President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Mrs Amina Bala Zakari as the Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following the conclusion of the term of Office of Prof. Attahiru Jega.

Mrs Amina Bala Zakari
This was disclosed in a statement signed by Haruna Imrana, Director of Communications for the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
According to the statement, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Barr. Danladi Kifasi who conveyed the appointment in a letter, said it is with effect from June 30, 2015 until the appointment of a substantive Chairman.
Mrs. Zakari is presently a National Electoral Commissioner at INEC.

The National Economic Council, chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday accused a former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, of spending $2.1bn from the Excess Crude Account without authorisation.

"We looked at the numbers for the Excess Crude Account. The last time the former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, reported to the council, and it is in the minutes, she reported by November 2014 that we had $4.1 bn.

"Today, the Accountant-General Office reported we have $2.0bn. Which means the honourable minister spent $2.1bn without authority of the NEC and that money was not distributed to states, it was not paid to the three tiers of government," Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole told State House correspondents after the NEC's 58th meeting in Abuja.

The 'unauthorised' spending, according to the economic council, is among the several anomalies discovered in the management of the nation's economy between 2012 and May 2015.

Within the period, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was said to have earned a total of N8.1 tn but remitted only N4.3tn.

Consequently, the Federal Government has constituted Oshiomhole, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai; Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel; and Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, into a panel to probe the NNPC and the ECA between 2012 and May, 2015.

Oshiomhole, el-Rufai, Emmanuel and the Zamfara State Governor, Abdulazeez Yari, jointly briefed journalists at the end of the meeting.

Yari told the journalists, through the Director of Funds, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. M.K. Dikwa, that council members received the report of the ECA and unremitted funds by the NNPC.

He said, "On that line, a four-man committee consisting of the governors of Edo, Gombe, Kaduna and Akwa Ibom states was constituted to go through the books of the NNPC and Excess Crude as well as the Federation Account.

"The four-man committee will check the books of the NNPC, most especially the issue of excess crude and what is not remitted into the Federation Account.

"The Federal Government, in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria, will look inwards to see how to support and how much they will give to states, especially on the issue of outstanding salaries owed by the states and even the Federal Government."

Shedding new light on what transpired at the NEC meeting, Oshiomhole said the NNPC and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation were compelled for the first time to provide information on the total sales of Nigeria's crude from 2012 to May 2015.

The Edo governor said, "We are talking about transparency; we are talking about change. And what we saw from those numbers, which I believe that Nigerians are entitled to know, is that whereas the NNPC claimed to have earned N8.1tn, what NNPC paid into the Federation Account from 2012 to May 2015 was N4.3tn.

"What it means is that the NNPC withheld and spent N3.8 tn.

"The major revelation here is that the entire federation, that is the Federal Government, the states and all the 774 local governments, the amount the NNPC paid into the Federation Account for distribution to these three tiers of government came to N4.3 tn and the NNPC alone took and spent N3.8tn.

"This means that the cost of running the NNPC is much more than the cost of running the Federal Government. That tells you how much is missing, what is mismanaged and what is stolen. There are huge figures."

Oshiomhole said the only lawful way decreed by the Constitution was that if the NNPC needed to spend money, it needed to prepare its budget like every other business enterprise, get it scrutinised by the executive and then forward same to the National Assembly for appropriation.

He added, "If the Federal Government cannot spend without appropriation, why should any agency spend without appropriation.

"This is what the Constitution provided for and this is what President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to do; henceforth all money must go to the Federation Account.

"If you were doing that, you would not have a situation where the NNPC alone will spend N3.8trn and remit to the federal, states and local governments N4.3trn, which means NNPC is taking about 47 per cent and that explains all the leakages you are talking about."

El-Rufai recalled that he was part of the decision to put in place the ECA during the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo between 2004 and 2005 as an administrative arrangement to save for a rainy day.

He said the account was set up in order to be accountable such that every state and local government would know what they had in the account though they could not spend it.

He said, "The Excess Crude Account is 52 per cent owned by the Federal Government and 48 per cent owned by the states and the local governments.

"So the decision of the NEC is to set up this committee of four to look at the operations of the Excess Crude Account and make recommendations to council on its future.

"The other thing the committee will do is to look at the operations of the Federation Account, particularly the shortfall and again come back to council with very clear recommendations as to what to do.

"We have not been given a time frame but as you can imagine state governments are under pressure, many of our state governments are unable to pay salaries on time without recourse to borrowing, so this is very important to us.

"This is an all-governors' committee; we wear the shoes and we know where they pinch. So we are going to do this as quickly as possible.

"The next meeting of the council is on July 23; we hope to complete our work and be in a position to report to council on that day. So within the next one month, we will be done by God's grace."

The driver and security guard of former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo state who was found dead inside a store in his home in Ijapo estate in Akure yesterday June 28th have given a vivid description of how they killed him.

Bamidele, who was fired by the late don for attempting to steal his car some months back, said he connived with Daniel Ita the security guard to carry out the act. He said Daniel lured the old man out of the main house before he strangled him to death.

"Daniel lured out Baba by telling him that there was an electrical spark in the house after I've stationed myself around the entry of the kitchen. Immediately Baba came out I grabbed him and strangled him to death. Daniel's role was to put a piece of cloth in his mouth to stop him from shouting. After some few minutes, the old man gave up and we dragged him into the generator house and locked him inside the store that Sunday night. We left the house and locked the gate outside so that no one will suspect us. We went inside and took the car key and some other items like IPad, two phones, laptop, two bags and seven thousand Naira which we used to fuel the car. We left Akure and headed to Lagos. We left with those items so that the car will not be tracked again because Baba used these gadgets to activate the tracking."he said

According to Bamidele, they were able to move the stolen car out from the estate where the late professor stayed because many people knew Daniel as his security guard. He said they were intercepted by men of the FRSC in Ijebu Ode while traveling but they sold the Ipad to get enough money for their bail.
"We sold off the phones and laptops after being booked by the Road Safety officials. We sold the phones to retrieve the car from them before heading to Ijebu Ode with the hope of selling the car there," he said.
Ondo State Police Commissioner, Isaac Eke, while speaking on the incident said Daniel and Bamitale were arrested while trying to sell off the late academicians vehicle with Registration number GGE589 CF in Ogun state, He said the person who they wanted to sell the car to called in the police after suspecting the car was a stolen one as the suspects gave him a price way below the value of the car.
"Detectives from Ondo state command later discovered that the night guard and the former driver strangled the aged Professor and dumped his body in an isolated store in the compound of the professor," he said.
He also said that relatives of the deceased had identified the corpse, which had since been deposited in the mortuary. One of the sons of the late professor, Adeseni Ilemobade, said the family demands justice for their father's death.

The Nigeria football Federation ( NFF ) has fired Super Falcons head coach Edwin Okon. According to reports, he was fired following the Super Falcons poor performance at the just concluded FIFA Women's World cup in Canada after the team failed to make it out of the group stage. The team's assistant coach, Christopher Danjuma has been appointed acting coach.

The decomposed body of the former Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Prof. Albert Ilemobade, who was said to have been kidnapped by unknown gunmen last week, has been found in a store in his Ijapo Estate residence in Akure, Ondo State capital.

The former University don was reportedly abducted last Monday along with his gateman and was said to have been taken to an unknown destination until his body was found yesterday.

