Sahara Reporters Latest News Thursday 31st October 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Thursday 31st October 2019

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 31/10/19

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Many Foreign Rice Are Expired And Re-bagged, Says Customs

 
Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali, has said that some of the foreign rice brought into Nigeria had expired and re-bagged for sale to Nigerians. 
He said this while speaking to journalists on Wednesday in Onne, Rivers State.
Ibrahim said the already expired rice is unknown to consumers because it had been polished and its bag changed.
He said that they must reach out to Nigerians through the press to make them know the deadly effects of what they are consuming. 
He said, “We are consuming expired rice. When it causes cancer, we begin to find who to blame. 
“We are consuming expired rice. They polish and re-bag rice for unsuspecting consumers to eat. 
“We must reach out to Nigerians through the press to make them know the deadly effects of what they consume.” 

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SERAP Tells Buhari To Publicly Condemn Attacks on Journalists

 
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has made several recommendation to the President Muhammad Buhari in a view to ensuring that freedom of press is not gagged. 
SERAP made the call in a new report launched in Lagos on Wednesday. 
The report which was prepared by SERAP in conjunction with National Endowment for Democracy, touched on how various military and democratic office holders had tired to undermine the power of the media over the years. 
The group stated that if the press was to be able to perform its roles effectively as enshrined in sections 22 and 39 of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution (as amended), it must not suffer any legal impediment. 
It said, “President Muhammadu Buhari must condemn all attacks on journalist and media organisations. 
“He should issue a clear and public statement to all government and security officials over any acts of intimidation, threats, harassment, and arbitrary arrests of journalists and media workers, and state that such incidents will be immediately investigated and appropriately prosecuted.
“He should publicly condemn all harassment, intimidation, and attacks on journalists, bloggers and media organisations by state governors.”
 

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E2%80%99s-son-nigeria%E2%80%99s-u-17-squad REVEALED: NFF 2nd VP Masterminded Backdoor Inclusion Of DSS DG’s Son Into Nigeria’s U-17 Squad To Stop Corruption Case Against Him

 
As the inclusion of Abba Bichi, son of the Director-General of the Department of State Services, in  Nigeria’s squad for the Golden Eaglets U-17 team in the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup continues to generate buzz, more details have emerged how the inclusion of Bichi’s son was facilitated.
Sources have revealed how Second Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Shehu Dikko, masterminded how Bichi’s son was smuggled into the final team list submitted by coach Manu Garba to FIFA despite his name not being on the 50 players provisional list.
SaharaReporters had published how top NFF officials coerced Garba into selecting Bichi and even threatened him if he does not give-in to the request.
It was revealed that Garba had expressed doubt in the ability of the young lad to break into the team. 

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How NFF Smuggled DSS Director General’s Son, Abba Bichi, Into U-17 World Cup Team

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Also, to accommodate Bichi’s son into the team, Garba had to drop one of the regulars in his team.
However, fresh facts have revealed that Dikko hatched and implemented the plan with the support of some NFF officials.
Multiple sources disclosed to SaharaReporters that Dikko came through with the plan to seek favour on his corruption case with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The ICPC is investigating Dikko and some other executives of the NFF for financial malpractices and diverting funds meant for the association.
The ICPC in September obtained a court order to seal a house belonging to Dikko in Rivers State.
“The inclusion of DSS boss’ son was to get favour and goodwill. 
“Dikko carried out the plan so that he and other NFF executives undergoing investigation by EFCC and ICPC would be free.
“This was perfectly planned out at a time NFF is under intense watch and investigation,” sources said.
NFF President, Amaju Pinnick; First Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi; Dikko; and another executive member, Yusuf ‘Fresh’, are all facing corruption case in a 17-count charge on misappropriation of $8.4m belonging to the football body.
The NFF executive members had been ordered to appear in court on November 5 2019, which is the next adjourned date for the case. 
Meanwhile, the NFF had claimed that Oduko was selected by the coach because of his understanding of the game and skills, countering claims that he was dropped for a fellow teammate.
“Bichi is a striker; Oduko is a left-back. 
“Oduko was dropped for Charles Etim. Oduko was the player that lost the kick in the shootout with Guinea in the semifinals of the U17 AFCON in Tanzania, which condemned Eaglets to the third-place match,” said NFF media officer, Demola Olajire.
The Golden Eaglets had played two matches in the ongoing tournament but Bichi is yet to feature in the competition.

