Pogba not to captain Man Utd again, Mourinho confirms

(FILES) In this file photo taken on January 31, 2018 Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (L) talks with Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) after the second Tottenham goal goes in during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in London. Paul Pogba has been told by Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho he will never captain the club again while the Portuguese remains in charge, according to reports on September 25, 2018, as tensions between United's star midfielder and manager continue to rise. / AFP PHOTO / IKIMAGES / Ian KINGTON /

Paul Pogba has been stripped of the vice-captaincy of Manchester United by manager Jose Mourinho as tensions between United's star midfielder and manager continue to rise.

Pogba has deputised as skipper in the absence of club captain Antonio Valencia on three occasions this season against Leicester and Brighton in the Premier League and a Champions League trip to Young Boys.

However, the French World Cup winner's latest outspoken comments criticising United's overly negative tactics after a 1-1 draw at home to newly-promoted Wolves on Saturday have provoked a reaction from Mourinho.

"The only truth is I made the decision of Paul not to be the second captain anymore," said Mourinho after Tuesday's League Cup defeat to Derby County on penalties for which Pogba was rested.

"I am the manager I make these decisions, no fall out at all, no problem at all. The same person who takes the decision to make him second captain makes this decision now."

According to The Times, Mourinho informed Pogba in front of his team-mates on Tuesday, claiming the 25-year-old "doesn’t represent what a captain is and Manchester United is bigger than anyone".

The decision is the latest twist in an acrimonious relationship between the pair dating back to Mourinho dropping Pogba routinely for big games last season.

"Mourinho’s message to the United squad, delivered at Carrington today, was designed to underline his authority and remind the players that he is in charge," added The Times report.

Fresh from playing a pivotal role in France's World Cup success, Pogba, who cost United a then world record £89 million ($116 million) to bring back to the club from Juventus in 2016, has started to deliver on his price tag this season.

He has scored four times in seven appearances and also set up Fred's opener against Wolves at the weekend.

However, he was also at fault when losing possession for Wolves' equaliser that left United already eight points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool after six games.

"We are at home and we should play much better against Wolves. We are here to attack," Pogba told the media after the match.

"I think teams are scared when they see Manchester United attacking and attacking. That was our mistake."

Pogba has already been linked with a move away from Old Trafford with Barcelona interested before the close of the summer transfer window.

That speculation is unlikely to die down as long as Mourinho, who signed a extended contract until 2020 earlier this year, remains in charge.

An early Cup exit to Championship Derby, managed by one of Mourinho's former pupils at Chelsea Frank Lampard, intensifies the pressure on the Portuguese.

Buhari may lose 2019 election, says US Intelligence Agency

Buhari<br />Photo: Twitter/MBuhari

A United State based analysis firm Teneo Intelligence has predicted that Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari could lose the 2019 election if the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is united.

The company’s vice president, Malte Liewerscheidt, who also covers political risks in West Africa, while analysing the outcome of the recent Osun state gubernatorial election said it was a bad signal for the ruling party and signals its waning popularity.

“There is already a clear message sent from Osun State: provided the PDP remains united, and the vote is reasonably free and fair, Buhari and his APC are likely to lose the general elections,” Liewerscheidt said.

The candidate of the PDP, Ademola Adeleke had the highest number of votes among the 48 candidates.

Adeleke polled 254,698 votes, 353 votes more than his closest rival, Gboyega Oyetola of the APC.

The margin was, however, less than the 3,498 votes in the polling units where voting was cancelled.

Consequently, the Returning Officer for the election, Professor Joseph Afuape, declared the poll inconclusive.

Afuape said, “Unfortunately, as the Returning Officer, it is not possible to declare any party as the clear winner of this election at the first ballot ... I hereby declare the result inconclusive.” with the rerun scheduled to hold on Thursday, September 27.

The election is significant as it is the last major election before the 2019 general election and it will be recalled that Osun is one of the key southwest states that played a pivotal role in Buhari’s victory in 2015.

The retired General and military head of state was voted into power in 2015 on a platform vowing to crack down on endemic graft and stamp out the Boko Haram insurgency devastating the country's northeast.

His government has made gains against the jihadist group, but Boko Haram is still capable of staging deadly attacks on military and civilian targets.

Buhari has been criticised for aggravating Nigeria's worst recession in 25 years by introducing a currency peg that spooked investors and depleted foreign reserves.

There are also questions about his health after he spent much of 2017 in a London hospital with an undisclosed illness.

His declaration on April 9, 2018, that he will be contesting for a second term as Nigerian president will see him contend with prominent politicians.

The PDP is to choose a presidential candidate during its national convention on Oct. 5 and 6, with the current Senate President Bukola Saraki, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, former Plateau State governor Jonah Jang, former governor of Kaduna State Ahmed Makarfi, Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal and former Senate president David Mark, who are all vying for the party's ticket.

Why nation’s health sector continues to falter, by experts

National Secretary, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Emeka C. Duru (left); President, Ahmed Yakasai; Managing Director, GlaxoSmithKline Nigeria, Bhushan Akshikar, and Chairman, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), Prof. Martins Emeje, at a media briefing on the 2018 World Pharmacists Day in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has advanced reasons why the country’s health sector continues to falter after 58 years of independence.It charged the Federal Government to implement effective prescription policies to ensure that healthcare practitioners engage in ethical practices.

The PSN made the assertion at the 2018 World Pharmacists Day with the theme: Pharmacists: Your Medicines Experts, where the technical arms brainstormed on issues in the health sector and provision of medicines for patients’ care.

