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TOP NEWS IN NIGERIA TODAY(EVENING EDITION)
=>Air Force Denies Locating Missing Chibok Girls-Punch
The Nigerian Air Force has denied reports that it’s operatives had located the missing girls of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok. The Director, Public Relations and Information of the NAF, Group. Capt. Ayodele Famuyiwa, said in an electronic mail on Saturday that the claim misrepresented an interview he granted Channels Television on February 12, 2016. According to him, what was said was that the NAF had the capacity to identify possible areas where the girls might be held. Famuyiwa said that while the NAF had not identified the specific location of the missing secondary school girls who were abducted in April 20, 2014, the service had been working hard with surveillance aircraft covering a wide area in the search for the girls. He said that the NAF would continue to contribute to the mission to degrade the capacity of the insurgents and to work towards finding the girls and other Nigerians held captive by the insurgents. “The attention of the Nigerian Air Force has been drawn to a statement to the effect that the NAF has located the position of the Chibok girls. Please, let it be known that this statement is a misrepresentation of the interview that the NAF’s Director of Public Relations granted the Channels Television that was aired on Friday 12 February 2016. “The NAF is hereby making it categorically clear that in the said interview the director made mention of the NAF’s ability to identify possible location that the girls might be in. “Hence, the NAF wishes to categorically state that it has at no time identified the specific location of the Chibok girls. However, it is working round the clock with surveillance aircraft covering the over 157,000 km2 area of the North East in order to identify the position of not only the Chibok girls but other Nigerians that might have been held captives.
=>Arms Deal: See How Much Ex-Airforce Chief Who Was Under House Arrest Returned-Vanguard
Abuja One of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) chiefs implicated in the $2.1 billion arms deal and put under house arrest at Niger Barracks, Abuja has returned N66 million of the N90 million, allegedly traced to him, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Consequently, the officer, a Principal Staff Officer at NAF Headquarters, was released from detention and asked to go and look for the balance of the money. An EFCC source, however, said this did not mean he is completely exonerated. Sunday Vanguard gathered that the other officers being detained by the NAF High Command, on behalf of the EFCC, were not allowed the privileged because they had refused to cooperate fully with the EFCC interrogation team even though some had returned exotic cars and other valuables. It was also gathered that an Air Commodore, said to have benefitted from the arms deal and has properties in Dubai, Kaduna and Abuja, has been arrested and is in detention. One of the detained Air Vice Marshals (AVMs) is said to be the leader of the team that went to buy aircraft with incomplete parts and also inflated the price from $6million to over $30million. NAF High Command had, on Thursday, stepped up its anti-corruption war with the removal of some officers including Air Officers Commanding and Principal Staff officers manipulated in the arms deal and appointed new Air Officers Commanding. Meanwhile, the wife of a former Chief of the Air Staff, Mrs. Lara Amosu, detained overnight by the EFCC, has been freed. Sunday Vanguard gathered that the wife was detained following certain accounts related to her husband, being investigated in connection with the $2.1 billion arms cash, allegedly traced to her. Although the exact figure and details of the accounts were not made public, EFCC was said to have interrogated her for hours last week in Lagos. But a source close to the investigation confirmed the woman had been released on bail.
As oil price crashes worldwide, the fund wells are drying up and eminent deep-pockets bemoan their plight as plenitude and splendor evade them and their erstwhile lavish world; this makes them less charming to their bevy of concubines and beneficiaries. The times are hard right now and even the country’s superrich, the billionaire oil moguls to be precise, are feeling the pinch. As the economy slips further into decline, the young oil Turks and maverick magnates comprising Nigeria’s nouveau riche, have begun to tame their predilection to squander their earnings on guilty pleasures. Within their luxurious circuits, there is no more vulgar display of wealth; no more extravagant expenses. Consequently, many of their concubines and glorified urchins have begun to lament; the oil moguls are no longer throwing money around like drunken sailors. Things have gotten so bad that people now look back wistfully into the era when Goodluck Jonathan was President. As you read, many of the country’s superrich have asked their children and mistresses to pick up odd jobs to survive abroad. Many of the rich oil Turks that turned Dubai and Miami, USA into their homes have been humbled. They have beaten a sensible retreat into their shells – these days, they spend their time hiding out in colourful mansions they built in their villages when the going was good. Major shopping points including Harrods and Selfridges in London, Emirates and Dubai malls in Dubai, Saks Fifth Avenue in New York are really feeling the heat too as Nigeria’s extravagant oil magnates no longer patronise their expensive halls.