It was gathered that the octogenarian's decomposed body was found after the arrest of two of his domestic staff by security agents in Ogun State, while they were trying to sell the Toyota RAV4 Jeep stolen from the late Ilemobade's residence.

After interrogation, it was discovered that the two suspects confessed to the killing of Ilemobade, hiding his corpse in a store, which housed the generating set before running away with his vehicle.
A signal was, however, sent to the Ondo state Police command from Ogun State command.
All attempts to speak with any of his family members was not successful as some them, including two of his children and his wife could not mutter a word, while some other members of the family were seen crying.

But the Vicar of the Vining Church, Dr Ayodeji Fagbemi who was at the Ilemobade's residence, confirmed to DAILY POST that the body of the deceased was found in the store soaked with diesels.

He described the death as unfortunate and could not imagine the reasons behind the gruesome murder of the deceased.
Fagbemi said the two suspects apprehended by the Police in Ogun State were domestic staff of the late former VC, adding that one of them was the driver while the other one was the gateman.
The Vicar, who simply identified the suspects as Yemi and Daniel explained that the two suspects carried out their nefarious act in a way that deceived the family that the man was kidnapped by gunmen.

He said the wristwatch of the deceased and his foot wears were found outside the compound to signify that the university don was dragged into the car by his abductors.
According to him, the late deceased was at the Church with him last Sunday.
"We were together last Sunday at the Church and we celebrated together this year's Fathers' day, where he donated his quota to the church. He personally passed his cheque to me.
"I was surprised when the news of his abduction reached me last Monday and we have been praying along with the family believing that his abductors would soon get in touch with the family only to be informed today that his decomposed body was found in the store.
"We have lost a very great scholar and it is just too wicked for a man of his caliber to have been killed this way. It is a terrible thing and I believe those behind this killing will be brought to book", he said.
Confirming the development, the State Commissioner of Police, Isaac Eke said the two suspects had been apprehended by men of the Ogun State command, noting that they will be transferred to the state.

Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has said that the All Progressives Congress, APC, letter to the House leadership containing names of those to occupy the principal officers position was against the constitution of Nigeria.
The Speaker stated this at the weekend when he received a delegation of past members led by Rep. Dauda Bundot and Rep. Jonathan Asake.
The House was thrown into pandemonium on Thursday which led to fisticuffs following the alleged Speaker's refusal to read the letter from the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Oyegun which contained names to fill the positions.
Addressing his visitors, the Speaker said: "As leaders, we are bound by the constitution and when we got that directive from the party, we said that we must defend the constitution, we must enforce our rules.

"It would have harmful effects to the constitution of Nigeria for us to adopt the position of the party.
"Assuming we go ahead to announce the party's position, which recognises members of the Northeast and Southwest as principal officers which the Northcentral members have already made a very strong allegation against APC, what happens?
"Assuming a court now rules that, the directive of the party breaches the provisions of the constitution relating to federal character, do we now begin to see somebody vacating his official principal position so that we can accommodate the court's ruling?"
The Speaker further said that in order to avoid such problems it would be best that the offices of the presiding officers were given to other zones that had not produced any principal officers.

A Beninoise, Kwenume Ojo, aka Abiodun, has been arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly killing her husband, Jimoh Ojo, 32, in the Yaba area of the state.

PUNCH Metro learnt that Kwenume put poison in her husband's soft drink and forced it down his throat while he slept on the bed.

Our correspondent gathered that the 17-year-old suspect took the poison from a relative of her boyfriend after she was forced to marry Jimoh.

The incident happened on Friday on Apolo Street, the Makoko area of Lagos.

When our correspondent visited the area, he met a crowd of residents and family members who said the victim's corpse had been deposited in a mortuary.

It was learnt that the suspect had been arrested by policemen from the Adekunle Police Division.

Jimoh's in-law, Rotimi Akinlagun, explained that the deceased was slow, which made it difficult for him to get a wife.

He said his marriage to Kwenume was arranged by the two families.

He said, "Jimoh was a carpenter. When he was born, he fell sick and that affected his health as he became slow.

"When he became mature, we decided to get him a wife. We started asking around for anybody who could give him a wife.

"Kwenume's father heard and he contacted Jimoh's family. He gave them Kwenume to become Jimoh's wife. She had no choice in the matter."

PUNCH Metro learnt that Kwenume's father took the decision to prevent her from marrying her boyfriend, who he did not like.

The dislike, it was gathered, stemmed from the maltreatment of Kwenume's sister, who was married into the boyfriend's family.

"She was brought to me and we took her to Jimoh's hometown in Yewa, Ogun State. He was going there to make love with her. After six months, she became pregnant and we brought her back to Lagos State.

"The couple moved into a new apartment to start a new family. Their apartment was close to my house so I could monitor them. Abiodun (Kwenume) was assisting my wife to sell food at her canteen," Rotimi added.

Our correspondent learnt that after giving birth to a baby girl, christened Hannah, the suspect became attracted to her former boyfriend and she started visiting him.

She was said to have met his elder brother, Wensu, an herbalist, who allegedly gave her the poison to put in her hubby's drink so she could marry the unidentified boyfriend.

Jimoh's elder sister, Modupe Akinlagun, said the victim had returned from work on the fateful Friday and visited her shop to get food.

She said, "He dished the food himself and ate. After eating, I asked him to go home and rest. When his wife returned from an errand I sent her, I asked her to also return home with her baby.

"I was still there when his wife came to call me that he had slumped in the toilet.

"When we got there, people had surrounded him and were pouring palm oil into his mouth. He was vomiting the oil and a white substance. He kept saying, 'Iya Hannah has killed me, she opened my mouth and poured drug inside.'

"Iya Hannah (Kwenume) denied Jimoh's accusation, but he insisted that she forced the poison down his throat."

Another relative explained that Kwenume put the poison in a bottle of drink that the victim had brought home to share with her.

He said, "They usually shared their food and drinks together. After he finished eating at the canteen that day, he bought a bottle of drink and drank half. He took the remaining home to share with his wife.

"It was when she returned that she put the poison in the drink. She then forced it down his throat."

Modupe's husband said Jimoh died around 11.30pm on Friday.

He said the community elders took Kwenume aside to press her for information on where she got the poison.

He said after some time, she confessed to the crime, adding that she collected the poison from her boyfriend's brother who lived in the Sogunro, Iwaya area of the state.

He said, "Around 3am on Saturday, a policeman, together with some of our people went to get the man."

The two suspects were said to have been kept till dawn until a team of policemen from the Adekunle division arrived in six vans.

PUNCH Metro gathered that some youths attempted to lynch both suspects, but for the intervention of the policemen.

The traditional ruler of the Egun community, Seriki Dito, urged the police to do a thorough investigation and punish the culprits.

He appealed to governmental and non-governmental organisations, to assist in taking care of the couple's child, Hannah.

He said, "This is something that has shaken our community terribly. We want the government to give the deceased justice. We also want help for the girl because she is almost an orphan now."

The Police Public Relations Officer, Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the incident, adding that it had been transferred to the Department of Criminal Investigation.

He said, "The woman and her accomplice are in custody. The case has been transferred to the DCI for investigation."

Following President Muhammadu Buhari's recent statement that his government will ensure it retrieves looted funds kept in foreign banks, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has confirmed the move.

Speaking in an interview with Saturday Punch, Adesina said the search for the funds, which are kept in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany, British Virgin Islands, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, will not be limited to these countries alone.

