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Military Steps Up Onslaught On Terrorists [LEADERSHIP]

In the aftermath of President Muhammadu Buhari’s consultations with state governors and security chiefs, the Nigerian military has intensified the ongoing onslaught on insurgents with a view to containing insecurity in the country.

Accordingly, in continuation of its offensives against the terrorists, the air task force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE yesterday killed scores of Islamic State of West Africa Province’s (ISWAP) fighters and destroyed compounds housing them at Tongule in the Lake Chad area of Northern Borno.

State governors and security chiefs had on Tuesday ended their meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of the nation’s security with calls for a joint strategy to bring various conflicts to an end within time limits.

The meeting focused on the country’s security policies and approaches in tackling the internal security challenges with a charge that intelligence-gathering and sharing must be optimised for the nation to secure itself.

As part of efforts to rid the country of terror group the military on Wednesday launched air strikes following credible Human Intelligence (HUMINT) reports indicating terrorists’ activities in Tongule village.

Coordinator Defence media operations, Major General John Enenche, said following confirmatory Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, which showed presence of a sizable number of the ISWAP elements at designated locations in the settlement, the air task force dispatched a force package of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets to attack  the location.

He said the NAF jets took turns in engaging the location scoring devastating hits on the designated targets leading to the destruction of the structures as well as the neutralisation of several ISWAP fighters

This is just as the Special Forces approved by the Defence Headquarters to halt the senseless killings and restore peace in Southern Kaduna have arrived Kafanchan ahead of their deployment to the various flashpoints in the area later today.

The Special Forces drawn from the Nigerian Army were received at Sector 7, the headquarters of Operation Safe Haven, by the Kaduna State commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, on behalf of the state governor, Nasir el-Rufai.

Receiving them, the commissioner said, “We came to formally welcome you to Kaduna State, and Southern Kaduna in particular after your induction. You are courageous and outstanding officers who have done well in Faskari, Batsari and other flash points in the country.

“The governor is pleased with your deployment and optimistic that you will do well in consolidating the gains already achieved by troops, police and other security agencies in this general area.

“Beyond the boots on the ground, the Kaduna State government is conducting series of engagements with traditional rulers, religious leaders, community leaders, civil society and other agencies, and we are making progress.

“Our consistent appeal is recourse to the law. No one should take the law on his or her own hands. Failure to recourse to the law only worsens the situation at hand, and as such, citizens must resort to available lawful means for arbitration and amicable resolution of grievances.”

The governor expressed gratitude to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, Chiefs of Army and Air Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai and Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar as well as the Commander, Operation Safe Haven, Maj Gen Chukwuemeka Okonkwo for their immense commitment in containing the situation.

The commissioner had a closed-door session with community leaders before leaving Kafanchan town.

DSS Warns Against Inciting Statements

Meanwhile, the Department of State Services (DSS) has alerted the nation about desperate efforts by some notable personalities to use their exalted positions to take advantage of developments in the country and cause a total breakdown of law and order.


Imo, Akwa Ibom, Rivers Top Nigeria’s Unemployment Index [LEADERSHIP]

Unemployment rate in Nigeria rose to 27.1 per cent in the second quarter 9Q2) of 2020 up from the 23.1 per cent recorded in Q3, 2018 with Imo, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States leading the pack.

According to the latest report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), underemployment rate increased from 20.1% in Q3, 2018 to 28.6 per cent

NBS said a combination of both the unemployment and underemployment rate for the reference period gave a figure of 55.7 per cent, meaning that 27.1 per cent of the labour force in Nigeria or 21,764,617 million persons either did nothing or worked for less than 20 hours a week, making them unemployed.

Imo State reported the highest rate of unemployment with 48.7 per cent, followed by Akwa Ibom and Rivers with 45.2 per cent and 43.7 per cent respectively.

The state with the lowest rate was Anambra with 13.1 per cent.

Imo has a total of 1,209,882 million unemployed labour force; Akwa Ibom State has the second highest number of unemployed people as almost half of its total labour force is currently unemployed.

Out of the 2,534,495 million (total) labour force of the oil rich state, 1,144,399 million or 45.2 per cent are in unemployment.

Out of its total 3,921,860 million labour force population, Rivers State recorded 1,714,189 million or 43.7 per cent.

Kaduna and Kano States have 1,339,952 million and 1,424,686 unemployment rates respectively, accounting for 39.8 and 31.6 per cent of their total labour force accordingly.

The statistics office said it decided to deploy the use of computer assisted telephone interview system to conduct the survey based on the restriction of movement across the country due to COVID-19 pandemic.