President, PSN, Ahmed Yakasai, said healthcare professionals should not cross their own sphere of practice, noting that due to greed, professionals have crossed their limits of practice, which has resulted to serious challenges in the health sector.He lamented that if the challenges of drug distribution in the country were not addressed soon, it would be chaotic and detrimental, not only to patients and the health system but also the whole country.

He said pharmacists were responsible for ensuring safe, effective and rational use of medicines, as well as committed to the advancement of the healthcare sector for the benefits of all.

Yakasai also emphasised the importance of creating an enabling environment for pharmacists to contribute effectively to healthcare delivery system in the country.He lamented that the issue has resulted in the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as many Nigerians have abused antibiotics, which he said, has been administered by other healthcare professionals who do not know the proper use of medication.

Speaking, Country Medical Director, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceutical Company, Nigeria, Dr. Laja Odunuga, noted that antimicrobial resistance has become an increasingly serious threat to global health as its deaths are estimated to increase by 10 million in 2050 and an estimated global cost of $100 trillion. He said, this requires action across governments, sectors and the society, adding that misuse of antibiotics by physicians in clinical practice, unskilled practitioners, public animal husbandry and poor quality of drug promote the rise in AMR, as identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

He said Nigeria has the highest number of substandard drugs in Africa, stating that to address the issue, pharmacists should take their rightful place in the distribution of medicines in the country with the support of government and other stakeholders.

Also speaking, National Chairman, Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN) Dr. Kingsley Amibor said crisis in the health sector has caused lack of collaboration between pharmacists and other healthcare practitioners, especially medical doctors, which tend to limit pharmaceutical practice and care for patients.

CBN upbeat on resolution of MTN’s $8.1b repatriation saga

Central Bank of Nigeria

Opts for stability, retains 26-month rates
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Godwin Emefiele yesterday said he was optimistic that the alleged illegal $8.134 billion repatriation dispute involving MTN and its lenders would be resolved amicably.

The regulator had last month ordered the South African telecommunications firm and the affected banks in the deal to return the money to Nigeria, alleging that the company breached extant foreign exchange regulations.

“I am very optimistic we will resolve the matter and I believe that everybody will be happy. MTN will be happy, the banks will be happy. CBN and government would be happy,” Emefiele told reporters in Abuja.However, the apex bank may have opted for stability ahead of growth, as it yesterday retained all monetary policy rates for the 13th consecutive time.

The move appears as a cautious approach against any outcome of the United States’ rates meetings holding today.With the new development, the possibility of issuing emergency financial instruments by the monetary authorities next week is now high, as the rate decision shows the need to stem capital flight and attract more foreign investments amid falling external reserves.

With poor outlook on inflation, political tension, looming rate hike in U.S. and falling foreign exchange inflows, causing the reserves to fall below $45 billion, the nearest potent tool would be high yielding financial instruments to stem capital flight.

Experts have already described the CBN’s move as opting for stability, which is urgently needed before any consideration of economic growth, as sliding foreign investments are renewing pressure on the external reserves.

Emefiele, while reading the communiqué of the meetings, said: “There is need to maintain the current monetary policy stance and wait a clearer understanding of the quantum and timing of liquidity injections into the economy before deciding on possible adjustments.”Renowned economist, Bismarck Rewane, said the decision was in order, especially when the pressure on the external reserves had returned.

World Bank commits $124m to exploration of Nigeria’s industrial minerals

World Bank

The World Bank has concluded a deal with the Federal Government to invest $123.5 million in the exploration of industrial minerals in Nigeria.The Consultant, Vitor Carrieia, disclosed yesterday in Abuja while unveiling the Industrial Minerals Roadmap that the document has a five-year implementation period.

He stated that there was no need for Nigerians to import these minerals, adding that they would explore areas to use them as well as support the drive to project them in the country.

"We need geosciences data and legal framework to enable us work towards actualising the plan for Nigeria. This would make the government to diversify its economy," Carrieia added.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, noted that the global financial body developed the document with a wide range of applications.He explained that they would be used in a variety of industries such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, adding that it would facilitate inter-sector linkages and import substitution.

He said: "In 2016,we launched a roadmap that seeks to build a world class minerals and mining ecosystem. This will serve targeted domestic and export markets as well as winning over domestic users."

According to him, government's desire is to implement strategies that could bridge up the gap of the 626,921 yearly tonnes that currently exist in local production, but being addressed with an importation cost of $44.5 million.The minister added that industrial minerals exist here, which could be developed and exploited to fill the lapse for export to attract foreign exchange earnings to the country.

Buhari blames terrorism on Iraqi, Syrian fighters

President Muhammadu Buhari

• Unfolds Nigeria’s stance on global matters
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday reinterated his position that terrorism and insurgency in the Sahel region and Lake Chad Basin are fuelled by local runaway fighters from Iraq and Syria and arms from the disintegration of Libya.

Buhari spoke in New York where he unfolded Nigeria’s positions on international matters before the global audience during the opening of the General Debate of the 73rd Session of the United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA73).Presenting Nigeria’s national statement, the president first paid glowing tributes to the late seventh UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, for his invaluable contributions to global peace.

“We in Africa, while mourning the loss of this great son of ours and citizen of the world, take pride in the way he served humanity in a truly exemplary manner. He demonstrated, in his calm but determined manner, the virtues of compassion, dedication to the cause of justice, fairness and human rights. He was a visionary leader who inspired hope even in the face of the most daunting challenges. He devoted his entire life’s career to the UN and the pursuit of its ideals and goals. The world is indeed a better place, thanks to his exemplary service,” he said.