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34 Per cent Of African Economies Still Informal

International Monetary Fund

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About 34 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product in Sub-Saharan African economies are made up of informal activities. 
This is according to figures cited from the International Monetary Fund in a report by Proshare on Wednesday.
The report notes that informality in economic activities globally are dropping but more work is still needed. 
The major challenge for policy makers however, is the difficulty of capturing these transactions. 
This, the report notes, makes it hard to estimate what percentage of value is added to the entire economy by these shadow trades.
“People and companies engaged in the informal economy usually operate on a small scale. 
“This means there are no official statistics on the informal or shadow economy as it’s sometimes called, so economists need to estimate its size,” the report notes. 
It is not just African policy makers that have it all to do to capture more of the economic activities in their domain the publication notes. 
This is also a problem in the Caribbean as well as the region that spans South and Central America.
“The regions with the highest share of informality during 2010-17 are sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean both at 34 per cent of GDP. 
“This compares with 9 per cent of GDP for North America. 
“In the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the informal sector is equivalent to nearly 15 per cent of GDP.” 
In what is a generally held view, economies where most of its activities are uncaptured, are seen as those with poverty, low productivity, slow growth and high unemployment.
Analysts at Proshare do not call for that aspect of living to be eradicated completely though. 
It instead suggests further ease in carrying out business activities and better access to financial services.
These are steps the Central Bank of Nigeria say they have been executing. 
In its 2018 financial Stability Report, the bank said it had reduced financial exclusion in the Nigerian economy from 41 per cent in 2016 to 36.80 per cent. 
The World Bank recognised Nigeria’s efforts in making credit more available to citizens, by scoring it 15th globally, above Germany and Ireland – a rating some experts are skeptical about.
Proshare also disclosed in its report that the International Monetary Fund will in its seventh statistical forum, focus on measuring the informal economy. 
It also added that the summit will x-ray the use of technologies such as night lights from satellites to measure the size of informal activities across the globe.

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Internet Fraud Suspect Begs For Plea Bargain

 
A 24-year-old Internet fraud suspect, Babatunde Muhammad Bashir, has asked for a plea bargain at the Kwara State High Court informed the court.
Bashir is being prosecuted by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of the same court on four counts of Internet fraud. 
The defendant had on October 8, 2019 pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charges brought against him by the EFCC.
In related development, the EFCC has secured the conviction of one Salisu Kabiru Abdulsalam over an alleged of fraud of N752,000.
The anti-graft agency in a post on their official Facebook page on Wednesday said, “The convict sometime in October 2018 allegedly approached the complainant with a proposition to supply a total of 11 tons and 580kg of waste paper carton to Nixin Paper Mill Nigeria Limited, Ibadan, on his behalf with the understanding that he will receive payment and remit same to the supplier. 
“After the supply, the defendant received the sum of N752,000 from Nixin Paper Mill Nigeria Limited but only remitted the sum of N50, 000 to the complainant and diverted the balance to personal use.”
Also, the commission on Wednesday arraigned Usman Umar Usman a.k.a Babangida Ishaq Ibrahim, Yason Sajo Musa and Babayo Abdullahi Dukku, before Justice N.I. Afolabi of the Federal High Court, Gombe, Gombe State, on six-count charge bordering on obtaining money under false pretence. 
“The case was reported to the commission on August 29, 2018 by one Magaji Doho & Associates, for and on behalf of Muhammad Magaji Dojo against the defendant and Deed Registrar and M.D Jalam Properties and Investment Limited.” the anti-graft agency added in the post. 

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AIB Commences Investigation Into Engine Failure Of Bristow Helicopter

Businesstoday

 
The Accident Investigation Bureau said it has commenced full investigation into an incident involving one of Bristow Helicopter’s aircraft.
Pilot of the helicopter Sikorsky 92 had declared emergency when one of its two engines failed in the air. 
As at the time of the incident, the helicopter had 13 persons onboard.
The incident occurred last Friday in Port Harcourt Airport when the helicopter declared emergency in an offshore platform.
A statement by the General Manager, Public Affairs, AIB, Mr Tunji Oketunbi, said that there was no fatality.
He explained that information gathered so far by AIB indicated that the pilot contacted the Air Traffic Control and that declaring aircraft was cleared left Base Runway 22 for expeditious landing and landed safely.
Oketunbi hinted that AIB’s team of safety investigators from its regional office in Enugu had commenced investigation into the incident.
Meanwhile, Bristow Helicopter told journalists in Lagos that its crew followed established aircraft procedure in line with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority approved Operations Manual Part B Checklist, which is to reduce the engine to idle power on the helicopter as a precautionary measure following a warning in the cockpit.
Bristow said, “The aircraft was inbound to land at the Port Harcourt Nigerian Airforce Base from an offshore location with 11 passengers on board. 
“The incident occurred in the Port Harcourt Control Zone with approximately four nautical miles (nm) to land. The aircraft landed safely and taxied to the hangar without incident.
“Bristow is working with the respective authorities leading the investigation into the incident.”

