Sahara Reporters Latest News Today Wednesday 13th January 2021

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today Wednesday 13th January 2021

Sahara Reporters Latest News Today and headlines on some of the happenings and news trend in the Country, today 13/01/21

Read also nigeria newspapers Wednesday 13th January 2021

Telegram Gets 25 Million New Users In Three Days After WhatsApp Introduced Controversial Privacy Conditions

The encrypted messaging app, Telegram, has registered 25 million new users in the past 72 hours, its Russia-born founder, Pavel Durov, said Tuesday, on the heels of WhatsApp announcing a change to its privacy terms, AFP reports.
Durov, 36, said on his Telegram channel that the app had over 500 million monthly active users in the first weeks of January and “25 million new users joined Telegram in the last 72 hours alone”.

The surge in downloads comes after WhatsApp, which boasts over two billion users, introduced controversial changes to its privacy conditions that will allow it to share more data with its parent company, Facebook.
“People no longer want to exchange their privacy for free services,” Durov said without directly referring to the rival app.
WhatsApps’s new terms sparked criticism as users outside Europe who do not accept the new conditions before February 8 will be cut off from the messaging app.
Telegram is a popular social media platform in a number of countries, particularly in the former Soviet Union and Iran, and is used both for private communications and sharing information and news.
Durov on Tuesday said Telegram has become the “largest refuge” for those seeking a private and secure communications platform and assured new users that his team “takes this responsibility very seriously”.
Telegram was founded in 2013 by brothers – Pavel and Nikolai Durov – who also founded Russia’s social media network, VKontakte.
Telegram refuses to cooperate with authorities and hand over encryption keys, which resulted in its ban in several countries, including Russia.
Last year, Russia announced that it would lift its ban on the messenger app after more than two years of unsuccessful attempts to block it.

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BVN-generated National Identification Number Is Invalid, Says NIMC

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has asked Nigerians to complete their National Identification Number (NIN) registration irrespective of whether they generated the same through bank verification number (BVN).
The Nigerian government had declared on December 15, 2020, that after December 30, 2020, all SIM cards not registered with valid NINs on the network of telecommunications companies would be blocked.

But on December 21, 2020, it extended the December 30, 2020 deadline following widespread opposition against the earlier announcement.
The government gave three weeks’ extension for subscribers with NIN from December 30, 2020, to January 19, 2021.
It also gave six weeks’ extension for subscribers without NIN from December 30, 2020, to February 9, 2021.
According to the NIMC, as of October, the total number of mobile network connections was 207.58 million, but currently, only 43 million Nigerians have NIN, thus 164 million telephone users are at the risk of being deactivated.
Amidst the rush to get registered, a viral message circulating on social media claims that those who had registered for Bank Verification Number already have NIN. Thus, they do not need to register for NIN.
“Good news: So many Nigerians have NIN and they are unaware. The truth is that everyone that did their BVN when it was introduced in 2014 has NIN automatically assigned to them.
“Just dial *346# with the same number you registered for BVN and retrieve your NIN. Don’t go to NIMC centres to queue, Covid19 is real,” the message read.
But in a tweet on Tuesday, NIMC said the NIN registration must be completed despite NIN generation through BVN.
The agency warned that an incomplete registration will hinder the user’s access to the NIMC mobile application and render the NIN-SIM integration invalid.
It said, “You must complete your NIN registration even if your BVN has generated a NIN,” the tweet read.
“If your NIN was generated due to the BVN record harmonisation with the National Identity Database, you will not have access to the NIMC mobile app and your NIN-SIM integration will be invalid. Visit an enrollment centre to complete NIN registration.”

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36-year-old Man Rapes, Impregnates Own Teenage Daughter In Ondo

A Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Ore, Ondo State has remanded 36-year-old Peter Moses in a correctional centre for raping and impregnating his teenage daughter.
According to police prosecutor, Inspector Jimoh Amuda, Moses committed the offence between November 2020 and January 2021 at Asewele Korede camp via Ore in the Odigbo Local Government Area of the state.

