Classic Naija


The declaration of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day in honour of Chief MKO Abiola will not be complete without Nigerians knowing the result of the election, the Senate has said.
The decision of the Senate was sequel to a motion by Ekiti state lawmaker, Biodun Olujimi, on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

Chief Abiola was presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election but till date, the result has not been fully announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Olujimi, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lauded President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to honour Abiola for his contribution to Nigeria’s democracy.

“I salute the courage of President Buhari for this. However, there are some issues that should be addressed so that we will be confident that this is not a Greek gift,” Olujimi said.

“The results of that election was never announced. This is the time for the result to be properly announced by INEC because government is a continuum. Also, MKO Abiola should be declared a president.

“If and when that is done, there has to be reparation of all his entitlements to his surviving families.

“Ambassador Babagana Kingibe must also be recognized as Vice President of Nigeria and everything must be brought to the legislature so that we can right all the wrongs.

“Also, June 12 must also be declared a public holiday for the whole of Nigeria so we can begin the celebration of Democracy Day,” she noted.

Senate leader, Ahmad Lawan, who lauded President Buhari for the action, urged his colleagues in the upper legislative chamber to support the federal government in its resolve to right the wrongs of previous administrations.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, however called for the amendment of the National Honours Act to provide for the award of honours to Nigerians who may have passed on.

Senate President Bukola Saraki commended the recognition of Abiola to the struggle for Nigeria’s democracy.

The decisions were upheld by the Senate after they were put to voice vote by Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Former media to former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has said the current travails of the Senate President Bukola Saraki are a reward for betraying Jonathan.

The Nigerian Police Sunday invited Senate President Bukola Saraki and Kwara State governor Ahmed Abdulfattah to answer allegations surrounding their alleged link with persons behind the deadly robbery of some banks in Offa in April.

‘The sad fact is that if @BukolaSaraki had not betrayed Jonathan, Buhari wouldn’t have the power to victimize Saraki,” Omokri tweeted on Sunday. “Indeed, you reap what you sow.”

Aside from his indictment by the police on the matter, the Senate President also had some men of the Department of State Services (DSS) attached to his office withdrawn.

Saraki has denied culpability in the crime. Instead, he accused the Nigerian police boss of framing him up in the crime.

“This plot is concocted to embarrass me,” he said. “And in the mind of the IGP, it is his own response to the action taken by the Senate against him after his refusal to honour the invitation by the National Assembly, headed by me, for him to come and offer explanations on the rampant killings and violence across the country.”

Saraki and Jonathan were both in the People’s Democratic Party before the former, along with other members of a faction of the party, known as nPDP, defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress in 2014.

The nPDP bloc in the APC recently said the ruling party has not been fair to it, claiming that its members have not really benefited from the party.

However, Omokri said there was no way Saraki would have sponsored a bank robbery since he sits atop a hefty annual budget.

“Do the Buhari admin even reason? The amount of money stolen during the #OffaBankRobbery is not up to the amount of money that @BukolaSaraki gives out to the masses during Sallah. The Senate President sits atop a ₦100 billion annual budget. Why would he sponsor a bank robbery?”

“The Police has got approval from Buhari to arrest @BukolaSaraki. This is the same police that could not arrest pension thief Maina, or killer herdsmen, or those who killed RCCG’s Pastor Eunice Elisha. The same policSenate can’t rescue that the senate president,” Omokri said.

SOURCE – Guardian

Super Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel, has backed Gareth Southgate’s England team to challenge for the World Cup this summer in Russia.The former Chelsea midfielder was left impressed by England’s performance in their 2-1 win over the Super Eagles on Saturday night at Wembley.
Goals from Gary Cahill and captain Harry Kane were enough to begin preparations for Russia with a win, though Alex Iwobi pulled one back for the visitors to deny England a clean sheet.

On account of what he saw, Mikel believes England “have a good chance” of going all the way in Russia. “I think they have a very good chance of going all the way because the youthfulness and energy in this team… you can feel it,” he said.

“I think the pace in the team, you can feel it, and that is why we had some problems in the first half.“In the second half we corrected some mistakes and played a lot better. I think the England team have a good chance.”

Nigeria were completely outplayed by England in the first half but reacted after the interval through Iwobi before making their opponents work for the win.The Super Eagles, who are in Group D alongside Argentina, Iceland and Croatia, are aiming to go further than the round of 16 that they reached in Brazil four years ago.

Former Super Eagles player, Kanu Nwankwo has been robbed in Russia, the host country for the 2018 World Cup.

The former Arsenal star was robbed of $11,000 when he flew in from London through Moscow to Kaliningrad, where the Super Eagles play their first game against Croatia on June 16.

