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Ondo Residents Set Commercial Bank Ablaze Over Communal Disputes

Some warring residents of Ikare-Akoko in the Akoko Northeast Local Government Area of Ondo State on Thursday torched a bank building belonging to a monarch in the state.
The arsonists went ahead with this devious act despite the curfew imposed on the town by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu following a breakout of violence on Saturday.





According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the people lost their lives in the violence that broke out during the weekend.
Ikare-Akoko has been enmeshed in supremacy claims between the two traditional rulers in the town – the Olukare and the Owa-Ale over decades.
The claim and counter-claims have also deteriorated to the fractionalisation of the town with one part prohibiting residents of the other part from venturing into their part of the town.
The burnt building reportedly belongs to the traditional ruler of the town, the Owa-Ale of Ikare.
Witnesses said people had been moving around in spite of the curfew and were surprised that the arsonists set the bank building ablaze.
One of the witnesses said the arsonists earlier broke the windows and door of the bank building before igniting it.
He said the damage had been done before the police arrived at the scene.
The Divisional Police Officer in Ikare declined to comment but directed NAN to speak with the police spokesperson in Ondo, DSP Funmilayo Odunlami.
The spokesperson, however, did not respond to the questions asked for the police reaction.

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Omicron Covid-19 Variant: Thailand Government Hunts For African Visitors

Thailand’s Immigration Bureau and the Ministry of Public Health are tracking down about 783 African travellers who have entered Thailand since November 15.

They are seeking to test them for the Omicron coronavirus variant in a move aimed at maximising public safety, Bangkok Post reports. 



The African visitors are believed to be in major tourist destinations including Bangkok and the authorities are trying to reach them and ask that they undergo a test to find out if they have the new Omicron strain, national police chief, Pol Gen Suwat Jangyodsuk said.

“Don’t panic. The police are urgently working together with the Ministry of Public Health [to take care of this matter],” he said.

The immigration police and the ministry are also maximising Covid-19 control measures at the airports in the face of escalating health threats reportedly brought about by the new variant, he said.

Security authorities are also heightening border security measures to curb illegal border crossing through natural trails in the border provinces, he said, adding a rising number of illegal migrants had been detained.

From November 15 until last Saturday, a total of 333 people from eight southern African countries, currently banned by several countries from entering, have entered Thailand, said Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesman for the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

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The countries are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Thailand has also imposed a similar travel ban on visitors from these countries, starting on Wednesday, he said.

Of the 333 people, three had already left Thailand.

He said 23 of them had been contacted through mobile phone texting and requested to undergo an RT-PCR test for Covid-19.

The test is being offered for free at state-run hospitals, he said.

For more information about this specific Covid-19 testing requirement, the African visitors are encouraged to call the hotline 1442, he said.

Those who refuse to comply with this requirement may face legal action for violating Thailand’s communicable disease control law, he said.

Since November 15, Thailand has also begun imposing a 14-day Covid-19 quarantine on travellers from these eight African countries, he said.

For Thai nationals who returned from any of these African nations from November 15 until last Saturday and could not afford the cost of the quarantine service at a hotel, they were allowed to undergo Covid-19 quarantine at the state-run Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute instead, he said.

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More than 100 people who have previously arrived in Thailand from other countries also considered at-risk zones for the Omicron variant are also being required to undergo a repeat RT-PCR test.

Citing updates reported at Wednesday’s meeting of the ministry’s emergency operations centre, he said most symptoms of infection from the Omicron variant remain similar to common symptoms of infection from the older variants including muscle pains.

However, even though there still have not been any reports about severe illness linked to the Omicron variant infection, several deaths linked to this strain have already been recorded, he said.
As for the expected faster transmission of the new variant, he said, there has yet to be any proof to confirm this speculation, he said.

As for now, he said, being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 is still the best defence against catching the disease.

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Armed Man On Suicide Mission Forces Lockdown In UN Building, Emergency Vehicles Deployed

Officers with the New York Police Department are in an armed standoff with a man wielding a shotgun outside the United Nations building, police reported.

The man is seen on video pacing outside building in Tudor City, along the East River. The incident was reported at 10:39am at the bus stop at the intersection of E 42nd Street and 1st Ave.



The white man assumed to be in his 60s has grey hair and is wearing blue jeans, a light blue shirt under a red sweater and tan jacket. He is seen holding the barrel of the shotgun to his head, according to Dailymail.

Police were heard saying, “Put down the gun. There are better ways to get your message out.”

