Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Ministry Of Agriculture To Distribute 10million Free Mobile Phones To Farmers In 2013

 The Ministry Agriculture and Rural development in collaboration with Information Communication Technology Ministry plans to distribute 10 million mobile phones for free to farmers across the country in 2013.

The minister of Agriculture, Akinwumni Adesina announced this at an interactive session with the private sector partners in the agriculture value chain aimed at supporting the agricultural transformation agenda of the federal government.

The Minister also announced far reaching reforms being planned for the agricultural sector which includes free distribution of seeds to framers and establishment of stable crop processing zones to encourage private sector investment

Some of the farmers that spoke during the session, lauded the efforts of the minister at repositioning the sector, however requested for more infrastructure and establishment of co-operative societies for farmers at the state level

20 million metric tons of food is being provided by the federal government to mitigate the effects of the recent flooding in the country in addition to ensuring farmers have access to single digit interest free loans from banks.

Oshiomhole Condoles With Jonathan On Brother's Death

 Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has commiserated with President Goodluck Jonathan on the death of his brother, Chief Meni Jonathan.

In a condolence letter to the President, Governor Oshiomhole said: “I received with shock, the news of the passing of your younger brother, Chief Meni Jonathan.

“On behalf of the government and people Edo State, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to Your Excellency, your family and the immediate family of the departed. 

“I feel and share in your grief, your Excellency, especially given that Chief Meni Jonathan left us at a young age, but be comforted that he will be remembered fondly for all that he accomplished in such a short life as a wonderful person, a great father, husband, brother and community leader.

“Your Excellency, our faith tells us that your brother has gone to his eternal rest. It should give us solace to know that he is at peace and will reap his rewards for the good life he lived.

“I pray that Almighty God will give you the fortitude you need and May His comfort at this difficult time.”

Amaechi Swears-In New Judges….Urges Them To Protect The Poor

 Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has sworn-in two new Judges.  They are Justice Iheanyichukwu Wodi and Justice Charles Ndudi Wali.
They were sworn-in on Wednesday, 21stNovember, 2012 in Government House, Port Harcourt.

Shortly after the swearing-in, the State Governor congratulated the new Judges and urged them to protect the poor in the society.

“I think that in carrying out your assignment you should have at the back of your mind that there are poor people who are out there on the street who may not have anybody to protect them and only the Judges can protect them...Whatever you do you should be satisfied that before God you can defend yourself”, he said.

“The God we worship will certainly hold you to account if man cannot hold you to account.  That should be what should be at the back of your mind when you are giving your judgement”.

He commended the judiciary for being transparent and linked his Supreme Court victory of October, 2007 to the transparency in the judicial system.

Federal Police Has Failed Nigeria-Ajimobi

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State today justified the call for the establishment of state police, saying that the federal-controlled Nigerian Police Force has failed woefully in the maintenance of internal security in the country.
Indeed, the governor called for amendment to the 1999 Constitution to accommodate the establishment of state police as a way out of the security challenges currently confronting Nigeria.
Governor Ajimobi made these submissions at a lecture entitled ``The Police Issue in Federal Nigeria: A Shoewearer’s Perspective’’ which he delivered at the Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan.
He said that the agitation for state police had become apt in view of the crime and criminal activities which had enveloped the country in recent times.

He noted that the Boko Haram uprising in the North, the kidnappings and mob killings in the South East and South-South and ceaseless armed robberies and assassinations in the South- West have raised questions on the ability of the police to secure Nigeria.

He lamented that the current command structure of the police had hampered state governors to truly serve as Chief Security Officers of their respective states. 

The governor also noted that the police had been subject to abuse by past federal administrations for political ends.
He cited the arrest and deportation of Alhaji Abdulrahman Shugaba, the Majority and Great Nigeria Peoples Party (GNPP) Leader of the Borno State House of Assembly by the National Party of Nigeria-led Federal Government in the Second Republic. 

The police, he said, also featured prominently in the manipulations of the 1983 elections in Oyo, Ondo and Imo States.

 ``Since 1999, the police had been used by the PDP government of former President Obasanjo to harass and intimidate governors who either belonged to different political parties or were members of the same PDP but not on good terms with the former preside

``The instances included the abduction of Governor Ngige in Anambra State. It also included the police-assisted impeachment of many governors, including Governor Rashidi Ladoja of Oyo State.  Instances of police culpability in the rigging of elections against opposition parties have also been rampant,’’ he posited.