For the period under review, Q2, 2020, the unemployment rate among young people (15-34years) was 34.9 per cent, up from 29.7 per cent, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group rose to 28.2 per cent from 25.7 per cent in Q3, 2018. These rates were the highest when compared to other age groupings.


Reps To Recover N23.6bn Unremitted Revenue From CAC [LEADERSHIP]

The House of Representatives yesterday disclosed that it would recover the sum of N23.695bn, being unremitted revenue from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) directly from the source over the next three years.

Chairman, Joint Committee of the House on Finance, Appropriation, National Planning, and Economic Development and Aids, Loans and Debts Management, Hon. James Abiodun Faleke disclosed this during the Day-2 of the 2021 to 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) and investigative hearing into alleged under-remittance by federally funded agencies.

Faleke said, “The amount that will be deducted from your account directly, without recourse to you in 2021 is N7.77bn. Write it down. In 2022, the amount that will be deducted from your account is N7.925bn. In 2023, by the grace of God, God spearing our lives, the amount that will be deducted from your account is N8bn.”

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, had during the commencement of the interactive session on the 2021 to 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper on Thursday, declared that under-remittances to government coffers by revenue generating agencies was partly responsible for borrowings by the government to finance the budget.

The speaker, however, warmed revenue the agencies to desist from under remitting revenue generated to the federation account.

“Our country is currently facing a fiscal crisis, compounded by the intense disruption that has been wrought on our economic performance and financial projections by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are not the only ones,” Gbajabiamila said.

While appearing before the Joint Committee yesterday, the director, Budget Planning, Research, and Statistics at the  CAC, Dr. Gado Shehu,  explained that the CAC had an approved revenue budget of N15.770bn in 2019 while the budgetary performance was N12,675bn. He also said the commission remitted N100m.

Shehu said the CAC in 2018 had a budget of N16.621bn but realised N11bn yet did not remit revenue.

“The approved revenue budget for 2020 is N18bn, while the CAC had by June realised N8.3bn. By June, because the Federal Government has started direct deduction from our revenue, they have deducted N69m. 25 per cent of whatever drops into our account is deducted,” he said.

Faleke, however, expressed surprise on how CAC remitted only N100m after getting over N12bn saying: “Even that N100m that you remitted, it was the committee that forced you to remit it, I remember.”

He chairman also observed that N69million is less than 10 per cent of N8.3bn, which is even below the 25 per cent expected remittance.

While speaking on the proposal by the CAC for 2021, said the total projected revenue is N19.425bn.


Police hold Kano man who locked 30-year-old son in car garage for 7 years [THE NATION]

Ahmed Aminu, was 23 years old when his father and stepmother decided to cage him in an unused garage like an animal. For seven years, lived in the small space and in solitary confinement.

Gone was his freedom. Freedom to eat, play and work as he might desire.

He had no idea of what went around him even though what served as his shelter was located right there in his father’s  home, located at Farawa Baban Layi Mariri quarters, Kumbotso local government area – a suburb of Kano metropolis.

Most times Aminu would be forgotten, and without food and water for days.

Sometimes, he took his own urine to quench his thirst and his faeces as food.

Now 30 years old, Aminu was all skeleton when the police in Kano rescued him on Thursday.

His dad and stepmom had accused him of drug abuse. His father, Aminu Farawa, confessed that  he locked his son for only three years. He was arrested.

With the help of a human rights group, Aminu was rescued on Thursday afternoon, police said.

Sources said a resident of the area, Rahma Muhammad, alerted a human rights activist who informed the police about Aminu’s plight.

A one minute video clip, which has gone viral online, shows Ms Rahma Muhammad saying “I have fulfilled my promise of rescuing him.”

In the video, Ms Mohammad is heard asking the victim whether he wants to be rescued or to return to his cage (room).

With only rags on him, Aminu had emaciated and lost his physical strength at the time he was rescued. A man in white garment and one policeman in uniform holding a rifle, held him onto a police van. The man in white sat next to him and they zoomed off, the video shows.

“Aminu was locked by his parents on the suspicion that he had started smoking and getting involved in drug abuse.

“His stepmother tried to hide him when the police arrived, insisting that he was not in the house. After a search, police eventually succeeded in rescuing him, an eyewitness Shehu Ibrahim, said.

The police spokesman, Abdullahi Haruna, confirmed the incident to newsmen.

Haruna said in a statement: “The Kano State Police Command wishes to inform members of the general public that on the 13/08/2020 at about 2315hrs, information received revealed that one Aminu Farawa of Farawa Quarters, Kumbotso LGA of Kano State locked up his biological son, one Ahmed Aminu, 30 years old, of the same address inside his car garage within his house for about seven (7) years without proper feeding and health care.