The charge sheet reads, “That you Peter Moses, between November 2020 and January 2021 at Asewele Korede camp via Ore in the Ore Magisterial District did unlawfully have sexual intercourse with one Peter Patience, aged 17, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 31 sub-section (1) and punishable under section 31 sub-section (2) of Part 3 of Child’s Right Acts of Federal Republic of Nigeria 2003.
“That you Peter Moses, during the same period, time and place in the aforementioned magisterial district did sexually abuse your daughter by having sexual intercourse with her and gave her four months old pregnancy (sic), thereby committed an offence contrary to section 32 sub-section (2) and punishable under section 32 sub-section (2) of Part 3 of Child Rights Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2003.”
Amuda, however, asked the court for adjournment to enable the police complete their investigation and seek legal advice from the Ministry of Justice.
The accused person who pleaded guilty to the two charges levelled against him, however, urged the court to temper justice with mercy on him.
The Presiding Magistrate, F. O. Omofolarin, thereafter, ordered Moses to be remanded in a correctional centre pending the outcome of the Director of Public Prosecutions’ legal advice and adjourned the case to February 21 for mention to enable the police complete their investigation.

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E2%80%93ptf COVID-19: Schools Resume January 18 Until Further Directive –PTF

On Tuesday, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 said schools in the country would resume on January 18 until the Ministry of Education announces further directive.
PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, stated this while featuring on a television programme monitored by The PUNCH.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, had on Monday, said the Federal Government would review the January 18 earlier date fixed for resumption of schools across Nigeria.
The minister, who spoke at a PTF briefing in Abuja, attributed the decision to the second wave of COVID-19 currently ravaging the country.
Speaking further on Tuesday’s issue, the PTF coordinator said the minister did not say the date had been changed.
Aliyu said, “As regards schools, I want to clarify, what the minister said yesterday was that they were going to review, he didn’t say that they were going to change the date. He said they would review the situation and let the nation know.
“So, for the moment, it is still January 18 until the ministry of education comes back either with an alternative date or reconfirm that.”
The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, on Monday, said travels, reopening of schools, businesses and religious centres contributed to the rise in coronavirus cases in Nigeria.
“It is very instructive to stress that factors that have contributed to rising numbers from late November 2020 included increased local and international travels, business and religious activities, and reopening of schools without strict compliance with COIVID-19 safety measures.
 “The full import of the foregoing is to press further on the need for us all to elevate the level of our vigilance and compliance with the recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions,” he had said.

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Former Ghanaian President Rawlings For Burial January 27

Jerry Rawlings

According to information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the international community and diplomatic missions, the funeral of Ghana’s former President, Jerry Rawlings, has been rescheduled for January 27.On Tuesday, media reports said Rawlings, who died on November 12, 2020, would lie in state from 24-26 January at the Foyer of the Accra International Conference Centre from 0900 to 1700 GMT daily.

Jerry Rawlings

There will be a funeral mass on January 26at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Accra and a burial service on January 27 at the Independence Square in Accra.The funeral had initially been announced for December 20, 2020, before it was postponed indefinitely after concerns raised by his maternal family and elders.

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Abuja Court Remands Woman In Prison For Allegedly Beating Up Ex-Husband

A Grade I Area Court in Kubwa, Abuja, on Tuesday, has ruled that a 23-year-old hairstylist, Gift Paul, who allegedly beat up her former husband, Adams, be remanded in a correctional facility.
Paul was charged to court by the police with criminal trespass, assault, and causing grievous harm. The judge, Muhammad Adamu, adjourned the case until February 5 for hearing.

Adamu, however, stated that the defendant’s bail could still be accepted before the next adjourned date if the defence counsel requested a formal bail application.
The prosecution counsel, John Okpa, had earlier told the court that Paul’s ex-husband, Mr Destiny Adams, who resides in Kubwa, reported the matter at the Divisional Police Headquarters, Byazhin on January 7.
Okpa alleged that Paul and her brother, Isaiah, invaded Adams’ house with cutlasses and caused injury to his head and body. He said the offence breached the provisions of sections 246, 348, and 265 of the Penal Code.
Meanwhile, Paul pleaded not guilty to the charge. She said her encounter with Adams did not involve any other person.
The defence counsel, Taiye Okoya, made an oral bail application on behalf of Paul, saying that his client should be presumed innocent until proven guilty of the charge.

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E2%80%99s-wife-packs-out-husbands-house-may-seek-divorce EXCLUSIVE: FCMB Managing Director’s Wife Packs Out of Husband’s House, May Seek Divorce

All is not well in the home of Adam Nuru, the controversial Managing Director of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), as his wife, identified as Hauwa, has allegedly concluded plans to divorce him.
Family sources told SaharaReporters that Hauwa has moved out of Nuru’s house and has likely informed her lawyer to prepare divorce papers so she could leave the marriage.

