuja to be careful about their movement.

The Military personnel were also advised to avoid moving alone unless absolutely necessary.

 

Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the body of a senior naval officer, Commander Oluwayemisi Ogundana , was found inside an abandoned shallow well near the Deeper life Church in Jaji cantonment, Kaduna state.

The commander’s body was said to have been dismembered and put in a big sack before being dumped in the well.

 

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MSN