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TOP NEWS IN NIGERIA TODAY(MORNING EDITION)
=>Tompolo: Withdraw Troops From Niger Delta – Ann-kio Briggs Warns Buhari -Today.ng
To avoid unnecessary friction that may lead to tension in the area, President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to call for the immediate withdrawal of troops redeployed to some communities in the Niger Delta region.
A human rights activist, Ann-Kio Briggs, who gave the warning said the presence of soldiers in these communities particularly in the Gbaramatu community of Delta state could be agitating and was capable of causing tension in the area.
This is coming at a time when the Federal High court in Lagos ordered for the arrest of the ex-militant warlords for his refusal to honor several invitations by the EFCC.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital at the weekend, Ann-Kio Briggs warned that if the idea of redeploying troops to the Delta community was to arrest Government Ekpemupolo, popularly called Tompolo, then “They should go through the due process of arresting anybody”.
“Tompolo has been doing legitimate business with the government over the years. I don’t know which law stipulates how to do business or otherwise. If the federal government has any issue with Tompolo, they should go through the due process of properly investigating him.
“You can’t send soldiers to destroy a community, arrest young men and rape women in the name of searching for Tompolo. If they claim that everybody in the Ijaw land is a criminal, does it also mean that everybody in the north is a member of Boko Haram?
“You cannot hold the traditional rulers responsible for Tompolo’s action or inaction. The attitude of the soldiers in the Ijaw communities is oppressive. The moment soldiers are restricted to a particular ethnic group in the country, it becomes very
Ann-Kio Briggs who is the spokesperson of the Ijaw Republican Assembly, IRA, said it was fundamentally wrong for soldiers to “invade” any community in search of their target, adding that such action was “not the way to address the issue of decades-long neglect of the Niger Delta region by every successive government”.
According to her, If Tompolo has been indicted for any wrong doing, he should be properly investigated but “there are officials in this government who have been indicted of embezzlement of public funds, yet they are walking about as freemen”.
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=>Senior Nigerian Lawyer, Rickey Tarfa, Arraigned By EFCC; Floods Court With 90 SANs–PremiumsTimes
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday arraigned a senior lawyer, Rickey Tarfa, before Justice Aishat Opesanwo of Lagos State High Court, Igbosere, on 2-count charge of obstruction of justice and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Mr. Tarfa pleaded not guilty to both counts.
Based on his plea, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo prayed the court for a trial date and to remand the defendant in custody.
However, Adeniyi Akintola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, who led a team of over 90 Senior Advocates and other lawyers to represent Mr. Tarfa, said they had filed an application for bail which he said was served on the prosecution on the 10th of February, 2016.
In his application for bail, the defence counsel told the court that the defendant went to court voluntarily and that he was granted administrative bail by EFCC on self-recognition.
He said the defendant was a very senior member of the bar with no criminal record. He said there was nothing to show that the defendant would jump bail.
However, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, urged the court to dismiss the application as the offence was grave. He urged the court to dismiss the application and order for an accelerated hearing.
Justice Opesanwo, in her ruling, granted bail to Mr. Tarfa on self-recognition but ordered that he must not travel out of the country without the permission of the court.
The trial judge bemoaned the number of counsel who were in court for the defendant. She noted that there was no need for such magnitude of support as it amounts to harassment and intimidation of the court.
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=> Buhari alters trip to three countries-Sahara Reporters
Emerging reports suggest that there is a modification in President Muhammadu Buhari’s itinerary for his forthcoming visits to three different countries. According to Sahara Reporters, the modified program will now see the president spending just one night in Cairo, Egypt when the three-nation tour starts on Saturday, February 20. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Presidency defends Buhari frequent foreign trips Presidency says there is a slight modification in President Buhari’s forthcoming trip to three countries. President Buhari will then dash back to Abuja on February 21 for a 24-hour stopover before traveling to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia on Monday, February 22. On Tuesday, February 23, the Nigerian president will fly from Riyadh to Madinah, while on Wednesday, February 24, he is scheduled to travel by road from Madinah to Makkah. It is gathered that President Buhari is scheduled to travel from Jeddah to Doha, Qatar before returning to Abuja on Saturday, February 27. Meanwhile, the presidency has reacted to the insinuation that President Buhari’s frequent oversea trips are mere jamborees. Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to Buhari on media and publicity, recently told reporters at the State House that the foreign trips were necessitated by the president’s desire to block and recover funds looted out of Nigeria.