Buhari noted that in the past year, the world saw some positive results and encouraging signs from the bilateral and multilateral efforts of the international community to address conflicts, crises and threats to world peace. He commended “the efforts of the leaders of the United States, North Korea and South Korea, to realise our shared goal of a nuclear free Korean Peninsula.”He also acknowledged the commitment to peace shown by President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-Un by initiating a historic summit, urging both leaders to “continue this positive engagement.”

The president expressed regret about some lingering threats to peace and security around the world, lamenting that in some cases, matters got worse. “The continuing plight of the Rohingyas in Myanmar, the protracted Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the wars in Yemen, and Syria, and the fight against international and local terrorism such as Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab come to mind.”

President Buhari, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said: “The terrorist insurgencies we face, particularly in the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, are partly fuelled by local factors and dynamics, but now increasingly by the international Jihadi Movement, runaway fighters from Iraq and Syria and arms from the disintegration of Libya.

“In Myanmar, the carnage appears to have thankfully abated somewhat. We commend the United Nations for staying focused on the situation of the Rohingya people, to bring their suffering to an end, and hold to account the perpetrators of the atrocious crimes committed against innocent and vulnerable members of this community, including women, children and the old.”

He called on the international community to strengthen its resolve to combat ethnic and religious cleansing everywhere. The president expressed Nigeria’s support for the UN’s efforts in ensuring that the Rohingya refugees are allowed to return to their homes in Myanmar with security, protection, and guarantee of citizenship.

Drawing the attention of the international community to the “carnage and the worsening humanitarian situations in Syria and Yemen,” the Nigerian leader cautioned that “the international community cannot afford to give up on the Syrian and Yemeni people. We must pursue all efforts to find peaceful political solutions to these wars which cannot be won by force of arms alone. Regarding Syria, we hope that the UN-sponsored Geneva process and the Sochi initiative, led by Russia, Iran, and Turkey advance this objective.”

He added that, “The International community must keep up the pressure to encourage the parties to pursue the path of dialogue, negotiations and inclusiveness in resolving their sectarian divides and bringing to an end the immense human suffering in Syria as well as Yemen. We commend Turkey, Jordan, Greece, Germany, Italy and France for hosting the millions of the refugees fleeing these brutal conflicts.”

On the worsening Middle East conflict, President Buhari called “on the Israelis and the Palestinians to make the necessary compromises in the interest of justice, peace and security, in line with our numerous UN resolutions and applicable international laws.”Observing that, “unilateral, arbitrary and insensitive actions only prolong the conflict and undermine world peace and security,” he attributed the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza to the “appalling result of unrestrained use of power.”

Nigeria, the president said, urged “both parties to re-engage in dialogue on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, the Madrid Principles, the Quartet Roadmap and the Arab Peace Initiative, among others.”He also reaffirmed Nigeria’s “unwavering support for a just two-state solution, negotiated without intimidation and with Israel and Palestine existing side-by-side in peace and security.”

Citing the current peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the commitment towards peace between Djibouti and Somalia, President Buhari declared:”I believe that with hard work, commitment, and a disposition to compromise and necessary sacrifices, peace is achievable in the Middle East as well.”

On irregular migration which he admitted “entails huge avoidable loss of human lives, puts strains on services in host countries and communities, and fuels anti-immigrant and racist sentiments in Europe,” the Nigerian President welcomed the successful conclusion of the negotiations on the first-ever Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and looked forward to its adoption in Marrakech later this year.”He said the “aim is to protect the rights of migrants worldwide, while addressing the concerns of countries of ‘origin’, ‘transit’, or ‘destination’ alike.”

Commending countries such as Germany, Italy and France for treating migrants with compassion and humanity, the president noted that, “irregular migration is not a consequence of conflicts alone, but of the effects of climate change and lack of opportunities at home. Climate Change remains one of the greatest challenges of our time. Very close to us at home, it is our lot in Nigeria, together with our neighbours around the Chad Basin, to live with the climate change consequences of a drastically shrunk Lake Chad and the parching up of otherwise fertile arable lands.”

Painting a distressing picture of The Lake, which was a major source of livelihood to more than 45 million inhabitants of the region, the president said the shrinking meant loss of livelihoods as they are now rendered poor and vulnerable to the activities of extremists and terrorist groups.

NCC urges telcos to be fair on calls, data charges

Hon. Emeka Ifediora (left); Enugu Zonal Controller of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mrs. Emilia Nwokoro; Transition Committee Chairman, Nnewi North Council, Prince Chukwudi Orizu; Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) Chairman, Nnewi North, Christopher Alaks; and Head, Education and Social Development Department of the council, Mrs. Chukwudozie Ebele, at the 3rd Episode of the Consumer Conversation Forum of NCC at the Enugu office.

Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has charged telecommunication service providers to adhere to certain key performance indicators it has set for improved service delivery.

The zonal controller in Enugu State, Emilia Nwokoro, stated this at the third episode of this year’s Consumer Conversation Forum (CCF) in Anambra State.
According to her, NCC has set more parameters in dealing with service issues, particularly with respect to call drop rates, call completion rates, data services, charges and other poor network quality-related issues.

Nwokoro pointed out that last May, NCC directed service providers to desist from forceful/automatic renewal of data services and activation/subscription to data and value-added services without prior consent of subscribers in form of a clear request by a subscriber via short message service (SMS), Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) or e-mail.

She added that NCC, to protect consumers from the menace of unsolicited text messages/calls, directed all mobile network operators to dedicate a short code ‘2442’ to enable consumers make informed decision on what messages they wish to receive.“The 2442 ‘Do-Not-Disturb’ short code is activated for consumers who wish to stop unsolicited text messages and voice calls.

