EFCC gifts VON late Badeh’s forfeited property

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Late Badeh's property ceded to VON
Late Badeh's property ceded to VON

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, handed over a choice property forfeited by the late Chief of Defence Staff, (CDS) Air Chief Marshal Alex Bade to the Voice of Nigeria, VON, which now becomes the new headquarters of the federal government broadcast station.

The property, located at Plot 1386 Uda Crescent, off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, was handed over to VON by the EFCC Secretary, Olanipekun Olukoyede who represented the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

Speaking through Olukoyede, Magu stated that: “This is an epic moment in the history of Nigeria, not for the ceremonial nature of this activity, but for what it stands for. This is one of the buildings that was confiscated from a fraudulent person who stole the money of Nigeria. The event taking place today is going a long way to prove to the critics, that the war against corruption is real; the battle has come to stay. If we are able to fight corruption in Nigeria concertedly, we would have fought 70 per cent of Nigeria’s problem.”

He called on all Nigerians to join hands in the fight against the canker worm of corruption, saying such was necessary, “If not for us, but for the generation coming behind.”

While expressing sadness over the ills of corruption in the society, the EFCC boss praised President Buhari for providing the conducive atmosphere and political will to sustain the anti-corruption fight.

“Within a few years, we have moved from stolen billions to trillions. Imagine the number of hospitals the trillions should be able to build but was never built, the number of students the stolen funds could have sponsored on free scholarship that but will now, never go to school. The thousands of kilometres of roads that could have been constructed, but will never be built; the number of arms that could have been purchased for our military men to fight insurgency,” Magu said.

He further noted that “Today’s event is important if only to send signals to those stealing our money that one day, one day, monkey will go to the market and he will never return.”

While decrying the high rate of internet fraud among the youth, he said “The battle against fraud is for everybody. The EFCC will not come and train your child for you, it is everybody’s fight.”

Having acquired a conducive headquarters, he charged VON to do more in terms of public education and enlightenment on the ills of corruption.

The Director General of VON, Osita Okechukwu, thanked the EFCC for its support to the government’s broadcast organisation and unrelenting fight against corruption.

“We are beneficiaries of EFCC’s good work and fruits of President Buhari’s anti-graft war. We thank the EFCC for its cooperation and for this befitting virgin gold corporate headquarters,” Okechukwu said.

He recalled that VON has been struggling for office space for over 20 years in Radio House, Abuja, a facility that belongs to its parent organisation, Radio Nigeria.

At the handing over event, VON promised to produce a special programme to be dedicated to the EFCC.

Ighalo’s lone goal helps Nigeria becomes Africa’s bronze king

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Nigeria have won all seven third-place play-offs they have ever played in
Nigeria have won all seven third-place play-offs they have ever played in

Nigeria has won its eighth African Cup of Nations (AFCON) third-place match to become the highest winner of the bronze laurel anywhere on the continent.

The Super Eagles defeated the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia to clinch the third-place trophy on Wednesday night in Cairo.

Odion Ighalo’s third-minute goal was enough for the Eagles to fly home victoriously from the Al-Salam stadium.

The Eagles have played the third-place AFCON matches on two occasions more than any other nation — Egypt (6), Cote D’Ivoire (6), Ghana (5), Tunisia (4), Algeria (4).

Odion Ighalo tapped home from close range for Nigeria’s lead in the 3rd minute. It’s goal number five for Ighalo, who now tops the goal chart, and is on course for the tournament’s golden boot.

Ighalo is credited to have score 79% of Nigeria’s goals at the 2019 AFCON.

The Shenhua Shanghai striker walked off the pitch of play with a likely hamstring injury, and Victor Osimhen came on in the second half for injured Ighalo.

The second half saw some flurry of chances which were missed by the Super Eagles.

Fifty-four percent ball possession to Tunisia as against Nigeria forty-six in the 70th minute of play.

Nigeria first won the third-place match in 1976 when the then Green Eagles beat Egypt 3-2 in Adis Ababa, Ethiopia

The Nigerian side won it in 1978, 1992, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 — and now 2019.

