Tuesday, 26 March 2013

South West Governors Urged To Keep The Menace Of Religious Intolerance At Bay

The six governors of the states in the South-West geo-political zone of the country have been called upon to jointly intensify efforts to keep at bay the menace of religious intolerance and insecurity to ensure that Yorubaland remain safe for both residents and foreign friends who may be willing to invest in the part of the country. 

This was part of the communique issued at the end of the first annual Yoruba International Convention held in Dubai, United Arabs Emirate (UAE), a copy of which was made available to journalists in Ibadan by, Fehintola Azeez, the Media Aide to the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111. 

At the gathering organized by Yoruba Global Coalition, UK and hosted by Yoruba Forum, UAE Alaafin presided as the Patron. 

The communique noted that the convention featured presentation of development programmes by Yoruba intellectuals in the Diaspora and a group of foreign investors willing to invest in Yorubaland. 

While recalling that some foreign investors had indicated their desire to start an airline, the convention urged the six governors to collectively approach the Federal Government for an aviation license for the proposed airline named Oduduwa Airline.  

Calling for the initiation of Economic cooperation between Yorubaland and UAE in general and Dubai in particular, so as to take advantage of the robust informal trade between Nigeria and the region, the Convention advocated the opening of Oduduwa Trade Missions in all the major advanced countries.  

Such outlets, the Convention opined would enable the forging of economic cooperation between such countries and Yorubaland, adding, “the mission should be jointly promoted by all the six states of Yorubaland and supervised by the Central Association of Yorubas in such countries. 

Oba Adeyemi in his remark, while declaring the Convention open commended the organizers of the programme and maintained that the South-West is one of the safest zones in the country because we practice secularism and it is part of the reasons we have rapid growth and development.  

EFCC Arraigns Man for $40, 050 Cash Smuggling

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, March 25, 2013 arraigned one Mr Femi Esho before Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on a one count charge of illegally trying to transport the sum of forty thousand and fifty United States Dollars ($40,050) from Nigeria to Istanbul, Turkey. The accused was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport with excess $40,050.00 after declaring only $5,000 to security personnel.

Esho pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

 Justice Mohammed granted bail to the accused person in the sum of forty thousand US Dollars and one surety in like sum. The surety must be a civil servant with either the federal, state or local government.

The case has been adjourned for May 9, 2013 for trial.

NLC Threatens To Picket Aero Contractors

The Nigeria Labour Congress NLC has warned the management of  Aero Contractors not to provoke Nigeria into taken actions that would be detrimental to the corporate interest of the airline: 

The Labour Union in a statement issued in Abuja accused the airline of  dismissing over 655 employees of the company and locked out the entire workforce since 13th March 2013 without  recourse to extant labour law or dialogue with the National Union of Air Transport Employees and the Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria.

Statement signed by the Acting General Secretary of the NLC Comrade Emma Ugboaja noted that the  sack of the workers was unacceptable, threatening that the congress would  do everything possible to defend the rights of the affected workers.

It called on the management of the airline to recall all those dismissed and reopen their offices immediately or face a solidarity action with the sack workers by the largest labour centre in the country.

APC Raises Alarm Over Plot By INEC To Deny Its Registration As Political Party

The African People’s Congress APC has raised alarm over plot by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to deny it registration as a political party.

At a news conference in Abuja , the APC leadership led by Onyinye Ikeagwuonu uncovered a purported letter by INEC aimed at denying the African People’s Congress for registration as a political party.

Ikeagwuonu accused the merger group of plotting with INEC to rub APC of its deserved registration.

According to the embattled APC leadership, the reason given by INEC was the failure of the APC to disclosed the addresses of its leadership in line with section 222 (a) of the 1999 constitution, a claim which APC denied.

 The African People’s Congress therefore vowed to take legal action against INEC should it forward the purported letter to it.

The Senate Flags Off Public Hearing On A Bill Seeking To Make It Mandatory For Ministries, Departments And Government Agencies To Give Priority To Local Firms In The Procurement Process

The Nigerian Senate has flagged off a public hearing on a bill seeking to make it mandatory for ministries, departments and government agencies to give priority to local firms in the procurement process.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade and Investment, Senator Nenadi Usma said the bill when passed into law will protect local industries, boost employment for Nigerians.