 According to the governor, one of the major consequences of the abuse of police power and inadequacy of the force was the emergence of multiple groups and public organizations ranging from neighbourhood vigilante groups to organised pseudo-security outfits like Bakasi Boys and Odu’a People’s Congress (OPC) among others.

 Governor Ajimobi dismissed the fears being expressed in some quarters that governors would abuse state police powers to oppress political opponents and that states did not have the resources to maintain police organizations.

 ``If the fear of abuse of police power is enough reason not to create State Police, then the Federal Government, in which such powers have been repeatedly abused, does not deserve to monopolise police power.
``If Nigeria is persuaded that states should perform police functions, the revenue allocation formula will have to be restructured to reflect the withdrawal of such function (or part of it) from the Federal Government and its enlistment as a state function. 
``Besides, the deployment of resources by the state is a function of the priorities of the government.  I am yet to see a government that has not listed security as a priority. 
The governor, who recalled that the 2013 budget allocation to the police is N319.65 billion, added that this was more than three times the size of Oyo State Budget for 2012. 
``We need to ask, as a nation, if we have a national bureaucracy to effectively deploy N319.65 billion for a single agency of government.
``Besides, my experience is that in spite of this staggering allocation, state governments have had to support the operations of the police in their respective states. 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Eso Was Shining Example Of Patriotism, Says Oshiomhole

Governor Adams Oshiomhole has described the late Justice Kayode Eso as a shining example of patriotism and discipline.

In a condolence message, Governor Oshiomhole said: “On behalf of the government and people of Edo State, I extend my condolence to the family, the Bar and Bench and the good people of Osun state on the death of Justice Kayode Eso.

“His death has robbed Nigeria of a shining example of patriotism and discipline. As a jurist, Justice Eso stamped his imprint as a legend. Widely regarded as Nigeria’s Lord Denning, Justice Eso was fearless, courageous, erudite and seasoned.

“He distinguished himself in all areas of professional, social and family life and stood tall among his peers for his intellectual prowess and high sense of integrity. He was always on the side of justice and equity.

“While we mourn the loss of such a great mind, we also celebrate his many accomplishments. His Judicial activism for which he will forever be remembered has served as a reference point in the evolution of the nation’s legal jurisprudence.”

“I pray God to grant his soul peaceful rest and his family the fortitude to bear the loss.

Obasanjo Kicks Against State Police

The former President, Olusegun    Obasanjo has kicks agains state police, speaking in Abeokuta, ogun state capital when the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Ibrahim Tsafe visited his Hiltop villa said if allowed, creation of state police would lead to more problem in Nigeria.

    Speaking in Abeokuta during the visit of the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Tsafe to his hilltop villa, former president, Olusegun Obasanjo lauded the Nigeria police for its efforts at curtaling the spate of violence across the nation stressing that Nigeria police is blessed wih qualified and competent officers who are dedicated to the service of their fatrherland.

The former president who expressed fear for the level of crime in the country cautioned the National Assembly against submitting to the pressure of creating state police noting that such action would lead to more problems rather than any good.

Obasanjo who maitained that Nigeria being a secular state is not ripe for tge creation of any regional or state police stressed that if created those who are in the priviledge position would turn the police to instrument of power display as well as weapon of oppression against the poor.

He appealed to the National Assembly to refrain from any action or decision that would take the country back to the dark days of 1960 adding that state police would bring more problems into the country more than ever before.

  On the state of security in Ogun state, the former president commended officers and men of the state police command for their steadfastness in fighting crimes and other vices adding that the era of killing of innocent people across the state has gone but cautioned the police against resting on their oars.

Amaechi Mourns late Justice Kayode Esho

Rivers State Governor Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has expressed shock over the demise of Justice Kayode Esho.

In a statement by his Spokesman Mr. David Iyofor, Governor Amaechi described Justice Esho as an accomplished jurist, a rare breed of uncommon wisdom and sharp intellect who always stood on the side of the law and what is right.

Amaechi hailed Justice Esho’s enormous contributions to the growth of Nigeria’s legal and justice system and the good work he did as a justice of the Supreme Court.