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=>Boko Haram commanders anger with Shekau –
Ahmad Salkida, the journalist known to have access to the Boko Haram sect, has revealed that the commanders of the group are angry with their leader Abubakar Shekau. The journalist has stated that recent attacks on the camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have caused bitterness within the rank and file of the Boko Haram group. Ahmad in a report on Salkida.com, cited a source within the sect as saying that many insurgents were wordlessly complaining and others openly voicing their opposition to the unidentifiable Shekau over these “unexplained attacks on the innocent”. According to Salkida, the source said the only clarification given for these onslaughts was that the people had run to administration-held territories. The insider added that some of the Boko Haram leaders saw the IDPs as supportive of government’s war against the militant group, therefore, deserving the attacks. Meanwhile, a leading member within the leadership rank denied this line of argument and cautioned against attacking refugees. He said: “We cannot be subjecting more hardship and grief to the people more than the army of the Kufr (unbelievers) subjects them to. “What we now have is people are left to choose between the army of Kufr and us, and lately, the people are increasingly choosing the Kufr.” The journalist further stated that a growing number of the Boko Haram terrorists were unhappy with the individual vindictive ploy and attacks, as opposed to the sect’s original doctrine-driven campaign.
=>Pastor caught with human sculls in Ilorin- Nigerian Tribune
A pastor identified as Gabriel Josiah, who was caught in possession of human sculls has been remanded in prison by a magistrate court sitting in Ilorin, Kwara state. Josiah, also known as Eli-wakuku, is the founder of St. Moses Orimolade Cherubim and Seraphim Church in Osere area of the state capital. The Tribune, citing a testimony of a police prosecutor given before the court, reports that the suspect conspired with Gabriel Moyosore ‘m’, Yinusa Sa’ad Ayinla, Alfa Alaba Isiaka (at large) and others to have unlawfully gain entry into Muslim cemetery ground at Osere area of Ilorin since 2009 till date. The testimony read: “You also use it for money rituals and other evil acts. You engaged in other nefarious activities within Osere area, Ilorin and its environs in the night. “Police investigation revealed that you Gabriel Josiah actually conspired with other suspects and sold the last human skull to Gabriel Moyosore at the rate of N6,000.00 in which the said human skull was discovered in possession of Gabriel Moyosore and you confessed to the commission of the crime. You thereby committed the above offences.” Pending further hearing, Magistrate K.A Yahaya remanded the accused persons in prison. In another development, a pastor named Victor, has reportedly fled after being caught pants down with another man’s wife in Lagos. According to a PM News report, the pastor sneaked into a man’s house to have carnal knowledge of the wife before he was caught pants down in Ejigbo area of Lagos state. Reportedly he had already pulled off his trousers but had to run out wearing only his underwear when the husband, identified as Vitalis Okere, barged into his home.
