Tuesday, 03 August 2021

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Items filtered by date: December 2020

Thursday, 31 December 2020 03:14

Troops rescue 23 victims in Katsina

By Sumaila Ogbaje/ PM NEWS

Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji have rescued 23 kidnapped victims comprising 18 women and five children in Katsina State.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, in a statement on Wednesday, said the rescue operation took place on Tuesday at Wurma Village in Kurfi Local Government Area of the state.

Enenche said the troop also recovered 75 rustled livestock during the operation.

He said troops in conjunction with personnel of the Nigeria Police Force swiftly mobilised to the location following credible information on the bandit’s activities in the village.

According to him, the troops engaged the bandits who had kidnapped some locals and rustled some livestock from Kwayawa Village in Safana Local Government Area.

READ ALSO Katsina state partially opens for business today

“With superior firepower and support by Nigerian Air Force helicopter gunship, the armed bandits were forced to abandon the kidnapped victims.

“Consequently, troops rescued 18 women and five children as well as recovered 75 rustled livestock.

“During the encounter, troops also arrested one informant of the bandits named, Mohammed Saleh along with some arms and ammunition.

“The rescued kidnapped victims have been successfully reunited with their families and the recovered livestock handed over to the owners.

“The arrested bandits’ informant has been handed over to appropriate prosecuting agency for further action,” he said.

NAN

Published in Headliners

BY MICHAEL BAMIDELE/ GUARDIAN.NG

A male nurse in Indonesia has been suspended after admitting that he removed his personal protective equipment to have sex with a coronavirus patient.

The nurse and the patient, who is also a male, snuck off to have sex in a toilet in the hospital, the Indonesia Expat reported. The incident only came to light after the patient boasted about it on his Twitter account on Friday.

The patient reportedly uploaded what he said was a screenshot of flirty WhatsApp messages between the pair that included detailed discussions of lubricants and the size of the men’s genitals. The man also posted an image of what appeared to be the nurse’s PPE lying on the floor during their rendezvous.

“It is true that there has been a suspected incident of a same-sex relationship between a health worker and a COVID-19 patient at the Wisma Atlet Emergency Hospital,” Asep Gunawan of Indonesia’s National Nurses Association said.

The COVID-19 quarantine facility in Kemayoran Jakarta – New York Post

The Indonesia Expat reported that both of the men have been identified and admitted to the sexual encounter.

The two men were later administered coronavirus tests. The patient was found to still be positive for Covid-19, while the nurse, who tested negative, has been handed over to the police for “legal proceedings”, officials said.

“This case has been transferred to the Central Jakarta Police. We have secured the health worker to become a witness and asked for further information,” the New York Post reported Lt. Col. Arh Herwin of the Regional Military Command as saying.

“Meanwhile, the patient continues to undergo isolation at the Athlete’s House,” he added, referring to a former Asian Games athletes accommodation village that was transformed into a coronavirus hospital.

If convicted, the men face prison sentences of up to 10 years in prison under Indonesia’s Pornography Law.

Published in Business and Economy

By Abankula/ PM NEWS

Outspoken Bishop Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah has used Christmas message as a speech on the state of the nation, slamming President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

In the speech, entitled “A Nation in search of Vindication”, Kukah railed at Buhari’s unparalleled nepotism and policy of northern hegemony, while reducing other parts of the country to second class status.

He said there could have been a coup or war in the country if a non-Northern Muslim President had practiced a fraction of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ‘nepotism’.

He said despite Buhari’s policy, the north has been the worst for it.

With terrorism, banditry and kidnapping ravaging Nigeria under Buhari’s watch, the bishop said, everybody is now wailing over the sad situation.

“The United Nations has wailed. The Pope has wailed. Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Pastors have wailed. Emirs have wailed. Politicians have wailed. The Sultan has wailed”, he said.