The money was reported missing from his luggage when he arrived at Kaliningrad.

According to the Associated Press, Police spokeswoman Irina Volk says two baggage handlers at Sheremetevo airport in Moscow have been detained on suspicion of theft.

Kanu played in three World Cups for the Super Eagles featuring in the 1998, 2002 and 2010 World Cups.

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has invited Senate President Bukola Saraki to answer allegations surrounding his alleged link with persons behind the deadly robbery of some banks in Offa in April.Five principal suspects among 15 others, who were paraded at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, in connection with the incident, had indicted the Senate President in their statements.

Saraki, however, denied the allegation. In a statement by his spokesman, Yusuf Olaniyonu, he said: “Members of the public will remember that on May 16, 2018, I alerted the Senate about the information passed on to me by my state governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed, over a plot by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, to frame me up by getting some suspected cultists arrested in Ilorin to implicate me. It is believed that the timely leakage of the plot in that case aborted the use of the suspected cultists to implicate me. Now, it is the Offa bank robbery suspects that are about to be used.

“This plot is concocted to embarrass me. And in the mind of the IGP, it is his own response to the action taken by the Senate against him after his refusal to honour the invitation by the National Assembly, headed by me, for him to come and offer explanations on the rampant killings and violence across the country.“As a person who has utmost respect for the rule of law and all constitutional institutions, when the invitation from the police is formally extended to me, I will be ready to honour it without any delay.”

A statement by Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, yesterday, said: “Senate President Bukola Saraki has been invited to report to the police to answer allegations indicting him from confessions of five gang leaders arrested for active participation in Offa bank robbery and killing of 33 innocent persons.

“The Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, is being invited by the Nigeria Police Force to report to the Force Intelligence Response Team office at Guzape, Abuja, to answer to the allegations levelled against him from the confessions of the five robbery gang leaders.” He said the gang leaders and some of the principal suspects arrested for their role in the robbery and the killing of innocent persons had made confessional statements admitting to the various criminal roles they and their sponsors played in this crime.

“During interrogation, the five gang leaders in paragraph 2 further confessed and volunteered statements that they carried out the bank robberies, the attack on the Divisional Police Headquarters in Offa and the killing of 33 innocent persons during the robbery of the banks.“The five gang leaders further confessed during investigation that they are political thugs under the name Youth Liberation Movement (a.k.a. “Good Boys”) and also admitted and confessed to have been sponsored with firearms, money and operational vehicles by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed.”

“In the course of discreet investigation into the confessions of these five gang leaders and the other 17 principal suspects, a Lexus Jeep GX-300 (Ash Colour) with a sticker plate number with inscription “SARAKI” “Kwara, State of Harmony” used by the gang leader (Ayoade Akinnibosun ‘M’ 37 years) during the bank robbery and the killing of 33 innocent persons was taken to Government House, Ilorin on May 16, 2018 where the sticker plate number with inscription “SARAKI” “Kwara, State of Harmony” was removed before another plate number (Reg. No. Kwara, KMA 143 RM) registered in the name of Ayoade Akinnibosun, the overall commander of the Offa bank robbery, was then attached to the vehicle to cover up the identity of the said vehicle.

“The exhibit vehicle was subsequently recovered from the premises of the Ministry of Environmental and Forestry in Ilorin, Kwara State while the sticker plate number with inscription “SARAKI” “Kwara, State of Harmony” removed from the vehicle was recovered from one Adeola Omiyale who drove the said Lexus Jeep to Government House, Ilorin immediately after the bank robbery.

“The Personal Assistant (Political) to the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mr. Alabi Olalekan, who is privy to information that the police were looking for the Lexus Jeep as an exhibit used in the Offa bank robbery and the killing of 33 innocent persons directed one Adeola Omiyale to relocate the Lexus Jeep to Government House, Ilorin. The PA (Political) is currently in police custody and has made useful statement assisting the police in further investigation into the case. A revolver pistol and pump action gun were recovered by the police investigation team from the Personal Assistant (Political) to the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mr. Alabi Olalekan’s farm where he directed his brother to hide them after his arrest by the police.

“In order to conceal evidence, the Chief of Staff to the Executive Governor of Kwara State, Mr. Yusuf Abdulwahab, who had been arrested and taken into police custody, arranged the removal of the sticker plate number with inscription “SARAKI” “Kwara, State of Harmony” from the exhibit vehicle and also registered the exhibit Lexus Jeep used in the Offa bank robbery and the killing of 33 innocent persons in the name of Ayoade Akinnibosun, the overall gang commander of the Offa bank robbery while he (Ayoade Akinnibosun) was already in police custody for more than six days before the registration of the vehicle,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Saraki might have resolved to seek a legal battle against the police over his indictment on the Offa robbery saga.He was said to have commenced search for adequate legal counsel before taking any action on the matter.This is part of the several options he is said to be considering following declaration by the police that he had been mentioned by the suspects in connection with the robbery that took place in Offa.