William Troost-Ekong, who scored an own goal in the match against Algeria redeemed himself in the third-place match by pulling a show that won him the Total Man-of-the-Match award.

I felt ridiculed contesting against ‘dancer’ Adeleke, says Oyetola

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Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun
Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun

Gboyega Oyetola, governor of Osun state, says he felt ridiculed contesting against Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in last year’s governorship election in the state.

Adeleke got into politics after the death of Isiaka, his elder brother. He replaced Isiaka as representative of Osun west senatorial district and was referred to as “dancing senator”, especially on social media, because of his skills.

Many videos of Adeleke dancing surfaced on the internet after he joined politics.

Speaking while receiving the leadership of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) led by Yemi Farounbi, a professor, Oyetola hinted that Adeleke ought to have been screened out of the race.

He said the lack of control in Nigeria’s electoral system gave his PDP opponent the opportunity to run against him.

“The country’s electoral system is weak, especially regarding the screening of candidates which gave room for somebody like Ademola Adeleke to contest for governorship seat of the state,” he said.

“Sometimes when I sit down and realise that I was actually contesting with Adeleke, who is best at dancing, I felt ridiculed, very ridiculed. It would have been a tragedy for our state if the whole thing had turned the other way round.

“Anybody that is seriously concerned about the development of the state would at least be interested in whoever is going to pilot the affairs of the state.

“One wonders why the country’s electoral laws would have allowed that guy to even contest in the first instance. We don’t have control. Even in the north where we believe they’re disadvantaged in terms of education, they put in the best always. See whoever goes for any political office in the North is always the best of their stuck.”

Farounbi said he visited the governor over his victory at the supreme court. Adeleke lost his bid to unseat Oyetola through the court.

Oshiomhole behind plot to shut Edo assembly, Pro-Obaseki lawmakers allege

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Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo with Speaker, House of Assembly
Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo with Speaker, House of Assembly

Lawmakers loyal to Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state, have accused Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), of being behind the plot to seal up the assembly.

The house of representatives had asked the inspector-general of police to seal up the Edo parliament, pending the time the crisis among the state lawmakers is resolved.

Disagreement between and Obaseki and Oshiomhole had split the state legislators into two factions.

On June 17, nine lawmakers loyal to Obseki elected principal officers and took the oath of office secretly. 15 loyalists of Oshiomhole had described the action of their colleagues as unacceptable, vowing to do all within their power to revoke it.

The lower legislative chamber of the national assembly had raised a 13-man panel to look into the crisis.

On Wednesday, the panel submitted its report. It recommended that a fresh inauguration should be conducted and that the Department of State Services (DSS) and the police should ensure peace.

Reacting in a statement, Frank Okiye, who was elected speaker, accused the committee of acting in favour of Oshiomhole.

He added that security forces could not seal up the assembly because of a court order refraining the police from interfering in the affairs of the lawmakers.

“It has come to our knowledge that the Ad-hoc Committee of the House of Representatives investigating issues surrounding the inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly has recommended that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Department of State Services (DSS) should seal up the Assembly,” the statement read.

“Considering what we came to know in the course of this process, the recommendation of the Ad-Hoc committee does not come to us as a surprise.

“For example, the chattered plane marked 5N FCT, which brought the committee members to Benin City, was paid for by the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who is a major party in the disagreement.

“Also, the younger brother to the National Chairman, Seid Oshiomhole, in a recent leaked audio conversation, revealed the underhand dealings in Abuja regarding the matter. He stated that Oshiomhole and his proxies have been having meetings with the committee members and other actors in the issue in Abuja and dolling out money to ensure the issue goes in their favour.

“With all these, it was clear that the ad-hoc committee was up to no good. Their report was always going to be biased.

“The National Assembly must take note that they are expected to act as agents of peace and not merchants of crisis. Edo State has always been peaceful and any attempt for them to carry out this order will certainly disrupt the peace that is currently being enjoyed in the state.”

Simon Egbebulem, spokesman of Oshiomhole, dismissed Okiye’s comment, saying the federal lawmakers were doing their job.

