DSS Attempt To Arrest Apostle Suleman In Ekiti, Fayose Rescues Him To Govt. House (Photo+Video)

Unconfirmed reports have it that last night, a team of DSS operatives stormed a hotel in Ekiti in an attempt to arrest the General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleiman.

It took the intervention of Governor Ayo Fayose and his security team to rescue the self styled apostle and bring him to the Ekiti State Government House.

It is believed that Apostle Suleman’s attempted arrest may not be unconnected with his recent “inflammatory” statement, asking Christians to pick up arms and kill Fulanis.

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APC Kicks Out Former FCT Minister Of State

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State has expelled one of its members and former minister of state for the FCT, Senator John Akpanudoedehe for alleged anti-party offences.

But Udoedehe, as he is popularly called, has  promised to respond appropriately to the expulsion in due time, saying he was putting his arsenal together.

The letter of expulsion, signed by the state chairman of the party, Dr. Amadu Atai and 60 other party executives as well as elders yesterday, said the action was sequel to an earlier suspension and dismissal from the party effected on the former governorship candidate by his ward and Uyo chapter of the party.

Spokesman for the senator, Mr. Ata Etuk, said they are preparing appropriate response to the expulsion as many of the signatories to the letter were fake.

“When our response is ready, tomorrow, I will let you know and I will let you have it,” he said.

Elder Statesmen Condemn Buhari For Approving Magu, Lawal Despite Corruption Allegations

Former governors of Kaduna and Anambra states, Balarabe Musa and Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, have jointly condemned President Buhari’s style of handling the corruption allegations involving Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

Recall that on Sunday, the president replied Senate’s indictment of Lawal, for corruption as well as resubmitted Magu’s nomination for confirmation as EFCC chairman.

The president said Senate relied on a minority report to indict Lawal and also added that the Ad-Hoc committee which investigated the grass-cutting allegation against the SGF was biased. Bihari, in his letter to the Senate, said the panel did not give the SGF fair hearing by allowing him to testify before the committee.

The president also said he initiated an independent probe of Magu and discovered he was not corrupt, as alleged by the 2016 Department of State Services (DSS) report on him. 

Reacting to the development, Balarabe Musa said what the development shows is that the present administration is not yet ready to fight corruption.

He added that Nigeria will not move forward unless government shows enough determination and commitment in the war against corruption. He said: “What I want to say is that Nigeria is yet, again, not ready to fight corruption. That is what the situation is.”

Also, echoing the position of his Kaduna counterpart, Dr. Ezeife said there is clear evidence that the present administration is not serious in the graft war.

His words: Are we fighting corruption blindly or is it selective fight? People are beginning to think so. In fact, they have strong evidence that the corruption we are fighting is selective and I don’t know how to dispute the observation of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, that, we have not had the level of corruption that we are observing now; in fact, elements of corruption that kill the soul of man, that is the worst evil of corruption. That is where you go and vote and government uses their position to determine who should be the winner. The voters go out in the sun to cast their votes for a person to rule them; another person is given the mandate to rule them.

“Today, while some people are rushing into a particular political party, when that political party on its own merit cannot win a local government council election is because people are going in there for the governorship seat and re-election.

“I think it is no longer just a matter of corruption; it is a matter of system distortion, physical as election destroys the soul of man, destroys the soul of the territory.”

But, Chairman of the Presidential Anti-corruption Committee, Prof Itse Sagay differed. Speaking on Magu’s re-nomination, Sagay said the noise against Magu is a clear case of ‘corruption fighting back.’ He said those making noise are” corrupt people who want to derail the anti-corruption war of the present administration,” and added that efforts to compromise Magu by some powerful politicians have failed, hence, “the noise to bring him down.

“Magu is the best man for the job and that is why president Buhari has re-submitted his name to the Senate. All those complaining about Magu are like the case of corruption fighting back. Some undeserving of the position of the EFCC chairman are already putting their names forward…”

Buhari’s Economic Policies Are Confusing -Ezekwesili

Former Vice President of the World Bank for Africa and Buhari critic, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili has described the economic policies of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government as “confusing”, expressing regret that in spite of the confusion, the government remains “adamant.”

