Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has come under fire afresh from a southwest group Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum which has accused him of crying wolf when there is none over alleged gradual Fulanisation and Islamisation of Nigeria.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Forum discarded Obasanjo’s alarm saying on Wednesday, June 5 that land displacements and reprisals are responsible for Fulani-related clashes in northern Nigeria.
President of the Forum, Akin Malaolu, said in a statement it is totally wrong to give it religious or ethnic colouration.
“We can say succinctly that former president Obasanjo was deliberately deceitful and in greater dishonesty in his phantom claim.
”History which relied on facts and evidences are both missing in his conjectures. Modern generation of our youths and some elders may not understand that the North experienced two eras that shaped their entire land.
“The system of government before the advent of jihad was a period of prosperity that made it possible for slaves to rise through various tasks including the military,
”But with their conquest, the system of administration changed drastically and weakened the slaves and to their offspring.
“History recorded the events that gave the Fulani people a space in modern day Nigeria and their foothold in the North came through conquest beginning from 1808 [211 years ago]”
Recall that Legit.ng Obasanjo on Saturday, May 18, claimed the aim of the terror sect Boko Haram is ‘Fulanisation’ of West Africa and Islamisation of Africa.
Obasanjo said this in a keynote address at the 2019 Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), held in Oleh, Isoko South council area of Delta state.
He spoke on the topic ‘Mobilizing Nigeria’s human and natural resources for national development and stability.’
The United Kingdom Government has seized £211,000,000, about N81.9billion, from a Jersey bank account that belonged to the late Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha.
Mr Abacha died on June 8, 1998, after more than five years in office as Nigerian military head of state.
According to a report by UK Metro news medium, the money was put in accounts held in Jersey by Doraville Properties Corporation, a British Virgin Islands company.
The report further stated that the money is now being held by the government until authorities in Jersey, the US and Nigeria agree on how it should be distributed.
“Any money that Jersey does keep will be put into the Criminal Confiscation Fund, which is used to pay for a variety of projects. In the past, the fund has been used for the new police station and developments at La Moye Prison.
“It is expected that even more money held by Doraville is likely to be seized and paid into the Civil Asset Recovery Fund in the future,” the report said.
In 2014, at the request of the US authorities, the Island’s Attorney-General applied for, and the Royal Court granted, a restraining order over the Jersey bank account balance of Doraville.
“The purpose of the restraining order was to preserve the money until a final civil asset recovery order could be registered in the Royal Court. ”
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The Queen has met every US president of her reign so far – except for one – and now prepares to welcome Donald Trump on UK soil again.
The monarch has played a pivotal role in the UK’s relationship with America over the decades.
And Mr Trump’s state visit, which starts today, is the third by an American president to the UK, following George W Bush’s in 2003 and Barack Obama’s in 2011.
Although Elizabeth II never met Lyndon B Johnson, who took over in 1963 following John F Kennedy’s assassination, she has built strong relationships with various US leaders.
But Mr Trump’s state visit is by far the most expensive in British history – costing taxpayers an estimated £40million in security costs.
Harry S Truman
In 1951, a young Princess Elizabeth – unknowingly three months away from becoming Queen – went to Washington and saw President Harry S Truman, who was still in the Oval Office when she acceded to the throne.
Dwight D Eisenhower
During her first state visit to America in 1957, now Queen, she met Dwight D Eisenhower.
They met again in Canada in 1959 and travelled on the Royal Yacht Britannia together.
The Queen was said to have had an affectionate relationship with Mr Eisenhower, who was even invited to stay at the Queen’s Scottish hideaway, Balmoral Castle.
John F Kennedy
The glamorous JFK and his wife Jackie dined with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace in June 1961.
Jackie Kennedy was invited to lunch with the Queen at the palace a year later while she was on a private visit to London, and the pair bonded over their love of horses.
Lyndon B Johnson
Mr Johnson, then vice president, took over after Mr Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.
He was president until 1969 – but the Queen never met him, and he died in 1973.
Richard Nixon dined with the Queen at Buckingham Palace in February 1969.
The Queen also met Mr Nixon at Chequers in October 1970 and was photographed with him outside the prime minister’s official country residence.
In 1976, during the US bicentennial, the Queen met Gerald Ford in the US, and they danced together at the state dinner in the White House.
In 1977, the monarch was pictured in a billowing, wide-sleeved yellow gown alongside Jimmy Carter, in a black tie and tuxedo, when he came to London.
Ronald and Nancy Reagan stayed at the Queen’s favourite home, Windsor Castle, in 1982.
The monarch and the former film star shared a bond through their love of horses and rode side by side in Windsor Great Park.
Both looked relaxed and informal in jodhpurs and riding boots, with the Queen dressed down in her headscarf.
She also met Mr Reagan during an official visit to America’s West Coast in 1983.
George Bush Snr
George Bush Snr had lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 1989.
She also visited him in the US in 1991 – the trip that led to “Podiumgate” – when all that could be seen of the Queen above the lectern when she was delivering an address on the White House lawn was her hat.
Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary met the Queen several times, including in December 2000 when, along with daughter Chelsea, they visited Buckingham Palace.
George W Bush
George W Bush visited the head of state at the palace in July 2001.
Two years later, in November 2003, Mr Bush paid an official state visit – the first by a US leader – and the Queen gave him a wide smile as they shook hands at her London residence.
He was honoured with a state banquet in the palace ballroom.
The Queen’s London home had been the site of a major security breach the same day, when Daily Mirror reporter Ryan Parry revealed he had been working undercover as a footman at the royal residence for two months.
Parry claimed he was given the chance to get close enough to the Queen to have poisoned her, and he took pictures of the monarch’s plastic breakfast containers, and the bed in which US President Bush and his wife Laura were to sleep.
The visit was also met with large protests over the Iraq War.
When the Queen encountered Mr Bush again, in Washington DC in 2007, the president winked at her after making a gaffe.
At a welcome ceremony on the south lawn of the White House, he mixed up his dates in a speech – almost ageing the Queen by 200 years.
Turning to the Queen and winking, he joked to his audience: “She gave me a look that only a mother could give a child.”
Mr Bush – in 2008 – was also received by the Queen at Windsor Castle.
The Queen’s relationship with Barack Obama was a warm and friendly one.
They hit it off after a reception ahead of the G20 summit in 2009.
The Queen and First Lady Michelle Obama acted like old friends when they put their arms around each other at the end of the event.
In her memoir, Becoming, Mrs Obama said they had just agreed that a long day wearing heels had left them with sore feet.
We were just “two tired ladies oppressed by our shoes”, she added.
A successful state visit to the UK followed in 2011 and the Obamas forged a strong bond with the Queen and her wider family – particularly Prince Harry , now the Duke of Sussex, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The Obamas even dropped in to see the Queen the day after her 90th birthday.
The Duke of Edinburgh, then 94, drove the couple the short distance to Windsor Castle after their Marine One presidential helicopter touched down on the manicured lawns of the royal residence.
The Obamas also met Prince George, who was ready for bed in his dressing gown, ahead of dinner with William, Kate and Harry at Kensington Palace.
Mr Trump was accorded a guard of honour and had tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle in July 2018.
As the Queen and the president walked across the lawn of the quadrangle to view the troops, the monarch appeared to gesture and point several times for him to move closer to the front line of soldiers.
Mr Trump moved slightly nearer, but then stood still in front of the Queen, meaning the monarch had to navigate her way around him so they could walk side by side.