=>Why Yoruba Prefer Alliance With North – Adefuye-Sunnews
SENATOR Anthony Adefuye is the Secretary of the Yoruba Unity Forum. In this interview, he spoke on sundry issues affecting the Yoruba within the Nigeria entity. Here is the report:
What is the future of Yoruba Unity Forum with the demise of Mama HID Awolowo who was the rallying point? It is true we have lost our chairman, but we have not lost Yoruba Unity Forum. We also lost Ooni last year who was the patron of the forum. It shows that we need to appoint new credible and young leaders in Yorubaland who will reign for years. We need young, credible, intelligent, forthright leader.
Your forum loudly complained of marginalization of the Yoruba by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Yes, I remember during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, we went to him to complain about marginalization of Yoruba. In his appointment, there was no single Yoruba man in the first 25 key positions. We went to him on two occasions to call his attention to the marginalization. He said he was not aware. When we showed him the list, he expressed surprise and promised to set up a committee to look into it and call us back later. For one whole year, he didn’t call us. Again, we went back to him. This time, the answer he gave was shocking. And we made it clear to him that it would be difficult to convince Yoruba to vote for him with the perceived marginalization. That was the reason when we got to the Ibadan Assembly we made a statement that only a bastard Yoruba who would vote for Jonathan, having marginalized us so badly.
How do you manage the mutual suspicion between Southeast and Southwest to be able to speak with one voice in the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly? The mutual suspicion between the Ibo and the Yoruba is just in the mind. In the past, we have had such suspicion when they were the two contending powers in the South, but that has changed. Now, we have six zones. Any region which does not cooperate with Yoruba people does so at its own peril. I have not seen any region that does not want to associate with Yoruba. They might be afraid that we are strong and powerful, they still want to associate with us. There might be suspicion; they still want to associate with us.READ FULL NEWS
=>13 VCs: CNPP stages protest on Wednesday, wants NOUN VC, three others reinstated-Punch
The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties on Sunday asked the Federal Government to immediately reinstate the Vice Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria, Prof. Vincent Tenebe, and three others whose tenure had yet to elapse but were among 12 others who were sacked. The CNPP in a statement by its Secretary General, Willy Ezugwu, said it would spearhead a protest with other civil society organisations on Wednesday to call for the resignation of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu. The organisation condemned the “erroneous” inclusion of the name of the Vice Chancellor of NOUN, in the sack notice, adding that his tenure had yet to elapse. The group stated that the action of the Federal Government contravened laid down rules “and could lead to industrial unrest in the education sector.” Ezugwu stressed that the Governing Council empowered by law to recommend the sack of the NOUN VC had not recommended any of such action, adding, that therefore “the action of the government runs against the rule of law which the current administration has sworn to uphold.” The CNPP urged President Muhammadu Buhari to caution Adamu Adamu, else, “the action of the minister will only attract more chaos in our universities.” Adamu had in a short statement, simply said President Buhari, has approved the appointment of new Vice Chancellors for the universities. But the CNPP described the actions of the minister as reckless, while also faulting “the deliberate decision of the minister to replaced the VCs with his northern kinsmen.”
=>1,500 Niger Delta militants to surrender arms to FG-Punch
More than 1,500 Niger Delta militants on Sunday expressed their desire to embrace amnesty and surrender arms to the Federal Government. Their decision followed the intervention of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu. They, however, warned that their willingness to surrender arms should not be seen as an act of cowardice but an act of patriotism. The militants’ resolution was contained in a statement in Abuja by their leaders, O.C. Babaeere and America Tekeiminikpoba, on behalf of other Commanders from Arepo, Ikorodu, Abule, Fatorla, Ibafo, Magboro, Epe, Itokin, Ilepete, Okenekene, Agric, Gbokoda camps, Camp 5 and environs. The militants expressed their desire to surrender arms and embrace the amnesty programme so long as the government remained sincere.
