Friday 30 November 2012

Police pensions: Reps move to arrest Okonjo-Iweala

House of Representatives on Thursday resolved to issue a warrant of arrest on Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for failure to respond to several summons issued on her.
The House had repeatedly invited her to give explanations on the take-over of police pensions and non-payment of pensions to former rank and files of the Nigerian Police Force, but the minister has repeatedly failed to show up.
Chairman, House Committee on Pensions, Ibrahim Bawa Kamba, made known the decision of the committee to issue the warrant on the minister after waiting for several hours for her on Thursday, only for her to fail to show up as usual and without any apologies.
Kamba said it was obvious that the minister was not ready to appear and explain reason why the minister took over Police Pensions Office without regard to Pensions Reform Act and oversight responsibility of the committee.
His words: “We have been inviting the Minister of Finance over the problems of police pensions.
“She has been holding the Police Pensions and several police pensioners have died due to non attendance, despite the fact that National Assembly appropriated money in the 2012 fiscal year.
“The committee wondered why the minister took over the schedule of the Police Pensions and this has generated controversy and the committee has received several petitions in this respect, which the committee would have loved to resolve with the minister.
“Following her refusal, the committee is going to issue warrant of arrest against the minister if she fails to attend the next meeting. We are going to give her the last opportunity. What she is doing is bad.
“She has no right to neglect the call of the committee, we are not happy about this development.
“Many former IG have not been paid. Sunday Ehindero and Sunday Adewusi and DIG Akeredolu have not been listed due to the take over by the minister.
“We want to make it clear to Nigerians of our action, we hate playing with peoples life.
“We have received some petitions from the police that many police pensioners are not paid.
“We were bombarded  with series of complaints. Severally we have been writing to hear from the minister but she refused to heed our calls.

Sanusi: NLC call is hypocritical – CPC

LAGOS—The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has dismissed the call for the sack of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN by the Nigeria Labour Congress as self-serving.
The party said the labour leadership’s call was only aimed at winning back popular support after the same leadership betrayed the masses when it unceremoniously surrendered at the peak of the popular revolt against the hike in fuel prices at the beginning of the year.
The NLC had on Wednesday called for Sanusi’s sack upon his submission that the civil service be trimmed for the purpose of fiscal discipline.
In a statement issued by the party’s national publicity secretary, Engr. Rotimi Fashakin, the CPC, nevertheless, upbraided the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP for mismanaging the economy.
“Whilst we do not agree that the cause of the exorbitant recurrent expenditure is wholly due to the size of the public service work-force and that the sacking of half its size is the solution to the identified problem, we believe the call for the call for the sacking of the forthright Public officer for volunteering his personal opinion is equally preposterous. It is our belief that the fiscal indiscipline of this Jonathan-led administration has exacerbated the Nation’s malaise!”
“We equally believe that rather vilifying the CBN governor for the commentary, this should throw up meaningful discourse on extricating the Nation from the financial recklessness of this PDP-led Federal Government.”  “In the first place, the CBN governor is not in a position to implement policy for sacking the Nation’s public servants. At best, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi aired his personal opinion. We are at a loss at the nexus between his personal opinion and the strident call for his sack, except there are other sinister underpinnings in this call.”
“As a Party, we have equally taken note of the ignominious manner this present crop of Labour leadership truncated, in January 2012, the people’s popular refusal to yield to the exploitative tendencies of the Nation’s rulers. In the course of scuttling the people’s revolt, some of these Labour leaders got appointed into some dodgy committees that were not primed to achieve result. This is why we view this call by the Labour leaders for Sanusi’s sack as a cheap, opportunistic (albeit languid) ploy to crawl back to the people’s reckoning.”
“We believe that responsible leadership is about selflessness and consistency. We advise the Nation’s Labour leaders to critically examine the policies of governments (Federal and State) that impinge on the well-being of the people instead of looking for scape-goat for cheap populism.”

Dana crash: 40 families petition Senate

About 40 families of victims of the ill-fated Dana Airplane that crashed on June 3, 2012 in Lagos have petitioned the Senate Committee on Aviation on the deliberate refusal of the airline to pay them the statutory $30,000 compensation.
The deliberate refusal, according to the families, is as a result of the wicked machinations of Dana Airline and its representatives.
The families also claimed that the names of two of them, Ahmad Dukawa and Femi Shobowale,  were fraudulently listed by Dana Airlines, its local and international insurers, Prestige Assurance Plc and Pritchard Insurance/Lloyd’s of London as having been paid $30,000 each.
Consequently, the families have petitioned the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation to wade into the matter.
Briefing newsmen in Lagos yesterday, through their legal practitioners and consultants, M.O Awoniyi & Co, the families said that it is a wilful, deliberate and malicious refusal by Dana and its insurers to pay the statutory compensation to them.
It will be recalled that Section 48(3) of the Civil Aviation Act provides: “In any case of aircraft accident resulting in death or injury of passengers, the carrier shall make advance payments of at least US $30,000  within 30 days from the date of such accident, to the natural person or such natural persons who are entitled to claim compensation in order to meet the immediate economic needs of such persons and such advance payments shall not constitute recognition of liability and may be offset against any amounts subsequently paid as damages by the carrier.”
According to Bunmi Awoyemi, one of the lawyers representing the families of the victims, all efforts to get the claims t paid thus far have proved abortive.
Awoyemi said: “We have tried severally and in vain, via written and oral communication(s) to get the Airline and its insurer’s solicitors, to pay our clients their monies.
They have only through, deceitful and deliberate measures prevented our clients from meeting their immediate and economic needs occasioned by the death of their loved ones in the plane crash. The name of two of our clients Ahmad Dukawa and Femi Shobowale were fraudulently listed by Dana Airlines, its local and international insurers, Prestige Assurance Plc and Pritchard Insurance/Lloyd’s of London as having been paid $30,000 each.”

Flood: FG takes samples of snakes to determine anti-venom vaccines

Bauchi—The Federal Government is to take samples of foreign snakes which infiltrated into the country through the flood that devastated some parts of Bauchi State to determine the type of anti-venom vaccines for them.
Chairperson of the Presidential sub-committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation, Professor Dora Akunyili, made this known when her committee donated relief materials to flood victims at Duduri District, in the state.
The poisonous, foreign snakes were reportedly noticed in Yuli village river by inhabitants of the area.
This was even as the Kwara State Government said it has so far spent N200 million out of the N300million it received from the Federal Government for flood victims on rehabilitation of infrastructure destroyed by the flood.
Chairman of the State Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation, Alhaji Mohammed Dabarako, made this known while presenting some items purchased from the Federal Government’s grant, at the Palace of Emir of Shonga.
He said that N100 million was used to purchase and distribute relief materials to affected communities in five local government areas of the state just as part of the grant would be used to repair rural roads washed away by the flood; replace electric poles damaged in Patigi Local Government as well as villages in Edu and Moro Local Government Areas.
However, Akunyili who later led the sub-committee members to the Yuli village river stream bordering Bauchi and Taraba States to assess the extent of damage caused by the flood, however, sympathized with the victims who informed her that the foreign snakes infiltrated into the district from the Cameroonian dam.
Water released from the Camerounian dam overflowed into the country recently, causing damage to several communities living along the banks of River Niger and River Benue.
Akunyili noted that the infiltrated snakes posed great danger to the inhabitants but noted that there was nothing that could be done unless their samples  were taken to determine the appropriate anti-venom vaccines.
The flood washed away several acres of vegetable and sugar-cane plantations even as it destroyed streams, depriving the inhabitants of good drinking water and electricity.
She also assured the people that the government would restore electricity supply to the area which had been without light for the past seven months.

Thursday 29 November 2012

Man jailed 7yrs for defiling 12-yr-old daughter

Benin— A Benin Chief Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a 47-year-old father, Godwin Allu, to seven years imprisonment with hard labour for having unlawful carnal knowledge of his 12-year-old daughter.
Allu was accused of sleeping with his daughter on Nov. 20, at 19 Omono Street, off Stadium road, Benin City.
The offence is punishable under section 208 of the Criminal Code cap 48 Vol .11 of the defunct Bendel State of Nigeria, 1976, which is applicable to Edo.
The little girl had testified that her father had unlawful carnal knowledge of her three times at different occasions.
The victim, who had blood stains on her uniform, informed her headmistress at Obaseki Primary School, Benin of the incident.
The headmistress later reported the case at the Airport Police Station, also in Benin.
When he was arraigned before the court, the accused admitted committing the crime and pleaded for leniency.
Delivering judgment,  yesterday, the Chief Magistrate, Mr. Peter Obaseki, described the crime as bestial for which the accused deserved no mercy.
He said, “That the accused had carnal knowledge with a 12-year-old child on three separate occasions is bad enough.
“It is heart rendering that he was doing it with his own daughter, who even had blood stains on her uniform on the day this incest was reported.
“The case of sexual offence in this jurisdiction is not only increasing, but that of parents defiling their own daughters is also becoming common knowledge,” the Magistrate said.
Obaseki said, “it is necessary that the court join other stakeholders in taking a serious stand in order to wipe out this monster before the society’s moral fabric is completely destroyed.
’‘For this reason, the convict must be put out of circulation for sometime so that he would not be able to continue with his bestial activities.
’‘It is my prayer that God will forgive and change him for the better while in prison.
’‘In the circumstance, the convict is sentenced to seven years imprisonment with hard labour. There shall be no option of fine.”
The court also ordered the victim be taken to an orphanage for care and protection.
Meanwhile, a Benin High Court has struck out a case of murder against one Suraji Aminu.
Justice Stephen Omonua struck out the case after listening to the submission of Mr  Eddy-Omai Inenevwo, counsel to Aminu.
The counsel had told the court that though the suspect was alleged to have committed the offence in 2010 on charge B/140/C/2010, the prosecution refused to call witnesses in the case.
Inenevwo, who is also the Edo Coordinator of the Legal Aid Council, said that since the prosecution was not ready to call witnesses and the suspect was languishing in prison custody, he should be released.
“It amounted to travesty of justice and the court should strike out the matter,” he said.
Omonua agreed with the submission of Inenevwo and struck out the case for lack of diligent prosecution.