He later said of the sovereign in an interview: “That is a beautiful woman.”
The billionaire-turned-politician’s controversial state visit from June 3 to June 5 includes a ceremonial welcome at Buckingham Palace, lunch with
the Queen and the Duke of Sussex, tea with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House, and a grand state banquet in the palace ballroom.
The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-corruption Commission has recommended the suspension of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi 11 over the misappropriation of N3.4 billion. The alleged amount was said to have been misappropriated between 2014 and 2017. A preliminary report of investigation conducted by the commission and signed by its Chairman, Mr Muhuyi Magaji, recommended the suspension of the Emir and other suspects, especially for obstructing investigation.
The emir, tagged principal suspect, should be suspended pending the final outcome of the investigations, the commission said. “This is a necessary administrative disciplinary action aimed at preventing the suspects from further interfering with the commission’s investigations”, the commission said.
The recommendation will escalate the worsening relationship between the administration of Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and the Emir, whose territory has been balkanised by the administration. Ganduje’s government following the recommendation of the House of Assembly split the Emirate into five and appointed emirs for Bichi, Gaya, Rano and Karaye.
The latest probe was in respect of a petition of financial misappropriation levelled against Kano Emirate Council under the present Muhammadu Sanusi II. The interim report raised four cardinal issues bordering on indictments, amount involved, obstruction of investigation and recommendations.
The report indicated that the Kano Emirate Council had spent over N1.4 billion in various expenditures believed to be fraudulent and unappropriated. In addition, the Emirate Council was alleged to have spent over N1.9 billion unappropriated on seemingly personal expenditures, making the total sum of the questionable expenditures.
According to the report, the expenditures contravened the provisions of Section 120 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Section 8 of the Kano State Emirate Council Special Fund Law 2004. Similarly, the expenditures had also violated Section 314 of Penal Code as well as provisions of Section 26 of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Law 2008 (as amended). “It is also the opinion of this Commission, based on the available evidence, that Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II continued to undermine the investigation through various means which include giving instruction to all officers invited for clarification to shun the commission’s invitation.
“The act is seriously affecting the process of our statutory responsibility and offends the provisions of Section 25 of the Commission’s enabling Law 2008 (as amended),” the report said. “The commission further recommends that the contract awarded to Tri-C Nigeria Limited for renovation of Babban Daki, Kofar Kudu and Gidan Sarki Dorayi should be revoked as the company belongs to one of the suspects in person of Alhaji Mannir Sanusi, (The Chief of Staff in the Emirate),” it said.
According to the report, the company failed to settle the sub-contractor, Cardinal Architecture Ltd, after being duly paid. It further recommended that appropriate authority should be put in place to oversee the affairs of the Emirate Council in line with established statutes and policies, pending the final outcome of the commission’s investigations.
It also recommended that further legal action should be taken against all the suspects as soon as the final outcome of the investigations were concluded and legal advice accordingly issued. Meanwhile, the Emirate Council is yet to react to this fresh development.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday arraigned Philomina Chieshe, the controversial official of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB.
Recall that Chieshe claimed that the N35, 480, 000 (Thirty Five Million Four Hundred and Eighty Naira) being JAMB proceeds in her custody lwas swallowed by a snake in Makurdi, Benue State JAMB office.
Chieshe with two other officials of JAMB, Samuel Sale Umoru and Yakubu Jekada were arraigned before Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Court, Maitama. Two
The trio were arrested by the Commission in 2016, following an audit report indicting them over the alleged graft and were arraigned on charges bordering on fraud, misappropriation of funds and criminal breach of trust while holding sway as Jamb officials in Benue and Plateau States, respectively.
Two of the suspects were arraigned on eight counts 1 to 7 charges but Philomina Chieshe was arraigned on the count eight alone.
One of the counts reads: “That you Samuel Sale Umoru and Philomina Chieshe between August, 2014 and July, 2016 in Abuja and Benue state within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court while respectively being the State coordinator and clerical officer of the Joint and Admissions Matriculations Board Zonal office, Makurdi and in such capacity entrusted with the dominion over certain properties to wit, N35,480,000.00 (Thirty Five Million, Four Hundred and Eighty Thousand Naira) being proceeds realized from the sales of e-facility cards belonging to JAMB committed criminal breach of trust by dishonestly using said funds and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 315 of the Penal Code Law.”
And the last count charge preferred on Philomina Chieshe reads: “That you, Philomina Chieshe sometime in June 2016, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court being legally bound to furnish to the management of Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) information on the financial status of the Jamb e-cards supplied to the Benue Zonal Office of JAMB between 2014 and 2016 stated that the sum of N36,510,500 being the value of the shortfall of unremitted e-JAMB cards disappeared as a result of manipulations from the kingdom of darkness which claim you knew to be false and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 139 (a) of the Penal Code Law.”
The defendants pleaded “Not Guilty” to the charges.
Justice Affen, in his ruling, said that the defendants be remanded in the EFCC’s custody and adjourned hearing to Monday, June 3, 2019, for consideration of the bail applications.
Days after a student of the Department of Hospital Management at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Laspotech, in Ikorodu committed suicide because of his girlfriend’s decision to jilt him, another has killed herself.
The tragic incident happened at Sedar College, Baruwa, in Ipaja Ayobo area of the state.
Confirming the sad incident to newsmen, a statement by the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bala Elkana stated that the Ipaja police division received a complaint on May 30, at about 6:50p.m from the school that one Favour Ekemedili, a senior secondary school student complained of severe stomachache and was rushed to the sickbay.
“The school bay immediately moved her to Agege General Hospital, which in turn referred her to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital where she was admitted for medical attention.
“The school authority contacted her parents. She died at about 6:00p.m. while receiving treatment. Her friends who witnessed the incident stated that the stomachache started when the girl took Fan juice.
“On a closer check on the bottle of the juice, it was discovered that the bottle contained Sniper chemicals, not juice.
“The chemical substances were taken for laboratory test. Homicide detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Department are investigating the case,” Elkana stated.
The Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday sentenced a former Acting Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Calistus Obi, to seven years imprisonment for N136 million fraud.
Recall that the Ex-DG in February 2018, during his cross-examination at his trial over the alleged offence admitted that part of the N331 million belonging to the agency which he was alleged to have diverted was used in building an hotel.
The court gave him an option of N42million fine and also refused to order the forfeiture of his seized assets.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar has announced the sighting of the moon to mark the end of Ramadan and herald the Eid el Fitr, tomorrow, 4th of June 2019.
All Nigerian Muslim faithful will join others in the world to celebrate the start of the first day of Shawwaal 1440 on Tuesday.
Abubakar said that the new moon was sighted in Kaduna, Kebbi, Yobe, Borno, Jigawa and Sokoto State among others.
“In accordance with Islamic law, we have the honour and pleasure to announce that today, Monday, the 29th day of Ramadan,1440 AH, which is equivalent of June 3, 2019 marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the new month of Shawwal.
”Reliable reports of moon sighting were received from Muslim leaders and religious organisations across the country, which were duly verified and authenticated by us, states and the National Moon Sighting Committee.
”Consequent upon this, tomorrow, Tuesday June 4, 2019 becomes the first day of Shawwal,1440 AH and is therefore declared the Sallah day for 2019 Eid-el-Fitr, ” he said.