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It was learnt that she would cite infidelity as grounds for divorce.
“I know she has moved out. This case is beyond Moyo or the late Tunde. His own marriage is about to crash now. The wife and her family are really giving him problems. They are ready to deal with him. The Moyo stuff is part one, he is currently facing the second part with his wife,” one of the sources told SaharaReporters.
For some weeks now, the social media have been awash with allegations that Nuru had an affair with Moyo Thomas, a former FCMB employee, fathering two children with her.
It was also said that the alleged paternity fraud resulted in the death of Tunde Thomas, Moyo’s husband.
In a petition, the deceased’s friends had claimed that Tunde died of depression after discovering that his supposed two children with Moyo were not his but Nuru’s.
They also called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sack Nuru, while demanding a comprehensive investigation into the matter.
They claimed that Tunde suffered a stroke due to the experience but later recovered and thereafter met another lady whom he planned to marry.
Tunde was, however, said to have died two days before his relations and his fiancée’s family were scheduled to meet as is customary before marriages in Nigeria.
His fiancée was said to be pregnant at the time of his death.
“This is a case of gross misconduct based on ethical grounds and an unjustifiable economic oppression by the elite (Adam Nuru) against the underprivileged in the society,” the petition read.
“The MD has been doing everything possible to sweep this case under the carpet. We implore the Central Bank of Nigeria, as the apex regulator, and the board of FCMB to investigate this for the integrity of the bank and Nigerian banking industry.
“This is a case too many, while I agree that this is not the full story, the barest minimum will be an investigation of this unethical conduct by the current MD of FCMB Bank, Adam Nuru.”
Nuru recently proceeded on leave to enable the bank to investigate the allegations against him.
The bank made this known in a statement last Tuesday, saying the move was important to guarantee the sanctity of its investigations.
“We are aware of several stories circulating across several media platforms about our bank’s Managing Director, Adam Nuru; a former employee, Mrs Moyo Thomas, and her deceased husband, Mr Tunde Thomas,” the statement said.
“While this is a personal matter, the tragedy of the death of Mr Tunde Thomas and the allegations of unethical conduct require the bank’s board to conduct a review of what transpired, any violations of our code of ethics and the adequacy of this code of ethics.
“This is already under way. During the period of the review, the managing director has volunteered to proceed on leave. This will guarantee the sanctity of the review process.”
Meanwhile, Moyo, who recently broke her silence on the matter, denied allegations of paternity fraud levelled against her.
In her statement, she also denied ever telling her late husband that he was not the father of her children.
The statement read, “I write in reference to all the allegations and accusations that have recently been making the rounds on the internet and various social media platforms. I have refrained from responding to this matter for various reasons, one of which is to preserve the memories of Tunde who departed to be with his maker on December 16, 2020. Memories, not only to me, but to his children, who are still young, and to everybody who had a relationship with him.
“Just like any marriage, Tunde and I had a lot of differences in our marriage, some of which even led to police intervention. But I remain committed to keeping only positive memories of him. No one can ever understand what transpired between us or what each of us experienced in the marriage; like they say, it is he who wears the shoes that knows where it pinches. In all of it, I never for once wished him bad. His untimely and sudden death is still a shock to me as it is to many others.
“On no occasion did I ever tell him he was not the father of our two children. It is therefore deliberate falsehood and certainly malicious to allege and insinuate that I informed him that the children are not his. The children still bear his name.  Only God knows why he died in an untimely period. It is not in my place, or anyone’s place to play God and talk with certainty as to the cause of his death, without proven medical facts.
“Despite our separation, we never allowed our differences to affect the relationships we respectively have with the children. He still had conversations with the children like any father will, up until his sudden and unfortunate death. It is quite sad and disheartening to see the pictures of these innocent children splashed all over the internet with very disparaging and weird comments.
“I do wish his family and friends the fortitude to bear the unfortunate loss and I ask that we all be allowed to grieve his loss in peace. He has now been laid to rest and we implore all and sundry to please respect our privacy and allow those grieving his loss, including the children and I, to do so in peace.”