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JUST IN: Today Democracy Was Nailed In A Coffin, Says Atiku After Supreme Court Verdict

 
Former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has described the verdict of the Supreme Court in the election petition tribunal as the death of democracy.Atiku vented his frustration with the ruling in a series of posts on Twitter on Wednesday.The Supreme Court panel led by Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mohammed Tanko, had earlier thrown out an appeal challenging the election results.Reacting to the decision, Abubakar said, “It is said that the Supreme Court is not final because it is infallible, but that it is infallible because it is final.”While I believe that only God is infallible everywhere and only Nigerians are infallible in our democracy, I must accept that the judicial route I chose to take as a Democrat has come to a conclusion.”Whether justice was done, is left to the Nigerian people to decide. As a democrat, I fought a good fight for the Nigerian people. I will keep on fighting for Nigeria and for democracy and also for justice.”I thank all Nigerians who have stayed the course since the commencement of trial in the petition on the February 23 presidential election.”The judgment is part of democratic challenges we must face as a nation.”The Nigerian judiciary, just like every estate of our realm, has been sabotaged and undermined by an overreaching and dictatorial cabal, who have undone almost all the democratic progress the @OfficialPDPNig and its administrations nurtured for 16 years up until 2015.”Can Nigeria continue like this? Recently, former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, averred that Nigeria had rolled back the democratic gains she made in 2015.”When democracy is rolled back, the economy, the society and the judiciary will not be far behind. “Today, the nail has been put on the coffin and the gains we collectively made since 1999 are evaporating and a requiem is at hand.”In a democracy, you need a strong judiciary, a free press and an impartial electoral umpire. Nigeria has none of those three elements as at today.”One man, one woman, one youth, one vote, should be the only way to make gains in a democracy. And when that is thwarted, the clock starts to tick.”To those who think they have broken my spirit, I am sorry to disappoint you. I am too focused on Nigeria to think about myself. I gave up that luxury 20 years ago. The question is not if I am broken. The question is if Nigeria is whole?”This is not a time for too many words. It will suffice for me to remind Nigeria of this – we are an independent nation and we are the architects of our fate. If we do not build a free Nigeria, we may end up destroying her and God forbid that that should be the case.”I was a democrat, I am a democrat, and I will always continue to be a democrat. May God bless Nigeria.” 

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Alleged Bunkering: Court Orders EFCC To Produce Retired Naval Officer