Haram jihadists have carried out multiple attacks on military bases in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, overrunning three of them and stealing weapons, security sources said Monday.
Fighters believed to be from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), the IS-linked faction of Boko Haram, stormed four bases from Friday through Sunday in the latest spate of attacks targeting the army, sources from the military and militia said.
There were no immediate details on casualties.
In the latest incident, on Sunday, the insurgents made a failed attempt to seize a base in the town of Dikwa following a predawn attack.
“The terrorists attacked troops in Dikwa around 4:00 am (0300 GMT) but the attack was repelled without casualty on our side,” a military officer, who did not want to be identified, told AFP.
The fighters came in 13 trucks fitted with heavy machine guns, said a second officer, who gave a similar account.
Dikwa which lies 90 kilometres (56 miles) from the state capital Maiduguri, is home to more than 70,000 displaced people who live in several camps where they rely on food and humanitarian assistance from aid agencies.
Late on Saturday, the jihadists blasted into a base in the town of Marte, 40 kilometres away, pushing troops out after a prolonged gunfight, the two military sources said.
The militants ransacked the base, carting away weapons abandoned by fleeing soldiers and setting fire to it. The soldiers withdrew to Dikwa.
As they retreated towards Lake Chad, the Islamist fighters sacked another base in Kirenowa village, 30 kilometres from Marte.
- Soldiers evacuated –
“The soldiers in Kirenowa have been evacuated to Dikwa after the attack by the terrorists”, the first officer said.
The jihadists were believed to have launched the attacks from their Lake Chad enclave where the Nigerian military has intensified aerial attacks on ISWAP camps.
Troops in a base in Dalwa village, 16 kilometres outside Maiduguri, were dislodged after a six-hour battle with ISWAP fighters which continued into Sunday, said the military sources and an anti-jihadist militia.
The fighting forced Marte residents to flee into Maiduguri, arriving in trucks on Sunday, according to residents of the city.
However, troops returned to the town late Sunday with reinforcement from Maiduguri, the sources said.
ISWAP has since July last year targeted dozens of military bases in attacks that have left scores of soldiers dead.
Boko Haram’s decade-long insurgency has killed 27,000 people and displaced about two million in Nigeria.
The violence has spilled over into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to defeat the Islamist group.
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, June 3 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – After Thomas Gumede’s father died in April, the Zimbabwean bus driver could not afford an expensive funeral. So, he applied for a burial plot through the local municipality.
He never expected he would end up burying his father halfway across Bulawayo, a city in southwest Zimbabwe.
“There are no cemeteries near where I live,” said Gumede, 39, whose father’s burial plot is about 25km (15 miles) from his home.
“Imagine the transport costs,” he lamented. Each time he visits his father’s grave, he spends “at least $20 on petrol”.
As demand for housing continues to drive Bulawayo’s growth into surrounding rural areas, the city is struggling to find enough space to bury its dead, said Emmanuel Ndlovu, coordinator of the Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association.
World Bank figures show about one-third of Zimbabwe’s 16 million people live in urban areas, and that its urban population is growing around 2 percent annually.
“The truth is, the municipality has run out of land, as it cannot keep expanding and encroaching into rural districts,” said Ndlovu, whose organisation lobbies the local municipality on behalf of residents.
With cemeteries in and around the city full to capacity, local authorities are encouraging citizens to consider alternatives to traditional burial.
But attempts to promote cremation, double burials or even recycled graves are coming up against long-held cultural and spiritual beliefs.
When Gumede was asked if cremation could be an option for his family, he rejected the idea outright by invoking “ubuntu,” the southern African philosophy that says a person is who they are because of their connectedness to all of humanity.
“We did not even consider (cremation) as a family. It’s unheard of in our ubuntu as Africans,” he said.
Early this year, the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) held public meetings to try to convince residents of the benefits of cremation, but the idea was roundly rejected as “unAfrican”, said Ndlovu.
According to BCC spokeswoman Nesisa Mpofu, the city of about 1.5 million people has had fewer than 30 cremations since the start of the year.
Searching for other solutions, the local government has started suggesting people bury two family members in the same plot, Mpofu told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in emailed comments.
But, like cremation, the idea has met resistance among residents.
“I have never heard of any such thing as a double burial,” said Lloyd Tshuma, a secondary school teacher.
Tshuma planned to avoid the stress of finding a cemetery space in the city by being buried in his family’s traditional plot in the countryside.
“I will be buried in my rural (area), as has my whole family,” he said.
TWO NEW CEMETERIES
Bulawayo municipality has also considered reusing old graves, a practice that is becoming more common in many parts of the world, as a growing number of countries find themselves low on space to bury the dead.
But Gibson Banda, a member of the Bulawayo United Residents’ Association, another organisation representing residents’ rights in the city, said families are not ready to bury loved ones in other people’s graves.
“There is a problem there because we believe people’s spirits linger in their graves,” Banda said.
“Imagine, then, your relative being buried among unknown spirits.”
BCC spokeswoman Mpofu noted that there are two new cemeteries planned for the city, but construction for both has been delayed.
But, once the two new cemeteries are finished “projections are that these will be enough burial space for all in the foreseeable future,” Mpofu said.
A CRISIS OF SPACE
Bulawayo’s efforts to make space for the dead mirrors its struggles to find affordable housing for the living.
According to Mpofu, the city has a housing waiting list of about 115,000 applicants and a target to provide homes for 3,000 people every year.
But as people continue to migrate into cities from rural areas, meeting housing targets has proven difficult across the country.
According to the finance ministry’s 2019 Infrastructure Investment Plan, the country has a backlog of more than one million who need housing.
About 400 kilometres north of Bulawayo, the capital Harare is also expanding at a rate faster than the municipality can cope with, according to city officials.
In April, minister of state Oliver Chidawu told state media that land shortages in the city were largely due to what he called “weak” government institutions that had allowed developers to buy up council-owned land, including plots that had been earmarked for cemeteries.
The Harare municipality office did not reply to several requests for comment.
In Bulawayo, council officials are stressing the urgency of finding enough cemetery space.
At a city council meeting in March, councillor Mlandu Ncube warned that the city needs “more graves than houses”.
The city’s ongoing shortage of burial sites has Gumede worried about the choices his family will face when he dies.
As he mourned his father, he hoped to take comfort in the idea that he could be near him again in death. Now, he fears that chance has gone.
“By the time I die, I have no idea where I would be buried,” he said.
SEOUL, South Korea — A senior North Korean official who had been reported as purged over the failed nuclear summit with Washington was shown in state media on Monday enjoying a concert near leader Kim Jong Un.
North Korean publications on Monday showed Kim Yong Chol sitting five seats away from a clapping Kim Jong Un in the same row along with other top officials during a musical performance by the wives of Korean People’s Army officers.
Kim Yong Chol has been North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator and the counterpart of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo since Kim Jong Un entered nuclear talks with the U.S. early last year. He traveled to Washington and met President Donald Trump twice before Kim’s two summits with Trump.
Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have been at a standstill since February, when the second summit between Trump and Kim broke down over what the United States described as excessive North Korean demands for sanctions relief in exchange for only a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.
South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo last week cited an unidentified source to report that Kim Yong Chol had been sentenced to hard labor and ideological re-education over the failed summit in Hanoi. The newspaper also reported that senior envoy Kim Hyok Chol, who was involved in pre-summit working-level talks with American officials, was executed with four other officials from the North’s Foreign Ministry for betraying Kim Jong Un after being won over by the United States.
