Hello readers, Inside this post you will find trending important news in Nigeria today, you will find news that are of concern to Politics,Entertainment Economics,Locals and more… We update this page twice daily; morning and evening.
TOP NEWS IN NIGERIA TODAY(EVENING EDITION)
=>Why We Can’t Recover Funds Looted By Alison-madueke, Others — Presidency – PremiumTimes
Lack of funds is stalling Nigeria’s effort to trace and recover its stolen monies, and prosecute former government officials responsible for the heist, the presidency has said. A letter by the Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption (PACC) to a United Kingdom-based anti-corruption organisation, Global Witness, soliciting assistance in raising funds, revealed that due to the fall in crude oil prices and the general economic downturn, the government lacked the needed funds to pursue recovery of loots. The letter, dated February 15, 2016, was signed by the Executive Secretary of PACC, Bolaji Owasanoye, and directed to the Director of Global Witness, Simon Taylor.
It stated that the commitment of the government to tackle Boko Haram insurgency, fight corruption and improve the livelihood of Nigerians through job creation, was being hampered by dwindling oil revenue and mounting debts. Mr. Owasanoye, a professor, argued that the economy could not be revived simply by improving revenue generation, without wiping out corruption and recovering money stolen former officials. He said ongoing investigations into the diversion of arms funds by the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, and ex-military chiefs, show that significant amount of the money needed by the government to alleviate poverty were still in “the pockets and bank accounts of looters of public funds”. He said intelligence reports and court rulings elsewhere have shown that there were more funds to be recovered from the immediate past Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, the fraudulent sale of OPL 245 by Malabu Oil and Gas, a company owned by “a well-known money launderer”, Dan Etete, assets traced to former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, and former military ruler, Sani Abacha. He however explained that due to the multi-jurisdiction of the cases, and the exorbitant charges of professionals such as lawyers, forensic financial investigators, and the ability of the suspected officials to use part of the alleged stolen fund to challenge the recovery of the fund, the government needed huge flow of resources. “However, this poses a major problem. An empty treasury means that the money is not currently available for the government to engage these professionals due to the high fee that they charge. READ FULL NEWS
=>APC Congratulates David Mark As Own Candidate, Daniel Onjeh, Protests-PremiumTimes
The All Progressives Congress has congratulated a former President of the Senate, David Mark, for his victory in the Benue South Senatorial rerun election held Saturday. Mr. Mark was declared winner early Sunday morning amid protest by his main challenger, Daniel Onjeh, who demanded that the election be declared inconclusive. The former senate president scored 84,192 votes, leaving a margin of 12,571 votes between him and Mr. Onjeh, who garnered 71,621 votes. A total of 29,273 votes were cancelled. After Mr. Mark was declared winner by INEC, Mr. Onjeh’s agent protested, saying the number of cancelled votes (29,273) was higher than the margin of win (12,571). He therefore contended that the election should have been declared inconclusive.
He also accused INEC of cancelling votes in APC’s strongholds, and indicated that his party and its candidate would challenge Mr. Mark’s victory. But despite the protest by its own candidate, the APC congratulated Mr. Mark, in what appears an endorsement of the result declared by INEC. “Congratulations to Senator David Mark, who has just been declared winner, Benue South Senatorial rerun election,” the party said via its twitter handle, @APCNigeria. The APC is known to have used that twitter handle to disseminate official messages since 2013.
The message was posted at 8:46 A.M, about four hours after INEC declared Mr. Mark winner of the election. When contacted, the Assistant Director of Publicity at the APC headquarters, Edegbe Odemwingie, asked for time to revert with an official statement from the party on the matter. He is yet to do so at the time of this report. But the campaign of the APC candidate, told PREMIUM TIMES it is not aware that the ruling party had congratulated Mr. Mark.