“Justice Esho was a man of uncommon virtues. His work in the Apex Court would not be easily forgotten. Most important to us here in Rivers State was his commitment to the Rivers State Truth and Reconciliation Commission(TRC) which he chaired, contributing to the return of peace and sanity in the state.”

“We are particularly grateful for the thorough and comprehensive work he did at the TRC. Rivers people hold him dearly and will always remember him for that,” Amaechi said.

The governor condoled with the Esho family, the judiciary and the entire country over this great loss, and prayed for the repose of his soul.

JTF Parades Arrested Sea Pirates

The joint operation on anti piracy and illegal bunkering operation in rivers state  today pararded seven  suspected pirates arrested for alleged illegal bunkering, sea piracy and other criminal activities on the waterways.

At a joint press briefing today at the NNS pathfinder port harcourt, the commanding officer of the base commodore vinci fati said the suspects were arrested last night by the members of the joint task force at ke and pero-kparakama  communities in degema local govt arae of rivers state after receiving a distress call.

He said 51 illegal cooking points and four cotonu boats were also destroyed during the operations.

Our Correspondent reports that Items recovered from the pirates include 4 AK 47, one FN rifle,one pistol and 212 rounds of 7.62 ammunitions.

Also recovered were 4 nokia phones, a file containing documents, 8 matchets and the sum of 530 thousand naira.

Oshiomhole appoints Kassim Afegbua, others

Governor Adams Oshiomhole has approved the appointment of Prince Kassim Afegbua as Special Adviser, Media and Public Affairs.

Also, the Governor approved the appointment of Chief Mikainu Kadiri as Principal Security Officer; Mr John Akhigbe, Senior Special Assistant (Protocol); Ms Esohe Adams, Senior Special Assistant (Governor’s Office); Mr. Mika Amanokhai (Senior Special Assistant. Government House); Prince Osama Erediauwa, Senior Special Assitant (Special Duties); Mrs. Choice Greg-Haruna (Senior Special Assistant, 
Government House and Alhaji Yakubu Kadiri (Special Assistant, Governor’s Office)

Meanwhile, the Governor has directed the under-listed Committees, Commissions and Boards to resume work immediately: Sanitation and Environment Committee; War Against Indiscipline Committee; Judicial Service Commission; Civil Service Commission; Edo State Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Edo State Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commission (EDOSOPADEC).  

A native of Okpella in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State, Prince Afegbua holds a degree in English from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife; a Post-graduate Diploma in Public Relations and Journalism from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism and a Post-graduate Diploma in Good Governance and Democracy from Marquette University, Milwaukee, United States.

A seasoned journalist and public affairs analyst, Prince Afegbua was Director of Publicity, National Democratic Party (NDP) and later Acting National Chairman of the Party from 2006 to 2008.

He was also spokesman to former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida and Director of Media and Publicity of the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole Campaign Organisation in the just concluded gubernatorial election in the state.

A columnist with Vanguard Newspapers and Publisher of African Statesman magazine, Prince Afegbua is married and blessed with two daughters.

Fashola Shocked, Mourns Former Adviser, Toyin Hamzat

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Monday described as most unfortunate, shocking and heart rending, the fatal attack on his former Special Adviser on Health, Mr Toyin Hamzat.

According to the Governor, it was a supreme irony of life that such a man of peace who gave so much in the service of his nation and community could come to such a violent end.

While condoling with his Ogun counterpart, the Government and people at Ogun State as well as the immediate family of the deceased, Governor Fashola described Hon. Hamzat’s death as a personal loss to him, Lagos State and the entire South West family of the Action Congress of Nigeria.

The Governor prayed the Almighty Allah to grant the soul of the departed Al-Janah Firdaus and imbue the widow and family members with the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

IGP Meets With Commissioners Of Police To Strengthen Security Ahead Of Christmas And New Year Celebration.

 The Police High command on Tuesday said it has set up a committee to verify the total number of suspects arrested so far in connection with alleged terrorist activities in the country.

The Inspector General of Police said the committee was also given the mandate to ascertain the number of suspects currently held behind bar by sister security agencies and investigate their alleged involvement in the various bomb attacks to allow for speedy prosecutions of the alleged terrorists.

The Police boss who spoke at a security meeting in Abuja however blamed the delay in prosecuting the terror suspects on lack of strict enabling law needed to commence trial of the suspects.