South Korea’s government and media have a mixed record on tracking developments among North Korea’s ruling elite, made difficult by Pyongyang’s stringent control of information about them.
Lee Sang-min, spokesman of Seoul’s Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, said the ministry would not comment on a “specific internal event in North Korea or its participants” when asked about Kim Yong Chol’s reappearance in public. Seoul’s spy service has said it could not confirm Friday’s report of a possible purge, while the presidential Blue House cautioned against “hasty judgments or comments.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in Berlin that he had seen the report and the U.S. was “doing our best to check it out.”
The report came at a delicate time for diplomacy as North Korea in past weeks has tested short-range missiles and issued belligerent rhetoric toward American and South Korean officials. Kim Jong Un declared in April that the Trump administration has until the end of the year to come up with mutually acceptable terms for a deal to salvage the negotiations. Experts say the North is playing measured brinkmanship aimed at increasing pressure on Washington without actually causing the nuclear negotiations to collapse.
North Korea has previously executed scapegoats to atone for high-profile political flops. But while many experts believe Kim Yong Chol was pushed to a back seat in negotiations with the United States, there were doubts about the report of a purge.
Cheong Seong-Chang, an analyst at South Korea’s Sejong Institute, said Kim Yong Chol, who is also rumored to have health problems, wouldn’t have appeared in public this quickly if he was undergoing political re-education. Chang said it wouldn’t make sense for Kim Jong Un to execute Kim Hyok Chol when Kim Yong Chol, the more senior official, would be seen as more responsible for the failure in Hanoi.
“If Kim Jong Un sentences senior officials to hard labor, executes them, or puts them in political prison camps over the collapse of meetings, then no official would be willing to step up in external negotiations,” Chang said. “It’s unlikely that Kim would issue extreme punishment unless he’s giving up on the talks with the United States.”
Kim Yong Chol’s rise during the nuclear negotiations had baffled many North Korea watchers because he handled South Korea ties, not international or U.S. relations. Previously, he was a military intelligence chief believed to be behind a slew of provocations, including two deadly attacks in 2010 that killed 50 South Koreans and an alleged 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures. Both Seoul and Washington imposed sanctions on him in recent years.
Many experts in South Korea believe experienced foreign ministry hands such as Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui are likely to take the lead in North Korea’s nuclear diplomacy as it prepares for the possibility of protracted and highly complicated negotiations with Washington.
Wife of Nigeria’s president, Aisha Buhari, has challenged security agencies to quickly end banditry and other insecurity challenges in parts of the country.
The First Lady who made the call on Saturday, June 1, in Katsina while distributing relief materials to over 25,000 victims of bandits attacks, said it was necessary to degrade the criminals before they end the civil population.
“The security agents should either assist to take action or allow the situation continue until bandits finished killing our people,” she said.
Aisha said that all well meaning Nigerians should talk on things that were going wrong in the country, so as to elicit necessary action.
“We are not supposed to be here giving rice, milk and others items to victims of an incident during Ramadan period.
“We should not keep silent while things are happening, thinking that if something happens today it will not happen tomorrow,
“What happened today, will happen tomorrow, it will also happen next tomorrow if we keep silent.
“It is compulsory to speak the truth, it is not proper for us to give highest number of votes during the general elections and allow bandits continue killing people and keep quiet.
“We must speak on whatever is going wrong in the country,” she said.
Mrs Buhari said that she and wives of the former governors of Nasarawa, Bayelsa, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom (Senator Godswill Akpabio), were among those who donated the relief materials to the victims.
Earlier, the district head of Katsina, Alhaji Aminu Abdulmumini, thanked the President’s wife for the gesture.
He called on the government to intensify efforts toward addressing the menace.
“These people need assistance, but they want the government to address the situation to enable them continue with their normal life.
“Almost on daily basis, we hear sound of Nigerian Air Force fighter jets, yet, bandits are killing people, we don’t know what is happening,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that items distributed by Buhari included rice, milk, sugar and clothes among others to no fewer than 25,988 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The IDPs were from Batsari, Kurfi, Faskari, Danmusa, Jibia, Safana, Kankara local government areas among others.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Aisha on Saturday, June 1, arrived Katsina on a one day visit to sympathise with victims of bandits attack.
The presidential plane she was on landed at the Umaru Musa Yar’adua International Airport at about 11. 15 am on Saturday, June 1.
Aisha Buhari was received by the secretary to government of the state, Mustapha Inuwa, alongside top government officials.
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The Federal Government has declared Tuesday, June 4 and Wednesday, 5, as public holidays to mark the Muslim Eid-Al-Fitr celebrations.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah, announced this on behalf of the government, while congratulating Muslims on the successful completion of the Ramadan fast.
Ehuriah enjoined all Nigerians to use the occasion of the celebration to pray for “the peace, unity, prosperity and stability of the nation.”
According to a release on Friday by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Mohammed Manga, the permanent secretary also enjoined Nigerians to shun hate speeches and divisive tendencies and join hands with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to build a peaceful and united Nigeria.
“This is so as to achieve the next level of socio-economic development. The Permanent Secretary reaffirmed the determination of the Federal Government to protect the lives and property of Nigerians. Security agencies under the Ministry have also been directed to ensure the provision of adequate security before, during and after the Eid-Al-Fitri celebrations,” the statement added.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to present nine witnesses in its case against musician Azeez Fashola, aka Naira Marley, The PUNCH can report.
According to court documents obtained by our correspondent, the witnesses would give evidence of their investigation, tender exhibits and reveal their findings to the court.
Three of the witnesses were said to have taken the defendant’s and witnesses’ statements.
The remaining are representatives of Mastercard, Visa Inc and Guaranty Trust Bank, who are expected to tender relevant card and account details of the defendant to the court.
The artiste was arrested on May 10 at 9 Gbangbala Street, Ikate, Lekki, Lagos, together with Omomniyi Temidayo (aka Zlatan Ibile) and three others for alleged advance fee fraud.
After his arrest, the anti-graft agency filed 11 charges against Naira Marley bordering on alleged cybercrime and identity theft.
The alleged crimes were in contravention of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act and the Cyber Crimes Act, which the artiste risks seven years in jail if found guilty.
Section 33 (2) of the Act, which Naira Marley was accused of contravening reads, “Any person who uses: a counterfeit access device; an unauthorised access device; an access device issued to another person; resulting in a loss or gain commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not more than seven years or a fine of not more than N5,000,000.00 and forfeiture of the advantage or value derived from his act.”
The charges with suit number FHC/L/178C/19 were filed before a Lagos State High Court.
Ten days after his arrest, Naira Marley was arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Justice Oweibo ordered that the artiste be remanded in custody until May 30 to take the bail application filed by the defendant’s counsel, Mrs Taiwo Oreagba.
He was subsequently granted bail to the tune of N2m.
According to court documents obtained by The PUNCH, the EFCC has listed nine witnesses to testify against the artiste at his trial.
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has denied being involved in a near plane crash with other prominent Nigerians in the Ethiopian airline passenger aircraft, Boeing 777-300.
Passengers were said to have also included the director general of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Ambassador Ayoola Olukanni.
Also reported to have been in the plane was Prof Samson Tunde Adebayo, the director of ports inspection, National Agency For Food And Drug Administration And Control (NAFDAC) as well as scores of Nigerians and other nationals.