Count me out of N2.9bn contract scam – Anenih

Former Minister of Works and Housing, Chief Tony Anenih, has described as libelous his purported summons by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts over the N2.3 billion Nasarawa-Loko road “failed” contract, as reported in some national newspapers.
In a four-page letter to the Speaker, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, dated November 29, 2012 with the title: “Re: Reps Summon Anenih over N2.3bn ‘Failed’ Contract,” Anenih said he felt pained that a member of the House of Representatives could make comments on issues as the one in question without adequate investigation.
He said even though he had not received any official summons from the House committee or any other investigative committee whatsoever, he considered the issues raised by the news report serious enough that he had decided to give a brief account of what he knew about the award of the contract for the reconstruction of the road while he was in office as minister of works.
Part of the letter reads: “In 2001, tenders were received from five major companies for the award of the contract as follows: Torno Internationale Nig. Ltd, which quoted N2,318,643,233.36 with 18 months duration; Micans Nig Ltd, which quoted N2,635,715,572.19 without specifying completion time; P&P Construction & Co Ltd, which quoted N3,013,890,450.18 without any duration; PW Nig Ltd, which quoted N4,407,274,447.02 with 18 months duration; and Rockbridge Construction Ltd, which quoted N4,486,567,064.60 with 24 months.”
He explained that a technical evaluation committee made up of senior engineers in the Highways department of the ministry found Torno’s tender of N2,318,643,233.36 to be most desirable and recommended that the contractor be considered for the award of the contract.
He said that thereafter, he forwarded a memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for consideration and approval, adding that at its 36th meeting on Wednesday, September 5, 2001, the council considered and approved the award of contract No 5092 for the reconstruction of Nasarawa – Loko road with Alushi Loop, to Messrs. Torno Internationale (Nig) Ltd at the contract sum of N2,318,643,233.36 with a completion period of 18 months.

PIB: Diezani to spend N6bn on lobby

The last may not have been heard on the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, told a Senate panel that she would require N6 billion to push through the proposed law that is presently before the National Assembly.
The campaign, she said, the lobby would include lawmakers of the National Assembly and other key stakeholders towards influencing the speedy passage of the PIB.
This is the second time the proposed PIB is being sent to the National Assembly for consideration and passage.
The ministry had in 2009 and 2011 rolling plan requested for the N6.2 billion to run an awareness campaign for the bill.
The sum of N110 million was believed to have been spent in 2011 on the failed bill which suffered a defeat in the sixth National Assembly in spite of the publicity it received through advertisements, press conferences and hosting of seminars.
The non-passage of the bill was attributed to the alleged clash of interest between the sixth National Assembly, executive arm of government and stakeholders in the oil industry.
It was gathered that the proposed law was discarded following a last minute gang-up in 2011 by some interest groups that infiltrated the National Assembly joint committees on Petroleum Resource (Upstream)
But Allison-Madueke, at a budget defence session yesterday before the joint committee of the National Assembly on gas, said her ministry would require about N6.090 billion to conduct comprehensive awareness campaign for the PIB. She also said that another N1 billion is needed to conduct full-scale assessment of oil-spillages in the nine oil-producing states.

Gen Buhari loses eldest daughter to childbirth

At least 2,000 people attended the funeral prayer for Hajiya Zulai Buhari, the eldest daughter of the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in the 2011 elections, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), in Kaduna last night.
The deceased, who was popularly known as Magajiya, died during childbirth at a private hospital in Kaduna around 8pm.
According to a source, she was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday where a Caesarean section was carried out on her. She was said to be recovering but suddenly took ill around 6pm yesterday.
Zulai, a sickle cell patient, died about two hours later, leaving behind her newly born baby girl.
She is survived by her two daughters, her father Gen. Buhari and her husband, Captain Junaidu Abdullahi, a pilot with Aero Contractors.
A graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Zulai Buhari was until her demise working in the Administration Department of the National Steel Raw Materials Research Agency in Kaduna.
She had been married first to Captain Bashir Wada, a pilot, and after they divorced she got married to another pilot, Junaid Abdullahi, with whom she got two daughters, including the one born last night.
Zulai was buried around 11:45pm at the Unguwar Rimi cemetery after a funeral prayer at the Yahaya Road Juma’at Mosque.
Our correspondent, who was at the funeral, reported that Gen. Buhari attended both the funeral prayer and the burial.
Several of Zulai Buhari’s friends mourned her on Facebook last night.
She had 682 friends on the social networking web site.
One of them, Victoria Ohaji, wrote on Zulai’s Facebook wall: “RIP, Zulai, you were truly beautiful in and out.”
A shocked Hauwa M. Abbas said, “Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji’un. Magajiya, u have been a friend, a sister, a room mate, a partner in crime, ever smiling, always happy and a super nice woman. There has never been a dull moment with u. Allah ya jikan ki da rahama, Zulai (Magajiya), Ameen. And may Allah give us ability to look after ur 2 daughters, ameen.
Another friend of hers, Halimatu Sa’adiya Shehu, prayed: “May Allah reward u with aljanna dearest Magajiya, amin,” while Madina Sanusi commented, “Zulai may Allah grant you Aljannat Firdausi! May he gives your family the fortitude to bear your loss! Hmmm! Duniya kenan! Mutuwa mai raba kowa da masoyi! It’s a necessary debt we all owe d Almighty!”

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Wednesday 28 November 2012

Adeboye’s delegation, Apostolic Church, NYSC extol HID’s virtues at 97.As Ogun RCCG Province 11 donates generator to Dideolu Hospital

Ministers and officials of the newly established Ogun Province 11 of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) headquartered in Ikenne Remo, on Tuesday, visited Chief (Mrs) HID Awolowo to congratulate and pray for her on 97 birthday.
Head of the over 6,000-member province, Pastor Olusesan Olayinka, who led other ministers on the visit, said the visit was at the instance of the General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, in recognition of HID’s God-given role as the mother of the nation.
Pastor Olayinka, who prayed for continued good health and vitality for the celebrant, described the sage’s wife as a “very strong pillar in the church of the living God” and a mother who radiates the wisdom of the elders.
As part of the church’s corporate social responsibility, the province donated a 7.5 kilo-volt ampere generator to Dideolu Specialist Hospital, Ikenne Remo.
Other ministers in the delegation included the wife of the provincial pastor, Pastor (Mrs) M.A Olayinka; Pastor Bankole Omopariola; Pastor Talabi Odutola; Elder Fapuro Akinola; and Elder Oluwole Opafuye.
In her response, the host expressed gratitude to the church for the visit and the donation, saying there was nothing she could do without prayers.
She promised to call Pastor Adeboye, whom she described as a friend of the Awolowo family, to also thank him and the church for the visit, the gift and their prayers.
Earlier, pastors from the Apostolic Church in Nigeria led by Pastor Z.O Odugbose also visited Chief (Mrs) Awolowo and held a service to commemorate her natal celebration in Ikenne Remo. Each of the pastors from the church took turns to pray for the nonagenarian.
Also, the Ogun State coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mrs T.I Anosike, led over 2,000 corps members from the state on a celebratory visit to the celebrant.
“We appreciate and thank you for all that you have done towards the uplift of our society, especially the warm welcome you have always accorded the NYSC,” she said.

Outrage as 85-yr-old man allegedly rapes 12-yr-old girl

THERE is outrage in Okesa area of Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, following allegations that an 85-year old man, Pa Samuel Oladipupo, allegedly raped a 12-year old girl identified simply as Esther.
Oladipupo, who is now being detained by the Ekiti State police command at the command headquarters in Ado Ekiti, told newsmen in Ado Ekiti, on Tuesday, that he did not rape the girl, but that he attempted to have sex with her with her consent after he was seduced.
According to the octogenarian, he sent the JSS 1 student to buy recharge card for him, adding that she had helped him to enter the credit digits into his mobile handset at his home, and left.
He claimed further that “she came back and said she came to tell me that she was hungry.”
After a meal of bread and stew, Oladipupo claimed further, “She relaxed in the upholstery chair and took off all her dresses.”
  As a man, I began to lose control. But I’ve collected that it could be a plan to frame me an d I quickly stood up. So, I didn’t enter her.”
But the girl countered Pa Oladipupo’s statement, saying she did not seduce him but that it was the man that  grabbed her.
According to her, she had gone to mend her school sandal when Pa Oladipupo she had earlier helped to buy a recharge card, called her and accused her of stealing his mobile handset.
“When I told him I didn’t steal his phone, he then asked me to accompany him to his sitting room where we found the phone on the television and he apologised. As I made to go, Baba grabbed me and pushed me onto the couch and forcefully had sex with me. The loud noise I made attracted one woman who came to my rescue and took me to my mother.”
The Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Mr. Victor Olu Babayemi, said the alleged crime was committed on Sunday at No. 9, Barracks Road in Okesa, Ado Ekiti, adding that the girl had been taken to the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado Ekiti, for necessary tests.
Babayemi said preliminary investigations conducted y the police confirmed that the old man is a serial rapist, adding that the accused person would be charged to court as soon as the test results were received.
The Ekiti Police spokesperson also hinted that the matter had been reported to the Ekiti State Gender-Based Violence Prohibition Committee for immediate rehabilitation of the victim.