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E2%80%94-ngo Child Marriage: 50-Year-Old Bishop Who Married 15-year-old Suddenly Claimed She Is 19 — NGO

A non-governmental organisation, Advocates For Children And Vulnerable Peoples Network (ACVPN), has said 50-year-old bishop and father of four, Stephanus Enofe, has a case to answer as the NGO is not ready to back down in the case of alleged underage marriage.
The bishop, who is also the founder of Spirit and Grace Ministry, Idi-Oro, Mushin, had allegedly courted Confidence Ukandu, said to be 15 years old, and was planning on getting married to her in September 2020 before the NGO was alerted.

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The pre-wedding photos and invitation cards of the bishop and the said 15-year-old Ukandu had circulated on social media, generating negative reactions.
Enofe was arrested by the police while Ukandu was taken to a government home in Alapere, Lagos.
SaharaReporters gathered that Ukandu, who had earlier claimed Ukandu was 15 years old, later denied it in court, stating that she was 19 years old.
Chief Operating Officer for ACVPN, Ebenezer Omejalile, told SaharaReporters on Monday that the group was not going to keep quiet on the case and allow Enofe go ahead with his plan to marry the girl.
He alleged that there were some shady activities that led to the exoneration of the bishop in the matter.
He said, “We don’t know who came up with the age issue but we are suspecting the investigating police officer because there are reports that the IPO took advantage of the fact that the Officer-in-charge, Gender was not around, so he went ahead to pick up the case file and charged it to court and the magistrate said the girl that we knew was 15 had suddenly become 19. They granted the bishop bail.”
Omejalile revealed that the young lady earlier alleged her father had been abusing her from the age of 10 and that the marriage proposal of the bishop was a means of escape for her.
He continued, “She was not well orientated that she is still a minor so they consummated the marriage. There was even a communique from the girl’s community people; they stood their ground that they would not accept it because the girl is too young for that.
“She is only tall and has a big stature. There was a letter from the family that they should handle it like a family matter. The girl’s father, who had given consent, immediately turned around when he heard that human rights organisations were interested in it. He was arrested through the office of the public defender, Lagos State at Surulere but unfortunately this is the outcome.”
He said the group was still waiting for the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on the issue.
“We are still waiting for the decision of the DPP because we are not too sure of the rumour that we are hearing that the DPP said the bishop has no case to answer. If the DPP truly said so, then, that is based on what the IPO and the prosecutor prepared and presented before the DPP. But right now, we are not taking it lightly. Why would they say a girl we know is 15 years old is suddenly 19? We are not going to keep quiet about that,” he added.

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Effiong Akwa And The NDDC By Reuben Abati

Reuben Abati

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was in the news for all the wrong reasons in the year 2020. The agency that was established 20 years ago to bring development to the nine oil-bearing communities of the Niger Delta became an embarrassment to the Nigerian government. In 2019, President Buhari had ordered a forensic audit of the agency’s accounts, a move that was hailed as long overdue by many Nigerians. This was also said to be consistent with the administration’s anti-corruption campaign. What should be a smooth administrative process however, became a battle for the soul of the agency itself. The conflict was in the shape of controversies over the appointment of a Board for the NDDC. A Board was constituted only to be suspended and replaced with an Interim Management Committee. While the President opted for Interim Management Committee and urged the team of auditors looking into the books of the NDDC to do a thorough job, the National Assembly also launched an inquiry into the affairs of the NDDC.  It was like opening a can of worms. 
The drama that unfolded was the stuff of box office hits: from the Minister of Delta State Affairs accusing former NDDC Interim Administrator, Joi Nunieh of being a serial monogamist (four husbands, one woman, he boldly stated on Television).  By the time Nunieh hit back, it was as if someone had used a coconut to break the Minister’s head (“He tried to touch me!, Nunieh declared!). This drama had many episodes including an attempt to abduct Nunieh and Governor Wike of Rivers stepping in chivalrously to protect a daughter of Rivers who was being harassed by powerful forces. Niger Delta Stakeholders and particularly Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) activists took over every available airwave and media space to expose the extent of corruption and abuse of due process in the NDDC. Many Nigerians were so shocked they called for the scrapping of the NDDC or at best an immediate reform of the agency to realign it with its original objectives. Anyone and everyone ever associated with the NDDC became a suspect, because the details were eye-blinding. Those who made the allegations were often armed with tons of documents with confident public affirmation that they had duplicates. Accusations and counter accusations flew all over the place. Opposition parties heaped the blame on the Buhari administration. Which was wrong and unfair because the NDDC had been enmeshed in institutional failures long before President Buhari won election at the fourth attempt in 2015.   
The more disturbing part of the drama unfolded at the National Assembly where NDDC IMC members openly accused Chairmen of NDDC Committees in the National Assembly of being the main culprits behind the award of emergency contracts, which were all abandoned after more than half of the contract fees had been collected as mobilization fee. Out of all the projects earmarked for the Niger Delta in the last five years, lawmakers simply used their positions of influence to collect rent, and do nothing. Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, speaking on behalf of the IMC on several occasions, provided the names of lawmakers and the companies that they used to cover up their tracks. The lawmakers fought back of course. On one occasion, the House of Representatives had tough questions for Professor Daniel Pondei, the then Head of the IMC and right there on live television, the man fainted. On another occasion, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio whose name had featured prominently in the entire circus made some very hard revelations before the House Committee. He was told “Hon. Minister, off your mic. It’s okay. Off your mic.” Fainting in the face of serious interrogation and the phrase “Off your Mic” became part of Nigeria’s popular lexicon. Both Chambers of the National Assembly wrote their reports, but as these things go, nobody is sure of the true copy of the reports as there are many versions in circulation.