President Jonathan Loses Younger Brother As He Celebrates 55th Birthday

Amidst low key celebrations of his 55th birthday on Tuesday, news filtered in that President Goodluck Jonathan had lost his younger brother  at the State House Medical Centre

Pandemonium broke out as the President on hearing the news rushed to the hospital without an escort suspending any further activities on his busy schedule

It is now unclear whether President Jonathan will still make his trip to Pakistan scheduled for tonight

Though the Presidency is trying to keep the news under wraps, sources have already confirmed the unfortunate news

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

James Bond soars to box office record with "Skyfall"

James Bond has blown away box office rivals with $87.8 million in ticket sales for the U.S. and Canadian debut of new movie "Sky fall" for the biggest opening in the franchise's history.

The best North American opening for the 50-year-old Bond franchise adds to a strong tally of $428.6 million for "Skyfall" overseas. Globally, the movie starring Daniel Craig as 007 has now earned $518.6 million since first hitting international theatres on October 26, distributor Sony Pictures said.

"Skyfall" beat Walt Disney Co animated movie "Wreck-It Ralph," the story of a video game character who destroys everything in his path. The family film that topped last week's charts grabbed $33.1 million from Friday through Sunday and slipped to second place.

Denzel Washington drama "Flight," about an airline captain who saves a plane from crashing, pulled in $15.1 million to finish third.

Lam Died A Great Man--Agoro

National Chairman of National Action Council, Dr Olapade Agoro today said that the former governor of Oyo state Lam Adesina 'passed away as a great man' 

In a release signed by him where he thanked God for the life of late ACN leader, Dr Olapade agoro asked people to accept the the news of the death of lam adesina as the closing chapter of a story begun lowly but ended on good note of success.  

He described the deceased as once upon a time frolic, powerful and highly interesting writer particularly in Nigerian Tribune newspapers, and epitomised the straddles of life of lowliness, poverty, to that of self made leading to that of greatness.

According to Agoro, Lam's exit is timely having thereafter mid-wife with others to form Action Congress of Nigeria the party now in power in Oyo State must have guaranteed himself an assured state befitting burial and an imperishable legacy.

He then pray God to give the people of Oyo state and community of democrats the fortitude to bear the loss.

Ajimobi Vows To Sustain Lam's Legacy

Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State today led members of the State Executive Council on a condolence visit to the family of the late former Governor Lam Adesina, pledging to continue to celebrate, honour and sustain the legacy left behind by the elder statesman.

At the Felele, Ibadan residence of the late former governor, Goveror Ajimobi noted that Alhaji Adesina had been his benefactor since 1964 and that whatever achievement he had recorded in life so far had the contributions of the late ACN leader.

Ajimobi who described himself as a political son of lam said the former governor lived a spiritually filled life. He was always praying and fasting.

``I used to call Alhaji Adesina my three-in-one. He was my teacher, my uncle and my political mentor. Whatever I am today in politics, he made me.

``And when you remove the mundane politics of Oyo State; the pedestrian politics; the pull-him-down innuendoes of Oyo politics, there is no closer person to him as his political son than I, Abiola Ajimobi,’’ he said.

Quoting copiously from the various books written by Williams Shakespeare which he said Adesina used to regale his students with, among whom he was one at the Lagelu Grammar School, like ‘Cowards die many times before their death…’ and the departed governor’s mantra of ‘don’t take my simplicity for stupidity’, Ajimobi said that whatever mastery of the English Language he may exhibit today was impacted to him by the late governor.

Speaking on behalf of the state executive council, the state Commissioner-designate, Pastor Taiwo Otegbeye, acknowledged the achievements of the late Alhaji Adesina in the state

Oshiomhole has made us proud, says Tinubu

 National leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu says Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has made the party proud with his record of performance in his first term as Governor of the state.

He said that with such performance, the ACN is poised to take power at the federal level come 2015.

Speaking at a reception held shortly after the second term inauguration of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in Benin City, Asiwaju Tinubu “I thank you for the courage, for your commitment and dedication to duty. We will take power in the centre come 2015 with this performance,” he noted.

“Oshio Baba is a bundle of achievement and development vision. He is a short man but with the tallest brain and fattest vision and he took himself from an ordinary agitator to a performer. We thank you for making us proud today, in the last four years you have made us proud indeed,” he added.

According to him, Comrade Oshiomhole has made Edo state the centre of trade and development and he has swept through Nigeria like a colossus.