Airhiavbere’s case suffers hitch at Appeal Court

THE appeal filed by Major-General Charles Airhiavbere (retd) at the Court of Appeal sitting in Benin against a ruling of the lower tribunal that stopped him from presenting additional witnesses to substantiate his allegation of Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s non-qualification to contest the July 14, 2012 governorship election suffered a hitch on Wednesday, following two different suit numbers assigned      to appeal in one record.
At the court on Wedneesday, the issue caused confusion when the case came up for hearing, as counsel for Governor  Oshiomhole, Chief Wole Olanipekun, (SAN), refused to make appearance after counsel for Airhiavbere, Chief Efe Akpofure (SAN), had announced his appearance.
Olanipekun submitted that the suit number called was strange to him and that they had no brief on case 320.
“I don’t have 320 at all. I am still confused as to which appeal I am to appear for,” he said.
Counsel for the petitioner, in his response, blamed the court registrar for the variance in the number, adding that the suit number for hearing was 330.
Following the argument, the court ordered that two separate files should be created and that there could not be any amendment, and therefore  adjourned the appeal to Monday, December 3rd, 2012.

Police arrest suspected ‘bomber’ near Ekiti Govt House

Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi
Pandemonium broke out in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday when a young man, suspected to be a bomber, was arrested in front of the Ekiti State Government House.
Our correspondent gathered that the suspect was dropped in front of the Government House by a commercial motorcyclist.
The suspect was said to be making telephone calls, which sounded suspicious and attracted a civil servant identified as Johnson.
Johnson, who accosted the man, was said to have alerted security personnel in front of the Government House and the latter arrested the suspect.
Some persons, who claimed to have been present when the suspect was arrested, said no explosive device was found on him.
They, however, added that some charms and weapons, including knives were found on him.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Victor Babayemi, when contacted, confirmed the arrest of the suspect.
He also said no explosive device was found on him.
The PPRO said, “Somebody was just trying to draw attention to himself. No bomb or any explosive material was found on him. He only behaved curiously and that caused the suspicion that made people to raise the alarm. No doubt, he exhibited a conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace.”
The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye, told our correspondent that the state government would wait for the outcome of police investigation on the matter before it would make any comment.
He said, “The matter is with the police and the outcome of the investigation would show the mission of the suspect.”
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court will on Thursday (today) begin hearing in the appeal filed before it by ousted governor of the state, Mr. Segun Oni, on his removal by the Justice Ayo Salami-led appeal panel.
Oni, who spoke with our correspondent through his media aide, Mr. Lere Olayinka, said the apex court would begin hearing the matter on Thursday.
The panel had on October 15, 2010 sacked Oni of the Peoples Democratic Party and declared Dr. Kayode Fayemi of the Action Congress of Nigeria as the elected governor of the state.
Oni had challenged his removal at the Court of Appeal in Ado-Ekiti and lost.
Oni is now the National Vice-Chairman of the PDP in the South-West.

‘How my daughter’s fiancé bathed her with acid’ bathed her with acid’

Chika and Sulaimon
The motive behind the acid bath of 22-year-old Chika Egbo by her estranged lover, David Sulaimon, remains elusive, but one thing is sure, the victim may not remain the same again.
Chika is a student of the Enugu State College of Education.
Last Tuesday, when our correspondent visited her at the Burns Unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Egbo has become a shadow of the beautiful girl she was.
The substance Sulaimon allegedly poured on her had destroyed every visible skin from her chest upwards.
She mumbled to her father, a Taraba State-based businessman, as she could neither see nor speak properly at the time.
When her father, Matthew Egbo, narrated the incident that led to Chika’s state, the story brought tears to his eyes as he lamented that his daughter would never be normal again.
Matthew said, “In March 2011, someone who identified himself as Lekan Sulaimon called me, asking for my daughter’s hand in marriage. We talked a lot and I promised to speak with Chika on the issue.
“My daughter later told me he was the boy she was in love with and said she had resolved to marry him.”
After much discussion, Matthew told Sulaimon to bring his parents for proper introduction, but the suitor said his father was ill and needed to be taken abroad for treatment. He also said his mother was abroad.
Matthew said, “On the June 25 date that we agreed on, Sulaimon brought seven men and four women dressed in Yoruba attire to my hometown, Enugu, where we held the introduction.
“But around November last year, my wife travelled from Taraba to Enugu and Chika told her she was pregnant.”
According to Matthew, Chika told her parents they should not be alarmed since she and Sulaiman had agreed to get married.
Chika was instructed to go to Lagos and tell Sulaiman’s relations about the pregnancy.
But when she got back from Lagos, Chika told her father that she discovered that most of what Sulaiman had told her about his parents were lies.

Armed security operatives take over Bayelsa community

Yenagoa—Heavily armed mobile policemen have been deployed in the troubled riverine town of Agbere, in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, the theatre of Tuesday’s violent youth skirmish, during which property worth millions of naira was destroyed. Though community sources claimed that 11 persons lost their lives in the clash, the police, yesterday, confirmed the death of one youth in the violence. Meanwhile, the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Kins Omire, has described as “brazen illegality and violent” the Tuesday attack and burning down of houses by youths over chieftaincy tussle in the community. Omire, who visited the troubled community, yesterday, said: “Four houses owned by the paramount ruler were burnt and another chief had his own burnt too. Report we had earlier was that there were killings recorded but when we got to the place, we saw that only a teenage boy was killed. We are confident that these brazen acts of illegality caused by jobless youths, will be dealt with.” He said six persons had been arrested over their alleged involvement in the killing and in the arson. Omire, who recounted how he led armed mobile policemen to the community to dislodge the rampaging youths, said though the police authorities had established, from investigations that the community was known for perennial violence and communal clashes, added that Tuesday’s action was a brazen display of criminality. The oil rich community, which is host to Nigerian Agip Oil Company and Shell Petroleum and Development Company was rocked by violence Tuesday over alleged chieftaincy tussle.

2015: Jonathan is wasting his time – Shuluwa

Elder statesman and one of the founding fathers of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Abu King Shuluwa in this interview spoke on nagging national issues and gave reasons why the government should negotiate with the Islamic Boko Haram group, why Nigeria could break up after 2014 even as he expressed opposition to any bid by President Jonathan to sustain his presidency beyond 2015. Excerpts:
ON Boko Haram’s choice of Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) to lead the dialogue.
Anybody’s name could have been mentioned. The people (Boko Haram) are the ones who said this is the person we want.
And if they said this is the man we want, perhaps, they discovered that of all the people in Nigeria, he is in-between; he is not for them, he is not for the Federal Government.
So, they are probably looking for a neutral person. Another issue is that a lot of people believe that Boko Haram is the making of the PDP which I belong.
There is no way Obasanjo and Modu Sheriff will not have a hand in what is called Boko Haram insurgency today.
It was an organization that was formed to make sure that Ali Modu Sheriff became a governor against the PDP candidate. Eventually, either they may have been hijacked by another organization or they metamorphosed into what is today called Boko Haram.
What do you think the sectarian agitations by such groups like Bakassi, MASSOB portend for the unity of the country?
I am not a prophet but I have talked about the amalgamation which brought this country to being in 1914. And I said that by 2014, if we are not careful,Nigeria will not be the same.
And from the statements coming from the South-South particularly the Niger-Delta region, one can deduce that this country will no longer be the same again as from 2014. For instance, there was a time that Chief Edwin Clark said Jonathan will be President but not the President of Nigeria.

Salami: Jonathan, NJC urge court to dismiss Oyinlola’s suit

ABUJA — President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, joined the National Judicial Council, NJC, to urge a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to dismiss a suit filed against the embattled President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, by former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
In separate preliminary objections they entered against the suit yesterday, President Jonathan and the NJC implored the court to strike out the case for want of merit, insisting that Oyinlola was bereft of the requisite locus-standi to institute an action with a view to ensuring that Salami remained on perpetual suspension.