NDDC scholarships: overseas students still in distress despite Buhari’s order [THE NATION]

The suffering of stranded Nigerian students on overseas scholarship of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has continued 12 days after President Muhammadu Buhari directed the agency to pay the students’ outstanding dues immediately.

Although the NDDC Director of Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, had given assurances that the outstanding fees would be settled within a week of the president’s directive, The Nation gathered yesterday that the agency was yet to comply.

While Odili had said at the time that the non-settlement of the foreign scholarship fees arose mainly as a result of the death of the former Executive Director Finance and Administration, Ibanga Bassey Etang, investigation revealed that there may be more to the issue than Etang’s demise.

A source cited alleged astronomical rise in the scholarship sum from $1.9m in 2018 to over $7m in 2019.

The source said there are no records of new scholarship awards to justify the sharp rise.

On discovering the huge rise, the management suspected that the figure was padded, hence it decided to suspend payment until the identities of the ‘ghost’ names are unmasked through the various bank details attached to the names.

Sources also said it is not true that the death of the former Director of Finance was responsible for the inability of the NDDC to pay the scholarship beneficiaries.

“The IMC (Interim Management Committee) is worried that the number of scholarship students appears to increase with a new management, giving the impression that the students don’t ever graduate from the scheme,” one source said.

He added: “A situation where the figures rose from $1.9m in 2018 to over $7m in 2019 is indeed worrisome and scary, indicating the padding of the records with ghost names.

“The present management under the Interim Management Committee has not awarded any scholarships. As such, it is worrisome that the figures for the students are on the increase in spite of payments of about $1.9m and $3.4m paid by the two previous boards.

“An increase from $1.9m to $7m is almost 400%, and such bleeding of the commonwealth should not be allowed to continue under any guise.


Edo 2020: APC, PDP bicker over house of assembly crisis [THE NATION]

An ally of Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Osaro Onaiwu, and the head of the legal team of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the September 19 governorship election in the state, Dr. Ehiogie West-Idahosa, are bickering over the deepening crisis in the state’s House of Assembly.

Onaiwu, founding Director-General of PDP Governors’ Forum, yesterday accused West-Idahosa of bringing the law profession into disrepute by his petition in which he sought police protection for 17 members of the State Assembly.

Onaiwu, in a statement, asked the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee and the Disciplinary Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to impose stiff sanctions on West-Idahosa for instigating the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, to direct the police to provide protection for the legislators.

A group of legal practitioners under the auspices of Truth, Fairness and Justice Associates, signed by Victor Agugoesi, also wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, who is also the Chairman of the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC), to complain about West-Idahosa’s petition.

West-Idahosa daubed Onaiwu’s allegations as mischievous, baseless, frivolous, malicious, unfounded and politically motivated.

“How can I mislead the Federal Attorney-General by making a representation to him?” he asked in reaction to Onaiwu’s statement.

Onaiwu said: “West-Idahosa had written to the Office of the AGF, asking for his intervention in the crisis that is rocking Edo Assembly despite the fact that the matter of the vacant seats of 14 of the lawmakers is currently before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

“The AGF had consequently asked the IGP, Mohammed Adamu, to provide security for the ‘dissident lawmakers’ of Edo House of Assembly.

“West-Idahosa, against standard rules in the legal profession, stood as both a prosecuting and defence counsel to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (a former National Chairman of APC and an ex-governor of Edo State) in the same matter in the same Federal High Court.

“West-Idahosa was the counsel to Bishop Osadolor Ochei when the latter dragged Comrade Oshiomhole to the Federal High Court in 2018 over alleged fraud and contract inflation in the construction of Edo Specialist Hospital.

“The same West-Idahosa duplicitously transmuted into Comrade Oshiomhole’s counsel when the former Edo governor sued the Attorney-General of Edo State over the same subject matter, obtaining an ex parte order to stop Oshiomhole’s probe.

“West-Idahosa’s conduct in the aforementioned matter gravely offended the 2007 Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers in Nigeria on conflict of interest and duty of counsel to uphold the rule of law.”

Onaiwu also asked the regulatory bodies in the legal profession to de-bar the head of APC’s legal team, which he claimed would serve as a deterrent to other members of the noble legal profession who might want to offer themselves to politicians as instruments of anarchy and injustice.

In his reaction, however, West-Idahosa said: “How can I mislead the Federal Attorney-General by making a representation to him? Is he obliged to accept the views of my clients as represented by me?