"The search will not only cover UK, US, Switzerland, Germany and other known havens for Nigerian looted funds but will cover everywhere under the sun. Anywhere and everywhere that the looted funds are, we have an assurance from the United States of America to assist us to repatriate these funds from anywhere under the sun," he said.

According to report, the Federal Government's investigation is meant to identify the individuals involved in corrupt practices and ascertain the sums of money involved with a view to retrieving them.

It was gathered that anti-corruption agencies play a vital role in the corruption fight, which is targeted at corrupt government officials in the recent past administration and their private sector collaborators, among others.

Adesina said that the Federal Government plans to engage the services of foreign private investigators who will in tracing and find looted funds belonging to the people of Nigeria.

"Everything that needs to be done to get all those funds repatriated will be done, including engaging private investigators," the Presidential spokesperson said.

Buhari had lamented that the Goodluck Jonathan administration left behind a near empty treasury.

According to Adesina, the foreign search for looted funds that belong to Nigeria is part of the mandate Buhari was tasked with at the recent G7 summit in Germany.

He said, "when the President met with the G7, the promise that the American President gave him was that Nigeria should just provide all the facts, the figures, the statistics, including the banks.

"He promised that if Nigeria could make the information available, then the US will help in recovering the stolen funds."

"The assurance the President has given is that within the next three months, we have to concentrate on getting those monies back to the government coffers."

A few days ago, Buhari had said that his administration has received firm assurances of cooperation from the US and other countries in his bid to recover funds stolen from Nigeria.

Here is what Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg posted on his wall:

"Our country was founded on the promise that all people are created equal, and today we took another step towards achieving that promise.
I'm so happy for all of my friends and everyone in our community who can finally celebrate their love and be recognized as equal couples under the law.
We still have much more to do to achieve full equality for everyone in our community, but we are moving in the right direction."

container fell and crushed a fully loaded commuter bus, killing all occupants of the bus Friday afternoon in Ogun State, western Nigeria.

The incident, our correspondent gathered, occurred on Sagamu/Benin expressway at Ilishan, very close to Sagamu junction.

It was further gathered that the head-on-collision incident happened a few minutes after mid day.

The occupants of the bus were mainly students of Olabisi Onabanjo Umiversity, OOU, Ago Iwoye, who were said to be on their way to Lagos.

An eyewitness, Commander Tommy Hamzat, the Commander of the TRACE, Ijebu Command, told our correspondent that the truck driver drove against traffic and the bus driver collided with the truck and killed all occupants including the bus driver.

"I was coming from Sagamu side and saw the accident. I had to hurriedly park my car, run to the scene to see if the passengers could be rescued but unfortunately all the occupants were dead including the driver.

"The bus was facing Lagos, but I dont know where it was coming from. The driver of the truck carrying an empty container was coming from Sagamu axis but was driving against traffic and that resulted in the collision, which eventually claimed the lives of the innocent people," he explained.

Our correspondent gathered that the remains of the deceased have been taken to the mortuary at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, OOUTH, Sagamu.

A source at the hospital confirmed that the corpses were in the morgue but declined to comment further.

President Muhammadu Buhari has dissolved the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

In a statement signed by Haruna Imrana, Director of Communications for the Head of Service of the Federation, President Buhari said that the dissolving of the board is with immediate effect.

According to the statement, the directive to that effect was conveyed in a letter signed on Friday, June 26, 2015 by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Barr.Danladi Kifasi.

In the letter, President Buhari also expressed gratitude to members of the dissolved board for their services to the nation.

Three weeks after armed robbers raided two banks in Ikorodu, Lagos, the same set of bandits may have returned to the same area yesterday, attack­ing two other banks.

The daredevil robbers even raided a bank in front of a police station and escaped unhurt.

The hoodlums, numbering about 10, stormed Ogolonto in Ikorodu through the water- ways at 9 am, snatched two Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) before heading to a new generation bank.

The bandits who did not steal enough money in the bank, headed straight to an old generation bank in front of the Ipa­kodo Police Station, holding the staff and customers at the bank hostage for over 40 minutes. Police were said to disappear as the raid lasted.

The hoodlums who were firing sporadi­cally, escaped as they did three weeks ago through the Lagoon.

The robbers repeated what they did the last time, by burning three of their snatched vehicles before escaping through the wa­terways.

Many people, especially women, were injured during the stampede as people took to their heels during the shooting that lasted for about an hour.

Eyewitnesses said during the shooting, there was pandemonium. Motorists aban­doned their vehicles, colliding with one another as they scampered to safety.

A witness, Mr. John Amore told Crime Watch Today that the "robbers were the same gang that came about three weeks ago. They became more formidable and desperate this time around as they robbed a bank in front of Ipakodo Police Station They still escaped through the same way they did previously. They set ablaze three of the snatched vehicles they came with before escaping.

A police source said:" We did not run away as people are claiming. We safe­guarded our station and refused to fire at the robbers while in the banking hall. If we had fired at them, we would have succeeded in killing many innocent citizens. We later engaged them in a serious gun duel and due to the superior fire-power of our arms, the hoodlums took to their heels, abandoning their vehicles"

However, residents of Ikorodu have sent a Save-Our-Soul (SOS) to the Commission­er of Police, Mr. Kayode Aderanti, to come to their rescue as their lives were in danger.

A resident, Wasiu Ayola, said:" Our lives are in danger. Three weeks ago, it was like a war situation. We ran for cover. Today again, it is the same war situation. Is it how we would be running up and down for our dear lives every three weeks? The Com­missioner of Police should do something urgently to save us from the hoodlums who are now terrorizing us."

The state Police Command's spokesper­son, Mr Kenneth Nwosu, who confirmed the attack, said: "At about 8.30 hours of today (yesterday), some bandits number­ing 10, stormed two banks on Ipakodo Road, Ikorodu and carted away unspecified amount of money. The bandits were en­gaged by policemen mobilized to the scene, forcing them to escape through the Ongin jetty along Kosoko waterfront.

"The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command (CP), Kayode Ad­eranti, visited the scene as well as the jetty from where the hoodlums escaped.

"He later held an emergency security meeting with the police leadership in Area 'N' command with managers and security officers of banks operating in Ikorodu.

"Far-reaching decisions towards tackling the menace of these hoodlums were made. Intensive efforts toward rounding up the hoodlums are underway, even as the CP assured the banks of the command's resolve to ensure the safety of their operations in Ikorodu and indeed the state.

"Three vehicles used by the bandits were burnt under cross-fire and empty shells were recovered by the police. The command will reward anybody with useful information towards the arrest of the bank robbers with N5 million," Nwosu said.

A 38-year-old man, Christopher Osoba, and one Emmanuel Okenze, aka Coach, have been arrested by the police for allegedly kidnapping a student, Olamilekan Ogunbiyi, 21.

PUNCH Metro learnt that Osoba was the personal assistant to Olamilekan's father, Abayomi Ogunbiyi.

It was learnt that Abayomi had sought to get his son to travel abroad when Osoba volunteered to help.

Our correspondent gathered that Osoba linked up the family with Okenze, who claimed to be a travel agent.

The victim's father was said to have paid Okenze, N900, 000 and N300,000 at different times to facilitate the travel.

The men, with some other suspects, were said to have connived and kidnapped the victim.

A police source said, "In August 2013, the boy's father asked his PA (Osoba) to accompany the boy to the airport. They indeed got to the airport.