Read the full speech:

A Nation In Search of Vindication

Another Christmas with Dark Clouds of Death:

Let me paraphrase the holy prophet Isaiah who said: “For Jerusalem (Nigeria’s sake), I will not be silent until her vindication shines forth like the dawn…..No more shall people call you forsaken, or your land desolate, but you shall be called my delight and your land espoused.” (Is. 62:1, 4).

Bishop Kukah speaks from the pulpit on Christmas Day

Against the backdrop of our endless woes, ours has become a nation wrapped in desolation. The prospects of a failed state stare us in the face: endless bloodletting, a collapsing economy, social anomie, domestic and community violence, kidnappings, armed robberies etc. Ours has become a house of horror with fear stalking our homes, highways, cities, hamlets and entire communities. The middle grounds of optimism have continued to shift and many genuinely ask, what have we done to the gods? Does Nigeria have a future? Where can we find hope? Like the Psalmist, we ask; from where shall come our help? (Ps.121:1).

Whatever the temptations to despair, we cannot to give up. When the Psalmist asked where help shall come from, he answered that it will come from the Lord. Therefore, like Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, we Priests must stand before the mercy seat of God and plead the cause of our great country(Lk. 1: 8). Like Abraham, we must plead for the Lord to save our nation because we have more than ten righteous men (Gen. 18: 16ff). Like Moses, we believe that as long as our hands are held up in prayer, the Lord will be on our side (Ex. 17:11). These are trying but life changing moments in the history of our nation. Politics and Economics alone will not resolve our problems. There is enough hate and bitterness to go around. We need to pause, reflect, pray, be honest and courageous in facing tomorrow.

Yes, our dreams have been aborted. Yes, our commonwealth has been stolen. Yes, our cancer of corruption has metastasized. Yes, we have been guilty of patricide, fratricide and attempted even suicide. Yes, we are hungry, angry, thirsty and starving. Yet, we stand firmly with the unshaken belief that no matter the temptations, the world has known worst times. These may be the worst of times, but for men and women of faith, they could be the best of times. We must stand firm and resolute because, our redeemer liveth (Job 19:25).

Annus Mirabilis or Annus Horribilis?
The roads to the grave yards are busier than those to the farms. Amidst the wails and laments, I hear the congregants saying; the world is coming to an end, it has never been so bad.Yes, people are dying, but they are not dying more now than they did in recent years. It is the social media and its connectivity that has given us a sense of greater urgency and added to our seeming despair with the way things are. The social media is value neutral.It depends on what we make of it. Its instantaneous impact is often times dizzyingly traumatic, but the other benefits more than compensate. In a way, the choices we make will help us decide whether this year is our annus mirabilis or annus horribilis.

When Isaac Newton, at the age of 23, made the spectacular discoveries in the areas of Calculus, Motion, Optics, and Gravitation, the year of those discoveries, 1666, was referred to as, annus mirabilis, the year of joy. On the other hand, in 1992, when the marriages of three of her children collapsed, Queen Elizabeth in her Christmas address referred to that year as her annus horribilis, the year of horror. As such, notwithstanding all the earth shaking impact of the Covid-19, our own individual, communal and national tragedies, it is not just a choice between annus mirabilis and annus horribilis. At various levels, there have been grey areas of hope, flickers of light, achievement and so on. It is to these flickers of hope that we must cling tenaciously. For our son, Anthony Joshua, the loss of his title to Andy Ruis on June 1, 2019 after 25 fights without a loss, that year was his annus horribilis. When he pummeled Kubrat Pulev, this year became his annus mirabilis. Things change and, joy or sorrow, we must know that nothing lasts forever. What matters is how we handle failure.

