Thursday, 18 February 2016

Nigerian troops rescue 195 captives from Boko Haram

The troops of the Nigerian Army have rescued 195 persons held hostage by the men of the Boko Haram Sect.
The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said in an electronic mail on Thursday that the troops also recovered 300 cows, 200 sheep and 130 goats rustled by the insurgents.
Usman said that the troops of the 7 Division Garrison comprising the 112 Battalion and the Armed Forces Special Forces, who carried out a joint operation against the enclaves of the insurgents on Wednesday, also recovered camouflage uniforms, rifle magazines and grenades from the insurgents.
He said that the troops cleared Boko Haram locations at Kwaptara, Mijigete, Garin Boka, Mosole, Ngubdori, Ma’asa, Dukje and Gulumba in Dikwa and Bama Local Government Areas of Borno State.
Usman said that the troops who killed a large number of insurgents in the operation also recovered a lot of items which included “two logistic trucks, 180 motorcycles, 750 bicycles and various perishable and non-perishable items such as a 100 KVA Mikano generator and grinding machine.”
The Acting Army Spokesman said that the successes recorded against the Boko Haram were made possible by the high level of cooperation from the civil populace who volunteered information to the security forces.
He commended the Borno citizenry for giving the necessary cooperation to the troops in the bid to flush out the remnant of the insurgents from the North East and other parts of the country.
“The Nigerian troops of 7 Division Garrison comprising 112 Battalion and Armed Forces Special Forces yesterday carried out a  joint clearance  patrol on suspected Boko Haram terrorists locations at Kwaptara, Mijigete, Garin Boka, Mosole, Ngubdori, Ma’asa, Dukje and Gulumba in Dikwa and Bama Local Government Areas of Borno State.
“The troops discovered Boko Haram terrorists camp, patent medicine outfit and major market at Gulumba. Quite  a number of Boko Haram terrorists were killed and several items were recovered. This includes 2 logistic trucks, 180 motorcycles, 750 bicycles and various perishable and non-perishable items such as a 100 KVA Mikano generator and grinding machine.
“In addition, they also rescued 195 persons held hostage, recovered 300 cows, 200 sheep and 130 goats rustled by the insurgents. The troops also recovered military items such as camouflage uniforms as well as rifle magazines and grenades.
“The unprecedented feat was achieved through the renewed cooperation and support of the public who provide timely information to the troops,” he said

Bank forfeits N150m as accused foreigners abscond

Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday ordered Zenith Bank Plc to forfeit a sum of N150m to the Federal Government, following the disappearance of three Russians, who are being tried for allegedly dealing in 1,738.087 metric tons of crude oil in Nigeria without lawful authority.
The judge had on February 8 summoned the bank to show cause why it should not forfeit the N150m, being the bond issued by the bank to guarantee the bail granted the missing foreigners by the court.
At the resumed proceedings on Thursday,  the Russians had still not being found and the bank could not account for their whereabouts, following which Justice Buba ordered the bank to forfeit the sum.
The three Russians had since June last year been standing trial along with 11 other foreigners before Justice Buba since June last year.
At February 8 proceedings, their lawyer, Mr. Babajide Koku (SAN), had told the court that the 4th, 6th and 11th accused persons, who are Russians, had gone missing, adding that all his efforts to ascertain their whereabouts had proved abortive.
He told the court how he had contacted the Russian embassy to ask whether the accused had obtained alternative documents to leave Nigeria after the court ordered them to drop their passport pending trial.
In response, the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, had said he was shocked at the news that the three Russians were nowhere to be found.
Oyedepo moved applications for the judge to issue a bench warrant against the missing Russians and for the court to revoke the bail of the rest of the accused foreigners.
But Koku, while describing the application seeking a bench warrant against the missing Russians as meritorious, urged the court to allow the other foreigners to continue to enjoy their bail.
Justice Buba, in a bench ruling, granted Oyedepo’s applications and issued a bench warrant against the missing Russians.
The judge also revoked the bail of the 11 other defendants.
The case has been adjourned till March 15 for judgment.

