Sahara Reporters Latest News Friday 11th October 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Friday 11th October 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 11/10/19

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EXCLUSIVE: Maina’s Son Handed Over To Police For Prosecution

Abdulrasheed Maina

Abdulrasheed Maina

 
Faisal, son of former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, has been handed over to the police for further investigation and prosecution.
Faisal was arrested together with his father on October 1, 2019 in a hotel in Abuja.
SaharaReporters had exclusively reported how Maina was arrested.
Maina, who was embroiled in a N2.1bn pension scam, was arrested through a joint effort by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Department of State Services, sources told SaharaReporters.
During the arrest, Faisal attempted to shoot at the operatives of the DSS drafted to arrest him.
Faisal, who is a final year student at the Canadian University of Dubai where he is studying Telecoms Engineering, was, however, disarmed and arrested.
Maina and his son were subsequently handed over to the EFCC for further investigation.
SaharaReporters has learnt that Faisal has been handed over to the police where he would be investigated and tried for gunrunning and attempting to shoot at DSS operatives.
“Maina’s son has been handed over to the police to be further investigated and prosecuted for gun-running,” sources disclosed to SaharaReporters.
His investigations would commence immediately and he is expected to be charged to court.
Maina was on the run for four years after he was declared wanted by the EFCC.
SaharaReporters had reported how top government officials led by Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, have been aiding Maina to evade arrest.
Sources told SaharaReporters that Maina has been in the country since June, 2019 but managed to evade arrest for many months until his eventual arrest.

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Malami Triples Kachikwu’s $21bn Production Sharing Contract Claim

Attorney-General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has increased the value of monies owed by oil companies operating under the 1993 production sharing contract from the $21bn to N6.43trn pronouncement made by Ibe Kachikwu, former Minister of State for Petroleum, to $62bn – 18.97trn.
Malami made this computation in an interview with Reuters on Thursday.
He said, “Computing the amount that should be credited to the Nigerian Government if the law was effectively applied, that translates to around $62bn against the international oil companies.”
Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, who had also spoken with the British news agency at the time, blamed the IOC’s for intentionally refusing to trigger an event for the review of the contract terms.
Reuters revealed that industry and government sources said Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Eni were each asked to pay the government between $2.5bn and $5bn.
Shell said that the government’s claim is in court and it does not agree with the legal basis of the intent.

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Corruption: How Nigerian Attorney General Abubakar Malami, Top Officials, Helped Fugitive Maina To Evade Arrest, Trial For 6 Years

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Section 16 of the Deep Offshore And Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act, which was first signed in 1993 and amended in 1999, provides for the contract to be reviewed every 15 years and for oil companies, who operate the offshore fields to review the revenue sharing contracts to favour the Nigerian Government more once a barrel of oil sold for $20 and above.
The former condition was due in 2008 from the date of the first PSC’s in 1993, while the latter was due around 2003.

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Osun State College Of Health Technology Students Paralyse Academic Activities Over Course Accreditation

Students of the Department of Environmental Health and Dental Therapy, Osun State College of Health Technology, Ilesha, shut down academic activities in the institution while protesting the non-accreditation of courses for the institution.
The students locked the school gate and stopped movement in and out to express their displeasure at the management for not seeking accreditation for three courses.
The students refused to heed the plea of the Provost, Dr F.M Olaoye, and Deputy Provost, T.O Ola, when they were appeal to.
The students in their demand, asked for, “The Immediate accreditation of Dental Therapy course, which was introduced by the college in 2015 as a four-year programme.
“Immediate accreditation of Environmental Health Technology, a course which was planned to be National Diploma and Higher National Diploma.
“Immediate accreditation and implementation of National Examination to Health Technicians Students.”
The students vowed to continue their protest until their demands were met by the institution’s management.

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Army Arrest Top Boko Haram Commander, Nine Others

The Nigerian Army has arrested a top Boko Haram commanders specialised in driving vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns.
Bukar-China otherwise known as Abdullahi Bukar Modu, was arrest alongside nine other members of the group at Pulka in Borno State during a clearance operation by the army and Civilian Joint Task Force on Wednesday.
In a statement, the military said, “Gallant troops of the Nigerian Army working in conjunction with members of the Civilian Joint Task Force on clearance operation on October 9, 2019 arrested 10 members of Boko Haram in Pulka, Borno State.
“One of the arrested terrorists, Alhaji Bukar Modu alias Modu China, was declared wanted on Serial 89 of NA wanted list.
“Modu confessed that he had participated in various attacks carried out by the group including the sacking of Bama Town in Borno State four years ago.”