=>Femi Falana to drag FG to court over $3.5 billion loan-PremiumTimes
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has threatened that he would commence legal action against the federal government if it does not jettison its plan to secure a $3.5 billion (about N700 billion) loan from the World Bank and the African Development Bank. The renowned lawyer made this known in a statement he made public on February 14 where he stated that his earlier letter which he sent to the Finance Ministry on February 5 to jettison its plan to secure the loan has not be responded to. The latest letter read: “Since you have not deemed it fit to react to the serious issues raised in the letter, kindly be informed that we shall commence legal proceedings not later than February 29, 2015, with a view to compelling the Federal Government to recover the said loans, royalties, levies, and other recoverable revenues of not less than $66.5 billion.” Falana had said in his initial letter that instead of taking the loan, the government should direct the anti-graft agencies to recover all loans and revenues accruable to it. He said: “From the information at our disposal, the federal government is owed not less than $66.5 billion (about N13.3 trillion) which ought to be recovered without any further delay.”
=>Actress Monalisa Chinda holds marriage introduction in Port Harcourt
Actress Monalisa Chinda held her marriage introduction last Friday – This is the second marriage of the beautiful actress and mother on a 7 years old girl. 41 years old actress Monalisa Chinda had her traditional marriage introduction Friday, February 12. According to reports of blogger Linda Ikeji, the actress’s fiancé is Tonye Victor. Meanwhile, in a contrary report earlier published, Victor Coker who hails from Niger Delta is said to be the groom The bride and groom-to-be had their introduction ceremony at Monalisa’s family house in Elelenwo Port Harcourt. It was also gathered that the couple’s traditional wedding is scheduled to hold this February; in another report February 20 and the white wedding will take place May 2016 in Greece. Recall that this will be the second marriage for the actress who first marriage crashed in 2009; she has a 7-yr-old daughter Tamar.
=>Iyabo Ojo’s PA Gets Toyota Corolla From The Actress, Collapses
Delectable Nollywood actress Iyabo Ojo has decided to bless her personal assistant with a Toyota Corolla car as she adds another year tomorrow.
Iyabo Ojo announced her purchase for the PA, Gbeminiyi on her Instagram on Saturday February 13th. The assistant couldn’t believe her own eyes and she could be seen wailing on the ground. She shared photos of the present as well as a video of the moments.
=>Wike Climbed Into The Governorship Seat Over Dead Bodies – Prof Itse Sagay-Today.ng
The Head of Presidential Anti-corruption Committee, Prof Itse Sagay, has again voiced his concern over some recent rulings of the Supreme Court on election petitions, particularly those held in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.
Sagay, who spoke with newsmen at the Olu Palace, Warri on Saturday, warned that the rulings, which allow people who were declared winners without elections in spite of copious evidences of irregularities and heavy human and material casualties, set a dangerous precedent in the history of elections.
“The judgements are very perverse, particularly relating to Akwa Ibom and Rivers. Everybody knows that there were no elections in those two states. “Everybody knows that people like Wike climbed into the governorship seat over dead bodies and over bloods of human beings. There were no elections, they wrote the results; the evidence is there,” he said. According to Sagay, what the Supreme Court has done is to set the clock of electoral excellence and fairness and credibility back by, ” I do not want to say a thousand years, but certainly it is taking us back to where we were before Jega came in and sanitize the system.”
“We are going to have primitive and barbaric electoral culture; ‘kill as much as you can, destroy as much as you can, create as much catastrophe, but if you can find yourself on that seat, you are confirmed, regardless of the means by which you got there’. “That is a very major setback to democracy and the rule of law,” he said.
Similarly, the erudite constitutional lawyer also flayed the present crop of Supreme Court judges, insisting that they have degraded the court from decades ago when the Nigerian Supreme Court was ranked among the best in the world.