The passenger aircraft, ET-901, had reportedly departed the Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, at about 9.10 am, Ethiopian time; 7 am Nigerian time.
A NAN correspondent, who was said to have been among the passengers, had recalled that the almost 5-hour flight from the Ethiopian capital to Lagos had been smooth until the pilot attempted to land at the Murtala Muhammed International airport.
A BBC Pidgin tweet reported the denial below. The headline translates to mean he was not involved in the air crash.
An earlier report had claimed that rather than landing on the first touch line of the runway, the pilot over shot it, due to rain and heavy wind, landing on the third touchline.
NAN had reported that on realising this, the pilot quickly manouvered the plane back air, flying out of the Lagos airport.
The plane was said to have hovered around between Lagos and areas suspected to be in Ogun, causing panic in passengers and crew members and reportedly landed some 20 minutes after the initial false landing.
Obasanjo was said to have attended a Stakeholders Dialogue on Continental Trade and Strengthening Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which ended on Tuesday, May 28, in Addis Ababa.
However, the former president denied the report and confirmed to BBC Pidgin he was in Ogun state.
In another news report, former president, Goodluck Jonathan has called on Nigerians not to give in to despair as the country marks 20 years in democratic practice as what he described as “a long spell of military dictatorship.
In a statement on Wednesday, May 29 which marks the beginning of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term in office, the former president congratulated the country in its democratic strides.
Jonathan urged the citizens not to give in as the country battles insecurity, poverty and unemployment.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday ruled that Senator Ademola Adeleke was qualified to contest the September 2018 governorship election.
A three-man panel of the court made the pronouncement in a unanimous judgment which upheld the appeals by Adeleke and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party.
Justice Emmnuel Agim, who read the lead judgment of the Court of Appeal, awarded the cost of N3m against the plaintiffs who instituted the suit before the FCT High Court — Wahab Raheem and Adam Habeeb — who were respondents to the appeals filed by Adeleke and the PDP.
Adeleke’s and PDP’s appeals had challenged the April 2, 2019 judgment of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, which had declared Adeleke ineligible to contest the election on the grounds that he forged his secondary school credentials submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission in 2018.
Justice Othman Musa of the FCT High Court had also declared Adeleke a dropout of the Ede Muslim Grammar School in Ede, Osun State, and thus was not qualified under Section 177(d) of the Constitution to contest last year’s governorship election in Osun State.
But, upturning the judgment on Thursday, Justice Emmanuel Agim, who delivered the lead judgment of the Court of Appeal, held that the suit, having not been filed within 14 days after Adeleke’s Form CF001 was submitted to INEC or 14 days after his name was published as a candidate in the September 2018 election, the suit filed before the FCT High Court, by virtue of Section 285 of the Constitution, had become statute-barred.
Justice Agim also held that the failure of the FCT High Court to deliver its verdict within 60 days of the filing of the suit had rendered the lower court’s judgment a nullity.
But the Court of Appeal also held the affidavit evidence of the West African Examination Council and result ledger attached to it showing that Adeleke was not a dropout but actually sat the May 1981 examination of the body at Muslim Grammar School, Ede.
Justice Agim held that by virtue of Section 177 of the Constitution, by merely writing the examination and without passing any paper, Adeleke was qualified to contest the governorship election.
President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, in Abuja, took the oath of office for a second term of four years.
Eagles Square, venue of the inauguration, was full to capacity despite the Federal Government’s position that it would be low key.
Buhari, 76, was sworn in for a second term at the Eagle Square, Abuja alongside Osinbajo.
The oath of office was administered by the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad at the colourful ceremony, which had all the fanfare including the traditional 21 gun salute, but was devoid of the usual acceptance speech and the presence of former presidents and heads of state, except General Yakubu Gowon.
The opposition Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) said by failing to address Nigerians, President Buhari turned the inauguration to a parody.
But Presidency source has given reasons why President Buhari did not give an inauguration speech.
The source said the president will deliver speech at the forthcoming Democracy Day on June 12.
The Federal Government had shifted major events for the president’s inauguration to June 12.
The source, who spoke anonymously, said the president’s inaugural speech was not meant for the swearing in.
The oath-taking was followed by the lowering and hoisting of the National and Defence flag by the Guard of Honour, signalling the end of an era and the commencement of a new one.
The Christian opening prayer was said by the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Revd Samson Ayokunle, while the Murshid of the Abuja National Mosque, Prof. Shehu Ahmad Galadanci led the Muslim prayer.
Dignitaries who attended the ceremony included the Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, members of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), members of the National Assembly, members of the Judiciary, the outgoing members of the Federal Executive Council, Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police.
There were also members of the business community led by Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia and Femi Otedola, members of the diplomatic corps, traditional rulers, the clergy, among others.
The Christian opening prayer was said by the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Revd Samson Ayokunle, while the Murshid of the Abuja National Mosque, Prof. Shehu Ahmad Galadanci led the Muslim prayer.
Meanwhile, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs. Farida Waziri and the Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, Okoi Obono-Obla, have predicted that the fight against corruption will receive robust attention during the second term of President Buhari.
Waziri said the nation was making a mistake thinking it was the responsibility of the anti-corruption bodies alone.
She added that it is the synergy between the anti-corruption agencies such as the EFCC, ICPC, NFIU, the courts, the Police and members of the public that can rid the country of corruption.
“They are the witnesses in cases that go to court. The Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), it is a total thing that we say look, enough is enough, we want our country to…we don’t want this toga of corruption. So, it is a total war. One section can’t succeed at all,” Waziri noted.
In a separate interview, Obono-Obla said the recovery of public assets would move to the next level.
“It will go to the next level of assets recovery. Full blast! No sacred cows. Whoever has taken what does not belong to him, but belongs to the people of Nigeria, should willingly surrender voluntarily. Otherwise, the full force of the law will be unleashed,” Obono-Obla said.
Permanent Secretary, Interior, Georgina Ehuriah, assured that the civil service would do everything possible to ensure that the president takes the country to the next level.
“The civil servants will work assiduously to implement all the policies and programmes that will be rolled out to move this nation to the next level,” Ehuriah said.
For Senator Ameh Ebute, having been in the saddle for sometime, President Buhari had learnt his mistakes, if there were any, and will do better in his second term.
Also, Obot Godswill Akpabio assured Nigerians that President Buhari would not just perform well in his second term, but will take Nigeria to the next level.
Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi said the most striking aspect of the Buhari administration is his disdain for corruption.
“He started well and my only concern is about corruption. No other massacre in the world is worse than corruption. And this leader stands out saying this is what I want.
“Yes, he will have chiefs or other people that have been in the game of corruption before, but when a leader stands out and say this is what I want, this is my path, he is the leader, people will tend to move forward.
“So, we have never seen a leader that has done that. Murtala tried, it was only for six months. Buhari is the next one that tried after him. And Buhari has been sustaining what he has been saying,” Oba Akanbi said.
The post Buhari in ‘no speech’ inauguration appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.
LAGOS – Justice Adedayo Akintoye of a Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, on Tuesday, renewed a warrant of arrest against a former Super Eagles captain, Augustine Jay-Jay Okocha, over alleged tax evasion.
The judge, like she did at the last adjourned date on April 15, renewed a warrant for Okocha’s arrest following reports from the counsel representing Lagos State Government that he was yet to liquidate his alleged tax debt owed the Lagos State.