In a joint counter-affidavit of seven paragraphs accompanied with a written address dated November 12, Jonathan and the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed  Adoke, branded Oyinlola’s suit as “premature”, saying it constitutes a deliberate abuse of court process.
Likewise, the NJC, in its counter-affidavit of 44 paragraphs, dated June 19 and deposed to by its Deputy Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, told the court that “the suit and the pervious suits filed on the same subject by the plaintiff herein and his associates, is in extension of the grudge and grievances arising from the nullification of his election by the Governorship Election Appeal Tribunal in November 2010, hence the suits are mischievous and a witch-hunt against a judicial officer carrying out his judicial function.”
Besides, NJC, told the court that the suspension of  Justice Salami was not based on the petitions  written against him by the plaintiff, but on some other controversies altogether involving the retired Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, adding that, “the recommendation to retire Justice Isa Ayo Salami was never acted upon at all.”
After listening to the parties, Justice Abdul Kafarati adjourned the case till January 24, 2013, for ruling.
It would be recalled that the NJC had on August 18, 2011, ordered Justice Salami to proceed on an indefinite suspension, maintaining that two separate committees it set-up to probe into an uncanny feud that had ensued between the PCA and former CJN, Katsina-Alu, found him guilty of engaging in “judicial misconduct” and “lying on oath.”
Salami was accused of lying in an affidavit he personally deposed before the same high court, when he alleged that Katsina-Alu, had mounted pressure on him to compromise standard in a Governorship Election matter involvingSokotoState.
However, the NJC had since made a U-turn by okaying his return to office, though it is yet to formally order him to resume duties.
Remarkably, despite the fact that the council yesterday told the high court that it has re-instated the embattled PCA, however, it had on November 22, appointed Justice Zainab Bukachua to take over the affairs of the appellate court.

United and City keep Premier League pack at bay

LONDON (AFP) – Robin van Persie scored the fastest goal of the English Premier League season as Manchester United stayed a point clear at the top with a 1-0 win over West Ham at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
The Dutch forward needed just 33 seconds to give United the lead when, after receiving the ball from Michael Carrick, his first touch eluded Winston Reid before his finish deflected off James Collins and looped over Hammers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Van Persie’s goal was all the more extraordinary as, prior to Wednesday’s match, United had conceded the first goal 13 times already this season.
“We’ve got the three points and are still ahead in the league,” United manager Alex Ferguson told MUTV.
“It was a hard night and we played a lot of good football but we never quite finished them off. West Ham fought really hard and made it difficult for us.”
United remained just a point in front after reigning champions and local rivals Manchester City, who won 2-0 away to Wigan.
City, the only unbeaten side in the top flight, looked like they might be held to a frustrating draw before striker Mario Balotelli scored his first league goal of the season in the 69th minute.
And three minutes later England midfielder James Milner made it 2-0 with a powerful shot.
“It was important because it’s always a difficult game because they play very well,” City manager Roberto Mancini told Sky Sports
“I think Mario can do better. He scored one important goal but can continue to improve. For me, he did not play very well.”
European champions Chelsea suffered their second straight home goalless draw, under interim manager Rafael Benitez, a derby stalemate with Fulham doing little for his approval rating with the sceptical Stamford Bridge faithful.
Chelsea moved up one place to third but, more significantly, they are now seven points behind United.
“I am a little frustrated,” said Benitez. “The team is well organised and created chances against a team that works hard, so you can see us going forward, but still we have to improve.”
Van Persie’s effort trumped that in an earlier kick-off match of his former Arsenal team-mate Theo Walcott, who took a comparatively sedate 52 seconds to give the Gunners the lead at Everton.

Men in police uniform kill 70-year-old, 2 sons

Men in police uniform were alleged to have killed a 70-year-old Fulani man, Shehu Ado, and two of his sons, Rabo Shehu, 42, and Peuri Shehu, 20, following a disagreement between Fulani herdsmen and Eggon men over grazing land in Uke area of Karu local government of Nasarawa state.
The Eggon tribe had allegedly went hostile in the last two weeks involved in communal clash in both Agyaragu in the southern part of the state and Nasarawa Eggon in the northern part of the state.
But the police authorities in Nasarawa state had quickly exonerated its men from the alleged killing of the three Fulani men, saying that the uniformed men were not their officers.
Malam Hussaini Nuhu, secretary, Miyetti Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MCBAN), Nasarawa state chapter, has alleged that the men in police uniform were paid by a group to kill the Fulani.
Nuhu said that for the police to raid the Fulani settlement without provocation goes to show that they were paid to kill, while calling on the authorities to intervene and ensure that justice is done.
“If the authorities fail in their duty to ensure justice, then they leave the people with no option than to take laws into their hands.”
Nuhu said his association will follow the matter to its logical conclusion and ensure that justice is done to avoid a repetition of such unwanted killings by the security agencies.
Ardo Mohammed Dahiru , the community leader in the area, claimed that the police officers, who were drafted from the Uke Divisional Police Station in Karu local government area, stormed the Fulani settlement around 5 am and killed the 70-year-old man with his two sons.
Dahiru added that the uniform men shot sporadically, killing two people instantly, while the third person died on the way to the hospital.

Lagos families in court over infidelity allegations

Tying nuptial knot is a great day for both man and woman. It is also a day for taking vows to protect and cherish each other and to remain faithful to themselves; after which they would both say: “I do” at close intervals.
The vows are even linked to God, that “what God has joined together, let no one put asunder.”
However in Lagos, as  in other places, infidelity allegations are fast tearing many marriages apart.
And Customary courts have turned to battle grounds for those seeking to untie the nuptial knot.
At customary court, Ojo
A Grade A customary court, sitting at Ojo, is currently saddled with determining what happens to a 28 year old marriage, which the husband, 52- year old James Igboayaka, wants dissolved on the alleged ground of infidelity by his estranged wife, Ngozi, 47.
Igboayaka, who gave evidence, before the customary court President, Bola Giwa, yesterday, said that he co-habited with his wife since 1984 before he formally paid  her bride price three years ago.
He dragged his wife to court based on assumption of infidelity, saying although he had not caught his wife red-handed, that he saw her with her male friends, who stay in the same house with him, up to 8p.m.
He also said that  his wife, had even ordered one of them to slap him, the husband, if he asked him any questions.
He told the court that whenever he queried his wife while with her male friends, she would turn it to a fight.
According to him,  the wife did not have any regard for him.
Igboayaka, who said that they were blessed with seven children, told court that, “my children misbehave to the extent, that they don’t care if am in the house or not. They just do whatever they liked,” adding, “they cannot even fetch water for me to take my bath, not to talk of washing my dirty clothes.”
Daughter remanded for contempt
While he was giving evidence, his oldest child, who is a 26 year old woman, told him, in front of the court, that he should tell the court the truth and should not lie. But the court President, Giwa, took serious objection to the intervention, asking  that the daughter be thrown outside and locked up in the court premises, for contempt.
However, the hearing continued.

We want to win, we can do that together, Benitez tells fans

LONDON (AFP) – Interim Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez once again refused Tuesday to apologise for comments made about the London club’s fans while he was in charge of Liverpool.
Benitez was given a frosty reception by supporters upon his introduction as Chelsea boss during Sunday’s draw with Premier League champions Manchester City, fans unhappiness at the sacking of Champions League-winning manager Roberto di Matteo compounded by the appointment of the Spaniard as his successor.
And a large section of Chelsea support wants Benitez to say “sorry” for comments, taken to be a dig at the Blues.
Some of those words have have been immortalised on the walls of Liverpool’s Melwood training ground.
“We do not need to give away flags for our fans to wave — our supporters are always there with their hearts and that is all we need.
“It’s the passion of the fans that helps to win matches — not flags.”
But Benitez, speaking Tuesday ahead of the west London derby with Fulham, insisted he would not be raking over the past and what mattered now was results, with Chelsea currently five points behind league leaders Manchester united.
“The problem is we can analyse what I said and didn’t say,” he said.
“We can’t be checking if it’s true or not. I’ll try my best to win their trust. That’s it.”
As for the comments now inscribed at Melwood, Benitez simply said: “I was praising the fans of my club, my team.
“But I’m here now, it’s my club, and I will do my best for them.
“That’s my explanation, very easy and very simple.
“I will try to defend my club, and this is now my club.”
As for the prospect of receiving more verbal taunts from Chelsea fans, Benitez said: “To be fair, I don’t know.
“But I can say that, since coming here, I’ve worked really hard, coming in at 8.30am and leaving at 8.30 at night, doing my job, talking to players and staff and trying to be ready for the game.”
He added: “I can’t worry if I’m upset or not.
“If it was a player, I’d be telling him to concentrate on his job. The best way to change things is to win games.
“I understand the feelings of the fans because of my time at Liverpool, where we had rivalry and it was quite difficult.
“But, at the same time, I will try to prove I’m here for the right reasons.
“We want to win, and we can do that together.
“I’ll try to improve players and it’ll be easier to win games and bring the fans back.
“It’s not a situation we can change in one minute. But working hard, winning games, I can improve it. Starting with Fulham.”

Wizkid storms Dubai after Channel 0 awards fallout!

Wonder star Wizkid is not letting the disappointment of the Channel 0 awards slow him down as he stormed Dubai over the weekend, to hold an electrifying performance at the capital’s Crown Plaza hotel night club.
This is coming barely one week after a shattering Channel 0 awards left him without any laurels. Wizkid lept on stage to the roar of fans and immediately began unleashing his songs; hit after hit.

This writer had a fan right inside the arena who informed that the venue was filled to capacity (about 500 people) mostly Africans who had bought tickets sold at 200 Dirhams (Dubai official currency) around N8,500.
According to this fan “Everybody was excited to see Wizkid perform. His hit song Tease Me got the crowd so excited. Then he did: Don’t dull, I Love my baby and then Dance for me, it was really crazy!”
It is perhaps a statement from Wizkid, that he is still Lord and Master in the territories that knew him.
In December, D’banj is expected to perform also in Dubai. He had a blast this year at the Channel 0 awards; snatching the ‘Most Gifted Male Video of the Year’ award and also the ‘Special Recognition’ award.