 Ezekwesili, who is also the convener of the Bring Back Our Girls and former minister spoke in the current edition of The Interviewmagazine.

“I am not a fan of the economic policies of this government so far; I feel it’s too tentative in making even the right policy decisions, and even when it tries to make the right policy decisions, it has been in the breach. It has been very confusing,” she said.

“It’s not that the government is timid; it’s about doing the wrong things and being adamant about them,” she added.

Ezekwesili cited the government’s monetary and fiscal policies as key areas of denial of “empirical evidence” and called for structural reforms and better citizen engagement.

In the interview, conducted before the BBOG’s visit to Sambisa, Ezekwesili wept over the fate of the remaining Chibok girls, saying the episode had exposed Nigerian governments in their “worst form.”

She spoke on what she would do if President Muhammadu Buhari invited her to serve; her perception of former President Goodluck Jonathan and her relationship with former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Finally, After 13 Days In Captivity NTIC Students & Staff Regain Freedom Under Very Dramatic Circumstances

Finally, the female students and officials of the Nigeria-Turkish International College, Isheri, Ogun State kidnapped 13 days ago have regained their freedom.

Sources say they were brought back to the back of the school at about 8.30pm last night.

Reports gathered that following negotiations between parents of the victims and the kidnappers, following which a whopping N50 million ransom was paid, the gang gave an assurance that the schoolgirls would be brought back.

Before the students were freed, there was anxiety among their parents, as the kidnappers had switched off their phones since Monday night, after collecting the N50 million ransom.

Confused as to what was the fate of the children, tension overwhelmed the victims’ parents, who could not communicate with the kidnappers after delivering the ransom. This continued till yesterday when one of them received a phone call that the students had been dropped at the back of the school.

Competent sources revealed that operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) were instrumental to the release of the students, as they worked with the parents throughout.

Meanwhile, there was a power-play last night, as the police wanted to take glory for the release of the kidnapped victims. It was gathered that without working with parents of the victims, the police stormed the school premises last night, on hearing that the kidnapped victims had been released and took custody of them.

The police had herded the released students into a bus, without allowing their parents come near them, and took off to Abeokuta, in a long motor cade.

Reporters gathered that parents of the kidnapped schoolgirls are angry that the police want to give the impression that they facilitated the release of the victims when, actually they did not show much concern.

Sources revealed that it was only last Saturday that the police, for the first time, contacted parents of the kidnapped victims, who had worked as one in the effort to secure the students’ freedom. However, the police were said to be intercepting the phone conversations of the kidnappers and the victims’ parents and using the information gathered to present a picture that they were on top of the matter.

Before the release of the students last night, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, had taken over the investigation of the abduction of students and school official.

Not satisfied that almost two weeks after the victims were abducted, the victims were yet to be rescued, the IGP decided to personally take over the investigation.

Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, had revealed this at a press briefing yesterday. He confirmed that the Department of State Services (DSS) and military had joined in the rescue effort.

Speaking after a joint-security meeting with other sister agencies, he said: “Operatives from the anti-kidnapping unit of the police, officials of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) and the military personnel have been deployed to the creeks in Lagos and Ogun states for the rescue mission of the kidnap victims.

“The operation has been taken over by IGP.  Those involved in the rescue mission are under IGP.  They are under his direct command. I am not assigned to speak on the issue because, the abduction did not happen in my command, but IGP has directed that Lagos State Police command, which is under me, should be involved in the rescue mission.

“The issue as you know is now a national one.  The IGP is  in charge of the rescue operation, but security operatives from our sister agencies and local vigilance group are involved in the combing of the bushes. In a little while the victims will be rescued and the kidnappers will be arrested.”

Owoseni confirmed that three persons were also abducted last week in a farm at Epe area of the state

A 10-man gang of kidnappers kitted in military camouflage stormed a farmland at the Epe axis of Lagos and abducted a lady, Ifeoluwa Olabiyi, and two other men.