Officers had their guns trained on him as they issued their warnings and attempted to negotiate with him. The man is reportedly threatening to harm himself. A black bag, red megaphone, glasses, a water bottle, several jackets and several small unidentified objects were splayed out on the sidewalk behind him.

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NYPD released a statement assuring citizens that “There is currently NO THREAT to the public.”

Video from the scene shows the man pacing back and forth as he holds the barrel of the gun to his chin.

He is seen holding up a red folder and appears to be talking to someone out of the shot. He shakes his head before standing up and walking towards the direction he was speaking holding the shotgun and the red folder.

NYPD confirmed that they are attempting to establish communication with the armed man but did not report any comments he has made.

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Two law enforcement officials say the man was seen muttering to himself and also has what appears to be a bag with him, CNN reported.

The bomb squad has responded to the scene where a heavy police presence has been seen.

NYPD issued a traffic advisory around 11am warning citizens to avoid the area as emergency vehicles were expected to surround the area. Traffic along FDR Drive has been affected.

An estimated two dozen emergency vehicles have responded to the scene.

Helicopters were heard flying over the area and a city bus has been used to block traffic uptown.

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Buhari’s Minister, Sadiya Farouq Travels To US For Childbirth

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has travelled to the United States of America for childbirth. The Street Journal reports.

Farouq, who was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, is by age, the youngest minister in the federal cabinet of the president.



Her history with the President dates back to the defunct Congress for Progressive Change when Farouq was the national treasurer of the party.

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She was one-time national treasurer of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC from June 2013 to June 2014.

She was also instrumental in the party’s victory in 2015 as she served as a member of the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council. She was the chairperson of the election planning and monitoring, field operations, and fundraising committee.

In September last year, she got married to the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

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The wedding Fatiha took place at the Maitama Juma’a Mosque in Abuja.

It was reportedly a quiet wedding ceremony as the couple did not want it to be publicized.

The minister is expected back in the country after the delivery of her baby and the expiration of her maternity leave, the Street Journal gathered.

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Igbo First Republic Lawmaker, Amaechi Visits Nnamdi Kanu In Detention Of Secret Police, DSS

First Republic lawmaker and former Minister of Aviation, Chief Mbazulike Amechi, on Thursday visited the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

This was revealed by Kanunta Kanu, younger brother of Nnamdi Kanu via his known social media pages.



Amaechi visited Kanu alongside the co-Chair of the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, Bishop Sunday Onuoha. The separatist agitator’s brother said the visitors “had a meaningful interaction” with the IPOB leader.

“Chief Mbazuruike Amechi and His Grace, Bishop Sunday Onuoha, visited their son #MaziNnamdiKanu the leader of IPOB at #DSS Headquarters in Abuja today, where they had a meaningful interaction,” Kanunta Kanu wrote.

SaharaReporters had some days ago reported that Chief Amaechi, a nonagenarian, led Igbo elders to Aso Rock Villa where they met President Muhammadu Buhari and asked for Kanu who has been held since June, to be freed.

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Buhari, in his response, had said the unconditional release of the IPOB leader, who is currently standing trial for treason, would conflict the doctrine of separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary.

On Thursday, Justice Binta Nyako of a Federal High Court in Abuja rescheduled Kanu’s trial from January 19 to 18, 2022.

The shift in the trial date followed the abridgement of time granted by the judge following a passionate plea to that effect.

Kanu’s lead lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor had approached the Court with an application seeking an order of the court to accommodate the trial in November and December this year as against the earlier January 19, 2022.

The prosecuting Attorney of the Federal Government, Shuaib Labaran, however, told the court that a counteraffidavit opposing the request by the government had been filed and served on Kanu.

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Justice Nyako informed Kanu’s lawyer that the application for time abridgement could not be granted because there was no judicial time for such an issue.

During the drama that ensued, the case diary of the court was read to the lawyer to establish that the court had crowded pending cases.

Following the insistence, Justice Nyako agreed to shift other cases slated for January 18 to accommodate the trial which would last till January 19 and 20.

Justice Nyako ordered the DSS to allow Kanu to practise his faith, change his clothes and be given the maximum possible comfort in the detention facility.

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Kidnappers Free Edo Divisional Police Officer After Payment Of Undisclosed Ransom

The Divisional Police Officer of Fugar Police Division, Edo State Police Command, Ibrahim Aliyu Ishaq, who was kidnapped a week ago, has been freed by his abductors.

According to reports, the police boss was released after payment of an undisclosed amount as a ransom to the kidnappers.