The government’s lawyer, Mrs. Y. A. Pitan, told Justice Akintoye that Okocha had visited the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) office but failed to settle the 2017 income tax evasion charge out of court.
The warrant was originally made on January, 2019.
Like in previous proceedings, Okocha was neither in court nor represented by a lawyer when the case was called.
Pitan informed the court of steps the prosecution had taken to effect the arrest warrant.
“The LIRS informed us that the defendant (Okocha) visited their office. He went there to reconcile accounts. He hasn’t settled yet,” she said.
The federal government has declared Wednesday, May 29, as work-free day to mark the 2019 presidential inauguration.
This was announced in a statement by the permanent secretary at the interior ministry, Georgina Ehuriah.
According to Ms Ehuriah, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, who made the declaration on behalf of the federal government, congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for his re-election and Nigerians for the successful conduct of the 2019 elections.
He called on Nigerians to support the policies and programmes of the in-coming administration which he said: “are all geared towards the improvement of the lives of the citizens, as well as the unity, growth and development of the Nation, as it moves to the next level.”
“He expressed confidence that with the collaboration of all Nigerians, the Nation would be transformed in the next four years to a country that would be the envy of other Nations.”
The minister wished the “incoming administration a most fulfilling tenure and Nigerians a memorable Presidential Inauguration Day.”
Although the presidential inauguration will hold on May 29, a more elaborate event is scheduled for June 12 which has now been designated as Nigeria’s Democracy Day.
Bayelsa state governor, Seriake Dickson has on Friday, May 24, appointed former president Goodluck Jonathan as honorary special adviser on the Bayelsa Education Trust Fund Board.
Speaking at the formal launching of the trust fund in Yenagoa, Dickson appealed to Jonathan to use his influence to attract donations to the fund.
He said: “Let me commend our leader, the former president for his educational strides during his time as the governor of this state, he laid the solid foundation for our educational system that is why I have the honour to appoint him as the honorary special adviser to oversee the collection of donations for the education trust fund.
‘With this appointment, he will sit on the board of Bayelsa state education development trust fund, as a former teacher, an educationist; he has enough experience to drive the board.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that Goodluck Jonathan was in Johannesburg ahead of South Africa’s national and provincial elections.
Jonathan who led the Election Observation Mission of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) disclosed this on his Twitter handle.
CULLED FROM :
Wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, has indicted the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, alleging that the implementation of Social Investment Programmes (SIP) failed in the North.
She made the disclosure on Saturday at an interactive programme for women at the State House, Abuja.
Mrs. Buhari further disclosed that she was assured that 30,000 women would benefit from the programme from Adamawa but as the administration winds down, she was yet to hear from them.
According to her: “Concerning the N500 billion voted for SIP, that was part of 2015 campaigns where they promised to give out N10,000, feed pupils in primary schools and give N5,000 to the poorest of the poorer.
“The SSA to the president on social investment is a lady from Kano and I’m sure that my husband decided to put somebody from Kano (there) because of the population and political impact it made. I have never asked how the money is being used or is being given out. I met Barrister (one of the President’s aides on SIP) once, and he promised me that for my state (Adamawa), we should have 30,000 women to be given N10,000. Up till now, I haven’t heard from him.
“I don’t want to raise an alarm that my state did not benefit from it (where the SGF come from). I kept quiet because I don’t want people to say that I talk too much.
“Recently I saw a 74-year-old man selling petty things in Kano, I asked him how much was his capital, he told me between N3,000 and N4,000. Don’t forget that we had campaigned to give the poorest of the poor, N5,000 every month.
“So I don’t know where the social investment… Maybe, it worked out in some states. In my own state, only a local government benefited out of the 22. I didn’t ask what happened and I don’t want to know for it failed woefully in Kano; it’s not a good sign and it’s not a good thing. We have a lot of women that do business locally; due to the cultural thing in the North, they are at home doing their businesses. Some are millionaires, some have thousands of naira; they need the assistance, but they do not get it. Most northern women do not belong to any market association
“I was expecting that N500 billion to be utilised in different methods in the North for the aim to be achieved. I don’t know the method they used but most of the northern states did not get it. My state did not get it,” he said.
“How many of you got it in your states?
My state did not benefit from it,” the women chorused.
Then Mrs. Buhari added: “It worked out well in a situation whereby they had market associations but I was thinking different methods should be used in the North.”
She also expressed reservations over the $16 million counterpart fund expended on mosquito nets.
“I have heard about mosquito nets for which Nigeria paid $16m as counterpart funding. I asked them to give my own share of the net to send on my village people. But I didn’t get that.
“They have spent $16 million on buying mosquito nets; I did not get it; maybe some people have got it. But I feel that’s my opinion; $16 million is enough to fumigate mosquitoes in Nigeria. That’s my opinion,” she said.
Mrs. Buhari, however, thanked the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, for including women in the inaugural activities of the president for second term.
“I will also like to use this opportunity to thank the SGF for including women in the inaugural activities of Mr. President; this is what is called the next level. They didn’t allow us to participate in politics but now they have started given us hope that we can be involved in certain things,” she said.
She also disclosed how she managed to include herself in an anti-drug committee chaired by a former military administrator of Lagos, Buba Marwa.
“I also managed to put myself as member of the committee and the wife of the Vice President. The wife of the Vice President has worked very well; it took her one year to go round schools in Abuja because of the level of abuse. Many girls don’t go to school because they are afraid of being raped while returning from school or when their parents are away.
“You know most of their parents are farmers. The revelation is beyond comment. I asked her to publicise her discovery, but she didn’t; if she had done so, it would have served as a lesson,” she said.
The wife of the president disclosed that the president had provided N12 billion for the treatment of trauma cases in across the country.
“Over N12 billion has been released by the president to take care of trauma cases across the country. Can you please monitor the money? The ministers are going very soon and the money is being released,” she said.
Mrs. Buhari pleaded with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to refund the money women used in purchasing nomination forms in the last 2019 elections.
She said women were marginalised in the elections despite their effort to get elected.
She advised the women not to relent in the pursuit of their dreams and promised to continue to champion their course.
ABUJA – President Muhammadu Buhari has emphasised that he respects the country’s judiciary and is willing to abide by their decisions at all times.
Speaking at an Iftar dinner with the representatives of the Third Arm of the government, the judiciary on Wednesday in the evening at his official residence, President Buhari said he believed that the judiciary should be independent and recalled how he submitted himself to the adjudication of the courts three times on his way to becoming President without any fuss because, as he said, “I respect the institution.
“I have come before you three times before I got here on the fourth run for the office. Your word is the last word on any given issue.”
The Katsina state government has cancelled all activities for the May 29 celebration except the swearing-in of the governor and his deputy in order to mourn those killed by bandits this week in the state, Daily Trust reports.
The secretary to the state government, Mustapha Inuwa, on Thursday, May 23, said the decision was arrived following the unfortunate incessant attacks by armed bandits in some parts of the state.
“This is also to commensurate with the families and other people who lost their loved ones or property as result of the dastardly acts of the bandits,” he stated.
According to him, the attacks have led to the death of many people and left several injured and homeless.
“To this end all, activities that are usually organised for the event have been cancelled except the mandatory swearing-in of the governor and his deputy as enshrined in section 185(1) of the 1999 constitution,” he said.
While appealing to people of the state to remain calm, Inuwa urged them to intensify prayers, especially in these last days of Ramadan, for peace and stability in the state.
