Kidnapped Foreigners: Channel Your Demands To JTF, Defence Hqtrs Tells Boko Haram

The Defence Headquarters yesterday asked Boko Haram sect to channel whatever demand they have concerning the foreign hostages the sect is holding to the Joint Task Force (JTF) instead of using YouTube. Since the French tourists have been kidnapped, the...

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Subsidy Scam: Court Dismisses Oil Marketers’ Application To Quash Charges

The application of two oil marketers to have the fraud charges preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was quashed yesterday by a Lagos High Court in Ikeja. Aro Bamidele and Abiodun Bankole  alongside their company, ...

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PDP Faults Fashola’s Criticism Of Good Governance Tour

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Lagos State Chapter on Wednesday faulted Gov. Babatunde Fashola's position on the National Good Governance Tour, describing it as hypocritical.

The party said that the governor’s rejection of the team on good governance tour was an attempt to hide the state's ``shortcomings’’.

The PDP said in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Taofik Gani that Fashola was only playing to the gallery, pointing out that he (Fashola) and other governors had endorsed the tour.

``The same governor who has condemned the good governance tour is currently on tour of project sites in the state.

``Honestly, the attitude can be described that of kettle calling pot black.

``Lagos State Government has no moral right to criticise the tour; it has been celebrating every 100 days in office since 2007 wasting public funds,’’ the party said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Fashola had on Feb. 26, while marking his 2,100 days in office, said that Lagos would not welcome the team.

According to him, ``a government does not need a good governance tour to showcase its projects as good projects can be seen by the people.’’

The National Good Governance Tour, led by the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, was inaugurated on Sept. 20, 2012.

The tour has so taken them to all the South-South states and some states in the North


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Zenith Bank Doles Out N20m For 2012/2013 Female Basketball League

Zenith Bank Nigeria Plc on Wednesday in Lagos increased to N20 million the sponsorship money for the 2012/2013 Zenith Bank Female Basketball League. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Zenith Bank, sponsors of the competition for the past eig...

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Newswatch: Ray Ekpu Says Jimoh Ibrahim Denied Him Some Retirement Benefits

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday heard that a businessman,  Mr Jimoh Ibrahim, paid only a part of the retirement benefits of former directors of  Newswatch Communications Ltd. which he acquired.

A former Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Ray Ekpu, made the claim  while giving evidence in a suit filed by two minority shareholders of the company.

The shareholders – Mr Nuhu Wada and Prof. Jibril Aminu -- are challenging the method through which Ibrahim acquired the majority shareholding of the company.

During cross examination by Ibrahim’s counsel, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), Ekpu said that Ibrahim cheated him by refusing to pay him a balance of N30 million of his retirement benefits.

 "The sum of N79 million was paid to me out of N109 million.

"During his meeting with me and four other directors, he called on the accountant who read the figures to us.

 "The figures were less than what we expected to be paid and we had since submitted our request for regularisation to the board on May 5, 2011.

"When we told him that the figures were less than what we expected, he said that that was the only money available.

"He just paid us what he wanted and still insisted on collecting 10 per cent as tax, the receipt of which he never gave us," Ekpu testified.

 He said that efforts to make Ibrahim to pay the balance through  correspondences yielded no result.

 The defence counsel,  Ayorinde, consequently tendered as exhibits, copies of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) containing the names of other companies under the Newswatch group.

The MoU also disclosed how much was paid to other directors.

Justice Ibrahim Buba adjourned the case to March 18 for continuation of trial.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the plaintiffs filed the suit on Jan. 17.

They are seeking, among other reliefs, an order to quash a share purchase agreement which transferred the ownership of the company to Ibrahim.

Newswatch Communications Ltd., Global Media Mirror Ltd., Newswatch Newspapers Ltd. and the Corporate Affairs Commission are joined as co defendants in the suit.


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Masari Urges FCT INEC To Adopt Unbiased Approach To Council Elections

A former Speaker, House of Representative, Alhaji Aminu Masari, on Wednesday urged INEC in the FCT to conduct free and fair elections that would satisfy the yearning and aspirations of the people.

Masari, a CPC chieftain, made the call during a visit to the Resident Electoral Commissioner of FCT INEC, Mr Godwin Kwanga, in Abuja.

``We are here to demand for transparency, accountability and fairness in the conduct of the forthcoming FCT area councils’ elections coming up on March 16,'' he said.

According to him, the forthcoming FCT area councils elections will be a litmus test for the conduct of the 2015 general elections by INEC.

He said that Abuja was a centre for unity; therefore, the commission must ensure that the outcome of the elections reflects the true vote of the people.

Masari said that the rational surrounding the creation of the area councils was to bring government nearest to the people.

According to him, the area councils could be regarded as the foundation of democracy in Nigeria.

Responding, Kwanga emphasised the commitment of the commission to conduct free, fair and transparent elections in the territory on March 16.

Kwanga said that as part of the efforts to ensure smooth elections, the commission held meeting with different political stakeholders in the territory to clarify issues concerning the conduct of the poll.

``We will ensure that there is no secrets in the conduct of the elections and transparency will be our driving force throughout the exercise.

``The commission will do its best to fulfil your demand if it is within the orbit of the law or in line with the provision of the electoral Act 2010,'' Kwanga said.

Other members of the CPC chieftains present at the meeting were the former FCT Minister, Malam Nasiru El-Rufai and Sen. Naziru Gamawa.

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Sultan Calls For Synergy Between BOA, NAPEP And NDE

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar, has called for synergy between the Bank of Agriculture, National Poverty Eradication Programme ( NAPEP ) and the National Directorate of Employment ( NDE).

Abubakar, who made the call when the Managing Director of Bank of Agriculture, Dr Mohammed Santuraki, paid him a courtesy call in Sokoto on Wednesday, said that such an arrangement, would further reduce poverty and unemployment in the country.

The sultan said: "Not that I am calling for their scrapping or merger, rather they should work hand in hand as they have similar mandates.

"They should have an efficient inter-link among themselves . They all have the same aims of engaging more Nigerians meaningfullly.

"By such gestures, more Nigerians will be taken away from violence and crimes and have a better society."

Abubakar observed that poverty is the major factor precipitating crimes and various security challenges in Nigeria.

"When it comes to food, there is no politics. A hungry man is an angry man.

"When the people are left with no food or nothing to do, there must always be problems for the society.’’

Abubakar commended the Federal Government for re-invigorating the bank, recalling the glorious old days of the defunct NACB, the predecessor of BOA.

"We are delighted with what the Federal Government has done to revamp agriculture after the sector was neglected after the discovery of the black gold.

"No amount of oil or gold etc you still have the need for food to eat . You cannot just throw away agriculture because of this basic need," he added.

Abubakar pledged to continue to be an active partner with the bank and other agencies aimed at further improving the living standard of Nigerians.

Earlier, Santuraki had told the Sultan that the visit was aimed at showing appreciation to him on his sustained support to the bank.

"It is a fatherly visit to also thank the sultan for his contribution to peace and unity in Nigeria and humanity across the globe generally.


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