Another Christmas in Cloud of Doom:

Not unexpectedly, this Christmas is again coming against a backdrop of so much pain, sorrow and uncertainty in our land. We all seem to have become sedated and inured to pain. Tragedy has been standing as our gate keeper. For over ten years now, at almost each Christmas, a dark pall of horror, sorrow and death has consistently hung in our horizon threatening to eclipse the promises of the joy of Christmas. Recall the bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla on Christmas day in 2011. In the wake of the Christmas day bombing, I issued a statement titled, An Appeal to Nigerians. In the statement which enjoyed a wide circulation, I stated: All of this should cause us to pause and ponder about the nature of the force of evil that is in our midst and appreciate the fact that contrary to popular thinking, we are not faced with a crisis or conflict between Christians and Muslims. Rather, like the friends of Job, we need to humbly appreciate the limits of our human understanding. Terror is a product of hate, but while hate tries to divide us, terror and death should pull us together.

Is Government in Suspended Animation?

As our country drifts almost rudderless, we seem like people travelling without maps, without destination and with neither Captain nor Crew. Citizens have nowhere to turn to. After he assumed power, a delegation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference had audience with President Buhari. In the course of our discussion, the President shared with us his frustration over the state of decay and rut that he had met. In frustration, I vividly recalled him saying that, from the decay and neglect, it seemed as if preceding governments had been doing nothing but just eating and going to the toilet! Looking back, one might conclude that those were happy times because at least there was food to eat and people could go to the toilet. Now, a journey to the toilet is considered by the poor an extra luxury. Our country’s inability to feed itself is one of the most dangerous signs of state failure and a trigger to violence.

Breaking the Ice: From Chibok through Dapchi to Kankara:

The sleepy town of Kankara, just 130 kilometers outside Katsina, like Chibok and Dapchi before it, has leapt into prominence not because they now have potable water, electricity or any dramatic improvement in the quality of their lives. Rather, it is because of large footprints of the evil men who have passed through their terrain. As always, we were unsure of how many children were missing: 80, 820, 800, 500, 520, 333, 320, no one knew. The numbers kept changing between the government and Boko Haram.

The story of Chibok and Dapchi was for some time, a metaphor that exposed the vulnerability of the girl child. Kankara has added to the mix and now we have to face the mortal dangers of the Nigerian child in northern Nigeria. The Almajiri is the poster child of the horrible and inhuman conditions of the northern child. It is a best kept secret that the region refuses to confront but it has now exposed its underbelly. Now, what next for the children of the north? In another ten or twenty years, these children will be leaders in their communities. What will they remember and how will they remember? Their fate and future are a dream deferred, a nightmare that will be ignited by the fire next time.

We thank God that the children have been returned safely. This is the easy part. The challenge now is how to deal with the scars inflicted by a derelict nation which is still unable or unwilling to protect its citizens. Yes, we commend the federal and state governments for the rescue operation. The larger issues now are whether the federal government understands the evil web of intrigues into which Boko Haram has tied it. Will the federal government continue to reward and fund Boko Haram by playing its game? How long can this circle of deceit last for given that every kidnap merely strengthens their arsenal? The men of darkness have shown far greater capacity to shock and awe a forlorn nation by constantly blindsiding us all. When will it all end?

Will the federal government continue to reward and fund Boko Haram by playing its game? How long can this circle of deceit last for given that every kidnap merely strengthens their arsenal? The men of darkness have shown far greater capacity to shock and awe a forlorn nation by constantly blindsiding us all. When will it all end?


A Nation in Search of Vindication.

This government owes the nation an explanation as to where it is headed as we seem to journey into darkness. The spilling of this blood must be related to a more sinister plot that is beyond our comprehension. Are we going to remain hogtied by these evil men or are they gradually becoming part of a larger plot to seal the fate of our country?

President Buhari deliberately sacrificed the dreams of those who voted for him to what seemed like a programme to stratify and institutionalise northern hegemony by reducing others in public life to second class status. He has pursued this self-defeating and alienating policy at the expense of greater national cohesion. Every honest Nigerian knows that there is no way any non-Northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it. There would have been a military coup a long time ago or we would have been at war. The President may have concluded that Christians will do nothing and will live with these actions. He may be right and we Christians cannot feel sorry that we have no pool of violence to draw from or threaten our country. However, God does not sleep.We can see from the inexplicable dilemma of his North.