"But they cast a spell on him and he lost his mind. They asked the boy to go to Coach's (Okenze) house. They ordered him around and he could not reach his family again.

"Meanwhile, they had told his father that the travel was successful and they started collecting money from him under the pretext of it was being sent to Olamilekan."

Our correspondent learnt from the source that each time the father asked to speak with his son, they lied to him that Olamilekan could not be reached where he was.

The syndicate was alleged to have collected different sums from the family.
The source said, "Sometime in June, the boy regained his consciousness.

"He got a phone with which he contacted his father and narrated his ordeals. His father could not believe that his son was still in Nigeria."

The police were said to have been alerted, leading to the arrest of Osoba and Okenze.

Police investigations revealed that the suspects, and others who were at large, had allegedly collected more than N6m from the victim's father.

The police arraigned them before an Ebute-Meta Chief Magistrate's Court on seven counts of kidnapping, stealing, obtaining money and accessories after facts.

The charges read in part, "That you, Christopher Osoba, Emmanuel Okenze, and others now at large, sometime in the month of August 2013, at Bajulaiye Olayinka, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did unlawfully capture and detain one Olamilekan Ogunbiyi against his will and thereby committed an offence.

"That you did obtain the sum of N3.1m from one Abayomi Ogunbiyi, that you are in a position to take his son, Olamilekan Ogunbiyi, to Uzbekistan and Romania, a representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence.

"That you did conspire among yourselves to conceal the information relating to Olamilekan Ogunbiyi, to the fact he travelled to Uzbekistan and Romania, which to your knowledge is false and thereby committed an offence."

The police prosecutor, Cyril Ejiofor, from the Department of Criminal Investigation, said the offences were punishable under sections 409, 269, 285, 312, 98, 115 and 413 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Their defence counsel urged the court to admit them to bail in liberal terms.

The Chief Magistrate, I. O. Adelaja, admitted them to bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.

The matter was adjourned till July 22, 2015.

A man has been beheaded and at least one other person injured in a suspected Islamist attack on a gas factory near the French city of Lyon.
There were several small explosions, possibly caused by gas canisters, at the Air Products factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, sources said.

A man has been arrested by anti-terror police, officials say.
Reports suggest two attackers drove into the factory carrying a flag with Arabic writing on it.

French President Francois Hollande will leave the EU summit in Brussels this afternoon and return to France. He is expected to give a news conference before travelling.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is said to be on his way to the scene.

The attack occurred around 10:00 local time (08:00 GMT), according to local media.

According to French regional newspaper Le Dauphine Libere, a man was seen driving back and forth in front of the target building earlier this morning.
The man in custody has no ID papers and has refused to talk to anti-terrorism police, reports French broadcaster BFM TV.

According to French news agency AFP, Arabic writing was scrawled on the victim's head.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has ordered that security be stepped up at sensitive sites around Lyon.
Alain Juppe, the mayor of Bordeaux, took to Twitter to condemn the attack.
"The terrorist threat is at a maximum," he said, adding that France "must make every effort to protect its citizens".
The attack comes nearly six months after Islamist attacks in and around Paris that killed 17 people.

Toke Makinwa has been celebrated as one of first & most successful vloggers in Nigeria by Youtube

"Mama I'm a YouTube Star.... So much to be thankful for, YouTube is 10 and tonight I was celebrated at the "Evening with YouTube" event. I got to talk about my channel and share my growth on YouTube as a content provider. I feel really blessed, way up! God has brought so many of you into my life via my Vlog and it feels really good to be one of the very first Vloggers in Nigeria. Don't let anyone kill your dream, first they will laugh and at some point they will copy. Thanks to everyone who has ever watched, subscribed or liked any one of my videos, for the family I have built thru this ministry I say thank you God and thank you too. Yes, You. I think we should  take Toke moments ontheroad." she wrote on instagram

A female student of Delta State University, Abraka, Evelyn Mogekwe, aged 26, allegedly jilted by her partner of seven years, committed suicide.

Sources said she was in a very good and cheerful mood in her hostel but her mood changed dramatically after man called her over the phone to end their long term relationship.

She was said to have bought some drugs, claiming she was having a headache and went into her room, leaving a message for her room mate that they might not see her again.

It was learned that a few minutes later, her room mate who sensed danger, raced into the room and found her lying lifeless on the ground.
The room mate then raised alarm which attracted other students to the room, but before help could be rendered, she had given up the ghost.

Confirming her death, the State Police Public Relations officers, DSP Celestina Kalu, said police  recovered particles of drugs on the ground beside the deceased.


The House of Representatives descended into full blown crisis Thursday as rancorous members disrupted its session and engaged themselves over the election of House principal officers.

The House broke into two factions, one supporting the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, which seeks to choose the House principal officers, and another, backing the the speaker, Yakubu Dogara, who insists on defying the party.

The House and the Senate have been rocked by crisis over the election of their principal officers.

Thursday's crisis started as the speaker arrived at the House to commence plenary.

Shortly after settling in, APC members began to raise points of order as some lawmakers rushed for the mace, the symbol of authority of the House.

A suspected cultist, Anu Olokodana, who is wanted by the police in Lagos for allegedly killing his friend, Adeleke Awosiga, has reportedly threatened to unleash terror on residents of his area.

PUNCH Metro had reported on Tuesday that Olokodana, said to be a member of the Buccaneers Confraternity, drowned a childhood friend, Awosiga, in a swimming pool at the Royal Hotel in the Isheri, Ojodu Berger area of Lagos during a birthday party.

It was reported that the cause of the killing, which took place on Saturday, June 13, was because Awosiga, 20, refused to join the cult group.

On Tuesday, PUNCH Metro visited the Famuyiwa, Mowe area, where the deceased and the suspect lived.

It was learnt that Olokodana, who was still in hiding with members of his cult group, had made calls to some residents, threatening to mobilise his cult group to kill more people.

A resident, who gave his name only as Rashidi, told our correspondent that Olokodana called, saying his gang was not afraid of the police. He was quoted to have said the cult members were planning to come back for residents who narrated Awosiga's killing to the press.

He was quoted as saying, "We are not a cult group that fights and cannot come back. We are coming back to kill more people. You have the guts to go and put me on the newspaper."

PUNCH Metro learnt that the two cult members, who were arrested by the police the day after Awosiga's killing, had come to spy on the area when they were apprehended by residents.

A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Awosiga was the third person in the area who the cultists would kill in recent times for refusing to join their group.

He said, "The second day after the man was killed was a Sunday. In the afternoon, we saw two young men entering a church near Awosiga's family house. They were dressed in Yellow shirts and caps. They were caught eavesdropping on people's conversations.

"When we challenged them, they attempted to run away, but the residents rounded them up and took them to the Mowe Police Station.

"The cult group's threats are very real. Awosiga is the third person they would kill in the Mowe area for refusing to join their group. They have hideouts in the Lotto area, and they boasted that even the police could not arrest them. The birthday party that Olokodana held was actually their yearly anniversary and they must kill someone at the party to mark the event."

At the Awosiga's family house, the deceased's mother, Ololade, told our correspondent that her son was not a violent child, adding that the police should investigate the matter, and bring the culprits to book.

She said, "He is my second son. After he finished secondary school, he learnt how to lay tiles so he could work and save money to gain admission for further studies. He and his boss were going to several places to work in Ogun and Lagos states.