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House Of Reps Is An Unnecessary Burden; Let’s Do Away With It By Fredrick Nwabufo

Fredrick Nwabufo

The flatulent size of the National Assembly accents the orthodoxies and paradoxes of Nigeria. Nigeria’s lawmakers are some of the highest paid in the world, in a country where about 100 million people live on less than one United States dollar per day, and where citizens are expected to be stoic and exist in deficit while their representatives in parliament ensconce themselves in surplus.    
Is it not pharisaic that while the government insists on burdening citizens with more taxes and increasing the yoke, there is no reciprocity on their part? What is the government doing to shrink the cost of governance?
Why will the government mull reintroducing toll-gates on roads; initiating tax on phone calls; increasing Value Added Tax from five per cent to 7.5 per cent, and introducing charges on deposits in banks without first curing its gluttony?
As a matter of fact, we run one of the most expensive democracies in the world, and at the same time we are the global poverty capital. How do you define irony?
Our elections are about the most expensive in the world, with the cost ballooning from about N2bn in 1999 to more than N240bn in 2019, trumping India’s – a country much bigger in size and in population than Nigeria.
On Tuesday, Italy’s parliament approved axing the number of its members by 37 per cent. The country’s lower house passed a law to abridge the number of representatives in both chambers to save cost. By the legislation, the number of lawmakers in the lower house will be contracted from 630 to 400 while that of the senate will be cut down from 315 to 200.
With each member of parliament and senator earning €230,000 and €249,600 respectively annually, the pruning is expected to save Italy about €82m every year. And the measure will streamline parliament and save the country an estimated €1bn.
So, do we need 469 federal lawmakers – 109 in the Senate and 360 in the House of Representatives?
I believe, a country in dire straits like Nigeria, where there is chronic infrastructural challenges, does not need this prodigious number and waste.
Here is how Quartz Africa telescopes this extravagance: “Nigerian legislators, among the world’s top paid, receive annual salaries of between $150,000 to $190,000 per annum depending on exchange rates. 
“At current exchange rates, Nigerian lawmakers would earn around $160,000 more than British MPs who make around $105,000 according to data from The Economist. 
“In fact, until plunging oil prices started putting pressure on the Nigerian naira earlier this year, the Nigerian lawmakers were the second highest paid in the world. 
“The average legislators’ pay is more than 50 times Nigeria‘s GDP per capita. 
“In a country where millions live on less than two dollars daily and minimum wage is set at $90 a month.”
Also, Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti State, has argued against this prodigality.
He said, “We do need to look at the size of government in Nigeria and I am an advocate of a unicameral legislature. 
“What we really need is the House of Representatives because that is what represents.
“You have three senators from little Ekiti and you have three senators from Lagos state. 
“It’s a no-brainer that it’s unequal, I guess the principle is not proportionality but that if you are a state, you get it automatically but I think that we can do away with that. There are several things that we can do away with within government.”
I agree with Governor Fayemi that Nigeria needs a unicameral legislature but not “what we really need is the House of Representatives”.
I think, we can do away with the House of Representatives and retain the senate.
Here is why. Firstly, the cost of running the house is much more than that of the Senate, if we are being practical about cutting the cost of governance. As of 2017, the personnel cost of the house was N5bn, while that of the Senate was N1.8bn. Also, while the lower house had a budget of about N50bn in 2017, the upper house had N31bn.
Secondly, there is more equity in terms of number in the Senate than in the House. Each state in Nigeria has only three representatives in the Senate – based on the principle of equal representation – while in the House, the number is hinged on the bogus theory of proportional representation.
For example, while Anambra, a densely populated state, has 11 representatives in the House; Katsina, which is of little economic importance to Nigeria and which sizable portions of its landmass are desert strips, has 15 members.
Naturally, one side will have more votes in parliament than the other. Clearly, this is uneven and unbalanced.
Nigeria is a delicate country and the sensitivities of the variegated population must be considered in national matters. To date, the South-East still wish for the creation of an additional state in the region, where there are only five, to correct the imbalance in geopolitical structuring.
So, we can do away with the House of Representatives. Who do they represent?
@FredrickNwabufo