“Sending ‘STOP’ to 2442 would activate the full ‘Do Not Disturb’ service that would prevent any unsolicited text message, while sending ‘HELP’ to 2442 would send a list of codes that would allow a customer make an informed choice on the category of message to receive. Twenty-four hours has been allowed for the consumer’s specific choice to become effective,” she noted.

Police invite whistleblower over alleged N2.5 billion fraud by Aisha Buhari's detained ADC

Wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari (middle); with other members on her delegation as she arrived for the high level meeting of African First Ladies as one of the side events of the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations Congress in New York.

Aide abused his position, says president’s wife

Police authorities have invited the whistleblower that raised the alarm of a missing N2.5 billion allegedly donated by politicians and other business executives to the wife of the president, Hajia Aisha Buhari.

Specifically, reports had it that her Aide De Camp (ADC), CSP Sani Baba-Inna received huge donations on her behalf but failed to disclose the amount.On receiving a petition against the aide, Hajia Buhari reportedly requested the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to arrest and compel him to refund the money.

It was gathered that following the embarrassment the case had caused the first family, the petitioner was yesterday summoned by the police to give details to enable relevant law enforcement agencies unravel the puzzle.

A presidency source, who sought anonymity, said: "The person that wrote the petition on behalf of the First Lady is already at the Police Headquarters right now (yesterday)."He was, however, silent on investigation so far on the matter when asked whether any trace of the funds in question had been made.

An online platform, which reported on Monday that the ADC has been in custody since Friday, had also quoted the police officer as denying the allegation.
Consequently, the president’s wife reportedly asked the Department of State Service (DSS) to take over the case and facilitate the recovery of the funds.

However, Hajia Buhari yesterday claimed that the embattled ADC had used his position to defraud unsuspecting politicians as well as other business associates and officials.

Reacting in a statement issued by her spokesman, Suleiman Haruna, she denied having a hand in Baba-Inna’s arrest and detention.Mrs. Buhari added that the aide was being quizzed by the police because it was within their purview to do so.

The statement read in part: “The attention of the wife of the President, Dr. (Mrs.) Aisha Muhammadu Buhari has been drawn to some media publications and releases purporting illegal detention of her Aide De Camp (ADC), CSP Sani Baban-Inna, over allegations of fraud.

“He has been her ADC since 2016 and has been associated with her ever since. To the utter dismay of Her Excellency, he has used the opportunity to defraud unsuspecting associates and officials as initial investigations have shown.“The Nigeria Police Force, his employers, arrested him to investigate the allegations levelled against him, this, being within their jurisdiction.”

Always remain non-partisan, Buratai tells army officers

Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai

NAF unveils forensic lab, trains personnel on crime investigation

As the 2019 general elections draw nearer, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai has charged all army officers to always remain non-partisan under any circumstances. Buratai, who disclosed this while declaring the COAS’ second and third quarter conference 2018 open in Abuja, said any officer who is interested in politics should retire to pursue his political ambition.

He maintained that a Special Court Martial has been established to try defaulters, stressing that as professional soldiers, no army personnel should be sympathetic to any political, religious or ethnic cause.

Speaking further Buratai revealed that Army Women Corps has been established to develop professionally responsive female officers that could be employed to support the army in its operational engagements and other commitments in and outside the country.He explained that the objective is to reorganise the women to derive maximum benefits from their contribution to the country’s defence and security architecture.

“It is also meant to exploit the inherent competencies and capacities of the female soldiers to meet the contemporary security as well as operation environment in line with best military practice. “It will also enable them to aspire to the peak of their career without inhibitions,” he added.

Meanwhile, in furtherance of its efforts to effectively deploy scientific approaches to crime fighting, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has commissioned a new Forensic Crime Laboratory at the 057 Provost Investigation Group (057 PIG) in Lagos.

The event also witnessed the commissioning of a newly constructed Headquarters Building for 057 PIG to ensure conducive environment for the NAF Directorate of Air Provost to effectively carry out criminal investigation and train its personnel.Speaking at the commissioning, Guest of Honour, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, commended the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, in providing a befitting and functional facility, while making inroads in the application of forensic policing.

Responding, Abubakar noted that the rapid growth of technology has led to increase in the rate and extent of crimes. He noted that following the expansion of the Force Structure, it became obvious that the service required a law enforcement arm, with capacity to effectively use scientific approach to enhance security and discipline in the service.In this regard, the NAF, in conjunction with its partners from the United Kingdom (UK), trained 16 Provost personnel in the Core Investigative Skills and Interview Techniques, while another set of 16 officers would be concluding the Crime Scene Investigation Course this week.

Our history has tested Nigerians’ resolve to remain united, says FG

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo PHOTO: NOVO ISIORO

• Begins photo exhibition ahead of 2018 Independence celebration
The Federal Government yesterday said that each phase of the nation’s history had tested Nigerians’ resolve to remain united and maintain the integrity of the country known as Nigeria.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who stated this while declaring open the photo exhibition to mark the 2018 commemoration of Nigeria’s 58th Independence anniversary celebration with the theme: “The Footprints of Nigeria’s Political Leaders” in Abuja, also said that each phase had tested the commitment of our leaders to the Nigerian project, their ingenuity and their wisdom in navigating the frequently tortuous and turbulent waters of our national story.

Osinbajo, who described Nigeria’s history as the beginning of great Nigerian story, noted that our history is the least that we can ever be.He said: “There are three reasons at least this historical excursion is important. The first is that it helps us to recognise the incredible leadership of our political leaders from the colonial days till the moment. All of these incredible leaders, men and women, who have shown such great wisdom and wit at various times; such dedication and courage at various times; this exhibition celebrates them.”