Every honest Nigerian knows that there is no way any non-Northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it. There would have been a military coup a long time ago or we would have been at war.


Nepotism and the Worship of False Gods
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It is curious that President Buhari’s partisanship and commitment to reinforcing the foundations of northern hegemony have had the opposite consequences. For a long time, beyond the pall of politics, very prominent northerners with a conscience have raised the red flag, pointing out the consequences of President Buhari’s nepotism on national cohesion and trust.

With time, as hunger, poverty, insecurity engulfed the north, the President’s own supporters began to despair and lament about the state of their collective degradation. Was this not supposed to be their song? The north that the President sought to privilege has become a cauldron of pain and a valley of dry bones. Today, the north itself is crying the most and why not? No one has suffered as much as they have and continue to. The helplessness is palpable and the logic is incomprehensible.

One Northern Imam after the other have posted videos of lamentation on the social media asking why, with all the cards of power in the hands of northern Muslims, everything is bursting in the seams. How come our region has become a cesspool of blood and death? Why did President Buhari hand over a majority of the plum jobs to Northern Muslims? Was it for efficacy and efficiency? What was the logic? President Buhari must pause and turn around because his policy of nepotism has been rejected by the gods.

During the EndSARS Protests, the north pretended that it was ensconced from the pain that was driving the protests and that they had nothing to complain about. The northern elites claimed that the protests were part of a plot by Christians to overthrow a northern, Muslim government. Their sentiments false, but understandable. However, it turned out to be the lull before the storm. The dam soon broke as the bandits tightened their grip on the region as the spiral of kidnappings, abductions and killings of innocent citizens intensified.

During the EndSARS Protests, the north pretended that it was ensconced from the pain that was driving the protests and that they had nothing to complain about. The northern elites claimed that the protests were part of a plot by Christians to overthrow a northern, Muslim government. Their sentiments false, but understandable. However, it turned out to be the lull before the storm

The North spurn into denouement: the idea of a united north seems to have ended. The northern Governors’ Forum has split into the three zones. With the killings, kidnappings and abductions of Emirs and other traditional rulers in the north, the signals have gone out that no one is safe and nothing is sacred. In the wake of the EndSARS protests, the traditional rulers across the country assembled to express solidarity with the President. Then it all changed. The Emir of Katsina, the President’s home state, only recently said; “We cannot continue to live like animals. I have not seen this type of country”. His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar said that the north has now become the worst part of the entire country. The Senate whose leadership is almost totally dominated by Northern Muslims has raised alarm. The Northern Elders’ Forum has called on the President to resign. Has the politics of nepotism run its course? Perhaps, the spirit of Christmas should offer us an answer.


The People that Walked in Darkness have seen a Great Light.

The rut and decay in our country today is evidence of a people who have not yet seen the light. The experience of northern Nigeria is evidence that nepotism is a counterfeit currency. The nation must therefore now pull together. It is not enough to blame the military. After all, they neither run the economy or the bureaucracy. It is not enough to blame even the political class or even the President alone. We found our way here by the choices we have made as a nation over time.

Indeed, the colonialists claimed that they were bringing light to a dark continent. In a way, despite the cost, we could see ingredients of their light; good education, running water, relatively good roads, security, among others. We finally accepted Democracy as the platform for actualizing these.

However, today, there is evidence that we have literally returned to the cave, those times when life was brutish, nasty and short. Each and every one of us has contributed to the darkness of our nation. The light of Christ which we all received at baptism calls on us to act in the mind of Christ. To be a follower of Christ is to be in his footsteps. This moment calls on us as Christians to celebrate the simplicity of Christ represented in Christmas. Joy to the world, the Lord has come, the song says. Jesus has offered us a roadmap. We are challenged to bring light into the darkness of our society.
Darkness has its own logic. St Paul reminds us that without Christ, our lives are characterized by: immorality, filthy and indecent actions, worship of idols and witchcraft. People become enemies and they fight, they become jealous, angry, and ambitious. They separate into parties and groups, they are envious, get drunk and have orgies (Gal. 5: 19-21). When it is dark, we cannot see our way and we stumble. Nigeria has stumbled so much. It is time to for us to turn on the light of the torch. Each of us can make a change.