Nigeria, 9 others to receive UN preventive treatments on TB/HIV infection

United Nations – The Executive Director of UN Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), Mr Michel Sidibe, says Nigeria and nine other countries will be the focus of a new UN-led preventative treatments of tuberculosis (TB)/HIV infection.
Other beneficiaries are Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The UN-led initiative was inaugurated on Tuesday as part of a wider effort to accelerate the global fight against the highly fatal co-infection.
Sidibe urged the scaling up of services in affected countries through concerted and joint efforts.
He noted that the agreement between UNAIDS and the Stop TB Partnership would seek to achieve the 2015 goal of reducing deaths from TB among HIV patients by 50 per cent, or the equivalent of 600,000 lives.
“TB/HIV is a deadly combination; we can stop people from dying of HIV/TB co-infection through integration and simplification of HIV and TB services,’’ Sidibe said.
He said at the 2011 UN high-level meeting on AIDS, member states agreed on the ambitious objective of reducing by half the TB/HIV deaths by 2015.
“TB is preventable and curable at low cost, yet we still have one in four AIDS-related deaths caused by TB, and this is outrageous,’’ Dr Lucica Ditiu, the Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership, also said at the inauguration.
Ditiu said that in spite of increased access to antiretroviral therapy for patients and a consequent 13 per cent reduction in the numbers of TB-associated HIV deaths over the past two years, the pulmonary disease remained the leading cause of death among HIV patients.
She noted that people living with HIV are 20 to 30 times more likely to develop active TB than people without HIV infections, with pregnant women and children particularly at risk.
According to her, in 2011 alone, 25 per cent of all AIDS-related deaths were caused by HIV-associated TB disease. (NAN)

Saudi Arabian king ‘clinically dead’

KING of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, has been in a state of “clinical death” for the past two days, reported Albawaba News quoting Arabic newspaper, Asharq Alawsat, on Monday.
A report by the paper claimed that medical staff in Saudi Arabia had confirmed that the king’s basic organs were no longer working.
According to the source, “the fate of the king will be determined within three to four days.”
The news contradicted reports from the Saudi Royal Court, which publicly announced that the 11-hour operation had been a success.
According to state news agency, SPA, the 89-year-old monarch was in hospital for surgery to tighten a ligament in his back.
Meanwhile, Saudi crown prince, Salman has reassured the people during a cabinet meeting on Monday about King Abdullah’s health, more than a week after the surgery, state news agency SPA reported.
The king was admitted for surgery on November 16 and an announcement from the Royal Court said he had undergone a successful back operation that took 11 hours.
Abdullah, who took over power in 2005, named his brother, Prince Salman, heir apparent in June, after the death of Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz.

AIRPORTS: Reps give Aviation Ministry pass mark

ABUJA—The House of Representatives yesterday expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done on airports being re-modelled by the Aviation Ministry across the country.
Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Nkiruka Onyejeocha, who spoke at the 2013 budget defence by Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, said that after committee’s tour of all the airports undergoing re-modelling in the country, it was satisfied with the quality and pace of work.
Onyejeocha, who expressed satisfaction at the ministry’s 2012 budget performance, said:  “The Aviation Ministry surpassed other ministries in terms of capital budget implementation for the 2012 fiscal year.
“The transformation of our airport terminals by the minister is phenomenal and highly commendable. We want to thank the Minister for taking the bull by the horns in the rehabilitation of airport infrastructure across the country, especially the toilets which are now a delight to all airport users.”
Onyejeocha called for the early and improved implementation of the 2013 Appropriation Act, which she believed will be passed into law by the National Assembly before the end of the year.
She assured that the speaker, leadership and entire members of the House would continue to be solidly behind the Minister in her dream to to leave of legacy of visible and tangible transformation of the sector.
“The speaker, leadership and entire members of the House are very happy with the work you are doing in the sector. We assure you of our continued cooperation and support because we all have the interest of the sector at heart.
“We also believe the growth and development of the Nigerian economy is also tied to the growth and development of the aviation sector.
“ The economy will not perform well if the aviation sector fails to do well, so we want the sector to be rated as the first in terms of its contribution to the national economy,” she stated.
She, however, insisted that the high tempo of development and transformation of the sector witnessed in 2013 must be improved upon and sustained throughout the 2013 capital budget implementation.
“Keep doing what you are doing and remain focused. We are here for you, we will ensure that the aviation sector will not lack anything that is needed for its continued transformation.
“The speaker and the National Assembly assures you that we are solidly behind you and will give you all necessary support and cooperation in order to enable you perform better in the coming year,” Onyejeocha said.
In her brief remarks, Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, thanked the leadership and members of the National Assembly for the support and cooperation given to the ministry since she came on board, stressing that little or nothing could have been achieved without their solid backing and encouragement.
She reiterated the fact that the aviation sector is pivotal to the economic growth of the nation, and assured that she and her team in the Ministry, working in concert with the National Assembly as one familiy will not disappoint the nation. “We can assure you that we will strive to accomplish and surpass our achievements in 2012 next year”, she stated.
She stated that with 66 per cent of the ministry’s capital vote released so far, the Ministry has implemented and utilised 65 per cent. she said the ministry hopes to complete the second phase of the remodelling projects by the second quarter of 2013′
The Minister, who said the theme of the 2013 budget in the ministry is “ Facilities and Infrastructural development and upgrade”, declared that greater attention would be focused on the rehabilitation of safety infrastructure like airfield lighting, fire hydrants, landing instruments, navigational aids, security, amongst others in 3013.
Although she lamented that the the budget provision is insufficient to tackle all the deficiencies in the sector, the Ministry would however work within the envelop provided to continue the transformation drive in the sector.

One killed, others trapped as building collapses in Imo

OWERRI—One person was confirmed dead while an undisclosed number of artisans were reportedly trapped when a three- storey building collapsed at about 9pm Sunday night, in Owerri, Imo State.
Vanguard investigations revealed that some of the workers engaged by the landlord and contractor of the ill-fated house were resting in the building when it crumbled.
It was also gathered that the dead man, Mr. Joseph Bassey Ekandem, a 28-year-old carpenter was  an only child of his parents who hailed from Cross Rivers State.
Speaking to Vanguard at the scene of the gory incident, the Executive Secretary of Imo State Emergency Management Agency, ISEMA, Mrs. Uche Ezeonyeasi, expressed shock that the landlord and his contractor upon hearing about the incident, visited the scene and simply locked the gate and vanished into the thin air.
Ezeonyeasi said there was nothing to show that the landlord or his contractor reported the incident to the police, State Security Service, SSS or ISEMA.
She lamented that because the state government did not have the needed equipment to handle such a disaster, its only option was to engage the services of contracting firms to assist in the rescue operation.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adisa Baba Bolanta, who appeared short of words, simply said:  “We will go after the landlord and his contractor. They must give account of what happened here.”
At the time of going to press, a combined team of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, police, army, State Security Service, Red Cross and sympathizers were still busy digging through the rubbles in search of other workers.

We can’t disclose Jonathan, Sambo’s assets – CCB

The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) yesterday said it cannot reveal the assets of President Goodluck Jonathan or Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo because doing so would violate a section of the 1999 Constitution.
Chairman of the bureau, Mr Sam Saba, said this at the 2012 ministerial press briefing of the bureau in Abuja, pointing out that his office had received several letters seeking information on Jonathan and Sambo’s declared assets in line with the provisions of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.
Saba said the CCB cannot make public such information because that would be in conflict with Section 3(c) of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution.
The chairman also said his office will take realistic steps in ridding Nigeria of the menace of corruption, adding that the nation’s resources can be channeled into the development of infrastructure and critical sectors of the economy.

We released 323 from SARS – Ansaru

A little known breakaway faction of Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for Monday’s dawn raid on the detention facility of the police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Abuja.
The Jama’atu Ansarul Musilimina fi Biladis Sudan, which translates as “Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa”, in two separate emails written in English and circulated to media houses yesterday, contradicted the police account of the incident, claiming that it had secured the release of 323 captives, including 37 of its members, during the raid.
It said one of the members it rescued was a woman and that none of them was recaptured.
The police had said that they re-arrested 25 out of 30 detainees that fled the detention centre during the shootout.
At least seven persons, including two policemen, were killed in the attack.
Yesterday’s email from the group, unedited, reads: “We are indeed thankful to Allah SWT to have granted us a perfect success as a result of the attack on SARS detention center that took place yesterday in Garki area II Abuja.
“It is indeed with a tremendous effort and success to inform the general public that the attack has reached a 100% success for all our 37 members including one woman (who was detent for more than 6 months) were rescued and are presently with us without a single injury not to talk of recapture.
“Also the other 286 suspects were also rescued and vanished making the total of 323 all together in a place which can accommodate less than 50 people. What a brutality by the Nigerian security. It is a real human right violation.”
In another e-mail, Ansaru vowed to raid other detention facilities in order to set free suspected militants.
It said: “Allah SWT has obligated us to help those that are oppressed, especially those oppressions that is taking place in the security cells, prisons and other detention centers etc. and has become part of the main functions and basics that form Jama’atu Ansasrul Muslimina fi Biladissudan.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