=>Nnamdi Kanu: Militants Declare War On FG- Sunnews
TWO militant groups in the Niger Delta region have declared their readiness to confront the Federal government in battle for its refusal to release the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Director, Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu. The groups, Concerned Militant Leaders (CML) and Niger Delta People’s Democratic Front (NDPDF) made the declaration yesterday in separate statements in port Harcourt, Rivers State, following reports that there were plans by the Federal Government, to use witnesses in mask, to testify against the leader of IPOB, who was charged of treason in court. Reacting to the report, leaders of the two groups, General Ben (CML) and Precious Iyoyo (aka General playboy), stated that since President Muhammadu Buhari-led government was determined to cause problem in the country particularly in the South-South and South-East zones, by stubbornly refusing to release Kanu, the groups were ready to cripple the economy. Specifically, General Ben, who is known for his blunt statements, said when the 31 day-ultimatum given to the federal goverment to release the IPOB leader expires tomorrow, Monday, February 22, the battle line would have been drawn. Ben, in the CML statement, declared that the target areas of the first stage of the uprising would be in Abia and Anambra States, as well as Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). He said that the group’s reason for the two states and Abuja was because they were the major places where Federal Government shed the blood of their “brothers and sisters.” General Ben declared: “We are ready for Federal Government, which said we would be treated as criminals and saboteurs. The 31-day ultimatum will expire on Monday. We are ready and will attack them in Abia, Anambra and Abuja, where they shed the blood of Biafran brothers and ssters. “We are not going to attack the civilians per se; but we are going to attack the presence of the Federal Government in the areas. If President Buhari could not clear Boko Haram in six months, as he told Nigerians, why didn’t he focus attention on the North? Why did he waste the blood of Biafrans people? “We are in solidarity with the Biafran struggle and there is no going back. We are taking our revenge. We are not going to spare them. We don’t believe in much talk. Enough is enough,” Ben threatened. Similarly, General Playboy threatened that any ettempt by the federal government, through security agencies, to use masked witnesses against the IPOB leader, would not go without dire consequencies. Playboy implored the United Nations (UN) to prevail on the Nigerian government to allow peace reign in the country, freeing Kanu and allowing Biafra to have its sovereignty. READ FULL NEWS
=>450 Borno children died of malnutrition in 2015 – report-NAN
At least 450 children died of malnutrition in 28 Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in Borno state in 2015. This was disclosed by Sule Mele, the executive director of the board of the Borno Emergency Management Agency, in an exclusive chat with the News Agency of Nigeria in Maiduguri. According to Mele, the victims were aged between one and five years. Mele noted that more than 209,577 children were screened for various illnesses, including malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and vomiting. Reports indicate that at least 450 children died of malnutrition in 28 Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in Borno state in 2015. Reports indicate that at least 450 children died of malnutrition in 28 Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in Borno state in 2015. READ ALSO: WHO To Remove Nigeria From Polio Lists “About 6,444 severe cases of malnutrition were recorded in the camps, 25,511 have mild to moderate symptoms, while 177,622 among them were not malnourished,” Mele said. He said: “The large number of malnourished children is as a result of the lack of access to highly nutritious foods in the camps. “Poor feeding practices, such as inadequate breastfeeding, offering the wrong foods and not ensuring that the child gets enough nutritious food also contribute to malnutrition. “The food that is mostly served in the camps is always adults in nature which affect the health, growth and physical development of the children.
=>CBN orders banks to return illegal charges to customers-Naij.com
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it mandated deposit money banks (DMBs) to refund N6.2 billion to customers they over charged as cost of transactions in 2015. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the directive by the apex bank was contained in a statement made available by the director, corporate communications, of the CBN Ibrahim Mu’azu, in Abuja on Saturday, February 20. Therein the statement, CNB stated that banks were allowed to make charges for banking services but kicked against the fleecing of banking customers under any guise. It noted that the reason for the establishment of a consumer protection department by the CBN in 2012 was to to provide a strong voice to banks’ customers and moderate the arbitrary charges. “The CBN has investigated over 6,000 complaints relating to unauthorised bank charges brought to its notice, following which banks have been compelled to refund N6.2 billion to affected customers in 2015 alone. “The CBN wishes to reiterate its resolve to continuously enforce the provision of the Revised Guide to Bank Charges and urges members of the public to report cases of infringement to enable it investigate and apply sanctions on any erring DMB”, the apex bank stated. READ ALSO: Why FG can’t recover funds looted by ex-government officials The CBN also urged bank customers to forward complaints of excessive bank charges to its consumer protection department. Customers of banks in Nigeria have in recent times complained about several charges associated with banking activities. SOURCE
=>CCT trial: Saraki blackmailing Buhari with budget controversies -Marafa-Punch