Other speakers at the ceremony which include the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Dr. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, Chief Ibikun Amosun of Ogun State, former governor of Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige and other Action Congress of Nigeria Chieftains, described Comrade Oshiomhole as an inspiration and that the people of Edo State really spoke with their votes insisting the state moves forward.

In his speech, the Governor thanked everybody for standing by him and promised by God’s grace, together with the people and leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria he will remain focused and committed to deliver Edo State to the next level.

Stakeholders in Bayelsa State Demands For The creation 0f Oloibiri State

Stakeholders in Bayelsa State are demanded for the creation of Oloibiri State and constitutional recognition of Niger Delta region in a forum organised by senators and the state government to deliberate on the amendment of the 1999 constitution.

Our correspondent in Bayelsa state gathered that the motive behind the town hall meeting was to harmonise positions of the state on issues selected for amendment in the constitution.

The meeting was facilitated by Senator Heineken Lokpobiri representing Bayelsa West, Senator Emmanuel Paulker (Central) and Senator Clever Ikisikpo (East).

But most stakeholders who attended the meeting at the Banquet Hall, Yenagoa, submitted proposals agitating for the creation of Oloibiri State.

According to the stakeholders who argued for state creation, the new state should be carved out from Edo, Bayelsa and Delta States.

But the Niger Delta Development Monitoring Group argued that state creation should be backed up with measures to reduce the cost of governance.

The National President of the Group, Chief Nengi James, said the lawmakers should consider either retaining a bicameral legislature with lawmakers sitting on part time basis or a full time unicameral legislature.

James also made case for resource control, true federalism and independent candidacy.

He said the amendment should create a provision for a referendum in the constitution to enable Nigerians decide on issues affecting their existence.

Our correspondent gathered that the senators would consider all the submitted memoranda and present the common positions of the people to the government on Wednesday.

Dangote To Site N300bn Fertilizer Plant In Edo

The groundbreaking ceremony of a $2 billion (about N300 billion) fertilizer plant, the biggest in Africa to be sited in Agenebode, Edo State will be done before the end of January, next year.

Disclosing this at a reception, in Benin City, Monday, as part of activities to mark the 2nd term inauguration of Governor Adams Oshiomhole, President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said arrangements have been concluded for the ceremony this December or before the end of January 2013.

Alhaji Dangote, listed by Forbes magazine as Africa’s richest man said the company which is expected to employ more than ten thousand people directly and indirectly will be completed in three years.

He said: “yes we will build the biggest fertilizer plant in Africa here in Edo State.”
According to the industrialist, “Comrade Oshiomhole has delivered on road, infrastructure, but now he’s going to deliver on job creation. We will partner with him to make sure he gives us a conducive environment to create jobs here in Edo State.

“He has already mentioned that we will set up a fertiliser plant here in Edo State. I am sure he wants me to reaffirm that, yes, we will build the biggest fertilizer plant in Africa here in Edo State.

“It is a commitment and I am reassuring you, your excellency, by this year, either in December of January, next year, we will perform the groundbreaking ceremony in Edo State. It will be at a cost of $2 billion.

“I am reassuring you, in the presence of everybody, that in the next three years, Edo State will be exporting fertilizer from here to other parts of Africa.”

Ecowas Supports Nigerian Flood Victims With Us$382,000

 The ECOWAS Commission has presented a cheque for US$382,000 to the Government of Nigeria to help mitigate the effects of the recent flood disaster which claimed several lives and caused substantial damage to property in parts of the country.

“While I know that there is no volume of assistance that can bring back lives, we wish to express our solidarity and compassion,” President of the Commission His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouedraogo said in Abuja on Monday 12th November, while presenting the cheque to Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, at a ceremony in the Ministry.

He said that providing assistance to alleviate the sufferings of ECOWAS citizens affected by humanitarian challenge “is a core mandate” of the Commission under the regional Protocol relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Peacekeeping and Security.

The President further explained that the Commission has been developing appropriate tools and instruments such as the ECOWAS Emergency Response Team (EERT), National Humanitarian Platforms for disaster management for Member States that lack the capacities. The organization has also developed the Disaster Reduction (DRR) Policy which provides guidance on prevention, mitigation and management of natural disasters in the region.

President Ouedraogo paid tribute to President Goodluck Jonathan “for his continued role in the overall peace development and integration” of the ECOWAS Region.