Aside from his indictment by the police on the matter, the Senate President also had some men of the Department of State Services (DSS) attached to his office withdrawn.Although no official statement has emanated from the Senate President on the two incidents, unofficial sources in the National Assembly confirmed the withdrawal of the security men.

The Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media Affairs, Yusuf Olaniyonu, who had hinted that a press statement should be expected from the Senate President’s office, could not be unreached when calls were made to him.

In another development, a pro-democracy and non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has said that the persecution of Saraki and other party stalkers by the Executive arm may hinder democracy in the country.

HURIWA, in a statement issued by its National Co-ordinator, Mr. Emmanuel Onwubiko in Abuja, yesterday, against the backdrop of the press statement from the police indicting the Senate President as a potential suspect, said: “We in the organised civil rights community are hereby asking Nigerians not to sit back idly and laugh over the sinister scenarios that are being weaved dangerously together with the absolutely and ruthlessly anarchic hierarchy of the Nigeria Police Force under the current dictatorship.

“Nigerians from all over the world must speak out before the democracy that we fought so hard to bring about is allowed to collapse into fascism before our faces. The time to speak out is now.”

Zidane has left his role at Real Madrid after leading the Spanish side to three consecutive Champions League titles.

French coach Zinedine Zidane has quit his role as coach of Real Madrid after three consecutive Champions League titles with the La Liga side.

Zidane’s decision to step down at Real Madrid comes after he led his side to the another Champions League victory over Liverpool on Saturday, May 26.

Zidane was brought in to replace Raphael Benitez in January 2016, and has led the Madrid side to the three Champions League titles in the two and a half season he has been in charge.

According to several reports Zidane’s decision to quit was a result of event after the Champions League final in which star players Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale hinted they may leave the Santiago Bernebeu.

He hinted his departure in February when he said, “Being a coach is extremely tiring – more so at a club like Real Madrid. When I feel there is nothing more to give, I’ll walk away.”

Speaking on his decision to quit after wining yet another Champions League Zidane revealed that it was because he needed a change but did not rule out an option to return to the club.

He said, “It can be a ‘see you later’. Madrid has given me everything.

“I will be close to this club all my life. But the decision, for many, doesn’t make sense. But it does to me. It is the moment to make a change.

“I think it is the right decision for everyone. I have to thank the fans for all their support and love.”

Zidane will be remembered as one of Real Madrid’s greatest managers winning three Champions League, One La Liga, two UEFA Super Cups and three FIFA Club World Cup titles.

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the forthcoming governorship election in Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has resigned his position as the Minister of Mines and Steel Development.

Fayemi announced his resignation in a valedictory speech while briefing the media on the mines and steel sector’s performance since he took charge of the ministry on November 11, 2015.

He handed over to the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bwari, who is to serve in acting capacity.

Fayemi said, “My exit from the ministry today follows the acceptance of my resignation by President Muhammadu Buhari, effective today, May 30, 2018, to allow me pursue other political interests. As you may recall, I assumed duty as Minister of Mines and Steel Development on November 11, 2015, following my appointment by the President.”

He revealed that the ministry had got the Federal Government’s approval for a N30bn intervention fund to help provide cheap loans and grants to industry participants and invest in infrastructure.

The Ekiti gubernatorial candidate stated that with the development so far achieved in the sector and the ongoing process of taking the industry to enviable heights, he would suggest that Bwari should step in as the substantive minister.

Fayemi, however, stated that his decision to leave Buhari’s cabinet was with mixed feelings, as he was overwhelmed by emotion and support from Bwari, the ministry’s permanent secretary and the entire staff.

Highlighting some of his achievements as minister, he said the ministry had commenced final moves to fully return Ajaokuta Steel Company to the Federal Government.

Fayemi stated, “We have made progress in resolving the legal issues around our legacy projects, particularly Ajaokuta. We have signed a Modified Concession Agreement that has allowed for the commencement of the return of the entity to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“We have in place a timeline of action, which will see the legacy plant become operational in the near future. We are at this time concluding an audit process, further to which we will fully take over the plant. We are taking the most appropriate steps in our national interest to ensure that Ajaokuta is finally put to work after several false starts in the past.”