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=> War on corruption: EFCC may soon go after former First Lady— DailySun
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may soon invite Goodluck Jonathan’s wife to explain her role in the sourcing and disbursement of huge funds spent by the presidency during the last two weeks before the general elections. The fund, estimated at over a trillion naira, was reportedly disbursed through the Amnesty office to some political bigwigs in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). According to investigators of the disbursement, the release of about 40% of the funds was authorized by the former First Lady. The operatives of the anti-graft agency are also investigating the source of the funds, which has not been yet established because the former head of the presidential amnesty programme departed from Nigeria. Speaking with The Sun, sources who pleaded for anonymity said that the former Amesty office’s boss “allegedly disbursed the bulk of the money, which was not part of the funds allocated to his office.” “Ordinarily, he should have been here to defend himself against the petitions, but he has refused to show up. It is highly suspected that he is not in any hospital. It was all a dummy be sold to Nigerians. He left this country as soon as he sensed the EFCC may invite him to explain his role in the funds disbursement,” he added. The source noted that the investigation team has already interrogated some aides, including personal assistants and driver of the former boss of the Amnesty office, on the matter. In the past few months, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has increased the tempo of its hunt for public funds suspected to have been looted from the government coffers. Many serving and retired military officers as well as top politicians have been interrogated by the EFCC operatives. READ ALSO: EFCC boss reveals who frustrates Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade It would be noted that the anti-corruption campaign has started yielding fruits. A few days ago, the immediate past director of finance and budget of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore O. O. Gbadebo, returned the sum of N84 million to the anti-graft agency. Earlier this year, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and former military governor of Kaduna state, Jafaru Isa, returned N100m out of the N170m he reportedly received from former national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
=> Planned suspension of anti-Saraki senator heightens tension at Senate-Punch
THE planned suspension of the spokesperson for the Senate President Unity Forum, Senator Kabir Marafa, over an interview he granted and published in the last week edition of Sunday PUNCH heightened tension at the Senate on Tuesday.
Marafa had in the interview declared his support for former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the issues he raised in his recent letter to both chambers of the National Assembly, especially on the need to make their budgets transparent and accessible to Nigerians.
But on the resumption of plenary after a two-week break on Tuesday, the Senator representing Bauchi South Senatorial District, Issa Missau, drew the attention of his colleagues to the publication, which according to him, was offensive.
Coming under matters of personal privilege, Missau, alleged that Marafa, by his comments, had infringed on his rights as well as the rights of others and deserved to receive an instant punishment from the Senate to serve as deterrent to others.
He said, “Senator Kabiru Marafa granted an interview misleading the public telling lies against this institution (Senate). I think I have been called more than 500 times from my constituency in respect of this publication.
“,,,Mr. President (Senate President Olusola Saraki), I think the leadership has to do something about this, the Senate should do something about this. We cannot allow one person to continue to tell lies against the Senate, misleading the public.
“I think it is better we take a decision so that we correct things, not only Marafa, anybody here would not be allowed to be misleading the public. I think it is not okay Mr. President.”
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=> EFCC has recovered billions of stolen funds – Magu – Nigerianeye
The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu yesterday said the agency has recovered billions of stolen funds.
He said the anti-corruption war is “the war of the people.”
He also said that “apart from the fear of God, we have no other fear.”
Magu, who made the submissions in an address to a coalition of Civil Society Groups who marched to EFCC for a solidarity rally, said senior lawyers were frustrating the war against corruption.
He however said the days of impunity are over.
He said: “ We want the Nigerian people to continue to support us, continue to support Mr. President’s war on corruption.
“We have many corruption cases in court. We are getting them every day from everywhere and we are recovering stolen money and taking corrupt people to court.
“ The money we have recovered and the money we are going to get back from them -billions and billions of Naira- is being paid back to government and will be used to do what it was originally meant for -to build hospitals, send our children to school, build roads and railways, create employment and defend our country.
“ We have no other country than Nigeria. This war is the war of the people.
“ Apart from the fear of God, we have no other fear. Apart from the interest of Nigeria, we have no other interest. And apart from the Rule of Law, we have no other rule guiding the work we are doing today. The days of impunity are over.
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=> Why Boko Haram keeps bombing North-Eastern communities – Lai Mohammed explain-Nigerianeye
The recent bombings of some communities in the North-eastern part of the country are acts of desperation rather than resurgence of insurgency, the Federal Government has said.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who gave this explanation at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, insisted that the terror group had been degraded and were desperate to prove otherwise through bombing of soft targets.
He said, “Now, the current bombings by the degraded Boko Haram will not surprise anyone who is conversant with the ebb and flow of insurgency. During the immediate period after an insurgency has been degraded, the fact that terrorists are dispersed into the community is often followed by an upsurge of terror attacks in the form of suicide bombing and sabotage of critical facilities.
“Activities during this period are often carried out within population and against soft targets or vulnerable groups. There is often apprehension in the community that terrorism is getting worse, even though, in reality, insurgency has been weakened as a cohesive terror force. This is the current phase of insurgency in the country.