In his response, Minister Ashiru thanked the Commission for the gesture, which he described as “a true demonstration of the fact that, we are our brothers’ keepers, in the true spirit of our African tradition where the misfortune of one becomes the shared misfortune of the community as a whole.”

He said the donation will go a long way in bolstering the measures being taken by Nigeria’s Federal and State governments to ameliorate the suffering of the flood victims.

The Director-General of the National Emergency Relief Agency, Alhaji Muhamed Sani Sidi, said the flood disaster displaced more than two million people in 32 of Nigeria’s 36 States, destroying infrastructure and washing away acres of farmland.

He said the ECOWAS gesture “shows that the international Community also has a role to play in complementing the effort” of Nigerian governments and affected communities in “lessening the impact of the flood disaster.”

Also at the ceremony were the ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Gender, Dr. Adrienne Diop.

Oil Theft: EFCC Arraigns 11 In Bayelsa

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, November 5, 2012, arraigned eleven persons on a two count charge bordering on illegal dealing in petroleum products at a Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State .

The eleven accused persons are Isiaka Edeleye, John B. Kpalam, Adedotun Awofidipe, Harris Usanga, Gilbert Eborty, Solomon Monday, Abang Jacob Ekwo, Adedayo Akinyoade, Victor Ekpe, Ernest Okon Ati and Inwang Akabio. They were arrested on board vessel MT AEGLE with 200 metric tons of petroleum product suspected to be Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) bunkered from EX MT Mercy II into MT AEGLE.

Count one of the charges against the accused persons reads:  “That you Isiaka Edeleye, John b. Kpalam, Adedotun Awofidipe, Harris Usanga, Gilbert Eborty, Solomon Monday, Abang Jacob Ekwo, Adedayo Akinyoade, Victor Ekpe, Ernest Okon Ati, being crew members in MT AEGLE with Reg. No. IMO-8023890 and Inwang Akabio with others at large on or about the 25thday of April, 2012 in Brass, Bayelsa State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit dealing in petroleum product and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 3(6) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act CAP M17 of the Revised Edition (Laws of the Federation of Nigeria) 2007 and punishable under Section 1(17) of the same Act”.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them and were granted bail by Justice C. E. Archibong  in the sum of N1million and one surety each in like sum.

While adjourning the case to November 30, 2012, for commencement of trial, the Judge ordered that the accused persons be remanded in EFCC custody for seven days and thereafter be transferred to Ahoada prison, if they are still unable to meet their bail condition.

 It would be recalled that the accused persons were handed over to the EFCC on September 20, 2012, after their arrest on May 4, 2012, by officers of the NNS Pathfinder, Nigerian Navy, Rumuolumeni, Port Harcourt . The purported owner of the product, Akpabio Inwang was later arrested by the operatives of the Commission on September 24, 2012, in Calabar, Cross River State .

Lagos State First Lady Does Not Operate Any Facebook Account-Governor’s Office

The Office of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday disowned the existence of any facebook account purportedly being operated by the First Lady of the State, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola.

According to a Press Release signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Hakeem Bello, the First Lady of Lagos State does not operate a facebook, twitter or indeed any social media account.

Describing impersonation as a criminal offence punishable by law, the release stated that members of the public should beware to avoid falling victim of fraudsters impersonating the First Lady on the facebook or any social media outlet. “For the avoidance of doubt, the First Lady of Lagos State, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola does not operate any facebook, twitter or indeed any social media account,” the release said.

The attention of the Governor’s Office was recently called to the activities of impostors posing as the wife of the Governor of Lagos State via facebook thus leading to an investigation which revealed about four different facebook accounts purportedly operated by the First Lady.

 The release said perpetrators of the criminal act should desist henceforth or should be ready to face the music when the long arm of the law catches up with them.

Bayelsa State Government Starts Resettling Flood Victims

The  Bayelsa State Government says it has started the process of resettling some of the Internally  Displaced Persons(IDP) at the various camps to their respective communities.

The Secretary to the Bayelsa state Government Professor Allison Oguru disclosed this to newsmen while receiving a truckload of relief materials from Sidoni Foundation,a non governmental organisation.

Allison Oguru who is also the secretary of the state flood management committee says transport arrangement would be made available to the displaced persons that might be willing to resettle back to their homes saying that a good number of them have gone back to start fishing activities.