"He was not a violent boy. I cannot express my sorrow. I lost his father about 10 years ago. My children have been my succour. I want the police to fish out his killers."

Ghanaian football star, Asamoah Gyan is in the middle of a scandal currently. A university student named Sarah Kwabla claims she is pregnant for the Black Star Captain and is threatening to release a sex tape she made when she and the footballer supposed had sex in her apartment in Feb. this year.

The 22 year old lady, pictured left, is now asking the footballer to furnish her payment and pay her $1,000 monthly for post-natal care. She got lawyers involved and released a statement to Ghanaian media.

Ghanaian media claim that Gyan admitted, through his lawyer, to having sex with the lady but wanted a paternity test conducted before dealing with the lady.

He is also said to have agreed to give her GH¢2000 monthly to take care of herself pending when the result of the paternity test.

The story is trending on Twitter Ghana under the hashtag #asamoahgyan

Details have emerged on the robbery which occurred in the early hours of today at Ogolonto area of Ikorodu, Lagos state.

A lady reportedly led the gang to the banks and stayed outside while the operation lasted.

The leader of the gang was said to have sat down in front of the bank and was bragging, as no policeman was able to confront her as she was reported to have used a charm which she tied around her neck.

Sources at the Zenith bank disclosed that there were about 15 armed robbers whose ages should not be more than 20years.

The bank's safe as reported was broken with the use of dynamite and the staffs were made to lie on the floor while the robbery continued.

The young robbers were reported to have burnt three of their vehicles in front of Origin Gardens, a recreational place not far from scene of the incident, and escaped via the ferry service operated beside the Garden.

A witness at the scene of the robbers' escape said: "I could not dare stare them in the face. I just lay on the floor as they instructed and waited there until they left. I have never seen anything like that before."

One of the owners of the garden (name withheld), whose car was burnt alongside the three jeeps, described the incident as a really shocking one.

"Nobody is ready to talk to you right now because we are all in shock. My car was burnt and I could not face the people. Don't ask me how they escaped, why didn't you come here when the robbery was going on?"

At the First Bank robbery scene, the suspects used a device to open the computerized door to gain entrance to the banking hall.

Monies were carted away but no staff of the bank was killed.

Only one person was reportedly shot in the leg and has been taken to Ikorodu General Hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, the armored tank which the policemen used to stage a pursuit of the robbers was pelted with bullets that almost penetrated the bullet-proof vehicle.

Lagos state Commissioner of Police (CP), Kayode Aderanti, who was at the escape route, told reporters that the police would investigate the matter to know how the robbers carried out their operation successfully.

When he asked why none of his men could confront the robbers during the two-hour period that the incident lasted despite the fact that a police station was opposite the bank, he said: "we shall look into the matter and investigate thoroughly to know what happened"

As at the time of filing this report, no fewer than 20 police vans were patrolling the area to check if the robbers were going to return and ensure safety of lives and properties.

Efforts to get Mr. Kenneth Nwosu, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) proved futile as calls put across to him were not replied.

The National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) in Sierra Leone's says it has recorded fresh cases of the deadly Ebola virus that ravaged the country and some other countries in West Africa last year.

Six people are under observation after the first person with symptoms of the disease was admitted on June 17th. 3,900 deaths were recorded in Sierra Leone alone during the last Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Sierre Leone was declared Ebola free in May by the World Health Organization.

An 18-year-old man has been arrested by the Bauchi State Police Command,for raping an eight-year-old boy.
The suspect, Mustapha Abdullahi, committed the offence on Saturday at about 4pm.
He added that police detectives attached to the Dass division arrested Abdullahi in Wandi District in the Dass Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

The PPRO said,

"The suspect lured an eight-year-old boy and had unlawful carnal knowledge of him against the order of nature. The victim was rushed to the Dass General Hospital for medical examination..The suspect will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded."

Ariwera, a teenage son of former President Goodluck Jonathan, is hale and hearty, contrary to rumors of his passing, sources close to the former Nigeria leader said.

Several aides of the former President told SaharaReporters on Tuesday that his rumored death came as a surprise to them, as the boy is not even sick.

Social media outlets were buzzing with the rumor all of Tuesday. SaharaReporters had reported that the former President was vacationing in Los Angeles.

Saharareporters learned that he plans to return to Nigeria later tonight via Germany, flying Lufthansa into Port Harcourt tomorrow.

It is not clear if this return was planned, or is due to the revelation by our publication of his whereabouts.  Earlier in the day, in a stunning announcement, President Buhari disclosed that western countries have signed up to help Nigeria recover its assets that were voraciously looted. 

President Buhari Tuesday in Abuja assured State Governors that the days of impunity, lack of accountability, and fiscal recklessness in the management of national resources are over in Nigeria. Speaking at a meeting with the Governors in the Presidential Villa, President Buhari also vowed that funds stolen by government officials who abused their offices in the recent past will be recovered and systemic leakages stopped.

"There are financial and administrative instructions in every government parastatal and agency. But all these were thrown to the dogs in the past. Honestly, our problems are great, but we will do our best to surmount them.

"The next three months may be hard, but billions of dollars can be recovered, and we will do our best, " the President told the governors.

Expressing surprise that  the governors had tolerated the atrocities allegedly committed with the Excess Crude Account since 2011, President Buhari promised to tackle the issue decisively.

The President declared that the payment of national revenue into any  account other than  the Federation Account was an   abuse of the constitution, adding that what he had heard  was going on in many agencies and corporations, particularly the NNPC, was clearly illegal.

On the refund of monies spent on federal projects by state governments, President  Buhari assured the governors that the Federal Government will pay, but insisted that due process must be followed.

The President promised special assistance for the three North Eastern  states badly affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.

He also said that  a comprehensive statement  on the economic and financial situation inherited by his administration   will be made to the nation within the next four weeks.

"We will try and put the system back into the right position. What happened in the 2nd Republic has apparently happened again, and even worse, but we will restore sanity to the system," President Buhari assured the Governors.

On an immediate lifeline for states that owe salaries running into many months, President Buhari said that a committee headed by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, will look at the Excess Crude Account and see what can be shared immediately.

The governors, led by Chairman of the Governors Forum, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, had presented a wish list to the President that  included:
Ø Obedience of extant Supreme Court ruling that all monies go into the Consolidated Federation Account;
Ø An order from the President that all revenue generating agencies must pay into the Consolidated Federation Account;
Ø Review of the Revenue Allocation Formula;
Ø Refund of the monies expended by states on federal projects;
Ø A special consideration for the three states of the North East under Boko Haram infestation;
Ø  Full details of the amounts that accrued into the Excess Crude Account from 2011, and how the money miraculously shrank without official sharing.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
June 23, 2015

The guy in the photo claims he saw a snake inside a hotel in Lagos. Read his story below...

I am Yemmy, I was having a discussion with a close male friend of mine yesterday night in the compound of an hotel. Here is what I saw coming towards my direction in an hungry manner. Please, what type of snake is this? Is it spiritual or ordinary? Anyways God won."

The Lagos State Police Command has arraigned a 52-year-old school teacher, Isaac Ikiabeke, for allegedly raping a 5-year-old pupil in the Ikorodu area.

Ikiabeke, who is the proprietor of the school, Brighter Glory School, located on Etunrere Street, raped his victim after school hours.

The victim, five-year-old Pat (not her real name), said Ikiabeke had allegedly raped her 10 times.