Spokesperson for the Senate Unity Forum, Senator Kabir Marafa, on Sunday, demanded the immediate suspension of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, for allegedly creating controversies around the 2016 budget in order to blackmail President Muhammadu Buhari. Marafa, who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on National Identity and National Population, told a group of select journalists in Abuja that, Saraki and his loyalists in the red chamber, were condemning the budget to protest his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal. He added that the budget controversies in very logical ways, could be linked to the pending trial of Saraki at the CCT. The senate president according to him, through the aid of fifth columnists, has been shouting at different times that the budget was missing, doctored, or padded, hence can no longer be passed as earlier planned. He said, “Honestly speaking if am to comment on the controversy that has been trailing the 2016 budget in the Senate, I will say it is all the work of the fifth columnists there. “We woke up one day and the senate president just came and said there is no budget, that the budget is stolen embarrassing everybody, but the following day the Speaker said his own was not stolen. “Next, they said the budget is doctored, next they said the budget is padded, next they said there are discrepancies all over the place we knew how they came into the leadership of the National Assembly or the Senate. READ FULL NEWS
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has called for the devaluation of the nation’s currency, the Naira, saying, “With the gap between the official rate of N199 and open market rate of over N400 to one dollar, Naira has already been devalued. Therefore, President Muhammadu Buhari must stop deceiving himself and short-changing Nigerians, especially States and Local Councils in the country with his Forex Policy.” Governor Fayose, who said there was no time in the history of Nigeria that the gap between dollar official rate and open market rate was more than N200, pointed out that it made no economic sense for the Federal Government to be calculating the country’s revenue on the basis of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) official rate of N199 to a dollar while States and Local Councils that are sharing the revenue with the Federal Government run their businesses at the open market rate of over N400 to one dollar, thereby causing business to be folding up by the day and prices of goods skyrocketing everyday. Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media to the governor, Lere Olayinka, in a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday, quoted the governor as saying that apart from breeding corruption through round tripping or foreign exchange arbitrage, Nigerians are also being duped and middle class Nigerians, the main people that grows the country’s economy are being decimated. The governor said President Buhari was applying his 1984 failed economic policy in which prices of goods were fixed not minding the cost of supply, such that essential commodities like milk and sugar became scarce and Nigerians were made to line up under the sun to buy rationed commodities.
He urged the President to pay more attention to the ailing economy of the country instead of junketing around the world, wasting $1 million per foreign trip, saying; “President Buhari has travelled to 24 countries in eight months, and will be spending 16 out of the 29 days in February outside the country, with over $500,000 being spent on estacode while the Presidential Air Fleet, which includes fueling of the planes and allowances for crew members is said to be in the range of $500,000.
=>Peter Okoye Says His Apology Was Just For The Fans
Wizkid is not happy with top blogger Linda Ikeji and this is not the first time he would attempt to bash her directly or indirectly. the Ojuelegba singer just retweeted an article by Lagos Lawyer Olamide Akinola (Read Here) to his almost 2 million folloers. He stylishly added the caption “Nice Read” https://twitter.com/wizkidayo/status/701397893194903552
Wizkid it would seem, is not happy with Linda for breaking his first and second babymama news and he also recently bashed her for posting a story about him collecting money for a show and not making an appearance.
=>Breaking: Benue South Re-run: INEC declares David Mark as winner with 84, 192 votes-Vangaurd
The Independent National Election Commission, INEC, has declared former Senate President, David Mark, as the winner of the February 20 Benue South Senatorial District Re-run election. Mark polled a total of 84, 192 while his main challenger, Daniel Onjeh had 71, 621 votes. Mark won in five local government areas while Onjeh won in four. The result was declared by Prof.Ishaku Enigi. SOURCE
=>“Tompolo Boys Defy Buhari, Vow To Set Nigeria On Fire” – Daily Post
Informed sources from the Niger Delta claim that former militant commander, Government Ekpemupolo, better known as Tompolo has ordered his boys to blow up more pipelines and plunge the nation into oil crisis if soldiers who have invaded Gbaramutu Kingdom in search of him, and ransacking the whole creeks, are not withdrawn. The High Court sitting in Lagos had in January sought for the arrest over charges of corruption in excess of N30 Billion levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Tompolo, fearing humiliating arrest and detention had defied the court summons. The same court this week permitted the anti-graft agency to confiscate his assets.
This writer alluded in an earlier piece titled ‘War in the Creeks as Buhari, Tompolo Alliance Crumbles’ that “Tompolo had boasted to groups of people two months before the renewed Biafra protests of November 2015, why he cannot support Kanu when a big masquerade called Buhari had already begged him to pipe low. At that time Kanu was still posting his hate messages from London, Therefore, before that Biafran struggle too off, many ingredients were already compromised, including Tompolo factor”. I also explained in the piece that “militant leader Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo took his luck too far. Tompolo equated his alliance with Buhari to mean that he has the license from the Muslim North to do as he likes. Tompolo started harassing every political opponent who fails to worship Him, his views and his God. He arrogated to himself the status of a Niger Delta Godfather, and this did not go down well with some sources within the ruling party”.