Fidelis Sorewei, Abuja Troops6 Troops1 Troops2 Troops3 Troops5

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday restrained the Attorney-General of the Federation,  Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and others from arresting the National  Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prof. Wale Oladipo.
Others that were also restrained by the court order were the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase; and the Department of State Service.
Justice James Tsoho directed on Thursday that the AGF, EFCC, ICPC, the IGP and the DSS, who are all respondents to a suit filed by Oladipo, to maintain “status quo” , pending the hearing of the PDP officer’s motion on notice seeking among other prayers, “a perpetual injunction” against his possible arrest.
The judge made the order following an oral application by Oladipo’s lawyer, Mr. Ajibola Oluyede, on Thursday.
“To allay the fear being expressed by the applicant, an order for maintenance of status quo is hereby granted,” the judge ruled.
Oladipo had filed the suit on February 8 following a text message which said he received on his phone from somebody who indicated to be an operative with the Asset Tracing and Recovery Unit of the EFCC.
According to him, the author of the message asked him to call a certain phone number contained in the message in order to reach somebody else who would give the date and time he was to report at the commission’s office in Abuja for an “interaction”.
He alleged that he was being harassed and intimidated on the basis of funds which he received from members of the PDP.

PHOTOS: Troops destroy Boko Haram markets in Borno

                                                   Fidelis Sorewei, Abuja
Troops6 Troops1 Troops2 Troops3 Troops5

More misery for Van Gaal as Man Utd lose in Denmark

A miserable season for Louis van Gaal and Manchester United took a new turn for the worse on Thursday as they lost 2-1 away to Danish champions Midtjylland in the Europa League.
Goals from the talented Pione Sisto and young Nigerian forward Paul Onuachu gave Midtjylland the victory in Herning after Memphis Depay had put a weakened United side ahead in the first leg of their last-32 tie.
That away goal gives United every chance of turning things around in next Thursday’s return at Old Trafford but the spectre of a humiliating exit hangs in the air at a time when Van Gaal’s side lag behind in their bid to finish in the top four of the Premier League.
The Dutch manager has admitted winning the Europa League may now be his side’s best chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League and this latest setback will only increase the pressure on Van Gaal.
He sent out a weakened side with Sergio Romero starting in goal, and the likes of Paddy McNair and Donald Love featuring from the start against opponents who eliminated Southampton earlier in the competition.
Depay has been a disappointment since his big-money arrival from PSV Eindhoven but he put the visitors in front in the 37th minute, bundling the ball in at the second attempt following a Jesse Lingard cross.
However, Midtjylland were back level a minute before the interval thanks to Sisto as the Ugandan-born Danish international smashed a shot past Romero in the United goal.
Midtjylland were playing their first competitive game in more than two months due to the long Danish winter break but they appeared to want the win more and they got it thanks to Onuachu, whose low shot from just outside the area sneaked past Romero.
“It’s just not good enough. It’s not acceptable. It’s got to be a lot better,” admitted United midfielder Michael Carrick, speaking to BT Sport.
“We didn’t really kick on after we scored. With a performance and a result like that we go home very disappointed.”
United face League One Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup next Monday before the return against Midtjylland next Thursday.

Wow! It is now N400 to $1

This is the exchange rate as of this night...This morning it was at N358 to $1. Credit: The Guardian

New PDP Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, will work for APC- Kano state governor

Kano state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje says the newly- National Chairman of PDP, Ali Modu Sheriff, will work for the APC going by his “antecedents”. Ganduje said this while addressing newsmen in Abuja today February 18th. He dismissed the threat made by the PDP Chairman in Abia yesterday that the PDP will regain control of Aso Rock in 2019

“I do not wish to engage in cross fire. But I believe it is an empty threat. Looking at the antecedents, the history of the chairman himself, we all know he is a cross carpeter. He is always on the move in changing from one party to the other. “Even when he was in the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) for eight years, he was working for the PDP. Even the APC started with him, and then he went back to the PDP and we were happy. I am sure in the long run, he would work for us. That is what I believe. We are happy because we believe in the long run, he would work for us. Find out his history, you will believe me.”

Olisa Metuh and his wife in court today (photos)

Olisa Metuh's wife came to court for the first time today. See more photos after the cut...

200-year-old condom made from sheep's intestine sells for £462

A condom which measures an impressive 19cm and made from sheep's intestine about 200 years ago has sold for a staggering £462 on online auction site, Catawiki. The condom which is thought to be in use around the 18th and 19th century was expensive and took a lot of time to make hence only the rich could afford them. This was before the advent of rubber condoms in the 19th century.

Condoms from the Middle Ages were made from the intestines of sheep, pigs, calves and goats. The condom which was found in France sparked a bidding war which saw it sell for more than double its estimated value making it the most expensive in the world.