“You and I know that the house of reps is an independent institution. What has the national chairman got to do with their job? They are doing a job as their oversight function, so what has how they went to Benin to do their work has to do with the national chairman? What they are saying is nonsensical,” he told TheCable.

Edo Assembly rejects House of Reps’ move to disrupt activities

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Edo-State-House-of-Assembly
Edo-State-House-of-Assembly

The Edo State House of Assembly has rejected the move by the House of Representatives to disrupt activities in its chamber, calling on the Inspector General of Police and heads of the Department of State Services, the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress to respect a subsisting court order restraining them from interfering in the activities of Edo House of Assembly.

Speaker of the Edo House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Frank Okiye, said this in a statement he issued in Benin City on Wednesday, following reports of an order by the House of Representatives to seal up the Edo House of Assembly.

Okiye said, “It has come to our knowledge that the Ad hoc Committee of the House of Representatives investigating issues surrounding the inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly has recommended that the Inspector General of Police and Department of State Services should seal up the Edo Assembly.”

The Speaker noted that “Considering what we (have) come to know in the course of this process, the recommendation of the ad hoc committee does not come to us as a surprise.”

Rt. Hon Okiye maintained that “It was clear that the ad hoc committee was up to no good. Their report was always going to be biased.

“Moreover, we want to draw the attention of the general public and the police to a subsisting court order restraining the Police, headed by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress, the Department of State Services and their agents, from interfering in the affairs of the Assembly, as the House has been going about its activities peacefully and without rancour.”

He advised that “The National Assembly must take note that they are expected to act as agents of peace and not merchants of crisis. Edo State has always been peaceful and any attempt for them to carry out this order will certainly disrupt the peace that is currently being enjoyed in the state.”

The Speaker stressed that, “In a time like this in which the nation is being engulfed in one form of violence or the other, it is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is seen to be promoting violence and exacerbating the tension in the country.”

U.S. judge blasts drug lord El Chapo’s ‘overwhelming evil,’ imposes life sentence

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oaquin
oaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is escorted by soldiers during a presentation in Mexico City

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Mexican drug lord who twice escaped maximum-security prisons in that country will spend the rest of his life in a U.S. penitentiary, a federal judge said on Wednesday after accusing him of “overwhelming evil.”

Guzman berated the U.S. justice system, and a former associate described how he had paid a gang $1 million to try to kill her before U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan imposed the mandatory sentence of life plus 30 years.

Cogan also ordered Guzman to forfeit $12.6 billion in a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn.

Guzman, 62, was found guilty by a jury in February of trafficking tons of cocaine, heroin and marijuana and engaging in multiple murder conspiracies as a top leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, long known as one of Mexico’s largest and most violent drug trafficking organizations.

Guzman, whose nickname means “Shorty,” developed a reputation as a Robin Hood-like figure that made him a folk hero to many in his home state of Sinaloa, where he was born in a poor mountain village.

He has been held in solitary confinement in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a fortress-like jail in lower Manhattan. Cogan last month rejected his request for more time to exercise on the jail’s roof, after prosecutors said that would risk an escape.

Guzman, who recently grew a mustache, complained about the terms of his confinement before his sentence was handed down.

“It has been psychological, emotional, mental torture 24 hours a day,” said Guzman. He alleged that the jurors on his case allowed media accounts of the trial to influence their thinking – an argument his lawyers have also made.

“Since the government of the United States is going to send me to a prison where my name will not ever be heard again, I take advantage of this opportunity to say there was no justice here,” he told the court.

Before he was finally captured in 2016, Guzman twice escaped maximum-security prisons in Mexico. He was extradited to the United States to face trial in January 2017.

Guzman made a name for himself as a trafficker in the 1980s by digging tunnels under the U.S.-Mexico border that allowed him to smuggle drugs more quickly than any of his rivals. He amassed power during the 1990s and 2000s through often bloody wars with rivals, eventually becoming the best-known leader of the Sinaloa Cartel.