This alliance crumbled because Tompolo failed to remove his hand from the Bayelsa Gubernatorial elections, and bent on supporting Dickson. The duo of ex-governor Rotimi Amechi and Timipre Sylva decided that the Tompolo factor in Niger Delta politics will have to end. EFCC which had opened a case file onhim since August last year, suddenly renewed efforts to capture him, especially after the ruling APC lost the Bayelsa elections. Human rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo, sworn enemy of Tompolo, who is also EFCC counsel, is laughing last.
=>#BenueSouthDecides: David Mark Leads In 5 LGAs With Over 18000 Votes – Vanguard
Results from 78 wards in seven of the nine local government areas of the Benue South Senatorial District, revealed that former President of the Senate and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the Benue South Senatorial District re-run election, David Mark, has extended his lead to over 18, 000 votes.
The LGs are Ado, Agatu, Apa, Obi, Ohimini, Okpokwu and Otukpo. Mark led in Ado, Agatu,Okpokwu and Otukpo while Onjeh took Obi and Ohimini. Oju and Ogadibo are the remaining two LGs, made up of 24 wards. From the 78 wards available, Mark polled 67, 525 votes while his main challenger, Daniel Onjeh polled 49, 506 votes.
The election was conducted in 102 wards in nine local government areas of the Senatorial District. Please note that these results are yet to be confirmed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the only body recognised by law to declare election result. SOURCE
=>Air Force Chief’s wife, Amosu, returns stolen N381m to FG-Punch
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has recovered N381m from Mrs. Omolara Amosu, the wife of the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu.
Sources within the EFCC said on Saturday that the money was recovered in three tranches: N180m, N101m and N100m.
The detective told our correspondent that the money was traced from the account of the Nigeria Air Force to the bank accounts of a company in which Amosu’s wife is a director.
He added that Amosu’s wife is a signatory to the accounts.
He said, “We recovered N381m from Amosu’s wife, Omolara. Initially, we recovered N180m from her account before another N101m and then N100m. These were monies transferred from Air Force accounts.”
Explaining how the money was diverted, the detective added, “They (Air Force officers) sent the money to an account where their wives have interests or are signatories without doing anything.”
A second source within the EFCC told our correspondent that more properties belonging to the immediate past Chief of Accounts and Budgeting of NAF, Air Vice Marshal J.B. Adigun, had been seized.
The detective said a property, which is a quarry located in Ogun State, had equipment worth about $600,000.
He, however, did not state the value of the property.
Two weeks ago, houses worth over N2bn in Ikoyi and Victoria Island allegedly belonging to Adigun were seized.
Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated that his position not to approve further devaluation of the Naira President stands. Buhari said that Nigeria, which is not an exporting nation, would be worst hit if the Naira was devalued. Counterfeit naira He noted that only the Western countries, with lots of items to export, could benefit from the economic measure. Contributing to a Presidential Panel Roundtable on Investment and Growth Opportunities at the opening session of the Africa 2016: Business for Africa, Egypt and the World at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, the President asked Nigerians, who have developed taste for foreign luxury goods, to continue to pay for them rather pressure government to devalue the Naira. “Developed countries are competing among themselves and when they devalue they compete better and manufacture and export more. But we are not competing and exporting but importing everything including toothpicks. So, why should we devalue our currency?”, the President said. “We want to be more productive and self-sufficient in food and other basic things such as clothing. For our government, we like to encourage local production and efficiency”. Buhari stressed that Nigeria, being a mono-economy dependent on oil, and with a teeming unemployed youth population, the way out of the current slump in the global oil market, is for the administration to focus on agriculture and solid minerals development.
=>Biafra: 13 corpses discovered in borrow pit in Aba – Vanguuard
The International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Intersociety and the South East Based Coalition of Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs) have raised alarm over “ceaseless killings of unarmed citizens in Nigeria by security agents”. In a letter addressed to Abdulrahman Bello Dambazzau, the minister of interior, and Major Gen Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, the chief of defence staff, the coalition said that they visited a borrow pit where they saw the corpses of members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who were killed in Aba, Abia state, on February 9. Vanguard reports that the letter was titled “Pictures & Video Clips Of How Nigerian Military Massacred 22 Unarmed IPOB Members & Dumped 13 Of Them In Aba Borrow Pit: Why Security Chiefs Must Desist From Provoking More Insurgencies Capable Of Plunging Nigeria Into Syrian Style Violence”. In the letter SBCHROs alleged that the security forces shot and killed 22 IPOB members and critically injured over 30. According to the coalition, two of the 22 killed IPOB members were taken away by the Abia state police command, while the remaining people were packed in two military trucks and taken away by soldiers. In a facts-laden letter, the human right group revealed how corpses of IPOB members were discovered in borrow pit in Aba. “On Saturday, February 13, 2016, some scavengers reported to one of the Aba units coordinators of IPOB that they saw some dead bodies in a borrow pit located along Aba Port Harcourt Road. The borrow pit was recently converted to a refuse dump by the Government of Abia state. “On receiving the report on Saturday morning, the IPOB members moved to the area where they saw 13 dead bodies battered and shrank with decimating chemical substances. The 13 murdered citizens must have included those taken away alive by soldiers who were battered with gunshots. They were laid face down with their eyes tied and covered.