2013 budget: Northern Senators dare Ministers over imbalance in allocation

ABUJA—AS Ministers and heads of Departments appear before the Senate Committees for the defence of the 2013 budget, northern Senators have warned the Ministers not to expect a smooth passage of the budget over what they described as imbalance in the preparation of the budget.
Rising from a meeting at the Senate Hearing Room 1, White House, the Senators vowed to ensure that the Ministers corrected the problem where other zones had more allocation than the zones in the north.
At the meeting, a source told Vanguard that the Northern Senators were equally worried over the spate of insecurity in some parts of the north which is actually affecting their economy against the backdrop that people from other parts of Nigeria no longer carried out businesses in places like Kano, Mauduguri, Damataru, Bauchi, Jos, among others for fear of being killed.
The source told Vanguard that on the issue of imbalance in the 2013 budget, the Northern Senators have complained that the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina has pushed almost all the juicy projects to the South West, just as the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochepe who hails from Plateau was alleged to have pushed all the Dams to her North Central leaving the North East and others to suffer.
Speaking with Vanguard on the outcome of the meeting, former governor of Yobe State and Senator representing Yobe East, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, however, complained over marginalisation of some zones in the North especially the North East, adding that the Ministers were the problem of this country.
Senator Ibrahim who is also the Senate Committee Chairman on Housing, however, complained that North East has only a Minister of State, adding, ‘’a minister of State is only a glorified Permanent Secretary with no much role to play. Ministers are the problem, they caused the imbalance in the budget; Minister of Agriculture pushed projects to the South West, Minister of Water Resources also pushed dams to her zone; leaving other zones to suffer. They will meet us, we have a final say on the budget and we must ensure that the imbalances are corrected. We are ready to deal with them, we must not be cheated, so those were the issues we discussed at the meeting.”
Vanguard also gathered that the northern senators reviewed the just concluded zonal public hearing on the review of the 1999 constitution with a view to harmonizing a common position ahead of the presentation of the report to the Senate for discussions.

God’s private Jets

Then shall we present the aircraft as a gift to our Papa Ayo, that he may fly without hindrance, delay or discomfort to the farthest reaches of the world, where the people walk in darkness and do not know God, and have not confessed Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal saviour, for behold, the kingdom of God is at hand.
Yea, let us do this mighty thing in the sight of the Lord that we may cease to be the laughing stock of our brethren in Christ who say of us, Surely, their God is a poor God! Wherefore do they preach prosperity? Oh, their God is a poor God indeed!
And it came to pass that on the 10th day of November in the year of the Lord, which also is the anniversary of his birth, the congregants presented unto their pastor, Papa Ayo, who also is the spiritual leader of Christians in all ofNigeria, aBombadier 601 Aircraft, the cost of which is about $5 million.
And the same was done in the presence of the President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who knows a thing or two about not one but a fleet of jets and their constant replenishment.
And the President, whom Jehovah, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, appointed over his people in the unpromised land of Nigeria, gave testimony of the servant of the Lord in words that I understand thus, Verily I say unto you, Papa Ayo is the uniquely anointed son of God in whom He is well pleased.
Hear and honour him with every material thing of which your hands and the blessing they have received are capable; but which, in his own words, went thus, “I can say without any equivocation that Oritsejafor, from the very humble beginning in 1972, has moved from strength to strength. … he is a Christian visionary leader who preaches the words (sic) of God clearly and eloquently as a good shepherd …
He has earned his respect among his peers and this explains why he is holding the two very important positions in Christendom in Nigeria as the President of CAN, and President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria.”
And the congregants made a great shout, such as could have felled the walls of Jericho, and there was dancing and merriment and the offering of praise to Jehovah who had brought this great deed to pass, according to his riches and glory, that the world may know that he is Lord and there is none like him.
Since Pastor Oritsejaforloudly entered the Jet-set Club,many Nigerians disturbed by the phenomenon of unabashed embrace of a hedonism usually associated with the heathen have begun to ask questions about what a true life of the spirit entails.
And the fruits of the prosperity gospel that has overawed a nation steeped in grinding poverty have now begun to set on edge the teeth of a few in the fold. Pastor TundeBakare of the Latter Rain Assembly, for instance,does not believe that without private jets the gospel suffers. And I agree. After all, Mary Slessor did not sail fromScotlandto Calabar in a private ocean liner.
Bakare sees not soul-winning but soul-weaning, the separation of church-goers, majority of them poor, from their means of keeping body and soul together. He sees thieves inpriests’ clothing and would have them imprisoned and then cast into the hottest part of hell on judgement day.
But not so some of his brethren whose doctrine of prosperity has long done away with the key tenet of sacrifice.
So we have heard the defenders of high-flying predator capitalists in cassock and collar, and very often in pin-striped suits, say that a pastor is deserving of his reward. Here on earth.
“There is nothing wrong for a preacher to own (sic) a jet. If people in the secular world can acquire jets for chief executive officers of big private enterprises, there is nothing wrong in giving gifts to a man of God of Pastor Oritsejafor’s standing. …
He deserves what he has been given,” says one Reverend El-Buba, General Overseer of Evangelical Bible Outreach Ministries International, Jos, clearly anticipating his own jet, the one he would fly to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, China, North Korea and even Judaist Israel as part of his All Nations for Christ mission. And, of course, there is nothing wrong with comparing self-proclaimed men of God and churches to CEOs and business enterprises!
The Pharisee-pastors and congregants defending crass materialism think they answer their critics by claiming that the jets belong to the church, and not to the Daddy Overseers.
The only problem is the damning evidence of bondage to Mammon; of the manic setting up of treasures here on earth: palatial mansions, jewelry, fleets of luxury cars (even including stretch limousines).
Ye shall know the truth and the truth shalt set ye free? Here is the truth: the predator capitalists in cassock and collar are rich men in the manner of that poignant parable of Christ in Matthew 19.
A rich man, who has followed the commandments, comes to the barefoot carpenter to know what else he might do to gain eternal life. Jesus says tells him to go and sell all that he has, distribute to the poor so he shall have treasure in heaven, and then “come and follow me.”
Whereupon the rich man went away sorrowful, “for he had great possessions.” Prompting Christ to utter the famous words, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into thekingdomofGod.”

Then shall we present the aircraft as a gift to our Papa Ayo, that he may fly without hindrance, delay or discomfort to the farthest reaches of the world, where the people walk in darkness and do not know God, and have not confessed Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal saviour, for behold, the kingdom of God is at hand.
Yea, let us do this mighty thing in the sight of the Lord that we may cease to be the laughing stock of our brethren in Christ who say of us, Surely, their God is a poor God! Wherefore do they preach prosperity? Oh, their God is a poor God indeed!
And it came to pass that on the 10th day of November in the year of the Lord, which also is the anniversary of his birth, the congregants presented unto their pastor, Papa Ayo, who also is the spiritual leader of Christians in all ofNigeria, aBombadier 601 Aircraft, the cost of which is about $5 million.
And the same was done in the presence of the President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who knows a thing or two about not one but a fleet of jets and their constant replenishment.
And the President, whom Jehovah, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, appointed over his people in the unpromised land of Nigeria, gave testimony of the servant of the Lord in words that I understand thus, Verily I say unto you, Papa Ayo is the uniquely anointed son of God in whom He is well pleased.

FG sacks Onagoruwa, DG BPE

THE Federal Government has relieved the Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, Mrs. Bolanle Onagoruwa, of her appointment with immediate effect.
In a two paragraph statement by the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, to the Vice President, Umar Sani, she was ordered to hand over to the most senior director in the Bureau, Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki, who is to hold the position in an acting capacity.
Indeed, Onagoruwa’s exit from the Bureau did not really come as a surprise, in view of the noticeable strained relationship between her and her boss, Vice President Namadi Sambo, who is also the Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation, NCP, which supervises the BPE.
Vanguard gathered that the VP constantly disapproved of her actions, and always compelled her to toe the line, notwithstanding the fact that every process of the privatisation programme has to be approved by him.
Furthermore, it was also gathered that the atmosphere at the Bureau’s office in Abuja, was that of resignation, not only because of the anticipated exit of Onagoruwa, who had also had a rough ride with the legislators recently over her activities in the Bureau, but also because of the constant sudden exit of such leaders from office.

The sacking of the Director General, DG of the BPE is nothing new, as since the privatization agency was set up in 1999, only Ms Irene Chigbue, was allowed to complete a four-year term.
All the others suffered a short lived tenure, including the first DG of the Bureau, Mallam Nasir El Rufai, who was later elevated to a minister under former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime.
Whether full term or short-lived, all the Bureau’s bosses were enmeshed in controversies, associated with their handling of the privatisation process.
Although he was later appointed a minister, el Rufai’s tenure 1999 – 2003, was controversial arising from the sale of NITEL to Pentascope, which allegedly cost Nigeria about N100billion in revenues.
Also, recent legislative probes indicated that he may have also manipulated the sale of Conoil to business mogul, Chief Mike Adenuga.
Dr. Julius Bala, who took over from him as the second DG, 2003 – 2005, was sacked “for giving approval to Folio Communication Limited for the illegal sale of assets of Daily Times Nigeria Plc.”
Chigbue’s term between 2005 and-2009, did not go hitch free, as there were allegations that state-owned telecoms company NITEL, national aluminium company ALSCOM, and state-owned newspaper the Daily Times, were sold at low prices to politically connected insiders.