She said,

"He has been doing it for some time. He has done it more than 10 times. I am not the only one. He does it with some of us after school hours. I could not tell anybody because he said if I did he would beat me."

The victim's grandfather explained that his attention was drawn to the sexual assault by some of Pat's classmates.

He said he was shocked, as well as disappointed in Ikiabeke, whom he regarded as a respectable man.

He said,

"Pat and her younger sister stay with me and they attend the school. I never suspected anything initially, except that I observed she would be holding her belly and turning on the bed and when I asked her what happened, she would say she was having stomachache.

"It was one of her classmates that told me what the school owner had been doing to her and I quickly went to report at the station, after which he was arrested."

The matter  has since been brought to the attention of the Lagos State Office of the Public Defender.

A police source said that they got complaints from two victims.

He said a three-year-old pupil, who was equally raped by the suspect, was in a critical condition in a hospital.

He said,

"There were actually two pupils that we were told he raped. The atrocity had been going on for a long time before he was arrested."

Pat has since been taken to the hospital for treatment.

The police on Monday arraigned Ikiabeke before a Yaba Chief Magistrates' Court on one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.

The charge read,

"That you, Isaac Ikiabeke, on June 9, 2015, at about 3pm, at Brighter Glory School, Etunrere Street, Ikorodu, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did have unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, (name withheld) aged five years and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 258 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011."

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge and elected summary trial.

The case was adjourned till August 10, 2015.

Read the EFCC press statement below...

Justice Lawal Akapo of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja on Monday June 22, 2015, convicted and sentenced one Emmanuel Osita (a.k.a Chuks) to three years imprisonment on a two count charge of obtaining money by false pretence. The convict was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, sequel to a petition from a legal practitioner on behalf of one Mrs. Veronica Okonkwo, an eighty-one (81) year-old woman who was the victim.

The convicts while operating as a commercial tri-cyclist conspired with other persons who are still at large and falsely represented to the victim that they had the capacity to produce local and foreign currencies from pieces of papers by dipping them into mercury.

Osita and his accomplices hoodwinked the 81-year-old woman to let go the sum of N120, 000.00 (One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Naira) as registration fee with a mercury company prior to the procurement of the chemical. The octogenarian was also induced to sell her property in Festac Town Lagos for N27 million and the proceeds appropriated by the convict and his co-travellers.

Upon his arrest, the convict was arraigned on 1st July, 2014. He subsequently pleaded guilty after making restitution to the victim; including the property valued at N27 million as the alleged buyer forfeited same to the victim. Based on his plea and the restitution of the victim, Justice Lawal Akapo convicted and sentenced the accused to three years imprisonment without any option of fine.

The police in Lagos state is looking for a suspected cultist named Anu Olokodana (pictured right), for allegedly drowning his childhood friend, 20 year old Adeleke Awosiga (pictured left) for refusing to join his cult group based in Isheri, Ojodu berger in Lagos state.

According to a report by Punch, the incident happened on June 13th during a birthday party for Anu. An argument ensued between the two friends and Anu reportedly twisted Leke's neck and threw him into a swimming pool inside a hotel in Isheri where he was having his party.

A relative of the deceased who spoke on condition of anonymity said
"The suspect, Olokodana, is popularly called T-Fire. He is a cult member and he was at the party with other member of his cult group. Adeleke was also there to celebrate his friend's birthday. As the party went on, a disagreement ensued between the two. Both men have been childhood friends, but their point of disagreements had always been over the cult membership. The suspect had always persuaded his friend to join his cult group, but the latter was not interested. On that Saturday, Olokodana invited many of his friends, including the deceased, to a hotel in the Isheri area to celebrate his birthday. The young men drank and had fun till dawn. The trouble started at about 4.30am. The next thing we heard was that Leke (Awosiga) had been drowned by Olokodana, and all his cult members had fled. We are still in shock over the matter."he said
Also speaking, a resident in the area identified as Alake said
"Olokodana's girlfriend, identified only as Rashidat, at about 4am, started dancing with another cult member. Adeleke also requested to dance with her, but she declined and asked, 'Are you one of us?' The deceased felt insulted, and replied that he was older than her. Other cult members got angry and pushed Adeleke out of the party hall. Olokodana also warned his friend not to go back to the hall. So, Awosiga stayed at the hotel's swimming pool and started threatening the cult members. Olokodana went to the swimming pool area, twisted his friend's neck and pushed him into the pool. That was how he drowned."he said
The case was reported at the Isheri Police station and the family members along with the police were able to recover Adeleke's corpse which has since been deposited at the Yaba morgue.

Spokesperson of the Lagos state police command, Kenneth Nwosu confirmed the incident and said further investigations are ongoing.

NIGERIANS that have expressed surprise that each senator receives N506,600 per annum as wardrobe allowance may be in for a shocker as the lawmakers receive far more allowances under different other categories.

Investigation by our correspondent on Monday showed that senators' allowances totalled N18,642,880 on annual basis.

In all, the allowance each senator receives is nine times more than his annual salary.

A senator's salary is pegged at N2,026,400 per annum.

Each senator or a member of the House of Representatives is entitled to 19 different allowances.

These allowances are for vehicle maintenance and fuelling; domestic staff, entertainment, utilities, personal assistant, constituency, wardrobe, house maintenance, newspapers, recess, accommodation, furniture, severance, tour duty, estacode, special assistant, security, legislative aide and medical.

These allowances are specified in the Remuneration Package for Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders prepared by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

On an annual basis, the 107 senators receive   N1,994,788,160 as allowances. Only 107 senators are eligible for these allowances. The President of the Senate and Deputy President of the Senate receive fewer allowances because most of their needs are fully provided for by the state.

For members of the House, the annual allowances payable are about eight times higher than their annual salaries.

While the annual salary of a House member is pegged at N1,985,212.50, the annual allowances add up to N15,286,135.25. This means that the 358 members of the House (excluding the speaker and the deputy speaker) get N5,472,436,419.5 annually in allowances.

The allowances, however, are in categories. Some are tagged regular while others are tagged irregular allowances.

Regular allowances are those that are paid on monthly basis along with the monthly salaries while irregular allowances are paid at other intervals, ranging from annual to once in four years.

There are also other allowances not included in this calculation that are paid not at any fixed periods but as many times as they occur in the year.

The allowances are calculated as percentages of the annual salaries. While some are higher than the annual salaries, others are lower.

Basically, both senators and Reps are paid the same percentages of their salaries as allowances, except the constituency allowance where senators are paid 250 per cent while Reps get 100 per cent of their annual salaries.

Vehicle maintenance and fuelling allowance is 75 per cent; domestic staff, 75 per cent; entertainment, 30 per cent; utilities, 30 per cent; wardrobe, 25 per cent; newspapers, 15 per cent; house maintenance, five per cent; and personal assistants, 25 per cent.

For a senator, therefore, the vehicle maintenance and fuelling allowance adds up to N1,519,800; domestic staff, N1, 519,800; entertainment, N607,920; utilities, N607,920; wardrobe, N506,600; newspapers, N303,960; house maintenance, N101,320; constituency, N5,066,000; personal assistant, N506,600.

For a member of the House of Representatives, the vehicle maintenance and fuelling allowance comes up to N1,488,909.40; domestic staff, N1,488,909.40; entertainment, N595,563.75; utilities, 595,563.75; wardrobe, N496,303.12; newspapers, N303,960; house maintenance, N99,260.62; constituency, N1,985,212.50; and personal assistant, N 496,303.12.