Wailers and Redeemers.

Finally, today, amidst the pains and the trials, we can say with the Psalmist: Our tears have become our bread (Ps. 43:2). We have no reason to doubt that at the fulfilment of time, in His own time, the Lord will dispense justice to our nation. It will come as day follows light.

Our brother Femi Adesina, a Pastor of the Four-Square Gospel Church was right when he referred to those who were calling attention to our situation as Wailers.The wailing started quite early in the day. To the herdsmen across Nigeria whose cattle have been lost to rustlers, bandits, or lightening, the Prophet Zechariah said: There is a sound of a shepherd’s wail for their glory has been ruined (Zech 11:3). To the thousands of widows left to mourn their husbands or children across our country, the Prophet Jeremiah is saying; Send for the wailing women, that they may come! Let them make haste and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may shed tears and our eyelids flow with water (Jer. 9: 17). For our helpless nation overrun by bandits? Prophet Jeremiah still says; A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more (Jer. 31:15).

So, Pastor Adesina was right. On the sad situation in Nigeria, the United Nations has wailed. The Pope has wailed. Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Pastors have wailed. Emirs have wailed. Politicians have wailed. The Sultan has wailed. Surely, it is time for the Lord to hear the wailer as they have sung their redemption songs

So, Pastor Adesina was right. On the sad situation in Nigeria, the United Nations has wailed. The Pope has wailed. Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Pastors have wailed. Emirs have wailed. Politicians have wailed. The Sultan has wailed. Surely, it is time for the Lord to hear the wailer as they have sung their redemption songs. With St. Paul, I say: The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, the day is almost here; so let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light (Rom. 13:11-12). Let us unite and seek the Lord in sincerity because the Lord will vindicate the righteous.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Published in Business and Economy

By Jennifer Okundia/ PM NEWS

Nigerian crossdresser Bobrisky, real name Idris Okuneye, 28, said he would go for full gender change next year.

In multiple posts on Instagram he mentioned a Dr Philip in “‘Colombia”, who will do the surgery at a cost of $300,000.

He said he had banked the money and was ready to go.

He also said he was not afraid to die, should there be complications from it.

Bobrisky revealed why he changed himself into a woman after being a man for almost 25 years of his life.

The socialite and brand influencer stated that he kept struggling even with a certificate as an accounting graduate from the University of Lagos.

According to Bobrisky, he noticed his female friends were cashing out, so he decided to join them by cross dressing, since he already has some existent female features.

He also started taking feminine body pills and robbing expensive creams, to maintain the lifestyle, which started paying off in cash.

Read his full post:

“Dis message is for you all to read before you judge me. I was formally a man for almost 25yrs, nothing to show for it. I kept struggling even with my certificate as a graduate of accounting in university of Lagos, nothing to still show for it. I saw how all my females friends were cashing out back then. I went home and think about my life. If I join robbery they will end up killing me, secondly I don’t even have that heart to think to that dimension or to even scam people of their sweat . while I was growing I have a little bit of female features in me, so I decide to try what cross dressing look like. Under one yr of cross dressing I started making money . I was still surprise . So I gave my body more time, rubbing expensive creams, smelling good, using more of females body pills and looking out for myself. Boom more money keep coming… men admiring me, women giving me endorsements from right and left. Short story I fit in as a female to a man. God bless all d women around d world many of you love me and accepted me, save me and I will always respect WOMEN”.

In a prior post, she posted the photo of someone who carried out sex change.