PRNigeria reports that his release was facilitated with the arrest of some suspects over the abduction.

Recall that Ishaq was kidnapped around Ise River along old Auchi – Ekperi-Agenebode road last Friday.

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The kidnappers subsequently contacted the family of the police officer for ransom payment.

Ishaq, before his deployment some years ago, had served as DPO in Dakata Police Division in Kano State.










According to reports, the police boss was travelling with his orderly, Friday evening, when they were attacked by the kidnappers.

A source close to the police had said: “He was coming from Agenebode to Fugar and he passed through Ekperi Road and they were attacked. He was kidnapped but his orderly escaped and the kidnappers have made contact this morning and they are demanding N50million. The incident happened around 6.30 pm on Friday.”

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The Commissioner of Police Philip Ogbadu ordered an immediate deployment of men of the Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime unit, men of the Tactical and Strike teams of the state Police Command to move to the area to rescue the DPO unhurt.

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Family Releases Video Showing Dowen Pupil Bleeding From Mouth After Alleged Torture By Colleagues

A video, which had now gone viral on social media, captures the last moments of Sylvester Junior, a 12-year-old pupil of Dowen College, Lagos State, who was beaten to death by his colleagues for refusing to join a cult.

The video was shared by one Perrie, a relation to the deceased via his Twitter handle on Thursday.



The 12-year-old boy, from the video, was seen writhing in pain while bleeding from his mouth, his teeth seems broken with some sort of candida Albicans appearing on the tip of his lips.

The parents of the deceased who were massaging him were heard raining curses on all those who had caused their little boy so much pain.










@perrisonoromoni tweeted, “This was the state of Sylvester junior before he died. He couldn’t raise a leg or an arm. Will a boy in this state lie about what happened to him???? Dowen College should tell us what happened to my cousin.

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”He kept complaining about his throat and stomach. Said he was given something to drink. God help us.”

On Wednesday, Perrie lamented the death of his cousin, a 12-year-old boy who was allegedly beaten to death at Dowen College, Lagos.

The young man who took to his Twitter handle @perrisonoromoni alleged that the deceased was beaten to death after he refused to succumb to pressure by fellow students to join a cult.

According to him, the deceased mentioned the names of five persons responsible for the pain before he finally gave up the ghost on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in their reaction, the school claimed the deceased sustained injuries while playing football and was given immediate medical attention by the school’s resident nurse.

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Subsequently, the student complained of having pains in his hip and was attended to again, this time by a doctor and a nurse and thereafter taken to his house, the statement said.

The school further said it had carried out a preliminary investigation where it was confirmed that there was no case of bullying, adding that it has policies that are strongly anti-cultism.

It also claimed there is a very cordial relationship between the school and the family.

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Amnesty International Condemns Attacks On Sowore By Nigerian Government-Sponsored Thugs

Global human rights’ body, Amnesty International, has expressed concerns over the safety and liberty of human rights’ activist, Omoyele Sowore.

The group condemned the nonchalance of security agents in the attacks by state-sponsored hoodlums on the activist – the latest episode of which took place at the Federal High Court on Thursday.



AI lamented that the attacks happened in the presence of security agents who made no effort to stop it.

In a statement on Thursday, Amnesty International noted that the series of attacks on Sowore had become disturbing, while it called on the Nigerian government to immediately launch an investigation into the issue.

The statement reads, “Amnesty International is concerned for the safety and liberty of Nigerian activist and human rights defender, Omoyele Sowore, following today’s attack by suspected thugs at the premises of the Federal High Court Abuja. The attack happened in the presence of security officials who made no attempt to arrest the attackers.










 “This is not the first time that Sowore has faced threats, attacks and intimidation since his release from DSS detention in December 2020.

”On 31 May 2021 Sowore was shot in the right side of the stomach by a female police officer at the Unity Fountain, Abuja during a peaceful protest.

“Today’s attack on Sowore comes amidst escalating threats and attacks on human rights defenders across Nigeria. The threats, harassment, intimidation and attacks on Omoleye Sowore and other human rights defenders and activists in Nigeria must end. 

”Amnesty International calls on the Nigerian authorities to investigate the attack and bring those responsible to justice.”

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On Thursday, hoodlums pounced on Sowore while he was attending the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

While Sowore attended the court session, the armed thugs in large numbers laid siege around, waiting for him to come out of the place.

Immediately they sighted him, the thugs rushed towards him and started throwing stones at the activist and his entourage.