Photos: President Buhari hosts members of the Diplomatic Corps at the State House

President Buhari hosted members of the Diplomatic Corps in Statehouse, Abuja on Thursday, February 18. See more photos and read the Statement by the President at the reception after the cut...

"I am very delighted to have you at this reception organized principally, to provide a relaxed atmosphere for an informal interaction at the early stage of the New Year. Although the year is somehow far gone today for me to say Happy New Year to all of you, but it is not too late to convey my very best wishes for your well-being, joy and peace in the rest of 2016.
2. Only last week the Chinese celebrated their New Year with pomp and pageantry, a year dedicated to the monkey; and come September, the Ethiopians will celebrate their New Year to complete the cycle of New Year celebrations in the world this year.
3. These festive occasions often offer us the opportunity to reflect soberly on our lives and review events that have taken place in the preceding year. For some, each New Year propels them to make personal resolutions, some of which may or may not be kept in the end. For others, they see no reason to celebrate at all because of their personal circumstances. Life can be truly a mixed grill.
4. It is almost eight months since I assumed office. In this time, we have witnessed resurgence in the morale and will of the Nigerian Armed Forces to dislodge Boko Haram from their bases in the North East. The changes in both command structure and operational tactics have brought about significant gains on the ground. The Armed Forces have been given specific instructions on rules of engagement to treat captured terrorists humanely and to avoid civilian casualties
5. It is worthy to note that when I assumed office on May 29, 2015, Boko Haram had full control of fourteen (14) Local Governments Areas in the North East, but today, the group holds no territory in Nigeria. They are hiding in Sambisa forest and occasionally undertake cowardly attacks on innocent citizens in soft targets.
6. This has resulted in a dramatic improvement in the security situation in that part of the country. You are, in fact, aware that people who were once internally displaced from their homes for years are gradually returning to rebuild their homes, communities and livelihood.
7. As the security situation continues to improve, and as more people return to their homes, government will spare no effort to support them with robust programmes and projects to hasten the process of rehabilitation and resettlement. The General T.Y Danjuma-led Committee has been saddled with the responsibility of coordinating these efforts.
8. May I use this occasion to once again thank our friends and partners for the invaluable support they have and continue to render in our fight against Boko Haram.
9. We are quite aware that the war on terror will not, and cannot be won by military means alone. We need a soft approach that speaks directly to the human mind. Poverty and hunger do not only incapacitate, but they can lead to desperation. We are also aware that poverty and marginalization, amongst other factors, can easily create room for indoctrination and co-option into violent extremism.
10. Accordingly, we are paying attention to those economic programmes that will lead to empowerment of the people and thus provide an alternative lifestyle of fruitful engagement rather than resort to extremist and terrorist activities. Job creation and provision of quality education are key areas that are already receiving our attention.
11. We are resolved to build a stable and prosperous Nigeria, a country that is inclusive of all her diverse peoples and a country that is at ease with itself. Building such a country will not be possible where corruption is pervasive. Mindful of this, it has become necessary to wage a relentless war against the cancer of corruption. So long as corruption holds center stage in the affairs of Nigeria, the country will continue to suffer incalculable harm.
12. You are witnesses to the preliminary findings that have emerged in the past few weeks from our investigations into corrupt practices in different sectors of Nigeria’s Public Service. I will leave no stone unturned in the efforts to rid Nigeria of corruption. I must however, add that in doing this, we shall operate within the ambit of the law.
13. In a similar fight in the past, and armed with the might of military muscle, I led a government that required persons presumed to be corrupt to prove their innocence. Today, as committed democrats, and in a culture of deepening democracy, we respect the law that presumes all persons innocent until they are proven to be guilty.
14. Nigeria has no choice, nor can the country afford to be an island in itself. Against this backdrop therefore, since my assumption of office, I have demonstrated my commitment to interact with my colleagues in Nigeria’s neighbours and beyond. This is consistent with the pledge that I made at my inauguration to steer the affairs of the country in a manner that will allow us to play the role that is expected of us.
15. It is for this reason, that the Foreign Policy vision which we are currently pursuing is anchored on meaningful engagement with our neighbors, the African continent and the world at large.
16. We would continue to build strong partnerships, strengthen regional ties and promote global solidarity. Nigeria will remain a responsible and active member of the international community; promoting tolerance, accommodation, reconciliation and pacific settlement of disputes. We will also continue to shoulder responsibilities in peace keeping under the auspices of the United Nations.
17. We have benefitted from the dividends of democracy. We have enjoyed an unprecedented period of civil rule, reaching a milestone in our last election, which ushered not only a new government to office, but also witnessed the peaceful transfer of power from a ruling party to an opposition party. Without a doubt, Nigeria’s democracy is growing and gaining in strength.
18. We are also convinced that there is no alternative to democratic governance, adherence to the rule of law, respect for human rights and adherence to constitutional order. Upholding these values remains the essential for peace, stability and development.
19. We owe it a duty not to hand down to the next generation a world that is deeply divided and threatened by nature. It is therefore, most commendable that in the last quarter of 2015, the world celebrated the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Today we can celebrate these great achievements in the hope that full implementation and delivery on the promises of these frameworks, will lead to growth and development.
20. I want to assure you that under my watch, Nigeria will accord priority to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the commitments of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
21. We are under no illusion that achieving these objectives will be easy. We are however, undaunted in our resolve to overcome. We will continue to do all we can to make life safe for our citizens and all residents of Nigeria. We are open for business. We invite those who are ready to come to invest in Nigeria. We will protect their persons as well as their investments.
22. We will take the necessary steps to overcome new and old challenges, enhance our national unity, internal cohesion and ultimately, give our country the image that will be a pride to our people, our friends in Africa and beyond.
23. I would like to conclude by thanking you for making the time to be here today. I would also like to wish you a pleasant evening with the hope that you will continue to work hard to strengthen the ties of friendship between Nigeria and your respective countries and organizations.
24. I thank you for your attention