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What we are sure of is that in August 2020, the Federal Government named a group of auditors led by Ernst and Young to do a thorough forensic audit of the NDDC. The expectation was that they would complete the assignment by December 2020. The public was skeptical. Many thought no forensic audit would go well, with the Pondei-led IMC still in office. In April 2020, the tenure of that committee had been extended. On December 12, 2020, President Buhari dissolved the Daniel Pondei IMC, in response to a Federal High Court Abuja ruling which declared the Interim Management Committee illegal. He named as sole administrator, Effiong Akwa, a lawyer and accountant, former Special Assistant, Finance at the NDDC, and former Acting Executive Director, Finance. His mandate is to fast-track and facilitate the conclusion of the audit process. Anything NDDC attracts controversy like bees to nectar.  In just about 3 weeks in office,  Akwa’s appointment has generated a huge volume of smear campaign, name-calling, objections, protests, sponsored content, a series of articles in the newspapers, for and against. President Buhari’s decision must have been borne out of a determination to re-invigorate the NDDC audit. Nigeria has invested so much money in the NDDC over the last 20 years. Nearly all the projects remain abandoned, including the abandoned city roads that are a perennial source of conflict with state governors. Perhaps the only project that the NDDC can point to, with very small fingers, are the roads leading to  the Nigeria Maritime University in Okerenkoko. Oil spillage remains an unresolved problem. The people are poor. The objections to Akwa show just how complex the politics of the Niger Delta and the NDDC is, and why a far-reaching reform is required. Akwa enjoys the support of an umbrella group called Niger Delta Change Ambassadors – a coalition of over 50 civil society groups, and especially, the Oron Union  who vowed that they would resist any attempt to ridicule Akwa. The Oron people have a long history of nationalism, dating back to the determined struggles of the early 80s led by Professor Okon Edet Uya with the slogan: “Oro-n-phobia! The Oron Union argues that the attack on their kinsman smacks of “Oronphobia”. His main attackers operate under the banner of the Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and Mothers of Oil Producing Communities of  Niger Delta (MOPROCOND),  who have promised a “grand nude protest” in front of the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt. I will leave out the name-calling and deal with their substantial points.
The first argument is that by appointing a sole administrator, the President has acted in an illegal and unconstitutional manner. They insist that the NDDC Establishment Act (2000) as amended, does not provide for a sole administrator. It provides instead for an interim management committee whose tenure is defined in law. One of the protesters also  claims that the President has broken the law. I don’t see how the President has broken any law in this instance. The President is sworn to defend the Constitution which is superior to any subsidiary legislation. Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution grants the President executive powers that are personal to him and his office. He may also delegate authority to Ministers, aides and any person of his choice as he de ems fit. He cannot however exercise powers that are not granted to him under the Constitution. It is as simple as that. Whoever is not pleased has every right to challenge the President’s decision in court, rather than engaging in disruptive manoeuvres with a hidden agenda. Already one K.C. Okpo has filed a suit at a Federal High Court citing breaches of Sections 2, 3, 4 and 12 of the NDDC Establishment Act. No date has been fixed for hearing. 