Auchi under siege

BENIN CITY — Soldiers, last night, seized Auchi inEdoState where robbers, Monday night, used dynamites to blast four banks.
At the end of the robbers’ raid, 15 people, including three soldiers, were shot dead while the robbers went away with N3.5 million.
The blood-letting was replayed inBornoStatewhere five policemen were killed and telecommunication masts in the state destroyed.

Medical Director ofAuchiCentralHospital, Dr. Jude Omoregie, confirmed that three dead soldiers were brought to the hospital, Monday night. The soldiers, said to have run into the robbers, were killed before they invaded the banks.
The civilians, however, died through stray bullets in different parts of Auchi. Among the four banks attacked, it was learnt that the robbers succeeded in gaining entrance into only one of them because some of the staff of the bank were still on duty. It was said that about N3.5 million was stolen by the robbers.
It was also learnt that the police put up a resistance which infuriated the robbers who went back to bomb a police station.
Robbers bomb police stations
The robbers, numbering about 50, according to eye witnesses, were said to have stormed the area in three Camry cars and a bus and immediately headed to the Auchi Divisional Police Headquarters and the Police Area Command in Auchi, where they blew up the buildings with dynamites and bombs.
Several vehicles including police patrol vans, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) within the Area Command and Auchi Division office were set ablaze. The robbers who were alleged to have come from a neighbouring state, Vanguard was told, might have been in the town for one week planning the attack.
Soldiers take over Auchi

Dickson suspends four civil servants over alleged fraudulent acts

YENAGOA—Hard times await recalcitrant workers in Bayelsa State civil service, as Governor Seriake Dickson has ordered the immediate suspension of four civil servants over alleged fraudulent acts and insubordination.
Their offences, as disclosed by the governor during an interactive session with the workers in Yemagoa, ranged from employment racketeering, indiscriminate allotment and allocation of land against the masterplan of the City Council Development Authority and acts of insubordination.
Expressing the readiness of his administration to partner workers in the state, the governor said his administration would not condone truancy, lateness to work and financial impropriety on the part of workers.
The governor said anybody caught mismanaging public funds would be dealt with in accordance with the law, adding that his administration had been able to gather reports on the alleged fraud perpetrated by some workers in the state civil service.
He said: “We want to get more. We are not only going to take them out of the system, the prison will be ready very soon for them.
“Those who commit payroll fraud, their cup will be full soon. But on a serious note, the Head of Service should help us. We want to see how we can reduce the huge wage bill.”
On the alleged participation of workers in partisan politics, the governor advised that any worker, who wants to take part in active politics should resign his/her appointment in accordance with the civil service edict, threatening that anybody that fails to heed the advice would be shown the way out of office.

Private Plane: Oshiomhole’s Choices

I cannot forget the memorable lesson on public policy and service I took away from a meeting with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole earlier this month.
In a session with some  journalists a week or so before his second term inauguration as governor of Edo State, the man popularly referred to in Benin as the comrade governor spoke on the conscious choices he is making in governance.
Noting the relatively modest furnishing in the Government House where the meeting took place, and against the background of the acclaimed success he has made in roads reconstructions, Oshiomhole said:
“I have not built any road in what is generally called the GRA where the big people reside and that is a conscious decision. I have chosen to put public resources in those depressed neighbourhoods where the forgotten majority reside,” the governor explained.
It is thus a pity that this commendable attitude of directing public policy towards the betterment of the majority of the populace is now in serious reverse across the different tiers of government.
It is this lack of consciousness in helping the majority of the populace that has made several governors to focus on building Government Houses at great cost above other felt needs of the citizenry.
Elaborating, Oshiomhole said:  “I had the choice to build an ultra modern government house, “befitting” for the first family but I would rather prefer to build an ultra modern hospital which is currently under construction where majority of the people can have access to, rather than a government house where they will be locked out. Again, it is the cost of choice.”
It is not as if the good things of life are lacking in the Oshiomhole Government House but the conscious choice of the Edo governor in channeling public resources towards easing the condition of the majority of the population is one lesson that is so much lacking in governance in many other places.
Governors that have not taken the choice to rebuild the Government House where they live have resorted to buying private planes for themselves. The excuses being given by their paid and indirectly paid apologists are simply prosaic.

Cech says Benitez must be given a chance

LONDON (AFP) – Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech says Rafael Benitez must be given a chance to make his mark at the club, ahead of a potentially stormy Premier League derby with local rivals Fulham on Wednesday.
Benitez can only hope the club’s dissenting supporters eventually accept him, although the evidence of the new interim manager’s first game in charge suggests that is unlikely to happen soon.
Benitez will take charge of his second game since succeeding Roberto Di Matteo when Fulham visit Stamford Bridge, three days after Chelsea were held to a scoreless home draw by Premier League champions Manchester City.
The Spaniard wasD given an early indication during that game of the depth of resentment held towards him by some of the club’s fans, who have not forgiven him for his role in the intense rivalry that has existed between Chelsea and Benitez’s former club, Liverpool.
Some supporters have suggested the protests will continue, ensuring another difficult atmosphere for the home side as they attempt to revive their flagging season.
“I think there’ll always be a resentment,” said Tim Rolls, a shareholder in Chelsea Pitch Owners, the fan-led group that owns the freehold of the Chelsea ground.
“If he has a lot of success in winning games, then I think there’s likely to be a solemn acceptance, but the supporters aren’t going to sing his name.”
Chelsea’s performance against City offered few distractions and Benitez will expect an improvement when his side confront the club’s near neighbours and attempt to revive their title ambitions.
Lying fourth, five points behind leaders Manchester United, Chelsea can ill afford to drop points and Cech admits they cannot afford a bedding in period.
“We, as players, need to adapt quickly and start thinking positively in order to work with the manager and give him what he needs to help get results,” he said.
“We need to put things right. We got a good point (against City), and hopefully on Wednesday we’ll win our game and push on from there.
“(Benitez) is here to change things, to put us in a winning mode, and he needs to be given a chance.”
Cech insists there were positives to be drawn from Chelsea’s display against City.
“We’ve been on a spell where we haven’t been winning games and we’ve been losing, so we wanted to stop that,” he said.
“We played the champions, it was an interesting performance in a way, but we kept a clean sheet and, at times, we were a danger, so it was a good start.
“It’s never easy when a new manager comes in because he doesn’t have time to work, so it’s good to start with a positive result.”
Fulham will attempt to claim a first win at Stamford Bridge in 33 years on the back of successive defeats and a run of five games without a win.
That has left them in mid-table after an enterprising start to the season and they will again be without influential centre-back Brede Hangeland, who serves the second game of a three-match ban after being sent off against Sunderland.
Fulham manager Martin Jol felt his side had been overwhelmed by Stoke City’s physical presence in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat, but the Cottagers will be presented with a different type of test when they face Benitez’s team.
“A few weeks ago I was there, and I saw Chelsea against Juventus. It was my first time at Stamford Bridge and it was a good game,” said Sascha Riether, the Fulham right back.
“I thought, ‘Yes, soon you will play there.’ It will be my first time playing there and I hope we get a good result.
“I’m not really aware yet of how big a game it is for Fulham, but it’s nice to know we will be big heroes if we win there.
“Every game is special, but if it’s a derby, it’s a little bit more.”

Joseph Benjamin in rumour mills saga: “I never said I married my wife out of pity”

Joseph Benjamin recently granted an interview to an online radio presenter who allegedly asked why he married his wife; a woman who is now separated from him and Joseph was quoted as saying he married her after she got pregnant, because he didn’t want to have children out of wedlock.
Minutes after this purported  interview was aired and shared by other eavesdropping online blogs, Joseph was “mis-interpreted” on social networks and entertainment blog  with the headline:  “I married my wife out of pity – Joseph Benjamin”
Now the actor is furious and has stepped out on social networking site Twitter.
Here are his tweets

Below is an excerpt of the alleged interview.
What really happened in your marriage?
“I was married for 8 years. It was a rather odd situation at that time. She got pregnant and I didn’t want to have a child out of wedlock and so I married her so we could build a home together, even though we had given birth to the first child.
Things weren’t rosy then, but I believed it was the right thing to do for the sake of the child. I overlooked my own personal desires, I just wanted to do right. Our second child came and I stood by my family like I always have; but no one is perfect, we had our issues – the crisis persisted but we stayed because of the kids. But you never make that kind of decision because if the parents are not happy together then the children suffer.“
Many said Joseph did himself in with the above  response?
Do you agree? Hit me with your comments.

Facebook will ask you to vote against your right to vote

Facebook wants you to vote away your right to vote about changes to the social network.
Facebook will hold a vote, possibly later this week, in which it will ask users to abolish their right to vote on changes to the social network's privacy policies.
The social network announced last week that it was seeking comments on its proposal to take away its users' right to vote on these sorts of changes. If 7,000 comments are received by Wednesday then Facebook, by its own rules, will hold a referendum on the topic.
That threshold appears to have been met -- as of Monday morning, there were more than 12,000 comments on Facebook's English-language post -- which should trigger the third vote in the social network's history. If Facebook handles the vote in the same way it has in the past, it could be held later this week or next.
Past voting periods have lasted seven days and took place on Facebook's Site Governance page.
Facebook declined to elaborate on the matter, but the site explained its reasons for asking users to abolish their right to vote in a blog post last week.
"We deeply value the feedback we receive from you during our comment period," writes Elliot Schrage, Facebook's vice president for communications, public policy and marketing. "In the past, your substantive feedback has led to changes to the proposals we made. However, we found that the voting mechanism, which is triggered by a specific number of comments, actually resulted in a system that incentivized the quantity of comments over their quality.
"Therefore, we're proposing to end the voting component of the process in favor of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement."
Facebook argues it has outgrown the voting and commenting system that currently exists on the site. (One BuzzFeed writer notes that China might argue the same thing with regard to democracy.)
Under the current system, for a vote to upend one of Facebook's proposals about its privacy policy, more than 30% of users have to cast digital ballots. Since there are now more than a billion people on Facebook, that means more than 300 million people would have to vote.