As he navigated his way out of the court premises, the thugs rained several more stones on his car, damaging the front and rear side glasses.

Some of the hired hoodlums could be heard telling others to chase the vehicle and make sure the activist was dealt with.

Meanwhile, Sowore, in an account titled, “Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial: Deadly Attack on my person at the Federal High Court in Abuja,” narrated how the DSS Director of Operations informed the court security personnel to withdraw from the scene whenever the thugs were about to attack him (Sowore).

Narrating the incident, Sowore said, “I was at the Federal High Court in Abuja today to cover, observe and witness the trial of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu before Justice Binta Nyako.

“Soon as court proceedings ended I left the court room and tried going to my next assignment in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja. As soon as I reached the gate of the Federal High Court, I was alerted to the large presence of thugs and hoodlums carrying dangerous weapons. I had been briefed that these persons were mobilised by Nigeria’s secret police known as the DSS. During my last appearance in court for the same purpose, they physically attacked me while the DSS and police pushed me back to them; this was captured on tape.

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“My lawyers wrote a petition to the police and the DG of DSS specifically requesting for their prosecution of the ‘thugs’ and their officers involved in these infamous acts but the security agencies either ignored the petitions or played hookie.

“Today, as I drove away from the courtroom, I was attacked with dangerous objects leading to the destruction of my car and injuries to some of the occupants in the car travelling with me. I sustained minor injuries from broken glasses. These assailants were brought by the DSS according to Federal court security. It is not their first time.

“The federal DSS Director of Operations even informed court security to ‘withdraw’ whenever I was to be attacked. Since my partial release in December 2019, the police and DSS have tried to maim or kill me in several documented/reported incidents of abuse and assault including the shooting of a riot gun, physical attacks and recently the use of non-state actors to violently assault me in public.

“Unfortunately, the Nigerian media haven’t reported or investigated these violent deadly attacks.”

SaharaReporters had noted that Thursday’s attack was not the first time the DSS would be mobilising thugs to go after Sowore – the latest incident adds to an already swelling list.

On November 9, about 20 thugs were recruited by the DSS to attack Sowore while he attended the trial of Kanu at the same court.

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I Believe Bayelsa’s OML 29 Oil Spill Is Worse Than Gulf Of Mexico Spill Known As Biggest In History— Governor Diri

Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, on Wednesday visited the site of a recent oil spill in the Nembe Local Government Area of the state, describing it as the worst he had seen in his lifetime.

The OML 29 Well 1 platform, which is operated by Nigeria’s largest indigenous oil firm, Aiteo Exploration and Production Company Limited, has been spilling crude unabated into the Santa Barbara River for about one month.



An estimated two million barrels of crude have reportedly been spilt into the river, polluting the flora and fauna of the area.

Governor Diri said the continuous spillage has further endangered the lives of the people of Nembe, Bayelsa and indeed the Niger Delta.

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, the governor, who expressed shock over the quantity of crude that had been spilt into the environment, called on the Nigerian Government and operators of the oil field to immediately take action to stop it.

According to him, the prolonged oil spill into the water and air has an immediate and long term effect on the health of the inhabitants.

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While assuring the people that appropriate measures would be taken to seek redress, he noted that the quest by oil firms to make money would not be at the expense of the lives of the people. 

Describing fishing as the main source of livelihood of the people of the area, Diri noted that just as there are grazing routes, Bayelsa State has fishing routes that must be protected.

He expressed empathy with the Nembe people, whom he said have lost their means of livelihood due to the spill. 

He, however, appreciated them for their peaceful disposition. 

He said, “Today happens to be a very dark day for me. What we have seen, I believe, is worse than what happened in the Gulf of Mexico. In all my life, I have not seen such a magnitude of oil spillage.

“Our people are endangered. Our people’s source of livelihood is endangered. I empathise and sympathise with the people of Nembe on behalf of the government and the people of Bayelsa State. 

“I will like to give you hope that we will stand shoulder to shoulder with you. Your government will activate every constitutional means to arrest and redress this magnitude of the oil spill

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“I, therefore, call on the Federal Government, the operators of the oil field, NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) and AITEO to immediately look for superior technical know-how to contain and stop the spread of the oil.

“For Bayelsa, the only thing we know how to do best is fishing. Today, our own fishing route is endangered. I equally call on the Federal Government to immediately react and ensure that our fishing route is safe.”

The governor also decried the exclusion of indigenes of host communities in the running of the oil industry, saying if indigenes were part of the operations of the oil field, they would have looked for ways to address the problem.