The SSG who commended Sidoni Foundation for the donation calls for more ,especially as they approach the post flood era which he said would be more challenging.

He  said the state government would be gradually reducing the supply of relief items to the various camps in the state and would be made available when they reach their various communities.

Allison Oguru added that the state government has come up with a supplementary budget on how to rehabilitate all the public infrastructure affected by the flood in the state

Kuramo 2012: Africa Holds The Key To The Strengthening Of Global Economy-Fashola

     Lagos points the way forward for the Continent as Soyinka, Prof Collier, others gather for knowledge Confab
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Friday flagged off the Kuramo Conference Lagos 2012, charging all participants to use it to secure the future of the generation of young Africans who look to the present generation for leadership so that the problems of hunger, famine, poverty and under development on the Continent can be overcome now and not in the distant future.
The Governor who spoke at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island before a gathering of multi-disciplinary experts, professionals, regulators, policy makers and corporate leaders including Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka, Director for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University, Professor Paul Collier and  international economist, Dr Dambisa Moyo, said Kuramo is about the African Renaissance, it is about knowledge, improvement and influence.
“Kuramo is also a confluence of ideas to tackle and consider from a unique African perspective, the issues that challenge the Continent globally. Kuramo will continue to provide a platform for public and private sector collaboration to drive international development in Africa and secure a better economic future for ourselves”, he added.
Governor Fashola said Africa stands on the edge of another scramble which has been necessitated by the downturn in the global economy and the gradual decimation of the Commonwealth such that the West has turned its eyes on her direction again.
“But this time the scramble is more intense because the West has been joined by the East and the scramble is between the two powers, with Africa in the middle. So, we can choose to turn to the left, or to the right, or to the front”.
The Governor said this time around, the rule of engagement must be such that Africa will dictate because she holds the key to the strengthening of the global economy, a fact which must not be forgotten.
“More importantly, we must use that knowledge to forge developmental partnerships instead of perpetuating a dependency, based on an expectation of benevolence. We hold the key and we must use it to unlock the door that leads to the vast promise of the endowed Continent”.
“We must no longer hand over the key to others to unlock the door for us. The reason is simple. They will go through the doorway before we do. This time it is incumbent upon us to walk through those doors ahead of our partners or at least side by side”.
Governor Fashola explained that Kuramo is about alternative thinking because it takes the view that alternative, innovative ideas are the key to the future noting that Africans must turn normalcy around, stand things on their heads, push back the frontiers and literally rattle the cage to stimulate innovation and pursue creative solutions to global problems.
Speaking on the recent declaration of all members of the United Nations Human Rights Council that access to the internet and online freedom of expression is a basic human right, the Governor said internet access in Africa is limited by a far lower penetration rate than the rest of the world.
He said part of what should preoccupy the mind of participants at Kuramo 2012 is how they can help to shape policy that can bridge internet access gap and others like the policies that encourage the production of the best chocolates from Ivory Coast where some of the best cocoa seeds are sourced.
Others include policies that encourage the production of microchips and electronic accessories from Congo where very large deposits of copper are mined amidst unending conflict and policies that will encourage the production and not the importation of large quantities of malaria drugs and treated nets on the African continent and keep the production jobs there instead of in the West and Asia.

Continuing, Governor Fashola challenged the eminent gathering of knowledge experts to come up with policies that would ensure that “a large quantum of Africa’s gas reserves are used to energize and power her to industrial greatness and produce jobs on the continent instead of being exported only for the cash values. Policies that help to bring back and keep a large stock of Africa’s rich human capital at home, instead of those that throw them abroad as displaced immigrants. Policies that for instance encourage new institutional and governance models to transform economic growth into shared opportunities”.

The Governor also said the quest for the Pan African Parliament to acquire legislative and oversight functions from the African Union is another example of what is possible just as he canvassed closer ties between African nations and integration for trade and services on the Continent.

He described Kuramo as a force for shaping policy to help Africans look inwards and think Africa saying examples abound in history about how inward-looking policies; whether intentional or inescapable have helped to strengthen economies.

“How many African countries trade with each other? Why can’t we encourage policy to compel African nations to trade as a priority with each other? Zambian copper; Ghanaian cocoa; Cameroonian coffee; Namibian diamonds; Malian cotton; Nigerian oil?  Why don’t we promote the idea of a United States of Africa? Why don’t we promote the idea of an Afrozone? Why can’t we support PAP’s quest?”