“There is no resurgence of Boko Haram. The terrorists remain massively degraded and largely defeated. The recent string of attacks is not an indication that Boko Haram is bouncing back. We warned that the terrorists would resort to attacking soft targets, which are highly vulnerable places like motor parks, entertainment and worship centres, markets, etc.”
He added, “This administration is not unaware of this development (resurgence) and is taking appropriate measures, in line with global best practices, to ensure an effective response. These include the strengthening of intelligence and security, especially in the affected communities, and the stepping up of the reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement efforts.
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=> “Peter And Paul Are P’Square Not Jude” – Peter Okoye Goes On Twitter Rants (Pics)
The Okoye brothers are at it again. Peter is going off like rapid fire on twitter and its getting serious as he insists that their brother Jude’s services as their manager is no longer needed. See his tweets
=>They Want To Disgrace Me – Linda Defends Birkins After Hermes Confirms It’s Fake
Yesterday, we reported that Linda Ikeji made her Instagram account private after some followers accused her of buying fake Birkins. Now, the French luxury label has allegedly confirmed them to be fakes.
Linda Ikeji. Credit: gossipatrol.blogspot.com.ng
The inquiry was made by a ‘fake bag buster’ on Instagram, JFTarley, who contacted Hermés’ official Instagram handle with a photo of the bags, and posted a screenshot of the company’s alleged reply; “The so called Birkin bag on the picture is a counterfeit.”
Upset by this, Linda Ikeji posted a few more photos of the bags and told her followers to tag the manufacturer. “OK, let’s do this!” She began, “Let me leave my blogging and face this since Hermes has gotten involved! The other pic in my walk in closet was apparently a bad one..made the black bag look like grey..so I’m taking another on my bed. Can someone cc hermes with the new images?? These pple can’t come and disgrace me here lol”
Still, critics are still trolling the top blogger, with many asking her to post the photos of the boxes the bags came in.
“Let’s clarify this. So, I bought the bag for 14 thousand dollars on Sloan Street, UK,” Ms Ikeji said in her defence. “In Naira, that would be how much again? That would be about N4.8m. Damn, Linda!”
=> Omotola Jalade launches Event Centre to celebrate birthday (Photos)
On Valentine’s Day Sunday, February 14, top Nollywood actress and One of Time’s Most Influential People in the world, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde opened an event center, Double Doors at 8 Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Unity Bus Stop, Ikeja, Lagos. Omosexy as she is fondly called was in playful element dancing to Kiss Daniel, threw off her high heel, sang her hit song, Gba and played host to Freeze and new wife, Blacky, DJ Bombastic, Bimbo Akintola, Bigsam, Denrele, family and friends. READ ALSO: Omotola Jalade celebrates birthday with the less privileged (Photos) Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Omotola at the opening of her Event Centre, Double Doors Omotola at the opening of her Event Centre, Double Doors In order to close the event, Omotola Jalade thanked everyone who made out time out of their busy schedule to make her dreams come true. She said: “I thank everyone for coming here today, this is Double doors event centre please tell your friends about it. I want to thank everyone for coming here today, to those who stood by me in order for me to actualize my dream. She also thanked her photographer, her stylist, her manager (Damilare) among others.” In order to celebrate her new age, Omotola Jalade and her friends visited the Osu children’s Home in Ghana. Narrating her ordeal with the children she disclosed that a particular girl held on to her and refused to let her go, this experience has made Omotola promise to go back to the orphanage.
=>Bukky Wright sheds light on new movie and her son’s music career
Nollywood actress Bukky Wright says her new movie is almost ready. READ ALSO: How Aki and Pawpaw saved a couple’s marriage from collapse Speaking exclusively to Hip TV, she said the film which was shot in the United States is at its final stage, specifically in its post-production stage. The movie is titled Beast Amongst Us and promises a number of international appearances. The actress also decried the spate of image abuse actors suffer in Nigeria as a result of misconceptions from the public. She listed this as a major setback for the actors’ images. She said most of these acts are make-believe and so should not be taken seriously. On her son’s career she expressed readiness to support him to the fullest in his music career.
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