To ameliorate the suffering of the people, the governor directed the State Emergency Management Agency and Ministry of Health to immediately provide relief materials and healthcare services to the people.

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Police Recover Revolver Pistol From 16-year-old Boy In Adamawa

A 16-Year old boy, Sunza Samuel, has been arrested for unlawfully carrying firearms in Adamawa State.

SaharaReporters learnt that the juvenile who hails from Dunge village in the Shelleng Local Government Area, was apprehended for being in possession of a revolver pistol.



Samuel was caught on October 2, 2021 in Ngurore, a satellite town on the outskirt of Yola, the state capital.

Ngurore is notorious for harbouring criminal elements, including bandits and kidnap gangs.

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The police spokesperson for the state, DSP Suleiman Nguroje, confirmed the arrest to SaharaReporters.

He said, “On December 2,2021, the command’s operatives attached to Ngurore, while on confidence building patrol, apprehended a 16-year old Sunza Samuel with a revolver pistol.

“Also the command’s operatives attached to “anti shilla (criminal gang of teenaged boys/girls) squad” on December 1 disconnected a criminal network and recovered large quantity of weeds in a certain hideout situated at the remote side of Jambutu, Yola North.

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“The Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Barde, having commended the operatives for dislodging and reclaiming the public space, urged all the Divisional Police officers (DPOs) and their supervisory Area Commanders to intensify efforts in dislodging the crime network and denying the criminals opportunity to regroup anywhere in the state.”

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Anti-graft Agency, EFCC Re-arraigns Former Ekiti Governor, Fayose Over N1.2billion Fraud, Others

Former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, was on Thursday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State.

Fayose was arraigned alongside his company, Spotless Limited, before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, on 11 counts bordering on fraud and money laundering offences.



In the amended charge, Fayose and one of his associates, Abiodun Agbele, were alleged to have on June 17, 2014, taken possession of N1.219billion to fund Fayose’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign in Ekiti State.

Meanwhile, Agbele is standing trial on alleged money laundering offences before another division of the court.

Both accused persons were accused of committing criminal breach of trust, theft and stealing of public funds.

The charge also stated that the duo, on the same June 17, 2014, without going through financial institutions, received the sum of $5million, from Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, who was the then Minister of state for Defence.

The EFCC accused Fayose to have on April 7, 2015, retained the sum of N300million, in his fixed deposit account number 9013074033, domiciled in Zenith Bank Plc.

Fayose and his company, Spotless Limited were also alleged to have, between June 17 and August 4, 2014, taken control of the sum of N317million, and deposited same in Zenith Bank Plc account number 1010170969.

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It was also alleged that the former Ekiti State Governor, between, June 26 and August 27, 2014, took control of the sum of N305million, which formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, and in his Zenith Banks’ account number 1003126654.

He was also accused of procuring Agbele and a company, De-privateer Limited, to retain the sum of N719million in Zenith Bank’s account number, 1013835889.










The EFCC further accused Fayose to have used the sum of N270million and N1.1billion respectively to acquire properties at Plot 1504, Yedsema Street, Maitama, Abuja from one Rabi Kundili, and Chalets 3, 4, 6 and 9, at Plot 100, Tiyamiyu Savage Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, in the name of JJ Technical Services.

Fayose was also alleged to have between October 16 and December 31, 2018, failed to declare his assets and properties, by not completing the declaration form during the investigation.

The offences according to the EFCC are contrary to sections 15(2)(d); 1 and 16 (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended, and punishable under section 15(3)(4); 16(2)(b) of the same Act.

He was also alleged to have acted contrary to section 27(1)(3)(c) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004.

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Fayose denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to all the 11 counts of charges.

Before his re-arraignment, Joanne Tolulope, the 11th witness who was cross-examined by Fayose’s counsel, Ola Olanipekun (SAN) affirmed that her company, Still Earth Limited, only dealt with Abiodun Agbele the associate of former Ekiti State governor Peter Ayodele Fayose who is standing trial alongside his company Spotless Investment Ltd.










When asked if she was involved in the preparation of the Deed of Assignment in respect of the properties leading to the charge, she answered and said that her company engaged the service of external lawyer, Kolawole.

The witness when also probed by Olalekan Ojo (SAN) counsel to Fayose’s company, Spotless Limited, if all parties in the transaction leading to the trial were fictitious, said she could only vouch for her company, Still Earth Limited, which dealt with Abiodun Agbele.