He stated: “I had gone on patrol along with operatives of the anti-kidnapping unit of the command on Friday and Saturday. It was during the patrol that we were told that some gunmen stormed a farm in the area last Tuesday and abducted three persons.

“We have deployed a team of policemen as well as some soldiers into the creeks on a rescue mission. I tell you, with all sense of responsibility, that all hands are on-deck regarding the operation. We will do all within our professional mandates to ensure that the victims are reunited with their family very soon and those behind the crime are brought to book.”

Earlier yesterday, Assistant Inspector General if Police,  Zone 2, Kayode Aderanti, had stated that the kidnapped students and officials would soon re-united with their families.

Aderanti, who spoke in Abeokuta, shortly after he visited the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, disclosed that the police were closing on the kidnappers.

The AIG, however, denied rumours that  families of the victims have paid ransom.

Said he: “We are working assiduously towards getting the children back and just give us some time. We are working seriously on them.

“In case of kidnapping, abduction or whatever all over the world, there are always rumour circulating, because when you are negotiating with hostage takers, a lot of things are involved. But what I can tell you is that we have not heard of any ransom being demanded or given as far as we are concerned.  And we are monitoring everything; we are on top of everything and nothing of such has come to my attention.”

The police had rounded up some alleged relatives and informants to the kidnappers to compel them to release their captives.

Also  arrested was one of the most wanted kidnapper, General Cacadu, who confirmed that five of his boys were contracted to join the kidnap operation. The kidnappers initially demanded ransom of  N1.2billion.

Meanwhile, the school authorities confirmed the release of the victims.

A statement signed by spokesperson of the school, Cemal Yigit, said: “The student and teacher are doing fine, and have reunited with their families.

“Our special appreciation goes to President Muhammadu Buhari, police, DSS, the Army and staff of the school and others.”

Dasukigate: Judge Insists On Granting Dasuki’s Bail

Justice Baba Yusuf of an Abuja High Court has again insisted on the bail earlier granted former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col Sambo Dasuki(rtd).

Recall that Justice Peter Affen of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court had also recently granted the former NSA bail but the Federal Government failed to obey the court order.

However, the matter was transferred to the Justice Yusuf-led court who reaffirmed the bail of Dasuki and five others standing trial on a 22-count charge bordering on the misappropriation of $2.1bn arms deal.

At the resumed trial, the trial judge said Dasuki was entitled to bail after he was admitted to same since 2015.

All defendants pleaded not guilty to the 22-count charge levelled against them.

Following their non-guilty plea, counsel to the former NSA, Ahmed Raji prayed the court to reaffirm Dasuki’s bail.

Raji stated that Dasuki was admitted to bail before the Department of State Services, DSS, illegally arrested and detained him.

He argued that since the matter was transferred from Justice Affen to Justice Yusuf, the DSS has been separated from the matter, adding that the court record indicated that Dasuki is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Raji contended that it was wrong of the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, to have objected to the reaffirmation of the bail condition on Dasuki.

Jacobs who had earlier told the court that he had no objection to the affirmation of the bail earlier granted to five other defendants in the trial, however urged the judge not to make any pronouncement or order in respect of Dasuki’s bail.

“Court must not act in vain, there is no point making an order in vain. Dasuki has been in the custody of the DSS since 2015 and is still there till today, ”Jacobs said.

Ruling on the matter, Justice Yusuf said it would be in the interest of justice to reaffirm Dasuki’s bail irrespective of the action of the security agencies.

The judge consequently adjourned the matter to February 24, 2016.

Imo Air: Imo State Partners With Dana Air To Fly Nigeria’s First State Owned Airline

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state has taken delivery of the first aircraft to kick start Nigeria’s first state-owned commercial airline named Imo Air.

The Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport came alive as top Imo state government functionaries as well as Imo indigenes gathered to witness the arrival and official launch of the first aircraft in the fleet of the new state government flight operator Imo Air.

At about 11:45AM the aircraft landed from Lagos as people waited anxiously at the tarmac – the first of the five aircraft expected to run the air business for the state government.