Bobrisky wrote: If she didn’t die during her sex change, trust me I won’t die. God forbid if I did no problem, I’m happy I did wat makes me happy. Period !!!!!. Have always loved to be a woman from child birth. Now that I have plenty money , let my wish come to pass. Colombia here I come. Doctor Philip is about to give some wet pu***sy” he wrote.

Published in Headliners

By Blessing Olaifa, Abuja/ THE NATION

The Federal Government has declared Friday 25, Monday 28 December 2020 and Friday, January 1, 2021 as public holidays to mark the Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year Celebrations respectively.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government.

He felicitated with Christians and all Nigerians both at home and abroad on this year’s Christmas and New Year Celebrations.

Aregbesola urged Christians to adopt the creed of Christ on faith, hope and love.

A statement signed on behalf of the Minister by the Permanent secretary in the Ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore said “We must emulate the life of humility, service, compassion, patience, peace and righteousness that the birth and Ministry of Jesus Christ signified, that will be the best way to know Christ and celebrate his birth.”

The Minister noted that peace and security are critical factors needed to enable Government accomplish its mission of revitalizing the economy, improving Foreign Direct Investment as well as generating employment opportunities for over 100 million Nigerian youths in the next 10 years.

Aregbesola advised Nigerians and Christians in particular, to adhere strictly to the Covid-19 protocols and guidelines, as stipulated by relevant authorities, during and after the yuletide, especially with the second wave of the outbreak of the disease.

The Minister reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to the fight against armed banditry, kidnappings and other crimes and criminalities in the country.

He called on Nigerians to support the efforts of the security agencies by providing them with information that will enhance intelligence gathering.

While admonishing all Nigerians to remain focused, determined, patient and patriotic, Aregbesola expressed confidence that the year 2021 would be a better year for all Nigerians and therefore urged Christians to use the period to pray for Nigeria.

He wished all Nigerians and Christians in particular, a happy Christmas and New Year Celebrations.

Published in Business and Economy

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday 23 December, arraigned two brothers, Okwuchukwu Olisaebuka Eze and Nnadozie Onyeka Eze for stealing N1.5billion from billionaire Arthur Eze.

Charged with the two accused were their companies.

While Olisaebuka and Berlus Resources Ltd were docked on a 14-count charge, Onyeka and DYM Integrated Service Limited were slammed with a 17 counts.

The EFCC did not state whether Olisaebuka and Onyeka are blood relations of Arthur Eze.

The two men and their companies were docked today before Justice Binta Mohammed of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama, Abuja on two separate charges.

Olisaebuka, who was an administrative officer with Prince Arthur Eze, is alleged to have stolen and converted to personal use the sum of N804,360,216 and $3,309,359.

Count 3 of his charge reads; “That you Eze Olisaebuka Okwuchukwu, between 26th September, 2017 to 30th October, 2020, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court, while being employed in the capacity of an administrative officer of Prince Arthur Eze, committed theft of an aggregate sum of N319,709,807 in the possession of your employer, Prince Arthur Eze, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 289 of the Penal Code Cap 532 LFN (ABUJA) 1990 and punishable under the same section”.

The defendants pleaded “not guilty”.

In view of the plea, the prosecution counsel, Samuel Chime, asked the court for a date for commencement of trial.

However, defence counsel, Anthony Okpalah, informed the court that an application for bail has been filed before the court and has also been served on the prosecution.

He therefore asked that the court grant the defendants bail on Liberal terms.

The prosecution counsel did not object.

He however reminded the court of the huge amount involved in the case and that the court should be judicious in giving the bail terms, stating that the prosecution is only interested in the defendants attending their trial at all times.

Justice Mohammed, after studying the application and the accompanying affidavit, granted Olisaebuka bail in the sum of N10 million.

Olisaebuka will also provide one surety in like sum, who must be a civil servant on Grade Level 14 with copy of last promotion letter submitted.

Also, he must be resident in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The case was adjourned till January 26, 2021 for commencement of trial.