After the cross-examination EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN informed the court that a new amended charge had been filed and he sought the court’s permission to re-arraign Fayose.

Meanwhile, Fayose’s trial continues on Friday before Justice Aneke, as the EFCC would be calling its 12th witness to testify against him.

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How Nigerian Federal Lawmakers Took Loans Running Into Billions, Refused To Pay Back – Civic Group, SERAP

A civil society organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has decried the misappropriation of funds by members of Nigeria’s National Assembly as revealed by the Auditor-General of the Federation’s report.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, SERAP explained how the members of the house obtained N2.5billion as running costs in 2019 but refused to pay back the money.



It further alleged that the house paid N107million to two staff members for “repairs and maintenance of unspecified residential quarters” which is against the financial regulation.

About 59 members of the House of Representatives who also took loans worth N258 million have refused to pay back the loan.

Also, the National Assembly Service Commission in 2019 reportedly paid N31 million to 59 staff members as “personal cash advances” but failed to retire the money.

The tweets read, ”Members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives reportedly collected N2,550,000,000.00 as running costs between July and December 2019 but failed to retire the money; North East-N187million; South South – N272million; South East-N442milllion; North Central-N391million, South West-N629million, North West-N629million.

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“Nigeria’s House of Representatives granted N258,000,000 to 59 staff members as “cash advances” between February and December 2019 but failed to retire the money. The Auditor-General of the Federation fears the money may have been stolen and wants it fully recovered.

“Nigeria’s House of Representatives in 2019 reportedly paid N107,912,962.45 to two staff members for “repairs and maintenance of unspecified residential quarters.”

The cash advances were in excess of the threshold of N200,000.00 stipulated by the Financial Regulations.

“Nigeria’s House of Representatives claimed to have paid N1,594,807,097.83 to revenue authorities between February and December 2019, but failed to show the evidence of payment to the relevant revenue authorities.

“Nigeria’s House of Representatives in 2019 reportedly paid N1,010,598,610.97 from salary account but without preparation of payment vouchers as required by the Financial Regulations. The Auditor-General fears the money may have been “diverted”, and wants it fully recovered.

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”The National Assembly Service Commission in 2019 reportedly paid N31,927,760 to 59 staff members as “personal cash advances” but failed to retire the money. The Auditor-General fears the money may have been “diverted”, and wants it fully recovered.

“Nigeria’s Senate reportedly deducted N219,645,567.08 from 107 Senators’ salary arrears as “housing loans” between July and December 2019, but “there was no evidence to show that the money was remitted to the Treasury”, contrary to the Financial Regulations.

“Nigeria’s Senate reportedly recovered vehicle loans of N123,320,916.72, deducted from the senators’ salary arrears between July and December 2019, but “there was no evidence to show that the money was remitted to the Treasury”, contrary to the Financial Regulations.”

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Groups Urge Buhari To Sack Central Bank Governor, Emefiele As First Step Towards Fuel Subsidy Removal

Some civil rights groups have called for the removal of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele over his poor administration of fiscal and monetary policies that have further worsened the penury of the Nigerian people.

The groups stated that some of the economic programmes devised such as Agricultural Credit, NPower Scheme, Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to alleviate poverty in Nigeria are manipulated by Emefiele to for his cronies and family to be beneficiaries.



In a statement made available to SaharaReporters on Thursday, they stated that removing the CBN governor will be a major step towards giving palliatives to Nigerians as the Nigerian government plans to remove the fuel subsidy.

According to the statement titled, ‘Open Letter To President Buhari Calling For Immediate Removal Of CBN Governor And Our Support For Fuel Subsidy Removal’, the groups said Emefiele has squandered many opportunities meant for poor masses.

The letter was signed by Comrade Olufemi Lawson, Executive Director, CPA; Princess Modupe Adedayo, Sustainable Development Advocates; Comrade Usman Umar Tahir, Nigeria Acceptability Project; Comrade Luke Ogherugba, Niger Delta Forum for Good Governance; and Hajia Binta Yusuf, Women for Good Governance, among others. 

Other signatories are Prince Charles Etim, Media Right Concern (MRC); Adigun Olabowale, Oodua Renaissance Group; Danjuma Jabbi, Northern Patriotic Group (NPG); and Dr. Mrs Milicent Eloka Gender Development Initiative.

The letter read, “Mr President, of fundamental reference is the gross abuse, mismanagement and incompetence of the management of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the headship of Mr Godwin Emefiele. We have seen mismanaged fiscal and monetary policies that have increased the inflation rate and weakened naira that has affected our foreign exchange earnings. 