He, therefore, stressed the need to pursue a prosperous and just Nigeria and never allow our checkered history to determine our future.The Vice President noted that our future holds much more and is a precursor to a prosperous, united and where all of us are treated fairly and justly.

‘’I am pleased to say on behalf of the Nigerian government and people that we have chosen to say that our history will not determine our future; our history is the least that we can ever be; our future is much greater; our history is only a precursor to a greater Nigeria; to a Nigeria that is prosperous, united and where all of us are treated fairly and justly. Our history is only the beginning of that great Nigerian story that all of these people who have won awards represent; that they are going to be better than those of us who sit here today.

‘’We have not always excelled or have not always done as well as we should. But that is not the story. The story is that we have never irked the courage and will to keep trying, and to do so with greater resolve and greater commitment.

“With the benefit of hindsight, I think that it is evident that at every turn, we clearly saw strength of Nigerians’ resolve to build a nation and the valiant attempts of the leadership at state building,” he further said.

However, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the day was special to every Nigerian as it was a day to reflect on our unity, patriotism and commitment to nation-building. He encouraged participants, especially the youths, to spend time to view and savour this significant and historical exhibition, which showcased Nigeria’s political history from pre-colonial era till date, as well as Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.

Court nullifies Madumere’s impeachment as Imo deputy governor

Deputy governor of Imo state, Prince Eze Madumere

APGA guber aspirant seeks Okorocha’s removal

An Imo High Court sitting in Owerri and presided over by Justice Benjamin Iheaka has declared the impeachment of Prince Eze Madumere as the state’s deputy governor invalid and of no effect.

In his three-hour ruling, Iheaka berated Chief Judge Paschal Nnadi and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Militus Nlemadim, for their “inability” to adhere to the provisions of Section 188 (5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) before removing Madumere from office.

The deputy governor was impeached by the House of Assembly on July 31 this year, same day the court restrained the parties in the dispute to stay action.
Justice Iheaka held that the Chief Judge dared and constituted a seven -man panel to investigate Madumere without compliance to the seven-day lifeline provided by the constitution.

The presiding judge said observed that the lawmakers commenced impeachment procedure against the plaintiff on July 11 while Justice Nnadi inaugurated the panel on July 20. He maintained that the decision to constitute the panel nine days after the House's resolution was inadmissible in law.

The court recalled that it had restrained the chamber’s speaker, Acho Ihim and the Assembly (ninth and 10th defendants) in the suit from proceeding with Madumere’s ouster until the determination of the case.

Meanwhile, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state, Uche Onyeaguocha, has called for Governor Rochas Okorocha’s removal from office by the legislature on the strength of his involvement in the saga.

The call was contained in a statement issued yesterday in Owerri by his Chief Press Secretary, MacDonald Enwere. The statement reads in part: "Following the recent nullification of the purported impeachment of Prince Eze Madumere today (yesterday) by an Imo State High Court, the frontline APGA governorship aspirant in the state, Uche Onyeagucha, has called on the House of Assembly to commence the impeachment of Governor (Rochas) Ethelbert Okorocha.

Alliance tasks government on tobacco control for sustainable development

Akinbode Oluwafemi

The Nigeria Tobacco Control Alliance (NTCA) has urged the Federal Government and signatories to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (WHO-FCTC) to include control in their development agenda.

Chairman of NTCA board, Akinbode Oluwafemi, who spoke in company of the Programme Manager, Oluseun Esan, yesterday in Lagos, insisted that including tobacco control in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was imperative “since tobacco is known for its addictive nature and induces poverty and diseases on its users.”

Evidences abound that the tobacco industry has embarked on an unrelenting attack on developing countries like Nigeria, he noted, adding that the tobacco menace was prevalent in low and middle income countries (LMICs) due mainly to weak laws, demographic dynamics and the political influence tobacco corporations wield.

“Tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure continues to harm people globally. Those harmed are often vulnerable and include children, those living in LMICs and those with existing diseases. As noted by the WHO in 2017, nearly 80 per cent of those who smoke live in LMICs.

“In 2015, leaders from 193 countries came together and created the SDGs. The 17 goals imagine a future that would be rid of poverty and hunger, as well as a world free from the worst effects of climate change just 15 years after,” he said.

According to Oluwafemi, reducing tobacco use plays a major role in global efforts to achieve the SDGs target to reduce premature deaths from Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) by one-third in 2030, and most of the 17 goals have a direct or indirect relationship with tobacco control.

The alliance, therefore, charged the Federal Government to increase the excise duty on tobacco products to the extent that revenues realised from the increase could be used to fund SDGs priorities and tobacco control.It also urged all relevant government agencies to immediately start enforcing the provisions of the National Tobacco Control (NTC) Act, 2015.

NFF lures Dangote, Otedola to help drive quest for financial autonomy

NFF Second Vice President, Shehu Dikko (left), NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, Aliko Dangote, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, NFF First Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi, and Femi Otedola at the Best FIFA Awards in London… on Monday.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) believes business moguls, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola will help its quest for financial autonomy. Yesterday, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick explained that he invited Dangote and Otedola to the FIFA Best Awards ceremony in London on Monday night because of the role they could play in the federation’s move to self-sufficiency.
Thenff.com reports that Dangote and Otedola were conspicuous at the Awards, where they met with FIFA President Gianni Infantino and the crème de la crème of world football in the British capital.
Pinnick said: “Alhaji Dangote is perhaps the biggest business brand in Africa, and one of Nigeria’s leading Ambassadors. I am very happy to be in a position to invite him and Otedola to such an event of global stature and essence.
“As a nation, it is important that we continue to showcase our best brands in all fields. Doing this enhances the stock of our country globally. Alhaji Dangote and Mr. Otedola were happy to meet the world’s top governors of football and the football governors were also happy to meet them.“Our objective as a football federation is to attain financial autonomy so that the government can channel resources otherwise taken up by football into other critical sectors, and we believe that if we have persons like Dangote and Otedola partnering with Nigerian football, we will get there faster,” said Pinnick.
A notable football fan, Dangote is reportedly worth over $15 billion.“The NFF has invited Alhaji Dangote to a couple of matches previously, including the friendly match with England in London before the FIFA World Cup in Russia, but he was unable to attend. Now, we are discussing with him on a relationship with Nigerian Football and he is showing immense interest,” Pinnick, who is also the first vice president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), said.
AITEO is currently Nigerian football’s biggest partner, with a five–year agreement for payment of coaches of the various national teams, sponsorship of the annual AITEO Cup for men and women and sponsorship of the annual NFF/AITEO Awards.