=>More Than 30 Civilians Murdered By Boko Haram In Borno State-SaharaReporters
At least thirty people were killed during twin raids by Boko Haram on villages in Borno State, according to local residents speaking with SaharaReporters. Early reports also say that Boko Haram terrorists raided villages for food and other necessities. At about 9:30am today Boko Haram terrorists arrived to the remote villages of Kachifa and Yakhari in utility vehicles and on bicycles, according to sources. During these attacks at least thirty people were killed and food items were carted away. A Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) source, who spoke to SaharaReporters on phone from nearby Biu town, stated that the insurgents slaid twenty-two people in Yakhari today. Eight others were shot dead last night, according to the Civilian JTF. He told our correspondent, “[Boko Haram] has slaughtered twenty-two people in Yakhari village today, including children, and our food items were looted.” He noted that eight civilians in Kachifa village were murdered last night at about 10pm. The village was burned down “there is nothing standing there as I am speaking to you” he added. Yakhari village is some of 30 kilometers away from Damboa town and Kachifa is about 4 kilometers away.
=>CCT trial: Saraki reaches out to Buhari, Tinubu again-Punch
Senate President Bukola Saraki has made fresh moves to reach out to President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, following the Supreme Court judgment on his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
The Supreme Court had on February 5 ruled that Saraki’s trial should continue at the CCT. The apex court had affirmed the propriety of Saraki’s trial at the CCT on 13 counts of false asset declaration.
In the 13 counts initiated by the Federal Government, Saraki was said to have made false asset declaration in his forms at the Code of Conduct Bureau as a two-term governor of Kwara State.
The CCT had on Friday said Saraki’s trial would resume on March 10.
It was reliably gathered that since February 5, Saraki had been making moves to indirectly reach out to Buhari and Tinubu.
A top government source, who confided in SUNDAY PUNCH, said Saraki could not reach out directly to Buhari on the matter because he knew the President’s disposition to such issues.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that the Senate President resorted to sending emissaries to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo when Buhari was on a six-day vacation and Osinbajo was the acting President.
The delegation was reportedly led by the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume.
The source said the Vice-President made his position and that of the President clear to Saraki’s emissaries.
He said, “Saraki knows the kind of person the President is and I think he won’t approach him directly on this matter.
=>6 Hausas in police net over kidnap, murder of Delta monarch-Naij.com
The Delta state police commissioner, Mr Alkali Baba Usman, Friday February 13, announced the arrest of six persons said to be of Hausa origin, in connection with the kidnap and gruesome murder of the traditional ruler of Ubulu-Uku, Aniocha north local government area of Delta state, Edward Akaeze Ofolue III. The traditional ruler had been forcefully abducted by men suspected to be kidnappers on January 5, and his lifeless body discovered on January 21. Usman, who broke the news of the arrest of the six suspects to journalists in Asaba, said on the evening of Tuesday, January 5, 2016, the DPO of Igbodo got a text message that the divisional patrol team was informed of an unregistered black Toyota Land Cruiser which was abandoned in a bush along Obio/Igbodo road by unknown persons. According to him, when the vehicle was recovered by the police officers, it was discovered through documents found in it, that the vehicle belongs to one Obi Akaeze Edward, the Royal Majesty of Ubulu-Uku. “In view of this revelation, the palace was contacted and it was gathered that the Obi left the palace alone in the said vehicle to Asaba earlier in the day,” the CP said, stressing that the Obi’s absent raised curiosity that he has been kidnapped. The CP went further to explain that the hoodlums opened communication using the Obi’s phone and demanded for ransom on January 6, 2016, noting that one Pastor Charles Afamefuna who was found wandering was taken to Umunede police station, where is was later confirmed that he was kidnapped together with the Obi. READ FULL NEWS
=>Boko Haram steals 1,000 cattle in Adamawa-Punch
Suspected members of the terror group, Boko Haram have carted away over 1000 cows, 70 sheep and 40 goats in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
Eyewitness accounts stated that the not fewer than 30 rustlers who were well-armed invaded Madagali settlement at about 10 am on Friday and carted away the animals.
Some of the residents of the settlements, claimed that the hoof marks of the stolen cattle were traced by locals to paths leading into the Sambisa forest, the fortress of the insurgents.