His 11-week trial, which featured testimony from more than a dozen former associates of Guzman who had made deals to cooperate with prosecutors, offered the public an unprecedented look at the cartel’s inner workings.

Andrea Velez, a former associate of Guzman, said Guzman had paid the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang $1 million to have her killed, and that she had escaped with the help of U.S. authorities.

“I confess that I sinned, but I paid a high price for my faults,” Velez said of her work with the cartel.

The witnesses, who included some of Guzman’s top lieutenants, a communications engineer and a onetime mistress, described how he built a sophisticated organization reminiscent of a multinational corporation.

He sent drugs northward with fleets of planes and boats, and had detailed accounting ledgers and an encrypted electronic communication system run through secret computer servers in Canada, witnesses said.

U.S. prosecutors have claimed that Guzman sold more than $12 billion worth of drugs, and Forbes magazine once listed him as among the world’s richest men.

Though other top cartel figures had been extradited to the United States before, Guzman was the first to go to trial rather than pleading guilty.

Guzman often lived on the run. Imprisoned in Mexico in 1993, he escaped in 2001 hidden in a laundry cart and spent the following years moving from one hideout to another in the mountains of Sinaloa, guarded by a private army.

He was seized again in 2014, but pulled off his best known escape the following year when he disappeared into a ventilated, mile-long (1.6-km) tunnel dug into his cell in a maximum-security prison.

He was finally recaptured in January 2016. The Mexican government says he blew his cover through a series of slipups, including an attempt to make a movie about his life.

Guzman’s lawyers have said they intend to appeal his guilty verdict. They have already asked Cogan to overturn it, citing a report that jurors disobeyed court rules by reading news reports about the case during the trial, but the judge rejected that request.

Despite Guzman’s downfall, the Sinaloa Cartel had the biggest U.S. distribution presence of Mexican cartels as of last year, followed by the fast-growing Jalisco New Generation Cartel, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Gunners trying to sign ‘very big, very expensive players’ – Emery

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Unai-Emery
Unai-Emery

Arsenal are trying to sign some “very big, very expensive players” this summer, says manager Unai Emery.

Several fan groups and bloggers have called for change at the club and Emery said the Gunners are being “very demanding” with their transfer targets.

They have already had bids rejected for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha and Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney.

“Our target is to achieve three or four players who really improve our team and our squad now,” said Emery.

“We have very good players and very good young players who can progress to take and get big performances with us. Other players can come here to help us.

“We are being very, very demanding and we are first speaking about the possibility to sign very big, very expensive players.”

Arsenal’s only summer signing so far has been Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli but they are targeting Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba – though north London rivals Tottenham are also keen on the French 18-year-old.

Having missed out on Champions League qualification, the Gunners’ transfer budget is thought to be as low as £40m.

So far they have made an offer of £25m for 22-year-old Scotland international Tierney, plus £40m for 26-year-old Ivorian Zaha, who has four years left on his contract and is valued at about £80m by Palace.

“I don’t think Arsenal have actually made a bid that has come anywhere near our valuation,” Palace boss Roy Hodgson told Sky Sports.

“I’m sure the player realises that if someone’s going to take him away from us, he’ll expect clubs to pay the market value. Until someone does that, there’s not much to discuss regarding Wilf.”

NCS generates N 1.7bn in Niger, representing 56% of 2019 revenue target

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Nigeria Customs Service
Nigeria Customs Service

The Niger Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated N1.7 billion as revenue in the first half of year 2019, representing 56 per cent of its N3.05 billion target for the year..

Yusuf Abba-Kassim, the Area Comptroller, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Minna that the amount was an improvement of N800 million over the amount generated during the same period in 2018. “What we have is more than 100 per cent improvement, the difference is N855 million,” he said.

Abba-Kassim said that the revenue was generated from command’s activities within the three states of its coverage comprising Niger, Kwara and Kogi.

He said that about N277 million was collected as revenue in June, adding that measures had been put in place to ensure optimal revenue generation in the area.