Thenff.com revealed that Pinnick also invited Benedict Peters, who is the Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of AITEO Group to the last FIFA Best Awards ceremony in London. He was represented by Francis Peters, his deputy. This year, AITEO was represented by Executive Director, Andrew Onyearu, as Peters was in New York to receive an award for the company from FORBES magazine.

“Football has tremendous capacity to be self –sustaining and even contribute significantly to the national GDP. That is the station we are targeting at the moment.“I also want to use this opportunity to appreciate our other sponsors and partners, Coca Cola, Zenith Bank, Nigeria Breweries PLC, NIKE, Cadbury PLC, WAPIC Insurance, Emzor Pharmaceuticals, TGI, 1XBET, Peak Milk, Payporte for making us to attain the present 65 per cent private sector –funding status,” said Pinnick.

Man arraigned for forging WAEC certificate

• Another convicted of visa fraud

For allegedly forging a West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate and bank statements of Ecobank and First Bank, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned a 44-year-old travel agent, Oluseyi Lamoru before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo on an eight-count charge bordering on possession of fraudulent documents.  

The prosecution counsel, Mr. Spiff Owede, told the court that the defendant committed the offences on August 22, 2017 in Lagos. His offences contravene Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and Section 363(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.The prosecution alleged that: “The defendant, with intent to defraud, forged a WAEC certificate with the name Shonubi Muheeba Olasunbo and purported that the said certificate emanated from WAEC. Lamoru with fraudulent intent, forged five Benue State University certificates. He also forged an Ecobank statement of account with account number 2852009964 with the name Adewale Anuoluwapo Kudirat and a First Bank statement of account with the name Ajibode Oluwaseun Olusola.”

Following his plea of not guilty to the charges, the prosecutor prayed the court to remand the defendant in prison to avoid congesting the cells of the anti-graft agency and asked for a trial date. However, the defendant counsel, Mr. Ademola Adewale, requested that the defendant be remanded in EFCC custody.  

EFCC counsel opposed his request. He said: “It is unfortunate that we have no space in the commission. Immediately he stepped out, a new suspect who had to stay behind the counter, took his place.” The judge ordered that Lamoru be remanded in EFCC custody and adjourned hearing of bail application till October 12.

Meanwhile, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) said it has secured a conviction against another visa racketeer, Giwa Sulaimon, who was earlier arraigned for forgery and making false statements. In a statement issued by ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, it said the commission filed a three-count charge before S.O. Solebo of an Ikeja High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos State against the convict.

The allegations bordered on providing misleading information to the United States of America (USA) consulate in Lagos with the intent of procuring a visa which contravened Section 17(1)(c) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act Cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, respectively.

The statement added that Giwa was also arraigned on allegations of making false statements to officers of the commission averring that the documents submitted to the consulate were genuine when they were not, which is contrary to Section 25 of the law establishing the ICPC.

Okoduwa, in the statement, said trouble started for Giwa when ICPC received intelligence that he had submitted a visa application to the USA consulate with misleading and fraudulent documents. Okoduwa added that on the set day for further interview on his application, he was arrested by operatives of ICPC and the following documents were retrieved from him: a United Bank for Africa (UBA) letter conveying approval for his annual leave; a Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) statement of account.

Okoduwa said that further investigations revealed that the convict was not a worker of UBA as claimed and that the content of the statement of account he had was not a true representation of his account with GTB and therefore had been falsified. It was also discovered that the visas for United Kingdom, Republic of Benin, Republic of Togo and Ghana contained in his international passport were fake.

According to Okoduwa, the convict proposed a plea bargain upon which the prosecution filed a three-count amended charge indicating a plea bargain and sentence agreement, which was executed by both parties. The trial judge convicted Giwa on his plea of guilty and sentenced him to pay a fine of N50,000 only on three counts.

National carrier on course, says Sirika

Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that the plan to establish a new national carrier remains on course and due to resume at a later date.

Sirika said contrary to claims, the huge capital investment project had attracted a retinue of “quality investors” that are ready to stake 95 per cent equity in Nigeria Air.

But the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, at a function at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos yesterday, had said that the project was suspended because expected investors were not forthcoming.

Sirika, in a statement signed by his Deputy Director, Media & Public Affairs, James Odaudu, denied the claim, saying: The Federal Executive Council only suspended the process for the establishment of the national carrier for the time being. The project has not been killed. These clarifications have been made in the public interest.”

Two nabbed for monitoring Osoba's residence with drone

Two suspects were arrested yesterday for allegedly using drone to monitor activities in the Abeokuta residence of former Ogun State governor, Chief Olusegun Osoba.

In a statement, the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain indicated that the incident involved a lady and a young man, who could not give any satisfactory reasons for their action. Kunle Adeyemi, who signed the statement on behalf Osoba, warned that the political climate in Ogun had taken a dangerous dimension with a major security breach and threat to his life.