Also, the case of theft brought against Eze Nnadozie Onyeka and DYM Intergrated Services Ltd, was adjourned till January 26, 2021 for commencement of trial, after the court admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N20 million

Onyeka was also asked to produce two sureties, who must be civil servants of not less than Grade Level 14.

Published in Headliners

A teenage girl killed at least three people when she blew herself up in a crowd in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, militia and humanitarian sources told AFP Saturday.

“We evacuated three dead bodies and two people who were seriously injured from the scene,” said aid worker Abubakar Mohammed. The attack happened in the town of Konduga, about 38 kilometres (24 miles) from the regional capital Maiduguri.

The attacker set off her explosives among a group of men at a hangout next the local chief’s home, said Ibrahim Liman, an anti-jihadist militia leader who gave the same toll.

Konduga and surrounding villages have been repeatedly targeted by suicide bombers from Boko Haram, which typically attacks soft civilian targets such as mosques, markets and bus stations, often using young women as bombers.

At least 30 people were killed last year in Konduga when three bombers detonated their explosives outside a hall where football fans were watching a match on TV.

Boko Haram and a splinter group, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), have killed 36,000 people and displaced around two million since 2009.

The jihadist conflict has spread into neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon, prompting a regional military coalition to end the violence.

Published in Business and Economy

By Muhaimin Olowoporoku/ PM NEWS

A 38-year-old real estate agent, Afeez Mojeed, has dragged Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari before the Lagos State Judicial Panel over allegation of extortion, brutality.

Mojeed, in his petition, claimed that officers of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, under the leadership of Kyari, brutalised and forced him to transfer various amount of money to two persons at different times.

He said his ordeal began on 18 October 2014.

He testified that on that night, four police officers in mufti stormed his Ajah residence, beat him and his wife, ransacked his house, took his wristwatch, phone, ATM card, cheque book, N280,000 and shop documents, among other items.

Mojeed said he was later whisked to the Lagos Police Command headquarters in Ikeja where the beating continued for three hours before he was eventually put in a cell.

He claimed that the police officers asked him to give them the password of his phone and his ATM pin the next day, but he gave them wrong numbers.

He added that the police later showed him one Edward Obinna who claimed he (Mojeed) had defrauded him of N97 million.

He said Obinna claimed he paid the money into his company’s account.

Mojeed claimed that when he challenged Obinna to show him his bank statement as evidence, Obinna later said he paid into the account of one Yusuf Olatunji Balogun, his cousin.

The complainant further revealed in his petition that after Obinna left the police station that night, he was tortured again for giving the police officers wrong ATM PIN.

He added that he was tortured until he gave the police officers the right PIN number of his ATM card.

Three days after, on the 22nd of October 2014, Afeez said under the supervision of Abba Kyari, the then OC SARS, he signed two cheques of N150,000.00 each payable to a faceless person named Nurudeen Alabi.

He said he was taken to Eco Bank to transfer N15 million which he has in a fixed deposit account to to the same Obina that same day.

However, the account officer on suspicion of how he appeared disapproved the transaction.

He said the police took him to another Diamond Bank branch to transfer N41 million to Obinna.

However, he said he was asked to return the following day to unfix the fixed account he kept the money.

The petitioner said he was again tortured at the station and taken out in the midnight with other detainees to unload three corpses from a Hilux bus.

Mojeed said he was threatened that he would be wasted like the corpses if he did not comply at the bank the following day.

The next day, he said he was taken to the Diamond Bank and on the way, the police officers with him branched at a boutique, bought him a new cloth, and cleaned him up.

He testified that at the bank, he transferred the sum of N41 million to Mr. Obina who drove behind them on the way to the bank.

He stated that he was returned to the police station and tortured again before being forced to sign an undertaking that he willingly transferred the money to Mr. Obinna.