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to find out the whereabouts of a retired naval officer, Captain Dada Labinjo, and produce him before the court on December 2.
The court presided over by Justice Muslim Hassan gave the directive during arraignment of 12 persons, a vessel and two limited liability companies on alleged illegal dealing on petroleum products.
Those charged before the court on the allegations are MT Adeline, Mrs Bola Labinjo, Jonathan Abaka, alias Joy Boy, Charles Ikemefuna, Benjamin Gold Gageche, Hamzat Yakubu, Emmanuel Oputa, and Peter Dung Pule.
Others include Innocent Akpan, Kehinde Labinjo, Pius Matthew Paul, Onoja Emmanuel, Adeleke Hamed, Global Shipping Activities Bureau Limited and Labland and Sea Services Limited.
The defendants were arraigned by the EFCC on two counts of conspiracy to commit felony to wit illegal dealing in petroleum products.
In the charge, the EFCC alleged that all the defendants sometimes in 2018 within the Nigerian maritime domain and the court’s jurisdiction conspired to commit the alleged illegal act.
The offences according to the prosecutor, Mrs Oluwakemi Yemi-Makinde, are contrary to and punishable under Section 17(a) &(b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap. M17 laws of the federation of Nigeria (Revised edition) 2004.
All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Following their not guilty plea, the prosecutor urged the court to remand them in prison custody, while also asking for a date for trial.
However, counsel to Mrs Labinjo, Abaka, Benjamin and Yakubu including Jerry Omoregie, Kolawole Salami, Odo R. U and A. Aruwayo, told the court that their clients have being admited to bail by Justice Chuka Obiozor when they were arraigned on the same allegations during court’s long vacation in August, which they had all perfected.
The counsel therefore urged the court to allow their clients continue on the same terms.
The counsel’s request was granted by Justice Hassan and ordered Mrs Olabinjo, Abaka, Benjamin and Yakubu to continue on the earlier bail granted them by Justice Obiozor.
Justice Obiozor had admitted them to bail in the sum of N10m with one surety in like sum each.
He also ordered that the surety must produce three years tax, means of livelihood, their statement of account, title of landed property and two of their passport photograph. On the bail applications of other defendants in the charge, Justice Hassan admitted them bail in the same terms earlier granted to Mrs Labinjo and others. The judge however, fixed December 2 for hearing of the vessels, MT. Adeline Jumbo’s bail applications, as well as commencement of trial of all the defendants.Before adjourning the matter, a counsel from Mr Paul Ananaba (SAN) chamber called the attention of the court to the refusal of the security agents to release Captain Labinjo, who is said to be at large in the charge despite an order of a Federal High Court compelling them to do so.Following the counsel’s submission, Justice Hassan directed the EFCC to find out the whereabouts of the retired naval officer and produce him before the court on December 2. 

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E2%80%99s-burial-pushed-me-drug-trafficking-suspect Desire To Raise Money For My Mother-in-law’s Burial Pushed Me Into Drug Trafficking -Suspect

 
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested a suspected cannabis sativa cultivator, Friday Ohiuan, 45, who claimed he took to the illicit business to raise money for the burial ceremony of his mother-in-law.
He was arrested at Afuze in Owan East Local Government Area of Edo State with 177kg of the drug.
While speaking with journalists, the suspect said he haD been in the business for three years.
He said, “I started cannabis cultivation so as to raise money in preparation for the burial of my mother-in-law.
“I have been cultivating cannabis for the past three years but thieves did not allow me to enjoy the fruit of my labour. 
“The 177kg was all that was left and now NDLEA has come to carry the leftover.”
Ohiuan claimed after he had an accident, a friend introduced him to the business and could not sell all prior to his arrest.
He said, “I am a driver but after I had an accident, I relocated to the village where I was introduced to cannabis cultivation by a friend. 
“The drug found with me was all that I harvested as I could not sell before my arrest.”
Edo State Commander of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Buba Wakawa, who paraded the suspect, told journalists that a Toyota Sienna bus filled with cannabis weighing 540kg was also impounded by the operatives but the driver absconded after seeing the operatives.
 
According to the commander, about 45 bags of cannabis were inside the bus.

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International Rights Group Urges African Governments To Respect Human Rights, Calls For Release Of Sowore, Others

 
The Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa and the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights has frowned at the continued disrespect for human rights in Nigeria and other African countries.
The group expressed grave concerns on the attacks on civic space, and “particularly the freedom of association in several African states”.
It was also noted that many countries in the continent are finding ways to limit the rights to freedom of assembly, association, expression and access to information, even though this has been guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
The group also decried the increasing spate of arrest of activists and government critics in the continent.
The group in a statement said, “A growing trend is the use of cyber-security laws to unduly limit freedom of expression and access to information, as guaranteed under the African Charter.
“In Nigeria, several journalists and civil society activists have been arrested under the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition and Prevention) Act, 2015, for statements that were well within their rights to freedom of expression. 
“Recently, journalist and political activist, Omoyele Sowore, was charged with making statements in media interviews that were insulting to the President of Nigeria.
“Journalist, Jones Abiri, was in detention for periods of over two years, and charged under the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition and Prevention) Act because of a news report he published in the Weekly Source newspaper.
“Similar cyber-crimes laws exist and have been used to silence journalists and activists in Egypt, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.”
The group also referred to how the Internet was shut down in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the last presidential elections while voters were waiting for election results.
Similarly, the government of Chad also shut down access to all social media since March 2018.
Also in Zimbabwe, the government shutdown social media including Whatsapp and eventually completely shutdown Internet access in response to growing protests against the rise in fuel prices.
IHRDA and the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights urged African government to desist from inhibiting the rights of their citizens and oppressing them whenever they exercise their rights.

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