Abba-Kassim said that 48 prohibited items with duty paid value of N78 million were seized in different part of the three states within the period.
He expressed confidence that the area command would meet its projected revenue target for the year.

Abba-Kassim assured that measures were in place to step up security at border posts to curtail illegal trades and prevent contraband from entering the country.

He warned smugglers and their accomplices to steer clear of the command, stressing that his personnel had been directed to be vigilant to prevent illegal entry of arms and ammunition as well as other contraband through land borders.

The NCS official solicited the support of stakeholders, traditional and religious leaders in mobilising residents to volunteer information that would aid officers in apprehending those involved in smuggling within the command.

Reps threaten to take over Edo House of Assembly

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House Of Reps
House Of Reps

The House of Representatives has threatened to take over the Edo State House of Assembly over the crisis rocking the assembly in line with Section 11(4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

This was the submission of the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on the Need for Intervention in the Edo State House of Assembly Crisis chaired by Rep. Abdulrazak Namdas (APC-Adamawa), which was submitted at the plenary on Wednesday.

The house, however, said it would not carry out the threat if the governor of the state, Godwin Obaseki issues a fresh proclamation to inaugurate the Seventh Edo State House of Assembly within one week in line with Section 105(3) of the constitution.

The report also added that Obaseki should publish the date, time and venue of the inauguration in any national daily and television station.

The report also recommended that all actions already taken by the members of the current assembly should be declared null and void pending proper inauguration.

It also recommended that all members of the assembly, both those who had been inaugurated and those not yet inaugurated should dissolve their factions.

This, it stated, would be in the interest of peace and stability of the house with the view to moving the state forward.

The report also recommended that the Inspector General of Police and the Director-General, Department of State Service should shut down the State House of Assembly and provide adequate security.

The report said this would allay further fears of intimidation and threat as alleged by members-elect.

It said that where the recommendations failed, “the National Assembly should invoke the Provisions of Section 11(4) of the 1999 Constitution to take over the State House of Assembly until the situation normalises”.

A 13-member committee, on July 10, commenced investigations into the assembly crisis following a unanimous adoption of a motion under matters of urgent national importance by Rep. Julius Ihonvbere (APC-Edo).

Ihonvbere had expressed concern over the improper inauguration of the Seventh House of Assembly on June 17 and that nine out of the 24 elected members were sworn in without the knowledge of the other 15 members-elect.

Ihonvbere also alleged that the clerk of the house secretly inaugurated the nine members-elect at about 9.30p.m. which, according to him, was outside the time of legislative business.

We’ve obtained CCTV footage from hotel where insurance director was killed, says S’ African envoy

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Late Elizabeth Ndubuisi-Chukwwu
Late Elizabeth Ndubuisi-Chukwwu

Bobby Moroe, South Africa’s acting high commissioner to Nigeria, says authorities are now investigating the death of Elizabeth Ndubisi-Chukwu, deputy director-general of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN).

Ndubuisi-Chukwu had been scheduled to return to Nigeria on June 12 after attending the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) conference in Johannesburg.

However, her corpse was found in a room in Emperor Palace Hotel where she had lodged for the conference.

While Ndubuisi-Chukwu was initially believed to have died in her sleep, an autopsy report from South Africa’s department of home affairs showed that she died of “unnatural causes consistent with strangulation”.

Speaking on Tuesday during a meeting with Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), and Chiedu Ndubisi, sibling of the late insurance director, at the South African High Commission in Abuja, Moroe said video footage has been obtained from the hotel to help the investigation.

“The reports we received on Sunday, in the evening, is that investigation has been opened in Johannesburg and the matter is under investigation and it has been prioritised,” he said.

“The South African police services are working very closely with the workers and management of Emperor Palace, the hotel that Mrs. Chukwu untimely lost her life. Video footage has been obtained and it is being studied. We are waiting for the authorities to give us an update.

“You will also appreciate that we are constrained at this point to speculate or to provide as much information as possible because the matter is still under investigation.

“We wouldn’t want to put the horse before the cart because we think this is a very sensitive case. We need to treat with the greatest of respect. We are talking about the loss of human life.”