The pursuing villagers said they had to turn back from the track of the rustlers when they noticed they were headed for the forest.
One of the local hunters on the trail of the rustlers said, “We could not go further for fear of being killed by members of the Boko Haram insurgency who are still holed in some parts of the forest.”
Confirming the incident, the village head of Krichinga, Abubakar Kanuri said some rustlers invaded their homes and carted away over 1000 cows belonging to villagers.
He said the rustlers were well-armed but did not hurt anyone.
According to him, the matter has been reported to the military manning the area.
He lamented that incident was becoming rampant in the areas and called on Federal Government to step up security in the areas.
=>Why we are increasing bread prices —South-West bakers chairman—Tribune
The chairman of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) in the South-West, Alhaji Abeeb Abolusodun, has explained that the high exchange rate of the dollar to a naira was behind the recent decision to increase the prices of bread. He also said that the association, though not unmindful of the plight of Nigerians, had to increase prices to sustain their businesses and “take care of their families.” Abolusodun, who stated this in an interview with Sunday Tribune, however, said there was no uniform price for bread sellers in the region, noting that bakers in each state would determine the new prices based on market reality. Responding to a report by Sunday Tribune last week that the bakers had rolled out new prices for the South-West region, Abolusodun stated that the prices reported were only for Oyo State, adding that every other state would come up with their prices. “The truth is we are left with no choice but to increase the prices of bread, because the prices of virtually everything have increased. It is a pity that the common man will bear the brunt of all these increments, but everyone knows the position of a Naira to a dollar now. The foreign exchange will, no doubt, affect every business that depends on importation,” he said. Meanwhile, bakers in Kogi State have resolved to hike the prices of bread and other confectioneries in the state in response to high production costs. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that the decision was reached at a recent meeting of the state chapter of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers in Lokoja, the state capital. The chairman of the association, Chief Gabriel Bamidele, told NAN in an interview on Saturday that as a result of the increase in the prices of baking items, his members were left with no other choice. Bamidele hinted that the bakers had been incurring losses in recent times, adding that unless there was price increase, many bakeries in the state would be forced out of business. He said that given the present situation, there was no going back on the decision as they could not afford to continue operating at a loss.
=> Murtala’s assassination a grievous blow to Nigeria – Buhari-Tribune
THE assassination of Gen. Murtala Mohammed 40 years ago in an attempted coup was a grievous blow to Nigeria as it stopped the country’s newly found momentum. This is according to President Muhammadu Buhari who said that late Head of State who was killed 40 years ago, was on a mission to put Nigeria back on the right track and discipline. Speaking at the Murtala Mohammed 40th Memorial Lecture at the Congress Hall of the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja on Saturday, the president said: “On the 13th of February 1976, Nigeria suffered a grievous blow with the assassination of Murtala Muhammad in a failed coup d’état.
“The country mourned, and rightly so, because Murtala had been on his way to putting Nigeria back to the path of order and discipline, after years of drift, corruption and near despair. It would not be over-stating the case to say that Nigeria lost its newly-found momentum with Murtala’s demise. “General Murtala’s story has been told over and over again in the last forty years. So I will not repeat what has been related many times before. “Suffice to say that his mother brought him up, and, through her efforts, paid expenses for his education and general welfare. In turn, Murtala repaid her by his exemplary performance in school, in military training, in war, in peace and in government. “What was Murtala like as a man? Although he was much more senior to me in the Army, I developed a great liking and respect for him on account of his professional excellence, competence, straightforwardness and genuine interest and concern for up-and-coming officers like myself.”
=>Pastor Adeboye proffers solution to current economic crisis-Nigerianeye
The Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye has called on Nigerians in leadership positions at different levels to imbibe the fear of God and depend absolutely on Him for the country’s economy to witness a divine turnaround. Addressing leaders in government as well as business executives at a special prayer session for the nation’s economy at the church’s national headquarters in Ebute-Metta, Lagos, Pastor Adeboye averred that Nigeria would move from a prostrate economy to witness a flood of abundance if those managing the nation’s economy as well as business owners will be righteous in their dealings and let God be their source.