Everyman Wants A Baby With Me, Says 17-Year-Old Girl Who Began Posing Nude At 10

photoA controversial 17-year-old music fanatic, who admits to flirting with most Urban Grooves artistes, has denied links with an evil society known as Illuminati - a suspected source of riches for some international artists.
Rosemary Shuro - better known in the music circle as Rose Barbie - is also battling allegations that she is having sex with local urban groove artistes just to become famous. Rosemary has become a celebrity since her naught pictures leaked.
Also leaked are loads of chat messages between her and a long list of Urban Groovers including, Abra Simmz, Nox, Freeman, Dr Clarence, Jimmy (Extra Large), King Labash, King Shaddy, Madiz, Russo, Shastro, Stunner, Trinta, just to mention a few.
When contacted by our news crew, Rosemary refused to discuss her alleged Illuminati links saying that is none of anyone's business. Interestingly, there are some pictures in which she was displaying some of the symbols that are associated with the Illuminati society. She was not willing to talk about the alleged evil links but rather opted to discuss on 'flirting' with artistes.
"If you want to ask me about the Illuminati stuff then I'm not going to talk to you. Stop asking me about that. It's my personal business," she fumed. "I'm also an artist and just like posing nude showing off my ass and flirting with artistes and I don't sleep with them and Victor D is my only boyfriend," added Rosemary.
She claims to be a Hip-Hop artist, who grew up in Masvingo where she did her primary education at Rujeko Primary School. Rosemary went to Ndarama High School for her Form One. She was expelled for misbehaving and then she left for South Africa.
"I started posing nude and getting interested in music when I was 10 years old. I have two personalities - Rosemary Shuro who is the innocent girl and Rose Barbie who is reborn, crazy and fearless. Now seems like every guy wants to have a baby with me," she said.
With her naughty pictures flooding the social networks, Rosemary is happy that her father is not on the social networks. "I don't have a mother and my dad doesn't know what I do since he is not familiar with the social networks," she said.

Husband Leaves Wife Of 19 Years After Discovering She Was A Man

A Belgian husband has spoken of his 'horror' after learning his wife of 19 years used to be a man.
The duped 64-year-old - named only as Jan - said he had 'no clue' his bride had been born a boy.
The shocking revelation only emerged after almost two decades of marriage when a cousin from his wife's native Indonesia finally exposed the truth.
Jan told how he met 'Monica' in 1993 when she arrived in his home town of Antwerp as an au-pair to his sister's children.
He described as her 'very beautiful and feminine' - but said he now understood why she was 'no good at ironing'.
Jan told Belgium's Nieuwsblad daily paper: 'My second marriage was on the rocks at the time and we quickly fell in love.
'I thought she was an attractive woman, and she was all woman - she had no male traits.
'She was 27 years old at the time, so I asked her if she wanted children. 'I was glad when she said she didn't as I was 44 and already had two of my own.
 'Over the years she said she was taking the pill, and even during sex I never noticed anything, though now I understand why she always used a lubricant, which is apparently normal among transexuals.
'She was always a good mother to my children, and also a fantastic cook, though we wasn't that great at cleaning and ironing - and now I know why!'
But Jan said the relationship had begun to suffer over the past two years as she insisted on staying out late on her own wearing 'very revealing outfits'
He added: 'She would wear tiny tops that revealed a lot of flesh and had more than 100 pairs of shoes. 'I also caught her ogling pictures of young men on the Internet.
'But I didn't suspect a thing until a cousin of hers came to visit and let something slip. 'I mentioned it to my son and he said he'd heard a rumour too that Monica used to be a man.
'One evening I confronted her and she finally confessed she had been born a boy and had a sex change operation. 'My world collapsed in a few seconds.
I was horrified. I feel like have been violated for almost 20 years.'
The couple are still living under the same roof after a judge refused to grant Jan an order to evict her. But he added: 'We live in separate rooms and rarely speak.
What Monica has done to me and my family is unforgivable. I just want her out of my life.'

Nigerian Baby Dies After Home Circumcision in the UK

A four-week-old Nigerian baby boy, Goodluck Caubergs, bled to death after a poorly-handled home circumcision by a Nigerian nurse, a court heard On Monday.

The baby died a day after the nurse, Grace Adeleye, 66, carried out the procedure without anaesthetic and using only a pair of scissors, forceps and olive oil, the Manchester Crown Court, in the United Kingdom, heard.
The medic, a Nigerian, like the parents of the baby, was apparently introduced to the parents of the baby because of the Nigerian ties binding them, especially as Adeleye was said to have performed such operations with so much “experience and skill”, several times in the past, also among Nigerian families.
Adeleye, also a midwife, was paid £100 (about N25,400) to do the operation, as Goodluck’s parents were not aware the procedure was available at the NHS (National Health Service).
The Royal Oldham Hospital was just a mile and a half from the family home in Chadderton, near Oldham, where the little baby could have been better circumcised and his life saved.
Adeleye of Sarnia Court, Salford, Greater Manchester, however, denied manslaughter by gross negligence of the baby boy. But the prosecution argued that she botched the procedure by leaving a “ragged” wound that bled, and her post-op care was also woefully inadequate.
Adrian Darbishire (QC), who opened the case for the prosecution, told the jury: “The allegation essentially here is that the care she provided in the course of that procedure was so bad that not only did it cause the death of that young baby wholly unnecessarily, but it amounted to gross negligence and a crime.”
Darbishire said circumcisions were routinely carried out amongst Christian families in Nigeria who had brought the tradition with them to the UK, and the procedure was an “ancient, well established and widespread” practice across the world.

Yasser Arafat's body exhumed

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Ramallah, West Bank (CNN) -- The body of former Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat was exhumed Tuesday for tests to see if poisoning led to his 2004 death, according to WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency.
Arafat will be reburied with a military ceremony, officials have said.
Palestinian officials hope the tests will clear up questions over whether Arafat's death eight years ago was the result of poisoning by the radioactive element polonium.
The Palestinian Authority, which runs the West Bank, says it is convinced Israel is behind any poisoning of Arafat. Israel has declined to comment on the allegation.
Forensic experts from France, Switzerland and Russia were expected to take their own samples for independent analysis.
The new investigation started earlier this year after authorities said high levels of the radioactive substance were found on Arafat's personal belongings.
Francois Bochud, director of the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland, said his researchers had found high levels of toxic polonium-210 after testing Arafat's toothbrush, clothing and keffiyeh, the distinctive black-and-white headscarf he often wore.
The discovery prompted his widow, Suha Arafat, to lodge a formal legal complaint for murder.
She told CNN she wanted her late husband's body exhumed "to make sure 100% of the existence of polonium."
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas subsequently approved the exhumation of Arafat's body from his mausoleum, which is in the Palestinian presidential compound in Ramallah.
The use of polonium-210 as a poison hit the headlines in 2006, when it was used to kill Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent who came to Britain in 2000 after turning whistle-blower on the FSB, the KGB's successor.
In a deathbed statement from a London hospital Litvinenko blamed Russia's President Vladimir Putin, an accusation the Kremlin strongly denied.

A Case For Abolishing Nigeria’s “Democracy” By Okey Ndibe

Three sobering reports released last week afforded graphic illustrations of Nigeria’s utterly awful state. One report, by the international audit firm KPMG, declared Nigeria the most fraudulent address in Africa. In a report carried on and widely circulated on the Internet, KPMG concluded that “the cost of fraud [in Nigeria] during the first half of 2012 [was] estimated at N225 billion ($1.5 billion).”
Nigeria claimed the dubious distinction in the inaugural year of KPMG’s “Africa Fraud Barometer,” an initiative that “measures fraud on the [African] continent and assesses the fraud risk that confronts companies in their operations.” The firm’s report “identified Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa as accounting for 74% of the total number of cases on the African continent, with Nigeria recording the highest overall value of fraud in the first half of the2012.” KPMG’s data was compiled “by analyzing available news articles and reviewing fraud cases from designated databases.”
Another equally unflattering report named Nigeria the worst place in the world for a baby to be born in 2013. According to a report in the Premium Times, the ranking was done by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), an affiliate of the Economist magazine. The group looked at data from 80 countries, and concluded that Nigeria earned a score of 4.74 to place 80th out of 80. Nigeria’s closest competitor, Kenya, scored 4.91. South Africa emerged the best placed African country with a score of 5.89 – and the 53rd position overall.
According to Premium Times, the study measured what countries would “provide the best environment for the healthiest, safest, and most prosperous life in the coming years.” The paper continued: “The quality-of-life index used in the survey was measured around key areas like crime, trust in public institutions, health of family life and government policies.” The report “examined how happy citizens say they are as well other variables such as a forecast of income per head.”