He reiterated that Kuramo can promote peace in Africa, relieve the continent of conflict and wake the world up to an economic policy of sustenance that focuses on investments in environmental protection rather than one that is driven by investments in the manufacture and sale of small arms that do much damage in Africa than it does in those places where the arms are manufactured.

Governor Fashola stated that just as every new challenge throws up the potential to find a solution, Africa has the answers to challenges to the global wealth, but that those answers would only resonate if the Continent speaks as one because inherent in unity is strength.

“Just as the Berlin Conference set the rules for dividing up the continent in the 19thCentury; so also the Kuramo Conference intends to continue to set the rules for African innovation in the 21st Century. I  have no doubt that as this conference progresses it will become more and more apparent to you all, that Lagos is the perfect setting for an alternative platform like Kuramo to tackle the world’s problems from an African perspective”.

Nobel Laureate, Profesor Wole Soyinka who chaired the event said the Kuramo Conference is not just another talking conference like others before it, declaring that one of the attainments of the last Kuramo Conference is the Lagos Court of Arbitration which would be launched as part of the current conference.

Professor Soyinka said during his visit to countries in Europe, the Americas and China which are all undergoing economic difficulties, there are still evidences of solid base for human development in those countries.

He added that during his last visit to China, the Chinese also pointed out their bewilderment at the development that has taken place in the country in 10 years, adding that if it is possible in the Asian Continent it is also possible in the African Continent.

The Plenary Speaker, who is a Professor of Economics and Director for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University, Professor Paul Collier described Kuramo as a right idea in the right place.

He said for the national government in Nigeria the challenge is about managing oil wealth in the country, adding that in Nigeria today, the issue of oil revenue is extremely volatile adding that the country needs rules and regulations to guide it.

Professor Collier said Lagos is perfectly located to be Africa’s megacity and it could emerge as the megacity of Africa’s future, stating that harnessing the potential of Africa is what Kuramo is all about.

Another Plenary Speaker and international economist, Dr Dambisa Moyo said Nigeria is the only country in Africa where there is a glimpse of getting it right through the creation of a sustainable economy.

She said most leaders in Africa lack self respect because they prefer to willingly go around the globe seeking aids when they have a continent with limitless opportunities, adding that former leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere and Kenneth Kaunda all had self respect.

In an interactive session which was also part of the opening ceremony, Governor Fashola while responding to a question on lack of exchange programmes for Universities said the Lagos State University does have exchange programmes with Universities in Singapore and several other countries overseas.

He added that the State Government has also been promoting research as it recently launched the Lagos State Research and Development Council to develop and encourage research efforts in the state.

On suggestions that public officers should be compelled to send their children to public schools while they also attend public hospitals, the Governor said the Constitution guarantees a freedom of choice for every citizen adding that individuals cannot be compelled against their will.

He said the present administration has taken it upon itself to ensure that public schools compete favourably with private schools in terms of facilities in such a way that pupils who do not attend private schools would not have lost anything.

The event also witnessed the launch of the Lagos Court of Arbitration by former Chairman of the Bureau of Privatisation, Mr Akin Kekere- Ekun who said the support of the Lagos State Government for the LCA is comforting and essential.

Mr Kekere Ekun added that business is best driven when it is led by the private sector, adding that the Lagos Court of Arbitration would be a success.

Earlier, the President of the Lagos Court of Arbitration, Mr Babajide Ogundipe said the LCA is about the culmination of an African idea to serve the people better and help in settling disputes.

He said the choice of Lagos was informed by the fact that Lagos represents Nigeria in terms of being the commercial nerve centre and that several Alternative Dispute Resolution practitioners are based in Lagos.

In his goodwill message, one of the trustees of the Investment Climate in Africa, Mr Williams Kaleima said the organization decided to support the project Lagos Court of Arbitration Project because of the direct impact it has.

He noted that it would improve Africa’s image as an investment destination because businessmen would be clear in their minds that if a dispute arose in the course of any transaction it would be resolved.

The opening ceremony attracted members of the State Executive Council, former Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, Minority leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, Minister of Youth Development, Mallam Inuwa Abdulkadir, Mr Fola Adeola and several multi disciplinary experts, policy makers and leaders in the corporate world.