While addressing the anxious crowd, the Imo state Governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha, said the new Imo Air is part of the plans and programmes of the his administration to boost the economy of the state and also generate employment opportunity for unemployed youths in the state.

The Governor said Owerri, Imo state capital, being one of the fastest growing cities in the country, and now with a new airline, will become visible on world map, hereby boosting the investment and tourism potential of the state.

The Governor, while fielding questions from journalists after the official launch, said Imo Air is in partnership with a Nigerian local flight operator which will manage and operate the flight for Imo state government.

He said that this is because most times governments do not do well in business and particularly maintaining an airline business.

Some dignitaries present at the event lauded the initiative of the Imo state government acknowledging its potential to address the shortfalls in air transport in the south-east region and Nigeria as a whole.

The government has promised that by April 2017, the remaining four aircraft will arrive the state.

The new airline is expected to ply Lagos, Abuja, Benin, Sokoto, and other major states in the federation.

Egypt’s President Proposes Law To Ban Islamic Practice Of Verbal Divorce

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has expressed alarm at the high divorce rate in the country and suggested introducing legislation to outlaw the Islamic practice of verbal divorce.

Muslim men can divorce their wives by saying “I divorce you”. In 2015, Egypt had one case of divorce every four minutes.

About 40% of divorces take place in the first five years of marriage.

Mr Sisi said the proposed legislation could give couples an opportunity to reconsider.

There has been no comment from religious leaders yet.

Trump Removes All Islamic And Non-Christian Symbols From White House, Says America Was Founded By Christians

On Trump’s orders, one of Obama’s most secretive rituals is being reversed and all signs of it removed from the White House.

For the past 8 years, to appease any Muslims working at or visiting the White House, silence has been ordered during the 5 times of Islamic prayer each day.

In addition, prayer rugs and crescent moon symbols are available in several areas of the executive mansion to make Muslims more comfortable. The administration has defended the practice by asserting that it also observes several other religious moments of silence and prayer out of respect, including a full 15 seconds for Christianity on Sunday morning while a chaplain blesses a staff breakfast.

None of the prayers is mandatory or led by a government official, which has allowed the administration to subvert 1st Amendment issues, but the obvious favouritism towards Islam, which is observed for 25 minutes per day 7 days a week, tells a story this president has denied for 8 years.

President Trump, who acknowledges that this country was founded by Christians and was built on Christian morals, is having all pagan symbols removed from the property unless they offer some historical significance.

Only the cross in the White House chapel will remain for worship.

Jim Mergernerlerny, head of the team that will transform the White House from the Obama’s home to the Trumps’ second home, told MSNBC: “Mr Trump doesn’t see the need to provide prayer rugs and false idols in a house built by Christians. Washington, DC offers a diverse cultural centre for the worship of any kind.

“ You won’t find any special considerations for Judaism or crucifixes to appease Catholics, either. There is a simple chapel with a single cross on one wall that is suitable for prayer by anyone. Our government doesn’t need to be forcing prayer rituals down people’s throats just so we don’t “offend” apologising people looking to blow us up.

“Patriots around the U.S. can rest assured that apologising for our faith has come to an end”.

Nasarawa To Punish Anyone Caught Excreting In Public

The Director of Public Health in the Nasarawa State Ministry of Health, Mr Ibrahim Alhassan, said on Tuesday that the ministry would sanction any resident caught engaging in open defecation.

Alhassan said that the ministry was collaborating with other agencies to enforce the law on open defecation.

He also said that the ministry would be more proactive in enforcing the law in order to promote personnel and environmental hygiene while preventing outbreak of diseases.

The director, who said that open defecation exposes people to diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever, added.

He said, “We are making efforts with the Department of Environmental Service to first of all create awareness among people on why they should refrain from open defecation.

“The sensitisation would be more in rural communities because we discovered that most people in rural areas are ignorant of the health implication of their actions.

“Based on the records before us, it was discovered that most houses in the village were built without toilet facilities because to the people in the villages, defecation in the bush is a normal thing.’’

He called on all house owners to ensure that there was provision for toilet facilities in order to complement the government’s efforts in ending open defecation.