$62bn oil revenue: FG’s recovery effort suffers setback [PUNCH]

The Federal Government, through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), may have beaten a retreat from its fight to recover an estimated $62bn in accrued revenues from some international oil majors, Saturday PUNCH learnt during the week.

Before the withdrawal, the AGF had argued that the revenue accrued because successive administrations neglected key aspects of the Production Sharing Contracts between the Federal Government and the IOCs, bordering mainly on the sharing formula between the government and the IOCs.

Malami recently stated that the expected funds had been earmarked for major ongoing infrastructural projects in the country, including the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Kano-Abuja Expressway and the Second Niger-Bridge.

Going by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s current official exchange rate of N379 to $1 as of Friday, the $62bn at stake amounts to about N23.5tn.

The Federal Government had alleged that Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited, the Nigerian arm of the global IOC, was responsible for $13.5bn of the total revenues denied Nigeria.

During the week, Saturday PUNCH obtained correspondences between Malami and Shell that gave insight into the squabble, government’s recovery efforts and Nigeria’s about-turn.

Nigeria’s volte face

On March 13, 2020, Malami wrote to Shell and appealed to the oil and gas giant to withdraw its suit and arbitration proceedings instituted against the Federal Government for demanding the company’s share of the $62bn.

The AGF then asked the oil company to engage with regulatory agencies “to remedy any possible lapses over the implementation of the Production Sharing Contracts in Nigeria and possible negotiation on terms of payment.”

Meanwhile, in its reply to the AGF, Shell’s Managing Director, Bayo Ojulari, in a letter dated May 11, 2020 and signed by him, received by the AGF’s office on May 13, 2020, indicated that the dispute was “created by the Federal Government’s demand for alleged outstanding revenue from OML 118”, but that it “has now been resolved by the withdrawal of the FGN’s demand as effected by your referenced letter.”

The five-paragraphed letter however glossed over the said negotiation plan without giving it any mention.


Church banned me from choir after I got pregnant –Waje [PUNCH]

Singer, Aituaje Iruobe, aka Waje, went down memory lane during the week when she recounted how she got pregnant while writing the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations.

The ‘Frenemies’ singer shared her experience in a recent Instagram Live chat with gospel rapper, Bouqui.

She said, “I got into a relationship in SS3 and the relationship went from ‘puppy love’ to sexual. At that time, I felt I loved him and that (sex) was the only way I could express my love. At that time, I saw a fine boy who liked me, though we quarrelled on several occasions. I didn’t understand the responsibility that came with making decisions like that.

“I got pregnant and I remembered one afternoon, I was in the bathroom when someone came to my house and told me my pastor wanted to see me. I knew that day, there were two things that would happen ― either I died or I died. Everything in me got drained.

“Anyway, I went to see the pastor. He was in a conference room with other pastors and he said to me, ‘If you lie, you will die because you are standing in front of God, Holy Spirit and me.’

“He asked me, ‘Are you pregnant?’ and I said, ‘Yes’. He was so disappointed. He told me he wanted to see me in church every Wednesday and Sunday but I would no longer sing in the choir.”

Waje also stated that her mother didn’t know she was pregnant until she was five months gone.

She said, “I wrote the WASSCE while pregnant and nobody knew; not even my mother. I told her about my pregnancy after five months.

“After one morning devotion, I told her I had something to tell her. I told her I was pregnant and wasn’t planning on aborting it.

“At that point, she already knew who was responsible because he used to come to our house. After telling her, she told me to go back to bed. However, I knew something in her broke because she didn’t go back to sleep.”


We’ll persuade Buhari to sack service chiefs –Senate [PUNCH]

The Senate has said it will persuade the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to sack the military chiefs, comprising the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Naval Staff.

The upper chamber had, on July 21, asked the CDS and the service chiefs to step aside, following the killing of soldiers fighting insurgency and banditry in some parts of northern Nigeria.

The decision came after a motion moved during plenary via a point of order by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume.

Ndume’s motion titled ‘Matter of urgent national importance’ was premised on the rising number of casualties among the armed forces and other security agencies due to escalating banditry and insurgency in the country. He described the situation as worrisome.

He said, “Just recently, 24 soldiers were ambushed and killed along the Gamboa-Maiduguri Road in Borno State. At least 19 were wounded, while nine were declared missing in action.

“It is also disturbing that in Katsina recently, about 20 soldiers were ambushed and killed, while several others were wounded. The number of civilian casualties is not known.

“If the trend continues, it will have serious implications on the fight against insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality in the country.