See how this lady keeps other girls away from her man

One girl just may have found a solution to an ages-old conundrum, how to keep other women off your man. In an image shared online, she is seen standing with her boyfriend who doesn't look so pleased with her idea. She made him wear a shirt with three images of her and on its front are the words: "If you are reading this, you are too close. I have a girlfriend." And for emphasis, she underlined the word 'girlfriend'.

The user who uploaded the image, Timewaffle, captioned it: "His face says more than words ever could."

Photos: More photos from Jumai Shaba's wedding...

TV presenter and Christian vlogger got married last weekend in Dubai to her beau, Ade Rosiji. More photos after the cut...

Liberian president, Ellen Sirleaf, appoints her son as head of Liberian Central Bank

Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has appointed her son, Charles Sirleaf, as the interim executive governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL). Charles, who is a highly experienced banker, was until his appointment, the deputy governor of the bank, having worked for the bank since 2004. He takes over from Joseph Mills Jones, the immediate Governor of the Bank who resigned so he can prepare to run for president during Liberia's presidential election due to take place in 2017.

President Sirleaf suspended her son for a while in 2012, following his failure to properly declare his asset.

Davido on the cover of US magazine, The Fader

Singer Davido is on the cover of US magazine, The Fader. He was described as "Nigeria's fortunate son" in the feature. Read it here

Incase you missed Kanye's leaked epic 'SNL''s the audio

An audio of Kanye West's backstage tantrum at Saturday Night Live over the weekend was leaked yesterday Feb. 17th .. and some of the things he said when he thought only the people with him there could hear it is almost as bad as the things he tweets. The meltdown was after his stage design was changed and taken apart under the direction of the show's lighting director without anyone's approval.
"Look at that s--t, they took my f--kin' stage off SNL without asking me," he says. "Now I'm bummed. That and Taylor Swift. Fake ass. Now we're gonna do this. We're breaking the motherf--king Internet." He said a whole lot more. Listen to the expletive-filled audio after the cut...

Photos: President Buhari to leave for Egypt on Friday

President Buhari will depart Abuja on Friday February 18th for Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt to participate in the Business for Africa, Egypt and the World Forum.

A statement by the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, states that the forum, which opens in the Egyptian resort town on Saturday, February 20, 2016, is being organized by the Egyptian government under the auspices of the African Union Commission..

According to the statement,
"the forum's objective is to accelerate private sector engagement and investment within Africa and promote the development of African ties and partnerships". President Buhari, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt and the Presidents of Togo, Sudan, Kenya, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia are among confirmed speakers at the forum. Other confirmed speakers include the President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and the President/CEO of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote. President Buhari will be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelama. He will return to Abuja at the conclusion of the forum.