He argued that God has the power to transform a period of famine to that of plenty within 24 hours, pointing out that “what we call minimum wage in Nigeria is not enough to meet the needs of the workers but with the power of Almighty God, things will turn around for good in Nigeria. If we are to move from not enough to flood of abundance, we must fear God, draw closer to God, honour Him, seek Him in whatever we do. The Bible says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” Speaking on the thme; “Flood of abundance”, he emphasized the need for all Nigerians to give God priority attention in everything we do by serving Him with all our hearts and give to Him those things He demands from us for Him to bless us; like paying our tithes and honouring God with our first fruits. Adeboye further assured that there can be instant turn around for Nigeria, if the nation’s leaders at every level would turn to God with all their hearts, stating; “nothing goes for nothing. The price for breakthrough is giving God the first position in our lives, our endeavours and our businesses and our breakthrough is guaranteed.”READ FULL NEWS
=>Singer Kiss Daniel Gets a plot of land worth N50 million
– Popular singer Kiss Daniel now owns a land worth N50million in Abuja – Daniel’s new property is located in the highbrow area of the Federal Capital City. G-Worldwide Entertainment artiste, Kiss Daniel now a complimentary plot of land worth N50 million. The fast rising star whose real name is Anidugbe Oluwatobiloba Daniel is one of top celebrities in Nigeria who have been allotted plots of land in recognition of their success in the entertainment industry. It is an initiative of a former board chairman of lands and housing, Ondo state, Dr Akin Olowookere, in order in association with the Federal Ministry of Lands, Housing & Urban Development. According to reports, the land gift is an attempt to encourage the creativity of Nigerian entertainers. Congratulations to Kiss Daniel.
=>Wizkid and Sean Paul to headline ‘USA Sevens Rugby Weekend’ in Las Vegas next month
Nigerian pop star, Wizkid and Jamaican star, Sean Paul are the headlining acts for this year’s ‘USA Sevens Rugby’ weekend in Las Vegas between March 4 – 6, 2016. The USA Sevens is an annual 3-day Rugby tournament that holds in Las Vegas with teams from 16 countries. Wizkid and Sean Paul will be joined by other acts like Walshy Fire, Fully Focus, Babey Drew, Simple Simon, Mix Master David and others.
=> Toyin Aimakhu Gushes over New Lover Seun Egbegbe in Valentine’s Day Message
Toyin Aimakhu has finally shown off her new lover Seun Egbegbe and openly gushed about how much he means to her. Here’s what the actress shared on her IG page at about 1am today. She also shared a second message that talked about her walking away from drama and people that created it. Her estranged husband Adeniyi Johnson allegedly cheated on her. Toyin is excited she was able to walk away from that drama. SOURCE
=>Nigerian, South African artistes challenge MTN on copyright
Nigerian Highlife music sensation, Flavour N’abania and his South African colleague, DJ Cleo have requested sales data from MTN, its subsidiary and content aggregator, Content Connect Africa (CCA), and Vodacom, suspecting that their copyright has been infringed upon, sources have said. Although the companies have denied any such infringements, pundits reason that their liability could run into billions in unpaid royalties and fines in South Africa alone. ‘It is not correct that MTN is liable for billions of rands in royalty payments’ said sales, marketing and distribution executive, Larry Annetts. According to City Press, if they can prove copyright violations, the SA Copyright Act provides for a first offence fine of up to R5 000, or a jail term. If it is a repeat offence, the act provides for a fine of up to R10 000 or a jail term, per infringement. Copyright expert Graeme Gilfillan, representing DJ Cleo’s company, Will of Steel Productions, and Flavour’s company, 2Nite Enter10ment, began sending out separate requests for data from MTN, Vodacom and CCA since mid-December. Annetts however maintained that “MTN is up to date with most royalty payments with Capasso and is in the process of settling the recent royalty invoice…for the current period, which amounts to less than R1million. MTN understands the importance and imperative of paying music royalties for music that it sells on its platforms. With regard to payment of mechanical royalties, we have…been trying to resolve [this] from as far back as 2012.”