“Recently, it was alleged that over 236 soldiers voluntarily resigned from the Nigerian Army.”

Meanwhile, the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs, Senator Francis Fadahunsi, in his prayer, as an addition to Ndume’s point of order, demanded that service chiefs step aside.

The Senate approved the prayer and passed a resolution on it accordingly.

The Presidency, however, reacted immediately, saying the President was not legally bound to act on the resolution of the legislature, while stressing that the President reserved the power to sack or retain the service chiefs.

In a recent interview, the Senate spokesperson, Senator Ajibola Basiru, said the red chamber would continue to persuade the President to act on its resolution.

Basiru admitted that the resolution was purely advisory but maintained that it represented the position of Nigerians who elected them into the Senate.


I met my hubby on my first day in church –Anita Asuoha, Comedian [SUN]

Anita Alaire Afoke Asuoha is a Nigerian comedian, dancer and on-air personality, known by her stage name Real Warri Pikin.

She is one of the funniest comedienne currently making waves in the entertainment industry. Married to Ikechukwu Asuoha with two kids together, in this interview, she spoke on a whole lot of issues, including how she has enrolled her daughter in Taekwondo class to learn self-defence in the midst of high cases of rape in the country and how she has learnt to use low moments as fuel to grow her brand.

Most people know you by your stage name, Real Warri Pikin. Why go with a stage name instead of your real name and how exactly did you come into comedy?

I go by the name Real Warri Pikin because it’s a brand.  I portray realness; I’m promoting my root where I come from, which is Warri, so I had to use a name that will tell a story. As to how I got into comedy, I have always been doing comedy passively while I was in the university, I was doing comedy and dance but I was doing the dance more like professionally because, I felt that was all there is and I was doing the comedy here and there but it wasn’t too serious. I know I had it in me but in 2018 I had to like say this to myself that, this is the thing trending online and this I can also do, why not do your own thing and that’s how I started doing comedy.


Obaseki approves all outstanding promotions in public service [SUN]

The Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has approved all outstanding promotions in the state public service. In a letter dated August 14, 2020, with Reference Number: HOS 563/2, Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa said: “The Edo State Government has approved all outstanding promotions in the State Public service.

“Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are by this announcement directed to commence the process of the promotion exercise of eligible officers without delay.‎

“All Accounting Officers are to, with immediate effect ensure strict compliance with this directive”, a statement issued by the Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said.

According to the statement, another letter signed by G.O. Igberaese, Permanent Secretary, Governor’s Office, with Reference Number: CSM.275/Vol.VA/215 and titled: “2018 and 2019 Promotions, the permanent secretary said: “I am directed to refer to the above subject matter and to inform you that the Governor of Edo State, His Excellency, Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, has graciously approved the promotion of officers eligible for promotion in 2018 and 2019 exercises.

“In the light of the above, all ministries, parastatals and Government agencies are to ensure that the exercise is concluded without delay”.

Igberaese requested accounting officers to “ensure strict compliance and also ensure that all agencies/parastatals under them comply accordingly”, the statement added.

Protests in Ibadan as serial ritual killer escapes from police custody [SUN]

Indications have emerged that a 19-year-old boy, Sunday Sodipe, who confessed on Friday July 17, 2020, that he had killed no fewer than six persons for ritual purposes in different communities in Akinyele Local Government Area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, has escaped from police custody.

The news of his escape came as residents of Ori-Oke Olurunkole in the local government area woke up on Friday morning, to hear news that a middle-aged woman, simply identified as Olufunmilayo, was hacked to death by suspected ritual killers on Thursday afternoon.

The development made the youths in the local government to take to the streets on Friday, protesting the return of ritual killings to the local government and the alleged escape of Sunday Sodipe, who was paraded before journalists by the Commissioner of Police in the state, Nwachukwu Enwonwu, barely one month ago, from the police custody. The angry youths were said to have pelted some policemen that attempted to go to Akinyele town with stones, and made it difficult for the police to access the crime scene.

The woman was said to have been injured with a machete in four places and she was said to have died at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan later in the night. But the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Olugbenga Fadeyi, when contacted on the development, confirmed the death of the woman on Thursday, saying the police have begun investigation on it. But he could not confirm the allegation that Sunday Sodipe escaped from police custody, saying: “I will get back to you on that,” but did not get back till the time of filling this report.

The protesters argued that nobody was safe any longer in the local government, and alleged that the police might have collected bribe from the powers that be to free Sunday Sodipe without taking him to court, adding that the principal suspect allegedly escaped when police wanted to give him food. They alleged further that the development had shown that some very powerful people must have been supporting the ritual killings in the local government area.



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