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“It is on record, that despite the massive commitment and investment of your administration in programs that seek to alleviate poverty and empower Nigerians, ahead of moments, such as the impending removal of fuel subsidy, the CBN has squandered the opportunities provided by such, as the bank under Mr Emefiele became an institution run like a private enterprise, mainly for the benefit of friends, cronies and families of Mr Godwin Emefiele.

“Several independent reports confirm that today, a mass majority of Nigerians who should have genuinely benefited from your administration’s programmes such as the Agricultural Credit, NPower Scheme, Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF), Anchor borrowers have been shut out through the manner in which the CBN is being operated by Mr Godwin Emefiele. This sir, is one of the major trust issues that the proposed five thousand naira transport support allowances is already raising among Nigerians. 

“Sir, Mr Emefiele’s approach to the implementation of these programs has left many Nigerians with serious concern, raising questions on how his key fiscal and economic policy move, especially in the context that they become beneficial to the economy.

“Despite the attraction of Nigerians to these programs, Mr Emefiele has made it the most impossible task for them to accomplish.

“Mr President, it may interest you to know that Nigeria’s monetary policies as being driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria, under the leadership of Mr. Godwin Emefiele, have contributed significantly to our economic woes from all indications. Of recent is the IMF warning on the recently introduced e-Naira that ought to bring financial inclusion but based on the wrong implementation just like previously introduced policies, it was warned it could cause more financial instability to the country. 

“We are worried that the CBN is unbending despite calls by stakeholders and Nigerians to adjust its dangerous policies which have badly impacted negatively on our economy, making our economy to further nose dive with weakened naira.”

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The groups reiterated that “Mr President sir, before subsidy is removed, we must salvage Nigeria’s Finances; a call for the immediate probe, sacking and prosecution of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Mr Godwin Emefiele is thus pertinent and must be done now for us to support the subsidy removal regime.

“We are constrained as patriotic Nigerians to make this an open letter to your Excellency for a number of reasons. One, the current situation in our country demands a collective action from every patriotic Nigerian in a manner devoid of partisan, ethnic or religious consideration, but ultimately, on reason and promotion of national interest.

“Secondly is the fact that the next few weeks will signal a new year and another of your administration’s timeline towards the fulfilment of your campaign promises to Nigerians, particularly those, that are already contained in the year 2022 Appropriation Bill for the country, which its ultimate success, largely depend on the economic fortune of the country, as may be dictated by the economic policies of your administration.”
 

“It is also no longer news that Nigeria is at the very point of taking a fundamental step towards ending the subsidy regime on petroleum products in Nigeria. For over a decade, successive administrations have struggled to conquer the mirage that has surrounded the fuel subsidy regime in the country. This has led to a major trust issue between Nigerians and the government, considering the monumental corruption, that has characterised the fuel subsidy regime, particularly under the previous administration,” the groups added. 

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Lagos Pastor Kidnaps Catholic Priest In Imo, Gets N1.5million Ransom

An Apostolic Church of Christ Pastor, Izuchukwu Anoloba, and others have been arrested by operatives of the Imo State Police Command for kidnapping a Catholic priest, Fidelis Ekemgba.

The state Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Hussaini, while parading the suspects asserted that, the suspects held the priest for over seven days and made him to pay a ransom of N5million to them.



The CP described the syndicate as a deadly one, affirming that the pastor was arrested in Lagos following intelligence gathering by men of the anti-kidnapping unit of the command.

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The priest, 45, who is in charge of St. Peters Catholic parish in Umunohu Amakaohia in the Ihitte/Uboma Local Government Area of the state, was double-crossed and whisked away by his abductors.

Commending his men for an excellent job, the CP said that he would continue to make the state uncomfortable for criminals.

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35 years old, Anoloba told journalists that he got N1.5million from the ransom the priest paid them.

“I am a pastor with Apostolic Church of Christ in Lagos. I got N1.5million from the kidnap of the priest. I never knew I would be arrested. I regret my actions because I am now a disgrace to the body of Christ and my family.”

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90% Of Policemen Don’t Have Befitting Barracks To Stay — Inspector-General Of Police

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has lamented the accommodation problems faced by members of the force.

According to the IGP, the NPF is facing a housing deficit with over 90 per cent of its personnel in barracks lacking proper accommodation.



He made this known while speaking at the quarter four 2021 public-private partnership units consultative (3PUCF) meeting organised by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in Abuja.