Meanwhile, the West Africa Network for Peace-building, Nigeria (WANEP-Nigeria) has called for the strengthening of community policing and inter-agency collaboration to tackle the surge in armed banditry across states in the north-west region of Nigeria.
This was contained in a statement by the national coordinator, WANEP-Nigeria, Mrs. Bridget Osakwe, made available to Legit.ng on Tuesday, May 21.
WANEP-Nigeria while condemning the attacks, called on the federal government to intensify inter-agency collaboration to enhance synergy between security agencies in Nigeria.
LONDON (Reuters) – Fighting back tears, Theresa May said on Friday she would quit after failing to deliver Brexit, setting up a contest that will install a new British prime minister who could pursue a cleaner break with the European Union.
May’s departure deepens the Brexit crisis as a new leader, who should be in place by the end of July, is likely to want a more decisive split, raising the chances of a confrontation with the EU and potentially a snap parliamentary election.
Former foreign minister Boris Johnson, the favourite to replace May, was first out of the blocks, saying Britain should be prepared to leave the EU without a deal to force the bloc to offer a “good deal”.
Current foreign minister Jeremy Hunt also confirmed he would run for the leadership just hours after May, her voice cracking with emotion, said she would resign as Conservative Party leader on Friday, June 7, setting up a contest to succeed her.
“I will shortly leave the job that has been the honour of my life to hold,” May said outside her Downing Street official residence with her husband, Philip, looking on. “The second female prime minister, but certainly not the last.
“I do so with no ill will but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love,” said the usually reserved May.
May, once a reluctant supporter of EU membership who won the top job in the turmoil that followed the 2016 Brexit referendum, steps down with her central pledge – to lead the United Kingdom out of the bloc and heal its divisions – unfulfilled.
“It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,” May said, adding that her successor would have to find a consensus to honour the 2016 referendum result.
Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, said the new prime minister must hold an election to “let the people decide our country’s future”.
PM BORIS JOHNSON?
May, who endured several crises in her failed effort to find a compromise Brexit deal that parliament could ratify, bequeaths a deeply divided country and a political elite that is deadlocked over how, when or whether to leave the EU. The latest deadline for Britain’s departure is Oct. 31.
Most of the leading contenders to succeed May want a tougher divorce deal. The EU has said it will not renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement it sealed with Britain in November.
Spain said it now seemed almost impossible to avoid a so-called hard Brexit, or clean break from the EU, and the bloc signalled there would be no change on the agreement despite European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker learning of May’s resignation “without personal joy”.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney underlined the bloc’s stance that there would be no better Brexit deal.
“This idea that a new prime minister will be a tougher negotiator and will put it up to the EU and get a much better deal for Britain? That’s not how the EU works,” Coveney told Ireland’s Newstalk radio station.
Johnson, the face of the official Brexit campaign in 2016, is the favourite to succeed May, with betting markets giving him a 40% implied probability of winning the top job..
He made his pitch at an economic conference in Switzerland, appealing to Brexit-supporting Conservative Party members by saying: “We will leave the EU on Oct. 31, deal or no deal.”
He said Britain could forge a “fantastic free trade relationship” with Europe after it quits the bloc but could also be a champion for global free trade.
Others tipped are Dominic Raab, a Brexit supporter and former Brexit secretary, with a 14% implied probability on his chances. Environment Secretary Michael Gove, former House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom and Hunt each have a 7% probability, according to betting markets.
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart each have a 4% chance of the top job while Home Secretary Sajid Javid has a 3% chance.
Conservative lawmaker Graham Brady resigned as chairman of the party’s 1922 Committee of backbench MPs in preparation for a potential leadership bid, the BBC said.
For many Conservative lawmakers, speed is of the essence to install a new leader to try to break the Brexit impasse.
The governing party said it would move quickly to try to end the leadership contest before parliament breaks for a summer holiday, a so-called recess which usually falls in late July.
“The fight for the heart and soul of the Conservative Party officially starts now,” said Andrew Bridgen, a pro-Brexit lawmaker. “We need a new PM as soon as possible and who that is will decide the future of our democracy, our country and the Conservative Party.”
Sterling swung back and forth on May’s resignation, and British government bond yields edged off near-two-year lows struck first thing on Friday.
Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has returned an honorary degree awarded by Britain’s Oxford University after a global backlash led by celebrities including George Clooney and Elton John for proposing the death penalty for gay sex and adultery.
Nearly 120,000 people had signed a petition by April calling on Oxford University to rescind the honorary law degree awarded in 1993 to the sultan, the world’s second-longest reigning monarch and prime minister of the oil-rich country.
Oxford University said the sultan had decided to hand back the honorary degree on May 6, while it was reviewing its decision to award it.
News of the decision was made public on Thursday.
“As part of the review process, the university wrote to notify the sultan on 26 April 2019, asking for his views by 7 June 2019,” the university said in an emailed statement to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“Through a letter dated 6 May 2019, the sultan replied with his decision to return the degree.”
The small Southeast Asian country sparked an outcry when it rolled out its interpretation of Islamic laws on April 3, punishing sodomy, adultery and rape with death, including by stoning.
Seeking to temper the backlash, the sultan earlier this month said the death penalty would not be imposed in the implementation of the penal code changes.
The law, which the United Nations condemned, had prompted celebrities and rights groups to seek a boycott on hotels owned by the sultan, including the Dorchester in London and the Beverley Hills Hotel in Los Angeles..
Several multinational companies have since put a ban on staff using the sultan’s hotels, while some travel companies have stopped promoting Brunei as a tourist destination.
Socially conservative attitudes prevail across Asia where Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore ban sexual relationships between men, and Indonesia has seen an increase in raids targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people recently.
Brunei, a former British protectorate of about 400,000 people nestled between two Malaysian states on Borneo island, was the first country in the region to adopt the criminal component of sharia at a national level in 2014.
A five-member panel of justices, in the Supreme Court on Friday, May 24, nullified all votes cast for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 elections in Zamfara state.
In the court’s ruling, given by Justice Paul Adamu Galinji, the panel said that the APC in the state did not carry out primaries according to the party regulations, Daily Trust reports.
The panel therefore described that all votes cast for the APC as “wasted votes” and declared that all political parties with the second highest votes in the polls are elected to the different offices.
In an appeal filed by the APC, the apex court ruled against the apellant and ordered a fine of N10 million against the party.
The Court of Appeal ruled: “Candidate other than the first appellant with the highest vote stand elected. A cost of N10 million is awarded against the appellant.”
Although Mukhtar Idris, the APC’s gubernatorial candidate, was earlier declared winner of the elections, having polled 534,541 votes, Alhaji Bello Matawalle, the PDP’s governorship candidate, who came second in the polls can now be declared as the governor-elect in the state.
The Court of Appeal’s decision affected all candidates of the APC in the elective positions of the 2019 general elections.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had promised to obey the Sokoto appeal court ruling on Zamfara election but noted that the Supreme Court will decide fate of the APC primary held in the state.
The INEC national commissioner, Festus Okoye, on Wednesday, March 27, made this known while reacting to the verdict of the appeal court binding on Zamfara poll.
The presidential candidate of the peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has reacted to the ruling by Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa recusing herself from the Presidential Election Tribunal on Wednesday, May 22.