The second argument is that Effiong Akwa is a stooge of the Minister of the Niger Delta. How does anyone determine that? It is strange that since Senator Godswill Akpabio assumed office as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, he has been fingered as the man calling all the shots at the NDDC, with the sub-text of projecting him as a man who is so powerful that he can dictate to the President of Nigeria. There are too many people who are described as great and powerful Ministers in the media, but who in the corridors of power kneel down like schoolboys in order to keep their jobs.  It is delusional to think that an aide of the President can impose on him. Presidents can delegate powers but they do not share it. Akpabio may be the supervising Minister but he cannot, must not and should not be allowed to become a one-man Board of the NDDC. The Federal Government has made it clear that immediately after the completion of the audit, a new NDDC Board will be constituted. But even then, the NDDC forensic audit cannot continue forever. Akwa’s tenure must be properly defined and the team of auditors must be given strict deadlines. Senator Akpabio should be given clear Presidential directives to steer clear of the audit to build trust and confidence in the process. 
The third argument pushed by the Ijaw Youth Congress, which I find ridiculous, is the view that Ijaws are the only true Niger Delta people so they should be allowed to lead NDDC. How can an Akwa from Akwa Ibom be less Niger Delta than an Ijaw person? What determines true Niger Deltan-ness? It is precisely this kind of ethnic in-fighting that makes other Nigerians worry about the politics of the Niger Delta. Has anybody heard any similar stories since the North East Development Commission was established? Never. But our brothers and sisters in the Niger Delta are busy fighting over appointments, money and contracts. Ijaw Youth cannot claim any extra-ordinary privilege in the Niger Delta. It is true that oil was discovered in commercial quantities in Oloibiri, Bayelsa state. Ijaws also gave us the hero of the struggle, Isaac Adaka Boro. But so have other parts of the Niger Delta through the years. Akwa Ibom can boast of the likes of Obong Victor Attah, who fell out of favour with the Obasanjo administration because of his insistence on an upward review of derivation and the likes of Udom Inoyo, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, Senator Anietie Okon and many others who fought for justice in the Niger Delta. In terms of crude oil output, Akwa Ibom accounts for over 40% of the total crude oil output in the Niger Delta with 80% of that from Oron, where Akwa hails from. Akwa Ibom is followed by Delta State, Rivers, while Bayelsa is No. 4 on the list.  Ijaws have benefitted more than any other group in the Niger Delta. And yet, I have not seen any record  of Akwa Ibom people bombing oil pipelines or kidnapping expatriates for ransom. 
The objections are disruptive and distractive. IYC and other stakeholders should unite with others to confront the major problems of the region instead of fighting over appointments. There are big problems: pollution, Ogoni clean up, gas flaring, amendment of the NDDC Act, reform of the NDDC itself etc. Those former officials of the NDDC who are having battle with their conscience and are looking for every means possible to cover up their tracks or discredit the audit should be reminded that “catching the thieves” is only an expected derivative of the audit, the bigger picture is how to transform the NDDC from a sinkhole, a leaky bucket, a vehicle of rent distribution into a true development agency with measurable benefits for the people.
Within 3 weeks of assuming office, Effiong Akwa has engaged with the National Assembly to get approval, finally, for NDDC Budget 2020 which will run till June. But he must remain focused and refuse to be dragged into the politics of the job. His assignment is simple: facilitate the completion of the forensic audit. By now, he should know that all eyes are on him. All the paid agents within the NDDC will monitor everything he does or says, looking for loopholes and omissions with which to nail him when the opportunity arises. He must be firm but sensible. He has already been called Godfrey Akpabio’s stooge. It is important that he does not behave like one. NDDC is not a revenue generating agency. It is a development agency with budgeted outlines. He must put an end to the trend of rent-distribution. Ninety percent of contracts awarded by the NDDC are emergency contracts. These contracts are a conduit for fraud. Every procurement in the public sector is governed by the Public Procurement Act (2007). The Act requires that every contract to be awarded must be backed by Appropriation and “a Certificate of No Objection” from the Bureau of Public Procurement, the violations of which amount to a criminal offence. Effiong Akwa should get a copy of the Procurement Act and commit it to memory. He will be glad he did… When will the Niger Delta rise above atomistic politics?   