The IGP was represented by Zanna Ibrahim, the Deputy Inspector-General (DIG), logistics and supply.

He argued that a good living condition is important for optimal service delivery as housing is considered a fundamental physiological human need and the foundation on which to develop higher human motivation.

“It will surprise you to know that with a workforce of over 350,000 in staff strength, the NPF has less than 10 per cent of its personnel quartered in befitting barracks accommodation,” he said.

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“The state of disrepair and integrity failure in our barracks needs no emphasis and we are really in dire need of befitting accommodation to enable us to tackle the art and act of policing the nation optimally.

“Suffice to add that there is an ongoing initiative to recruit 10,000 constables for the next six years annually, thereby increasing the housing needs for police officers,” he said.

Baba also said the force remained resolute in following due process based on extant laws in the pursuit of infrastructural development through PPP.

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The IGP said the decay in police infrastructure, negative maintenance culture, years of neglect due to poor budgetary allocation, destruction of police facilities resulting from the #EndSARS protests, banditry, Boko Haram/IPOB activities are still being grappled with.

However, in spite of the challenges, the force is seeking better collaboration with critical stakeholders toward revamping, improving and sustaining a better security architecture for the nation, the IGP noted.

His comments come days after the federal government launched the portal for the sale of houses completed under its National Housing Programme, NHP.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who launched the portal, said the houses were in one-bedroom, two-bedroom, three-bedroom and duplex categories.

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How Department Of State Services’ Director Asked Court Security Personnel To Withdraw While Thugs Attacked Me— Sowore

Human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, has recounted how hoodlums hired by the Department of State Services (DSS) injured him and damaged his car, while he was attending the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday.

Sowore, in an account titled, “Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial: Deadly Attack on my person at the Federal High Court in Abuja,” narrated how the DSS Director of Operations informed the court security personnel to withdraw from the scene whenever the thugs were about to attack him (Sowore).



SaharaReporters had reported how armed thugs hired by the DSS attacked Sowore as he made his way out of the court in Abuja.

Sowore had visited the court on Thursday morning to attend the emergency hearing in Kanu’s case. 










While Sowore attended the court session, the armed thugs in large numbers laid siege around, waiting for him to come out of the place. Immediately they sighted him, the thugs rushed towards him and started throwing stones at the activist and his entourage.



As he navigated his way out of the court premises, the thugs rained several more stones on his car, damaging the vehicle.

Narrating the incident, Sowore said, “I was at the Federal High Court in Abuja today to cover, observe and witness the trial of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu before Justice Binta Nyako.

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“Soon as court proceedings ended I left the court room and tried going to my next assignment in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja. As soon as I reached the gate of the Federal High Court, I was alerted to the large presence of thugs and hoodlums carrying dangerous weapons. I had been briefed that these persons were mobilised by Nigeria’s secret police known as the DSS. During my last appearance in court for the same purpose, they physically attacked me while the DSS and police pushed me back to them; this was captured on tape.

“My lawyers wrote a petition to the police and the DG of DSS specifically requesting for their prosecution of the ‘thugs’ and their officers involved in these infamous acts but the security agencies either ignored the petitions or played hookie. 










“Today, as I drove away from the courtroom, I was attacked with dangerous objects leading to the destruction of my car and injuries to some of the occupants in the car travelling with me. I sustained minor injuries from broken glasses. These assailants were brought by the DSS according to Federal court security. It is not their first time.

“The federal DSS Director of Operations even informed court security to ‘withdraw’ whenever I was to be attacked. Since my partial release in December 2019, the police and DSS have tried to maim or kill me in several documented/reported incidents of abuse and assault including the shooting of a riot gun, physical attacks and recently the use of non-state actors to violently assault me in public. 

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“Unfortunately, the Nigerian media haven’t reported or investigated these violent deadly attacks.”

SaharaReporters had noted that Thursday’s attack was not the first time the DSS would be mobilising thugs to go after Sowore – the latest incident adds to an already swelling list.

On November 9, about 20 thugs were recruited by the DSS to attack Sowore while he attended the trial of Kanu at the same court.

An insider had disclosed how some DSS officials met with the hoodlums on the morning of that day to brief them on how to carry out the attack on the activist.










In October this year, the DSS also colluded with thugs to attack Sowore in front of the same court after he was denied entry by policemen during Kanu’s trial.

It took the intervention of some journalists covering the event to rescue the activist from his attackers, who had arrived at the scene in vehicles.

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