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EXCLUSIVE: In Abuja, Police Charge Victims of ‘One Chance’ Robberies N20,000 To Launch Investigation Into Crime

Uzochukwu Moghalu

Residents of the Federal Capital Territory, who had fallen victim to criminal gangs operating within the city especially ‘one chance’ robbers, have disclosed how the police compounded their miseries by demanding money from them before investigating such complaints and help recover their stolen items and also arrest the perpetrators.
A handful residents, who spoke with SaharaReporters,described their efforts to get help from the police after being attacked as heart-breaking and hopeless.
Idowu, a National Youth Service Corp member, who fell victim to ‘one chance’ robbers recently, told SaharaReportersthat she least expected that such incident could happen to her in a place like Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. Narrating her ordeal, she said, “It happened to me on a Monday morning when I was going for Community Development Service. 
“I boarded a cab at Lugbe under bridge before Shoprite and a lady was seated at the front while two men were at the back seat. I joined the lady in front.
“After a while, because of the size of the lady, the driver complained that it wasn’t comfortable for him.
“The lady gave me her bag to hold while she tried to adjust the seat. But after she claimed she couldn’t find the adjuster, she told me to give her my bag to hold so that I could do it from my end of the seat. Before I knew what was happening, she stole my phone and money in the process.”
Idowu said that when she tried to raise the alarm about her missing items, the driver and the two other men, who had pretended not to be aware of the plot all along, became violent and shoved her out of the vehicle.
She added, “I went to Area 8 Police Station to report the incident but they asked me to pay N20, 000 before they could look into the case.
“I told them I was just robbed of N15, 000 and a new phone in a city I am unfamiliar with but they insisted that the only way they could help me was if I could produce N20, 000 so that they could track the phone. I couldn’t afford that amount, so I went home disappointed.”

Close shave with death
For Ayuba Raji, a media practitioner, who was returning home after a tiring day at work, his encounter with a criminal gang in the city is one that would take a long time to be erased from his memory. According to him, the sad incident had left him emotionally scarred for life.
He said, “It was a very traumatising experience for me. I had just closed from work around 8:00pm and left Mississippi area in Maitama to take a cab around Nicon Junction.
“There, I met a friend named Samuel and we both boarded a cab going to Area One.
“When we got to the National Stadium area, the taxi diverted to another lane. I became apprehensive at that point and asked the driver why he had diverted.
“One of the passengers suddenly pulled out a gun and asked Samuel and I to cooperate or else we would be shot dead.”
Speaking further, Raji said his attackers parked their vehicle under a bridge near the Abuja National Stadium, forcing him and his friend to lie on the ground while they robbed them.
He added, “When I went to the police station, they wanted to collect money but when they found out that I was a journalist, they became afraid and begged me not to report them.
“At the Customary Court in Zone 2, I was charged N6, 000 for affidavit to list all the items I lost to the hoodlums.”
Robbery in front of a police check point
Oyedele Omokagbo, a photo journalist, told SaharaReporters that he was robbed and physically assaulted by a criminal gang in front of a police check point.
He said, “It happened on a Friday night when I closed from the office and wanted to see a bereaved friend at the National Hospital.
“When I alighted from the car I boarded, I was ambushed and attacked. Even though I ran for safety immediately I came across them, they caught up with me after a short distance and collected everything that I had on me.
“The irony of my experience was that there was a police check point in front of where I was attacked.
“When I approached some of the policemen there, they asked me why I passed through that place because the place wasn’t safe.
“I went to the police headquarters in central area to report and was asked to pay N20, 000 in order for them to look into the case. I was shocked and left the place in anger.”
Vigilante to the rescue

Uzochukwu Moghalu

Following the disturbing trend in Nigeria’s capital, most neighbourhoods in Abuja have now come up with their own security arrangement to protect themselves and their property from ruthless criminal gangs.
According to Uzochukwu Moghalu, a resident of Utako community, they have had to rely on local vigilante groups to stay ahead of robbers and kidnappers in the city.
He said, “In Utako area where I live, we have taken it upon ourselves to defend our neighbourhood by employing a vigilante group to protect our environment.
“Last week, there was an incident of burglary in our area and the vigilante group arrested the situation quickly.
“The police have failed us and that is why we have to protect our neighbourhood ourselves.”