According to the 10-paragraph statement, it was not the first time such security breach had occurred in the house. Unknown persons had few years ago reportedly invaded the expansive compound and expertly dug out armoured cables.

The statement read in part: “Late afternoon on Tuesday (yesterday) two people, a lady and a young man, were caught using drone to monitor goings-on in the expansive compound of Chief Osoba.“Alert security staff of Chief Osoba were able to bring down the drone and got the operators arrested.

“Neither of the suspects was able to give coherent explanation.“Chief Osoba arrived Abeokuta from the United Kingdom in the morning to prepare for a private meeting where peaceful conduct of the presidential party primary scheduled for Friday was to be discussed.”

JDPC cautions youths in Edo against irregular migration

The Justice Development and Peace Caritas Commission (JDPC), Archdiocese of Benin City, has warned youths on the dangers of irregular migration among other social vices. The assistant director of JDPC, Rev. Fr. Benedict Onwugbenu, gave the warning during a rally/sensitization campaign on anti-human trafficking and irregular migration, organised by the body in Benin City, Edo State.

Onwugbenu said: “It is in this light that the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (Caritas Nigeria) in conjunction with JDPC, is carrying out a campaign on anti-human trafficking and safe migration in three local government areas of Edo – Esan North East, Estako West and Ikpoba-Okha.

Onwugbenu, who decried the alarming rate of irregular migration in Edo, said the state has been labeled as the most endemic source of human trafficking in Nigeria and as a result of this negative label, a number of international organizations and non-governmental organizations have intervened to combat human the menace.

He said despite these interventions, human trafficking is still rife in Edo, adding that political, economic, religious, social and cultural factors contribute to the difficulties in curbing human trafficking in the state. “To eradicate it, a joint effort between government, traditional leaders, religious institutions, NGOs and members of the public is needed,” Onwugbenu said.

Man remanded for defiling neighbour’s four-year-old daughter

• Housewife kills stepdaughter with insecticide to ‘teach co-wife respect’

The police yesterday told an Ogba Chief Magistrates Court in Lagos how a 35-year-old man, Festus Ekuku, defiled his neighbour’s four-year-old daughter. The prosecutor, Mr. Christopher John, told the court to proffer stiff punishment on the accused, insisting that he lured the girl to his house where he defiled her.

He said the incident occurred at Okoson Street in Afromedia, Okokomaiko area of Lagos, where they live, adding that the accused lured victim into his apartment, pulled down her pant, forcefully penetrated her and in the process injured her private part. He said the victim’s mother uncovered the evil act against her child when she wanted to bathe her.

“When she probed further the girl said she was feeling pains in her private part as a result of the injury she sustained after the unlawful act,” he said.He added that the matter was reported to the Gender Section of the Lagos State Police Command where detectives arrested Ekeku and detained him at the command.

During interrogation, the police found him culpable and charged him before the Ogba Magistrates court for defilement. Ekeku was remanded in prison as the court denied him bail and refused to take his plea.

The presiding magistrate, Mr. Peter Nwaka, directed the prosecutor to duplicate the file and send to DPP for advice. The matter was adjourned pending the availability of the report of DPP advice.

Meanwhile, a 20-year-old woman, Zulac Kabiru, has confessed to killing her eight-month-old stepdaughter, Rukaiya Kabiru, to teach her co-wife how to respect ‘her superior’ by giving her local insecticide, known as ‘otapiapia’, to drink. Zulac who was arrested by the police in Niger State for allegedly killing her stepdaughter at Danauta village in the Mariga Local Government Area of the state, said the second wife had the habit of insulting and assaulting her, so she decided to poison her daughter.

The suspect was said to have secretly given the baby the locally-made insecticide to drink, which resulted in her death. It was gathered that the suspect and her co-wife had not been on good terms for a long time. Facts gathered also revealed that the first wife resented the marriage to the second wife.

Speaking to newsmen when she was paraded, she said: “I warned my husband to desist from getting another wife in the family but he would not listen. The second wife was in the habit of insulting and assaulting me at all times and one day I decided to poison her eight-month-old daughter to death to increase her sorrow.”so that she will learn how to respect her superior in the family. Before my husband married her, we have been living in peace but when she came she divided the family. My husband gave her more attention than myself and since then our family had been in shambles,” she explained.

Leah Sharibu's mother, others sue IGP, AGF

Seek N500million compensation
Rebecca Sharibu, mother of the abducted Leah Sharibu, and others, have filed a N500million suit against the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) for their alleged failure to ensure the release of her daughter.

The other plaintiffs in the suit dated September 19, 2018 are Mr. Daniel David Kadzai and Lift-Up-Now Incorporation, a non-governmental organization in the United States of America.

The suit was filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos and a copy was made available to newsmen yesterday in Jos, the Plateau State capital. Among the prayers being sought by the plaintiffs are an order directing and mandating the defendants to secure the immediate and unconditional release of Leah from the custody of her captors, and an order compelling the defendants to employ every means in securing her release.

The plaintiffs are also seeking an order compelling the defendants to pay N500 million being compensation for the indignities and human deprivations suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the defendants' dereliction of statutory duties in securing her release from her captors since February, 2018 till date.

According to the suit, the defendants may enter appearance personally or by a legal practitioner either by filing the appropriate processes in response at the registry of the court, where the summons was issued, or by sending them to that office by any methods allowed by these rules. It added that if the defendant does not respond within the stipulated time and at the appropriate place, order will be made and proceedings may be taken as the judge may think just and expedient.