On the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, the outgoing minister stated, “We have also made significant progress in our efforts to bring the company back to life with the approval of the National Council on Privatisation that the company be given to UC Rusal with clear conditions for its resuscitation.”

He said the N30bn approved by the Federal Government would help revive the mining sector and boost its potential in Nigeria.

Fayemi noted, “The ministry sought for and obtained approval for N30bn (approximately $100m) intervention fund from the Federal Government, partly to help provide cheap loans and grants to industry participants, as well as for directly investing in foundation infrastructure. For the first time since 2004, we got FEC approval in October 2016 for this amount by securing access to the revolving mining sector component of the Natural Resources Development Fund.

“Similarly, we have reached an advanced stage in assembling a $600m investment fund for the sector, working with the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, the Nigerian Stock Exchange and other financial institutions.”

He stated that as part of the support the ministry received from the Natural Resources Fund, it had finalised exploration initiatives totalling N15bn, which had allowed successful entities to help with the exploration of priority minerals like gold, lead, zinc, rare earth metals and more.

In order to encourage beneficial participation of state governments in the mining sector, Fayemi added that the ministry had got approval for the implementation of the constitutionally guaranteed 13 per cent derivation for mineral revenue to states, similar to the derivation that oil-producing states currently enjoy from the Federation Account.

Senator Ben Murray-Bruce on Wednesday welcomed Kogi West senator, Dino Melaye, to the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party.

Murray-Bruce, who had, on Monday, urged Dino Melaye to resume at the Senate, said, it was nice to have Melaye back in the red chamber.

He went on to welcome him to PDP and promised that he would not experience “trauma or intimidation.”

In his tweet,

Senator Dino Melaye on Wednesday returned to the Senate, and his decision to take an interim seat near the former Senate President, David Mark, led to speculations that he was defecting to the PDP

Drama started when Melaye urged Senate President Bukola Saraki to order the sergeants-at-arms to create a space for him on the side of the minority Peoples Democratic Party, saying that he would sit near the former Senate President, David Mark, though Mark was absent at the proceedings.

And despite the Senate President Bukola Saraki directing him otherwise, Melaye sat at the opposition PDP section throughout the plenary.

The Federal High Court in Lagos has entered judgement against music video director, Clarence Peters, for alleged copyright infringement.

The judgment delivered by Justice Mojisola Olatoregun was in favour of Uwana Victor and Akan Victor, trading under the name, Black Alliance.

The judge, in the May 4, 2018 judgment, held that, “In the circumstances of this case, I have no doubt that the defendant (Peters) took advantage of the plaintiffs and infringed on their copyright.

“Both general and special damages are compensatory damages. General damages are loses which flow naturally from the defendant’s conduct and its quantum need not be pleaded or proved as it is generally presumed by law.

“…I believe that the plaintiffs’ claim for damages amount to general damages and in the circumstance, I believe general damages will adequately take care of the loses occasioned by the defendant’s conduct. The sum of N5m only is awarded against the defendant.”

Peters has, however, headed for the Court of Appeal, seeking to set aside the judgment.

The Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr on Wednesday reduced his 30-man provisional squad for the Russia 2018 World Cup to 25 players.

The German dropped domestic league top scorer Junior Lokosa, Standard Liege midfielder Uche Agbo, Lokomotiv Plovdiv defender Stephen Eze and Plateau United Dele Ajiboye. Twenty-three players will make the final squad.

Meanwhile, Rohr left Abuja with 24 players for London ahead of Saturday’s friendly match against England at Wembley.

The NFF said in a statement that Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Kenneth Omeruo, Ahmed Musa, Bryan Idowu, Tyronne Ebuehi, Francis Uzoho, Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Ola Aina, Leon Balogun, Shehu Abdullahi, Joel Obi, William Troost-Ekong, Chidozie Awaziem and Elderson Echiejile were on the chartered flight that conveyed the players to London.

Others are Wilfred Ndidi, John Ogu, Mikel Agu, Oghenekaro Etebo, Odion Ighalo, Simeon Nwankwo, Alex Iwobi and Kelechi Iheanacho.

The statement confirmed that Moses Simon, who was earlier ruled out of the tournament due to injury, will undergo further medical checks in the UK to ascertain the seriousness of his injury. The body added that Victor Moses would join the team in London.

Nigeria play Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in the group stage of the June 14 to July 15 tournament in Russia.

Eze expressed his sadness on Twitter.

“Sadly, my journey to the World Cup ends here. I am disappointed to not make the final squad, but I want to thank our coach and management for the opportunity! I wish my team the best & hope to join in celebrations when they bring the trophy home! GO #NIGERIA! #DefendLikeEze,” he wrote.