Blaming the rising spate of crime in Abuja on poverty, a middle-aged man, who identified himself only as Mantali, said, “There is poverty that is why all these are happening.
“Small businesses are not allowed to thrive. The government cannot stop people from coming to Abuja, they just need to create more jobs.”
Efforts to reach Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, for comments were unsuccessful as his telephone line failed to connect at the time of this report. A text message sent to his mobile number had yet to be responded to as well.

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Nigeria, Cameroon Planning Own Cocoa Price Cartel

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Nigeria and Cameroon are in talks to create a uniform price for cocoa produced in both countries.
Vice President of the World Cocoa Producers Organisation, Sayina Riman, disclosed this to Reuters on Thursday. 
The move follows Ghana and Ivory Coast’s union in July, which set the price for a ton of cocoa from their countries at $2,600 plus a $400 premium described as “living income differential.”
Both countries produced 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa in 2018.
Riman said, “We are talking to Cameroon to see if we can become a regional bloc, and see if we can get our buyers who know our quality to give us better differentials.”
Spokesperson for Cameroon’s trade ministry, Serge Eric Epoune, told Reuters that he is unaware of Nigeria’s plans.
Another source at the country’s National Office of Cocoa and Coffee, who did not want to be named, described talks of such a union as “rumours”.
According to Reuters, the price of a ton of cocoa at the farm rose to around N720,000 naira ($2,353) per tonne from N650,000 naira in September.
This is cheaper than the $3,000 agreed on by the world’s two largest producers.
A trader said that the price of Nigeria’s cocoa produce will rise as a result of market forces even if the country does not increase cost.
The source went on to say the possibility of a price union with Cameroon is unsure, as there is no central cocoa authority in Nigeria.
“I believe the Nigerian and Cameroon prices will move up in line with Ivory Coast and Ghana because of supply and demand.
“If Nigeria becomes too cheap, everyone will buy Nigeria and the market will adjust higher automatically, but not because they teaming up.”
Riman, who is also the President of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria, said discussions will be held with the private sector and the Nigerian Government before formal talks are held with Cameroon.  
 

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Senate Revisits Bill To Establish National Assembly Budget And Research Office

The Senate on Thursday reintroduced a bill seeking to establish the National Assembly Budget and Research Office, according to a report by PUNCH.
The bill, which was passed by the Senate on May 3, 2019, however, failed to receive assent by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The move seeking to establish the budget office was first conceived in 2005 under the leadership of Senator Ken Nnamani but failed to make it to the floor of the upper legislative chamber.
Following its reintroduction on Thursday, the bill which scaled first reading on the floor during plenary was sponsored by Senator Rose Oko (PDP, Cross River North).
The proposed National Assembly budget office will report annually to the Senate and House of Representatives all items funded in the preceding financial year for which no appropriation was made by the National Assembly and all items contained in the Appropriation Act in the preceding financial year but which were not funded by the government.
The office is to be headed by a Director-General, who shall also report to a governing board made up of a chairman and six members and shall provide independent and continuous review of government budgets including monitoring of existing and proposed programmes.

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EFCC Arrests Delta Chief for Internet Fraud

Operatives of the Benin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have arrested a 34-year-old suspected Internet fraud kingpin, Akegor Omamuyorwi, in Ughelli, Delta State.
According to the EFCC, the arrest of the man, who is a chief in Agbaro community, was triggered by a petition from a bank following a complaint by a resident of Canada alleging that she had transferred the sum of $390,950.34 Canadian dollar to two different accounts.
The EFFC said, “He hoodwinked his ‘lover’ victim with the impression that he was sending her a package but demanded for money under the pretext of paying medical bills, legal fee and diplomatic fees.
“Already, he has made useful statements and will be arraigned in court soon.”

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Buhari, Jonathan Meet In Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met behind closed doors with former President, Goodluck Jonathan, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
The former president arrived the State House at about 3:00pm and went straight to the President’s office.
The agenda of the meeting between the two men was unknown as of the time of this report.
Jonathan, who is visiting the Presidential Villa for the fifth time since leaving power, was last seen in Aso Rock in 2016.
 

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