In an affidavit supporting the application, the 3rd plaintiff and Executive Director of the Lift-Up-Now Incorporation, Dr. Adeniyi Ojutiku, solemnly swears that he has been informed by their lead counsel, Tayo Doughlas Esq, that it is necessary in the circumstance to seek and obtain leave of the court to issue the originating summons on the defendants.

Super Eagles may now host Libya in Uyo

Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mohammed Sanusi

There are indications that Nigeria will host Libya in their African Cup of Nations qualifier in Uyo following concerns over the state of facilities and security at the earlier touted Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had earlier written to African football governing body, CAF to bring the game forward to Saturday, October 13 instead of October 12 due to logistics considerations.

But now, it appears the NFF will shift the game to Uyo, which hosted Super Eagles Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers last year.NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi declined comments on the venue change yesterday, but The Guardian learnt that the federation had informed CAF of its intention to take the game to Uyo.

Sources at the NFF revealed that facilities at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna failed to meet basic requirements for hosting a game of such magnitude.
“The Ahmadu Bello Stadium is in need of repairs and the state of the pitch, which was near perfect when Gernot Rohr visited last month, has deteriorated to a level not fit enough for a game of such magnitude.

“So, the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State has been forwarded to both CAF and Libyan FA as the new venue of the match on October 12.”“Akwa Ibom State has successfully repaired the pitch, which was damaged during one of the political events of the Akwa Ibom State Governor,” one of the sources said.

Any sense in Best FIFA Football Awards?

Winner of the Best FIFA Men’s Player of then Year, Luka Modric (left), Coach of Year Award winner, Didier Deschamps and Marta, who won the Best FIFA Women’s Award during the ceremony…on Monday. PHOTO: AFP.

Sometimes, football just doesn’t make sense. And The Best Fifa Awards have done a grand job of proving that.It’s hard to know where to start, but we’ll have a go at dissecting exactly what went on in the strangest football awards, hosted by Idris Elba wearing a waistcoat emblazoned with Gareth Southgate’s face.

What was even going on with the voting? Can anyone honestly make sense of it? We’re going to try...

Is the Fifpro best XI REALLY the best 11 players?
Let’s start with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah. He scored 32 Premier League goals last season and was named Fifa’s third best male footballer, behind winner

Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo. So why was he not included in the World XI?
Then there’s the inclusion of Manchester United’s Spanish stopper David de Gea as the team’s goalkeeper, even though he missed out to Thibaut Courtois for the individual keeper award.

And how has Paris St-Germain’s injured right-back Dani Alves made it in again? The Brazilian has been selected in eight of the past nine teams, only missing out in 2014.

Any more decent right-backs out there? Hello? Anyone?
Of course, there are arguments for and against the inclusion of every member of the World XI team, but what The Best awards seemingly don’t rely on is consistency.

Fifa has explained how the voting for the player and coach categories took place - national team captains, national team managers, selected journalists and, for the first time, an online poll of fans, with each accounting for 25 per cent of the total. But Fifa hasn’t explained why Salah and Courtois only make the second XI.

Fifpro - world football’s players’ union - released four ‘reserve’ teams in total, made up of the 44 players who didn’t receive enough votes to make the first team.The results are certainly interesting.

Arguably, the second XI’s front three of Neymar, Mohamed Salah and World Cup Golden Boot-winner Harry Kane would fit nicely into the World XI. Kane did only receive 0.98 per cent of the vote, though.

Did second XI midfielder Paul Pogba, who was pivotal in France’s triumph in the World Cup, deserve to make the cut ahead of Messi, who had a quiet tournament and exited at the last-16 stage?
And how about Kevin de Bruyne? The Manchester City man enjoyed a stellar season for the Blues on their road to the Premier League title but did not make the first XI.

He and fellow second XI selection Kyle Walker were the only players from Manchester City’s dominant side to make the first three teams in the FIFPro vote.The third XI is also a pretty solid looking side, with several strong World Cup performers in there, including Belgium’s Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku and Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

They’d certainly have an argument to at least make the bench for the Best XI team.

NPHCDA mulls robust framework for primary healthcare delivery

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) is planning to come up with a clear strategy and implementation framework for primary healthcare delivery in the country.

Executive Director, NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, who stated this at a special retreat on strategy for immunisation priorities and public health care (PHC) system strengthening (2019-2020) in Abuja, said there had been an ambitious plan to sustain immunisation in Nigeria over the last 10 years and that the Buhari administration would leave no stone unturned in turning around the fortune of the primary health services.

He said: “We have worked and we are beginning to see minimal results. We are trying to establish primary healthcare where Nigerians will go and be treated with dignity and respect. What we are doing at this retreat is to really understand how we are going to take the next 10 years forward in entrenching full immunisation of our children.

“Today, we will be talking about how to hold everybody responsible starting from the ministry of health, myself the executive director all the way to the primary health care provider accountable to deliver primary health care that matches our aspirations as Nigerians.

“A board has been set up for local vaccine production by May and Baker, and the target that has been given by the minister of health is that in the next three years, we should be producing some vaccines, and this would stem from what we already have. You know there was a time in the sixties when Nigeria was producing the yellow fever vaccine, we believe that we can turn back the hands of clock and ensure that we begin to manufacture our vaccines, not only for Nigeria, but also for the whole of West Africa. This government is committed to ensure that Nigeria produces the vaccine that we need locally.”

Meanwhile, Managing Director of GAVI, Hind Khatib, who spoke on behalf of health support partners, disclosed that the decision of the GAVI board to extend its support towards routine immunisation in Nigeria was not an easy one as other countries have lost out. “You are bound to a duty to make sure these investments are utilised effectively. We want to make sure you are working with us at the same speed and efficiency so that our partnership can continue,” she said.