Ngige denies collapsing at the National Assembly, says he is not even in Nigeria

Minister of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige has denied rumours making the rounds that he collapsed while defending his ministry's budget at the National Assembly today February 18th. Ngige who spoke to the Nation, said he is not even in Nigeria.
“I am not in Nigeria, I attended special morning session function in Zambia and am airborne to South Africa where I will be coming into the country tomorrow.
The rumours in social media and other quarters shows how petty people can be, I don’t see it as anything but I wish to tell those who still play this outdated and obsolete politics of bitterness to embrace change and know that it is no longer business as usual” he said

Soldier batters bus driver for sneering at him

A soldier, simply identified by his name tag as Emmanuel B.J., on Wednesday battered a commercial bus driver, Mr. Moshood Olaniyi, at the Ojodu-Berger Motor Park in Lagos State for allegedly sneering at him.
The soldier initially pounced on Olaniyi and thrashed him with horse whip before he used his fists to punch him.
He  ignored pleas by passersby and food vendors at the park.
Instead, he removed the vehicle’s key from the ignition and dragged Olaniyi down from the bus and battered him the more.
The soldier held Olaniyi’s waistband and threatened to kill the driver boasting that nobody would query him if he killed the driver.
When the crowd urged the soldier to state the driver’s offence, Emmanuel B.J. slapped Olaniyi again for more than 12 times.
He said, “Who does he think he is? I will kill him and nobody will query me. I have killed many people who are older than this idiot (Olaniyi) in the past and nobody queried me for that.
“The idiot attempted to hit me while reversing his vehicle and when I asked him why, he just sneered at me. If at all he is older than me, I don’t care. I will do to him what he will never forget for the rest of his life.”
Emmanuel dragged Olaniyi to the park of commercial motorcycle operators, a distance of about 50 metres, before he released him after much pleading that lasted for about 45 minutes by eyewitnesses and other motorists.
Olaniyi was later advised to seek medical attention due to the extent of the assault.
Olaniyi, who could hardly open his mouth to talk because of his swollen lips after the soldier released him, denied that he sneered at the soldier.
He said he was reversing his vehicle when the soldier suddenly pounced on him.
One of the witnesses, who identified himself simply as Festus, said the beating was too much, adding that he did not expect that Olaniyi could still stand on his feet after the soldier released him.
Festus said it was the beating that drew his attention from where he was fixing some mechanical faults in his vehicle.
He said, “I did not know the cause of the disagreement between Olaniyi and the soldier, but from what I saw, Olaniyi was sitting in his vehicle when the soldier started beating him. I didn’t know whether Olaniyi sneered at the soldier or not.”
A bread seller at the motor park, who preferred to be addressed as Ajoke, said she witnessed the assault from the beginning to the end.
Ajoke said she joined other passersby to beg the soldier to let Olaniyi go when it appeared that he was not ready to stop the beating.
Reacting to the alleged assault, the spokesperson for 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Lagos, Col. Kingsley Samuel, told our correspondent that he had yet to confirm the identity of the soldier, but promised to investigate the assault.
He said, “We don’t know the identity of the soldier. Lagos is a big community; anybody can put on army uniform and impersonate being a soldier. We have had cases of impersonation before, but if any personnel of the organisation I work with commits a crime of that nature, the person will be dealt with.
“We have to find out if Emmanuel is a genuine soldier who is not impersonating. This is one of the things we will investigate. And if he is a soldier, we will find out the unit he belongs to. But I assure you that we will do our investigation.”

EMoney discovers a 'Shoe - Rack' hawker, gives him a brand new car & N300k! (photos)

Five star music president Emeka Okonkwo popularly known as 'EMoney' is a year older today and to celebrate it, he decided to give back to the street.

To do this, he flashed back to sometime last year when the label's front line act Kcee was on the street of Lagos hawking recharge cards. Kcee had met Promise, a 'shoe - rack' hawker from Ebonyi state who has been hawking for over 6 years and promised to help him.

Fast forward to today and E-money's desire to bless the street, the Five Star music crew went in search of Promise who hawks at 'Ikeja Along', Lagos. On getting there, the young man, Promise  and brother has just been picked up by officials of KAI (Kick Against Indiscipline) and transported to their office in Alausa, Ikeja.

Kcee and the crew went in search of him at the KAI office and after several hours of pleading, he was released into their custody after signing an undertaking that he will not hawk again.

Promise has just been given a brand new Toyota Corolla car courtesy of E-Money as well as the sum of #300,000 to get a new apartment. Also his brother and friend that Hawks with him also got a cash gift from the generous EMONEY.

We reached out to Kcee to comment on this and he simply said, 'If you follow the Five Star music family you'll know this is what we do, it's my brother's birthday and he decided to give back to the street and we are grateful to God for his mercies and grace upon us.