Mojeed said on the 24th of October 2014, he was again taken to an unknown Zenith Bank branch, where he transferred N800,000 to the same Obinna and still forced to sign another cheque of N150,000 to one Mr. Nurudeen Alabi.

The petitioner said the police later called his wife and asked her to terminate the representation of his lawyer.

He added that after 14 days in custody, he was arraigned before a magistrate who granted him bail that same day.

He claimed that after he was released, he went for treatment at the General Hospital, Ajegunle because one of his ears was emitting pus.

Hearing of the petition was adjourned till 19 January, 2021.

This was after Mojeed’s counsel counsel, Kabir Akingbolu, applied for an adjournment so he could tender documents to prove the allegations of his client before the panel.

Published in Headliners

By Abankula/ THE NEWS

All abducted schoolboys of Kankara Government Science Secondary School have been released, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina said today.

Masari gave the number of freed students as 344, more than the 333 he said were abducted initially.

According to him, the boys are presently kept safe in Tsafe, a local government area in Zamfara State.

Governor Masari noted that the boys would be brought back to Katsina, the state capital on Friday.

He said that arrangements had been made for their medical treatment, adding that government did not pay ransom for the release.

In a video released today by Boko Haram, one of the students pleaded with government to negotiate with the terrorists.

He also said some of them had been killed when the military engaged the terrorists in a fire fight.

He urged government not to send the military to free them.

The boys were stolen by Boko Haram terrorists from their school in the night of 11 December, after a gunfight with police guards.

The Ak 47 gun wielding terrorists stormed the school on auto-bikes.

The kidnap triggered a national outrage against the Buhari administration.

It also triggered fresh calls for the sack of service chiefs, who have overstayed their tenure in office.

On Monday, Governor Masari said the abductors had made contacts.

“The abductors of our Children have made contacts with the Government and talks are ongoing to ensure their safety and return to their respective families.

“The security agencies deployed for rescue operations have also informed us that they have located their position”, he tweeted.

Published in Business and Economy

By Collins Nweze/ THE NATION

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has frowned at the flouting of its policy mandating International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) to pay Diaspora remittances to beneficiaries in dollars.

In a statement on Wednesday, the apex bank said few operators continue to pay remittances in local currency, contrary to regulatory directive. It has therefore, issued a new directive authorising Switches and Processors to immediately cease all local currency transfers in respect of foreign currency remittances through IMTOs.

It also directed that all Mobile Money Operators should immediately disable wallets from receipt of funds from IMTOs.

The bank directed Payment Service Providers to stop integrating their systems with IMTOs and avoid must prevent remittances with other legitimate transactions.

According to the CBN, all IMTOs are required to immediately disclose to beneficiaries that they exercise discretion to receive transfer in foreign currency cash or directly into their domiciliary accounts.

The apex bank has also instituted a central reporting portal for all foreign remittances to be managed by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), which is under development to improve visibility of foreign remittances flow.

“All licensed institutions are required to comply with the new guidelines as contraventions will attract stiff regulatory sanction including revocation of license,” the CBN said.

The bank restated its commitment to promoting transparency in the administration of diaspora remittances into the country, vowing to enforce policies that will stabilise and deepen the local foreign exchange (forex) market.

Also yesterday, the apex bank warned the general public to beware of two firms – Azimo and Transfer Wise – that operate as IMTOs, saying the two firms are not licensed to carry out the business.

It said: “Our attention has been drawn to the activities of Messrs. Azimo and Messrs. Transfer Wise, both of which are purportedly transacting business, albeit un-authorised, as International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs).

“The CBN wishes to notify the general public that neither Messrs. Azimo nor Messrs. Transfer Wise is licensed by the CBN to operate as an IMTO.

“The public is therefore advised to beware of the activities of Messrs. Azimo and Messrs. Transfer Wise and desist from patronising the companies forthwith,” adding that “anyone who patronies the unregistered companies, does so at his or her own risk.”

Published in Headliners
Page 1 of 6

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