The irregular allowances include housing allowance, 200 per cent of the Reps annual salaries; furniture allowance, 300 per cent; recess allowance, 10 per cent and severance allowance, 300 per cent.

Housing allowance is paid once a year.

Furniture allowance is paid once in four years and recess allowance is paid when the lawmakers are on recess and they go on recess four times in a year. Severance allowance is at the end of the four-year tenure.

The housing allowance of a senator is N4,053,800. The furniture allowance is N6,079,200. On annualised basis, the furniture allowance is N1,519,800. The recess allowance climbs to N810,560 if they go on recess four times a year. The severance allowance is N6,079,200. On annual basis, it comes down to N1,519,800.

For Reps, the housing allowance is N3,970,425. The furniture allowance is N5,955,637.50. Annually, the furniture allowance comes down to N1, 488,909.38.

Also, recess allowance comes up to N794, 084. The severance allowance is N5,955,637.50. On annual basis, it comes down to N1,488,909.38.

There are other allowances that the lawmakers are not paid directly but provided and paid for by the government.

These are allowances for special assistants, security and legislative aides. What this means is that those engaged in these capacities are paid directly by the government as the allowances cannot be claimed by political office holders. These allowances apply to senators and Reps.

Medical expenses are also borne by the government when the lawmakers have need for the services.

The lawmakers are also entitled to tour duty allowance and estacode whenever they travel out of the country. For a senator, the tour duty allowance is N37,000 per night while the estacode is $950 per night.

For a member of the House of Representatives, the tour duty allowance is N35,000 per night while the estacode is $900 per night.

Although political office holders in the country are among the highest paid government officials in the world, our correspondent reports that the worry of many Nigerians is not what they earn officially but what accrues to them through self-appropriation and corruption.

The budget of the National Assembly is never broken into components and efforts to get them to break down the budget have not yielded the required result even after the invocation of the Freedom of Information Act.

Lawmakers are known to collect huge quarterly allocations, some of which are ostensibly designated for constituency projects. The constituency allowance is different from the constituency project fund.
Constituency allowance is paid for the maintenance of constituency office and contact while constituency project fund are appropriated to enable the lawmakers to execute projects in their constituencies.

The issuing authority for National Identity, the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has directed that all transactions involving the identification of individuals must be done with the National Identification Number (NIN) beginning from 1st September this year.
The Commission has therefore urged on all Nigerians to avail themselves the opportunity of enrolment into the National Identity Database and be issued a National Identification Number (NIN), which is the single version of truth and the foundation identity.
Pursuant to section 27 (1) and (2) of the NIMC Act, 2007,  the Commission said these transactions, include: application for, and issuance of an International Passport; opening of individual and/or group bank accounts, all consumer credits; purchase of insurance policies; the purchase, transfer and registration of land by any individual; National Health Insurance Scheme, such transactions that have social security implications, registration of voters, payment of taxes, and pensions, etc.
In a statement yesterday, the Commission's General Manager, Inspectorate, Regulatory & Compliance Services, Mrs. Hadiza Dagabana said, "any  government agency/institution, bank, insurance company and all other institutions offering services and/or involved in transactions requiring the identity of an individual must first demand for the NIN.  Any individual, institutions/body who fails to comply with the above has committed an offence under the punishable under section 28 of the NIMC Act,"

She urged Nigerians to appreciate the full import of the NIMC mandate, and understand that the three decades old problem of identity management in Nigeria has been fixed since 2012 by the provision of a Unique Identification Infrastructure for Nigeria and the subsequent launch of the National e-ID Card scheme in 2014.

On his part, the General Manager, Information Technology/Identity Database, NIMC,  Mr. Chuks Onyepunuka said: "Clearly, most people are unable to appreciate the shift in paradigm from 'Card Issuance', their familiar turf, to 'Identity Management', the current global trend, which explains the reason why they insist on getting the physical card even after they have been enrolled and issued their NIN.

"NIMC is focused on establishing 'Foundation Identity' (who you are) as the issuing authority for Nigeria, all other institutions, including the Banks and INEC are focused on 'Functional Identity' (whether you are eligible for a specific service).

A 34-year-old man, Solomon Ajisafe, has been arrested by the police for allegedly torturing his girlfriend, Tope Amuda, in the Igbo Olomu, Ikorodu West area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro learnt that Solomon, together with his mother, a leader in the Oodua People's Congress, and some hoodlums flogged Amuda with canes for alleged adultery.

Our correspondents were told that afterwards, she was taken round the community, before ground pepper was allegedly inserted in her private parts.

The incident happened last Sunday at about 7pm on Aminu Toyin Street.

A resident, who identified herself only as Adunni, told PUNCH Metro that attempts made by neighbours to stop the torture was rebuffed by the OPC.

Adunni said Amuda, a 25-year-old Osun State indigene, lost her mind due to the trauma she suffered.

She said, "They did not allow anybody to rescue her. They made jest of her for hours as they took her round the community. I saw her; she was speaking to herself and was incoherent. That was when I discovered that she had lost her mind."

The General Secretary, Igbo Olomu Community Development Association, and Coordinator, Women Arise Initiative in the area, Adebayo Obatungbase, said she reported the matter at the Igbo Olomu Police Division.

She said the community was planning to send away Solomon's mother, whose name was given simply as Mrs. Ajisafe, from the community.

She said, "The suspect's mother calls herself a prophetess, but she is also a member of the OPC. We have decided to send her away from this community."

The Chairman, Igbo Olomu CDA, Michael Adekoya, described the incident as "sheer acts of wickedness."

He said, "The police are trying, but we need special attention from the government. This community has turned to something else. Why would a normal human being insert pepper in a woman's private parts?"

However, Solomon told our correspondents that he only slapped his girlfriend, adding that they had been dating for the past four years without anything to show for the relationship.

He said, "I am a hardworking man and I had a son before I met her. We have dated for four years and during that period; there was no child between us. She has been a thorn in my flesh because she always made trouble with my family.

"She later fought with my mother and because of that, she decided to pack out of the house. Nine months later, she returned and said she was three months pregnant for me. That was when I beat her. I confessed to the police that I beat her up, but it was only a slap which made her eye to swell."

Solomon's sister-in-law, Ayomide Ajayi, a nursing mother, who was equally arrested, told PUNCH Metro she was innocent.

Ajayi, 27, said, "I don't know anything about the allegation. You can ask her."

But the victim, Amuda, insisted that Solomon and his family members tortured her.

Amuda, who spoke in Yoruba, said, "He and his family members used bottle to insert pepper into my private parts. I am done with this relationship. Let everybody go their separate ways."

A police source told one of our correspondents it was possible Amuda was also flogged with a charm.

The source said, "When we picked her from the general hospital, she could barely walk. They really dealt with her and she has been giving us some useful information on their occult operation."

Our correspondents learnt that the Office of the Public Defender had equally shown interest, leading to the arraignment of Solomon and Ayomide before an Ikorodu Magistrate's Court on three counts of assault.

The charges read in part, "That you, Solomon Ajisafe, Ayomide Ajayi and others now at large, on June 14, 2015, at about 7pm on Aminu Toyin Street, Igbo-Olomu, Lagos, in the Ikorodu Magisterial District, did assault one Opeyemi Amuda by beating her with cane all over her body; that you indecently and unlawfully assault her by inserting pepper and a bottle inside her vagina, which caused her bodily harm."