=>Defeating Boko Haram will be a long fight – US – Nigerianeye
The United States government has said the fight against Boko Haram insurgents will be a long fight. It therefore called on academics and think tanks to assist in resolving the Boko Haram crisis by finding out the underlying causes of the insurgency. Speaking recently at the Capitol Visitor Centre, US House of Representatives in Washington, the US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said the ongoing battle against the terrorist group would require perseverance and huge resources. “We need academics to help us understand the underlying conditions that led to Boko Haram. We need think tanks to identify creative solutions. We need the business community to help bring investments in the region and to create jobs and spur greater economic development in the affected areas. We need our ambassadors. We need our African ambassadors based here in Washington to advocate for more resources in the fight against Boko Haram, and greater cooperation among the Lake Chad Basin countries.
“This will be a long fight that requires perseverance, and it is going to require strong resources. We all know the stakes are high. We know what the stakes are. But now is the time — now is the time for us to work together with our African partners to redouble our efforts to defeat Boko Haram and create the bright future — and it’s a bright future that all of the people of Africa deserve. But I would say in this case, particularly, a bright future for the people of northern Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin,” the US official said. According to Thomas-Greenfield, there is hardly any protest whenever people are killed in Nigeria and other countries in Africa.
=> I want to have two kids, adopt one —Tiwa Savage
Family planning campaign ambassador, Tiwa Savage, has revealed her plans to give birth to two kids and adopt one. The mother of one disclosed this during a radio interview on Naija FM as part of an ongoing media tour for the family planning campaign with fellow ambassador, Paul ‘rudeboy’ Okoye. Both musicians, along with comedian Gordons and Nollywood actors; Mike Ezuruonye, Adekola Odunlade and Ali Nuhu, were unveiled on Friday by the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) as ambassadors for the campaign themed “Get It Together”. Savage is enjoying the new role she’s playing in the ‘Moms Know Best’ campaign organised by Procter & Gamble (P&G) Nigeria, manufacturers of Pampers Baby-Dry diaper. The singer and mother of one who led the unveiling of the campaign In Lagos State recently described the development as an opportunity to connect with mothers and to learn more as a nursing mother. “I am happy to meet with some amazing mothers who just gave birth.The babies were so adorable and beautiful. The mothers were exhausted after going through labour but you could see the excitement in their eyes and the love for their babies. God bless all mothers and fathers,” she wrote on her Instagram page. “Get It Together” is aimed at raising awareness about family planning, emphasizing its benefits to men and women of reproductive age, increasing contraceptive use among women and increasing access to family planning services. The official theme song for the campaign, as performed by Tiwa Savage and Paul ‘rudeboy’ Okoye, has just been released.
=> Caroline Danjuma steps out after alleged marriage crisis She was last seen playing any major role in Nollywood some years ago, but she is back with the premiere of her movie Stalker due for Saturday, February 27. It was directed by Moses Inwang. The movie features appearances from Nse Ikpe-Etim, Jim Iyke, Emem Inwang, Anthony Monjaro and many others. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter File photo of movie Stalker Sticker of the movie Stalker This is a somewhat bold step for the actress whose husband, Musa Danjuma, is reported to have impregnated his mistress based in the UK, a situation that has since led to their separation. The mistress has been identified as Maya. Reports from blogger Stella Dimokokorkus said the marriage between the mother of three and her billionaire husband fell apart owing to his love for women. Other sources confirmed that Caroline suffered several cases of physical abuse and battery from her husband before she felt she had had enough and left the union. SOURCE
=>Chika Okeke goes completely naked for a movie role Upcoming Nollywood actress Chika Okeke is running to the top in the Nigerian entertainment industry as she choose to be completely naked on a movie scene.The upcoming actress and television anchor Chika Okeke obviously has got nothing to lose, and of course the price must be right. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter chikaa The Thespian was completely naked in a bath tub as she takes on a daring role on the set of a movie – knock knock (the morning after), fellow Nollywood actor IK Ogbonna proudly revealed on his Instagram page.