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E2%80%98victim%E2%80%99-allegedly-negotiating Gospel Musician, Jovani Accused Of Rape In Police Custody, ‘Victim’ Allegedly Negotiating Settlement

A gospel musician, Biodun Badejo, popularly known as Jovani, accused of rape by his female friend, has been arrested by police officers in Ipaja, Lagos.
Badejo, who was arrested by the police on Saturday and currently in police detention, had told SaharaReporters that he did not rape the young woman.

He described what happened between them as a ‘lovers’ quarrel’. 
Speaking with SaharaReporters on Monday, Chief Operating Officer, Advocates For Children And Vulnerable Peoples Network (ACVPN), Ebenezer Omejalile, confirmed the arrest, stating however, that the victim was delaying the case as she had refused to show up for further investigation to be done.
He also said there were speculations that the victim was negotiating a settlement with the family of the accused though the claims could not be verified.
“We have heard a rumour that there are negotiations ongoing to pay her N30,000. The Divisional Police Officer called me and explained to me that she had asked the lady to come this morning so the case would be taken to court but the girl refused to show up.
“They have been calling her, but she is not answering her calls. Initially, she said she was not interested in the case and I said if she would pursue the case, that guy would continue to do it to others because she was not the first person nor would she be the last person. But now, we are hearing about negotiations. The DPO said she would not allow that under her watch.”
Omejalile also said he had received a report from Mirabel Centre about a DPO who allegedly faulted the young woman for going to the sexual assault referral centre.
“Imagine, she told the girl she shouldn’t have gone to Mirabel, that Mirabel was the wrong place to go to, but the DPO has denied it,” he said.
Omejalile said the victim has to show up, else she will be charged as a hostile witness, and for perjury, especially as there are allegations of negotiation for settlement.
“There are allegations that she has been negotiating (with them); they said she sent someone to negotiate. The guy’s family showed up and said the girl said they should negotiate and that was what really infuriated the DPO that such would never happen under her watch,” he said.
In an earlier report by SaharaReporters, the lady, who spoke on condition of anonymity, narrated how Badejo allegedly raped her.

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Woman Accuses Gospel Musician, Badejo Of Rape In Lagos

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4 Days Ago

She said she was not in a relationship with him though he had been trying to initiate a romantic relationship with her.
She said, “I told him to go with me to get a phone around 5pm yesterday so we went there and we were done around past 6pm. I needed to do something on his laptop so I followed him to his place. Before then, he had gone to his mum’s place to get the key. We got to his place and entered his house. Then, he pulled down his boxers and I asked him why he was undressing in my presence. He said he wanted to bathe so I started fiddling with my phone and charging the new one. 
“He came out of the bathroom in his towel and started touching me and I was telling him no. Before I knew it, he became aggressive. I was begging him, crying seriously, he was like a different person. He took a belt and was threatening me. I ran into his bathroom, he pushed me to the wall and asked me to pull off my clothes and have my bath.
“I said no, I even had to lie to him that I had an infection, I told him I had HIV but he didn’t listen, he was bent on having me around for the night. I even sat on the extension box, saying I would kill myself but he didn’t listen. He was still telling me to go to the bed. I struggled with him; I even have some bruises on my body. He forcefully had his way and I screamed but the neighbours didn’t respond. I don’t know why.”
She said after Badejo had his way, he opened the door and she ran out. 
But when SaharaReporters contacted Badejo, he denied the allegation, stating that it was not rape but a ‘lovers’ quarrel’.
He claimed that the duo had already agreed on having s**, so he did not understand why it was being termed as rape.
Badejo said, “Actually, it’s not the way she said it, we had some chats and it makes it clear that we had a lot going on. She called me on the phone to come over and she said we should go to my place. We spent hours buying her phone. We went to Iyana-Ipaja. She bought me some food, she came to my mum’s place and we made it clear we were going to my place so it wasn’t an assault or anything like that. I have a lot of evidence on my phone to show when we made it clear we were going to have s**.
“I did not rape her; she threw a phone that hit me in the eye; my eye is still red and swollen. She scattered everything in my house; it was just a lovers’ quarrel. I don’t know why she is calling it rape. It was not rape and it was not an assault. I am being honest with you, she’s my babe, I like her, I love her but I don’t know what went through her mind.”
The mother of the accused debunked the rape claims, saying they were false.
She said the victim was trying to blackmail her son. 
She said, “We have evidence here and I’m going to contact my lawyer if she doesn’t stop blackmailing my son.
“I’m ready for her, she is a 419 (a fraudster), we have evidence here on WhatsApp. You had better warn her. My son just picked interest in her. I even told her I wanted her to marry my son but now I can see she is a 419. I am not an illiterate, I saw her as a responsible lady but she has proved otherwise.”

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SaharaReporters, New York

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