The defendants pleaded not guilty.

The magistrate ordered that they be remanded in custody, adding that the case file be forwarded to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, for legal advice.

While adjourning the case till July 15, 2015, the magistrate asked the police to take the victim to a rehabilitation centre.

Tragedy struck in the Mile 12 Ketu, area of Lagos State after the corpse of a 28-year-old graduate, identified simply as Kehinde, was found in a well.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the victim, who lived with his father on Omosebi Olugbo Street, had been declared missing before his bloated body was found in an abandoned well in their house on Friday.

Residents told our correspondent that Kehinde had been attacked by a strange mental illness for about five years and was always indoors.

He was said to have recovered recently from the illness before he was found dead in the well.

He was said to have been hurriedly brought out and buried by the family.

When our correspondent visited the street on Friday, the shops attached to the house were locked.

A resident, John Awesu, said the shop owners stopped business activities after Kehinde's corpse was recovered that morning.

Awesu said the deceased was well known in the area.

He said, "Kehinde and his twin brother are well educated and they graduated from the university together. Their mother died a few years back, but their father stays in the house.

"He had been sick for the past five years and because of that, he was always kept indoors.

"His illness was strange because it was off and on. On a particular day, he absent-mindedly walked away from the house before somebody who knew him brought him back home.

"They used to chain his legs and hands to keep him indoors. A few times that he stepped out, he was in chains."

It was learnt that Kehinde suddenly went missing from the house and the family began looking for him on Wednesday.

He was said to have been found in the well on Friday.

A resident said, "We were preparing for sahur to begin our fasting that morning when we saw an ambulance enter their house. We immediately sensed something was amiss.

"It was after the corpse had been taken away that the family told the landlords and some family friends that they found his body in the abandoned well.

"The well was always locked. The residents in the house depend on the community borehole for water. How Kehinde entered the well is a mystery."

PUNCH Metro was told that the family hurriedly buried the victim.

Another resident described Kehinde as soft-spoken and gentle. The resident, who did not identify himself, explained that on the day the victim was declared missing, he came to his shop to buy something.

He said, "He was a gentle and nice young man. He was at my shop to buy a bottle of water. I even joked with him because he appeared to have recovered from his sickness. There was a time he was very lean and almost died because of the mental problem."

Our correspondent observed as some friends and relatives poured into the house to pay condolence visit to the family.

PUNCH Metro approached one of the family friends to say what he knew about the deceased.

However, the friend, who confirmed the incident, said he needed the permission of the family to comment.

Our correspondent was asked to stay outside the building.

When he emerged from the house, he said the family was not in a good mood and did not permit him to talk.

He said, "I am sorry. The family members said they did not want to talk about it. They are not in a mood to discuss the incident."

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Kenneth Nwosu, said the case was not reported to the police.

He said, "The matter was not reported and when our team went there, the occupants of the building denied that anything like that happened."

President Muhammadu Buhari is set to name a former North American Bureau Chief of The Guardian, Laolu Akande, as a Senior Special Assistant to lead the media and communication unit in the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, PREMIUM TIMES can authoritatively report today.
People familiar with the president's plan said Mr. Akande's appointment would be among several others to be announced Monday or Tuesday.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt that under the present arrangement in the presidency, there would be only one presidential media and communication office but that individual appointees would be given separate responsibilities.

Mr. Akande would be deployed to work with Mr. Osinbajo, our sources said.

It is not clear whether the journalist has returned to Nigeria to take up the appointment. He could not be reached on his U.S. telephone on Sunday.

He was however in Nigeria in May to cover the inauguration ceremony for his media agency, Empowered Newswire. He returned to the U.S. shortly afterwards.

Mr. Akande, a pastor, was a former editor of Saturday Tribune. He cut his journalism teeth at The Guardian in 1989, and was a foundation staff of The NEWS magazine.

He moved to the United States in 1997 after agents of then dictator, Sani Abacha, began harassing him over perceived critical stance of his paper (Saturday Tribune) to the administration.

According to his brief bio on the website of the CANUSA, a Christian organization for which he works as executive director, Mr. Akande is regarded as "the longest serving African correspondent at the United Nations, and the only Nigerian journalist so far to have interviewed a sitting American president in the White House when he interviewed former President George W. Bush.

"He has also exclusively interviewed American folk hero, General Colin Powell, as well as billionaires like Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Donald Trump and several African leaders and presidents."

An adjunct college professor, Mr. Akande worked with leading American newspapers including the Philadelphia Inquirer, and New York Newsday.
He worked briefly at the United Nations as a press officer and later as advocacy consultant between 2002 and 2004.

Yesterday June 18th, the SUV belonging to one of former Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi's commissioners, Ibim Semenitari was taken by the new Rivers state govt who sent police to her house to recover the car. (Read story here). Mrs Ibim has released a statement on the matter.

Read below..

On Thursday June 18, 2015, over 10 policemen armed with machine guns and in two trucks - One Ford Transit and One Hilux arrived my residence, No 12 A Ernest Ikoli Street, Old G.R.A Port Harcourt. Without either a search warrant, letter or precious information, they forced their way into my premises.

My security guard on duty requested to know their mission and who sent them. They refused to disclose either, but went round taking photographs and videoing my premises. The security guard got in touch with my assistant who spoke with the men, explaining to them that I was out of town and again requested to know their mission and purpose. Again they declined insisting on seeing me first. She then got in touch with me by phone as we were uncertain as to the identity of the policemen in question.

Upon further investigation and after about 3 hours of them laying siege on my premise, I was told that they were from Rivers State Government House and had been sent to recover vehicles in my possession. They attempted to break into a Range Rover Jeep belonging to my Husband and bought long before I was made Commissioner in Rivers State Government, damaging the front door. The vehicle in question contrary to the lies being paraded is not an armoured vehicle and has never at any point belonged to the Rivers State Government nor its agents including myself as Commissioner of Information.

By the time I finally made contact with them and expressed my displeasure, they insisted that they would take away a Lexus jeep duly allocated to me as Commissioner of Information and which by law I am entitled to leave with upon leaving office.

The monetization policy of the government allows public officers to leave government with their official vehicles as this is in lieu of vehicle, allowance, transport and other allowances, which they cannot draw because of the monetization policy of 2002. Mr. Nyesom Wike served as Chief of Staff, and upon departure left with all the vehicles he used as Chief of Staff. This has been the practice since this democratic dispensation when President Olusegun Obassanjo instituted the monetisation policy.

Having served as Commissioner for two tenures, I am entitled to my status cars and have proof of allocation. While I understand that Mr. Wike feels a dire need to destroy the reputation of Governor Amaechi and all those worked with him, it is unacceptable that he will engage in brigandage, thuggery and underhand tactics to do so. A simple letter from any government official requesting me to make a submission or tender documentation would have been the appropriate way to go and I would have willingly tendered all the relevant documents to them.

Breaking into my home, invading my privacy, damaging my property and removing property from my premises is inappropriate and illegal.

I have chosen however to put out these details in the public space as it is apparent that for some persons only a destruction of my hard earned reputation would do and this I would not accept. My records in the Ministry of Information are crystal clear I hope that Mr. Nyesom Wike is able to say same about his tenure in every office he has held.

Forcing their home into my home unlawfully isn't the appropriate way for any government that claims legitimacy to behave.

Ibim Semenitari
June 18, 2015

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