Atiku in a statement sent to Legit.ng said Justice Bulkachuwa has shown courage in her ruling at the tribunal as no man can be a judge in his own case.
He said the call by his legal team for Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa to recuse herself from the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal was predicated on this principle, being that her husband, Alhaji Mohammed Bulkachuwa, is an All Progressives Congress Senator-elect and the case she was expected to adjudicate upon had a bearing on that party.
“My legal team’s objection was not a reflection on Justice Bulkachuwa’s character or competence. As a matter of fact, I have great respect for her, being a pioneer and advocate for gender equality and female empowerment,” Atiku said.
Commending the judge, Atiku said Justice Bulkachuwa’s action has increased the confidence the public have for the judiciary.
“Her action showed courage and is an act of patriotism. She has, by this action, increased the confidence the public have for the judiciary.
“Not only do I commend her, I also pray, especially in this holy month of Ramadan, that Justice will be done by the tribunal according to the fear of God and not in keeping with respect for the powers that be.
“May God bless the judiciary and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Atiku concluded.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the president of the Court of Appeal, Zainab Bulkachuwa, has withdrawn from the presidential election petition tribunal.
The PDP in an application had asked Justice Bulkachuwa to recuse herself because she is married to a senator-elect of the APC.
The party is challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February presidential election.
The Peoples Democratic Party says the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, must apologise for allegedly misleading the nation and heating up the polity
– The opposition party accuses the minister of lying against it and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar
– According to the PDP, Mohammed levelled unfounded security breach allegations against it and Atiku in the February 23 election
An apology has been demanded by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for allegedly lying against it and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
In a statement by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, Mohammed was accused levelling unfounded security breach allegations against the opposition party and Atiku in the February 23 election, The Nation reports.
Legit.ng gathers that PDP accused the minister of desperation to secure acceptance from Nigerians for the Buhari administration.
The statement read: “Moreover, the minister’s claims that he relied on certain alarms fell flat as no agency in the country had ever accused the PDP, as a political party, or our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, of ‘doing everything possible to sabotage the Buhari administration, generally overheat the polity and make Nigeria seemingly ungovernable’ as claimed by Lai Mohammed.
“We also have fears that Alhaji Lai Mohammed could have made those wild claims in a bid to pave the way to frame, harass, arrest and detain some opposition figures on trump-up charges.
“Such antics have failed as Nigerians have seen through them and are resolute, behind Atiku Abubakar, in the determination to retrieve his mandate in the court…
“By his fabricated claims, the Information Minister only succeeded in further de-marketing our dear nation in the international arena, causing more damage to investors’ confidence in our system and exposing this administration as purveyor of fake news.
“The PDP, therefore, invites Alhaji Mohammed to apologise to the nation and desist from such acts of incitement.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, raised serious allegation against Muhammadu Buhari, accusing the president of plotting to put him in jail.
Atiku was reacting to a statement by the minister of information, Lai Mohammed, who claimed the former vice president had been making treasonable statements.
A 46-year-old businessman, Mr Tochi Michael, has dragged Justice Tanko Muhammad, the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, before a Federal Capital Territory High Court over alleged age falsification.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in the originating summons with suit No. FCT/HC/BW/CV/79/2019, filed before the court in April, the petitioner alleged that the CJN deliberately falsified his date of birth.
Michael alleged that the CJN falsified his date of birth from December 31, 1950 as contained in all his official records, including that of WAEC, to December 31, 1953 upon his appointment as a judicial officer.
The petitioner in the originating summons is praying the court to determine whether such act by the acting CJN does not constitute a criminal act of perjury, falsification and forgery.
Michael in the originating summons also prayed the court to determine whether by falsifying his date of birth upon being appointed to the Nigeria Bench as a judicial officer, he has not breached the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The petitioner also prayed the court to determine whether Justice Mohammad had not breached the Code of Conduct for judicial officers and consequently brought the image of the Nigerian judiciary to disrepute and odium.
The petitioner prayed the court for a declaration that the defendant falsified his date of birth and that he had desecrated the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He also prayed for an order directing the Inspector-General of Police to prosecute the defendant for the offence of perjury and an any other order which the court may deem fit.
At the Tuesday’s proceedings, counsel for the CJN, Mr Sam Ologunorisa (SAN), informed the court that the plaintiff and his counsel were not in the court.
Ologunorisa told the court that it seemed the plaintiff and his counsel were “running away” from the suit they filed, stressing that the court should do the needful in the interest of justice.
“We filed a notice of preliminary objection, a counter-affidavit and a written address. We urge the court to deem it fit that the originating summons has been argued.
“We have to look at Exhibit III of the originating summons.
“We urge the court to dismiss the suit. The case is meant to scandalise the CJN,” he said.
Justice Danlami Senchi said another opportunity would be given to the petitioner to appear in the court to prove the allegation.
He adjourned the case till Friday.
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Abuja – The Federal Government has described the comments by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, imputing ethno-religious motive to Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) as deeply offensive and patently divisive.
The government said such indiscreet comments were far below the status of an elder statesman.
Its position was contained in a statement signed by Segun Adeyemi, Special Assistant to Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
In the statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, Lai Mohammed said it was particularly tragic that a man who fought to keep Nigeria one is the same one seeking to exploit the country’s fault lines to divide it in the twilight of his life.
He insisted that Boko Haram and ISWAP were terrorist organisations, adding that they cared little about ethnicity or religion when perpetrating their senseless killings and destruction.
“Since the Boko Haram crisis, which has been simmering under the watch of Obasanjo, boiled over in 2009, the terrorist organisation has killed more Muslims than adherents of any other religion, blown up more mosques than any other houses of worship and is not known to have spared any victim on the basis of their ethnicity. It is, therefore, absurd to say that Boko Haram and its ISWAP variant have as their goal the ‘Fulanisation and Islamisation’ of Nigeria, West Africa or Africa,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari put to rest the mischaracterisation of Boko Haram as an Islamic organisation when he said, in his inaugural speech in 2015, that “Boko Haram is a mindless, godless group who are as far away from Islam as one can think of”.
The minister said Obasanjo’s comments are therefore as insensitive and mischievous as they are offensive and divisive in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country like Nigeria.
He wondered whether there was no limit to how far the former president would go in throwing poisonous darts at his perceived political enemies.
He said Obasanjo’s prescriptions for ending the Boko Haram/ISWAP crisis, which included seeking assistance outside the shores of Nigeria, were coming several years late, as President Buhari had done that and more since assuming office, hence the phenomenal success he had recorded in tackling the terrorists.
The minister said: “Shortly after assuming office in 2015, President Buhari’s first trips outside the country were to rally the support of Nigeria’s neighbours – Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger – for the efforts to battle the terrorists.
“The president also rallied the support of the international community, starting with the G7, and then the US, France, and the UN.
“That explains the massive degrading of Boko Haram, which has since lost its capacity to carry out the kind of spectacular attacks for which it became infamous, and the recovery of every inch of captured Nigerian territory from the terrorists.”
He said Obasanjo’s call for wide consultations with various groups as part of the efforts to tackle the Boko Haram crisis had been neutralised by his ill-advised comments which had served more to alienate a large number of Nigerians, who were offended by his tactless and distasteful postulation.
The minister called on the former president who, he said, took bullets for Nigeria’s unity, not to allow personal animosity to override his love for a united Nigeria.
He said it would not be out of place if he withdrew his unfortunate statement and apologised to Nigerians.