Wole Soyinka - Boko Haram Members Have Limited Knowledge On Islam

Wole Soyinka

Noble laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka  said members of the Boko Haram sect rejected western education because they have limited knowledge of the Islamic religion. Soyinka said that some of the world great philosophers were Muslims.

Professor Wole Soyinka, who said this at the opening of a two day education summit put together by the Rivers State Ministry of Education in Port Harcourt.

He opined that the country’s educational sector needs desperate attention in order to regain its lost glory.

Governor Fashola Swears In Helen Deile As New Auditor General Of Lagos State

Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola

Helen Deile has been sworn-in as the new Auditor General of Lagos State. 

Also sworn-in at the Lagos House in Ikeja was the new permanent secretary for the Ministry of Environment.

Governor Babatunde Fashola charged the new officials to discharge their duties without fear or favour.He said their appointments were based on merit.

In her response, Deile assured that they would put in their best in the service of the state.

Sustained International Engagement Required To End Mali Crisis – ECOWAS Chief Of Defence Staff Chairman

The Chairman of ECOWAS Committee of Chief of Defence Staff (CCDS), General Soumaila Babayoko has called for intensified and sustained international support to rid Mali of the dangerous scourge of terrorism and criminality, threatening not only the country but the region and the rest of the world.

Speaking at the opening of an extraordinary meeting of the CCDS in Yamoussoukro, the Ivorian administrative capital on Monday 25th March 2013, called to discuss the transformation of the African-led International Mission in Mali (AFISMA) into a UN Peace Operation, he noted that while a measure of progress had been recorded through the intervention of France and Chad complemented by the regional forces, there is still a long way to go to prevent the destabilization of the region.

Gen. Bakoyoko, Cote d’Ivoire’s chief of defence staff, said the momentum generated by the international mobilization that resulted in last December’s UN Security Council Resolution 2085, behind regional efforts for military intervention in Mali should be sustained for the rehatting of AFISMA into a UN operation coupled with accelerated deployment to checkmate the terrorist insurgents in northern Mali.

In her remarks, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, said the Yamoussoukro meeting would consider the outcome of the 11-12 March 2013 meeting in Bamako between a UN team and AFISMA Headquarters on the standard of operations and logistics support under a UN deployment for the envisaged transformation of AFISMA under a revised Concept of Operations (CONOPS).

On behalf of the ECOWAS Commission, the Commissioner, represented by the Chief of Staff of ECOWAS Standby Force, Gen. Hassan Lai, commended France, the US, EU, the African Union and the UN for their understanding and continued support towards the resolution of the security situation in Mali.

While declaring the meeting open, Cote d’Ivoire’s Defence Minister Gen. Paul Kofi Kofi, said the Yamoussoukro CCDS extraordinary meeting marked a turning point in efforts at resolving the Mali crisis.

Thanking the partners and collaborators including the troop contributing countries and the troops on the field, the Minister noted that the job to save Mali from the terrorists and other criminals operating under the guise of religion is far from completed.

The two-day meeting, being attended among others, by the Military Adviser to the UN on peace keeping Gen. Abdou Lat Gueye, Commander of the French SERVAL operation in Mali, Gen. Gregoire De Saint Quentin, the Chadian Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Brahim Sehid Mahamat and the ECOWAS Special Representative in Mali Aboudou Chaka Toure, will make recommendations to ECOWAS authorities towards the realization of the AFISMA transformation into a UN field operation.

Also in attendance are commanders of AFISMA and the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau.

Friday, 22 March 2013

IGP Orders Arrest And Prosecution Of Vehicles Owners With Tinted Glasses

In a move to check terror related activities in the country, the Inspector General of Police has directed the 36 state police commands to enforce the ban placed on the use of tinted glasses and unlicensed vehicles on the nation’s highways.

To this end, the police boss also orders the Zonal Assistant Inspector General and state commissioners of police to commence arrest and prosecute vehicles owners flouting the ban on the use of tinted glasses and unregistered vehicles.

This was contained in a statement issued in Abuja and signed by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba.

The IGP said the arrest and prosecution of defaulters would commence forthwith following the alleged use of the tinted and unregistered vehicles to commit act of terrorism and related crimes in the country.

The order of the Inspector General is coming few days after the bomb attack on commercial buses in Kano killing about 30 people by unidentified men suspected to be members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram.

The Force Headquarters in the statement warned that it would no longer tolerate the habit of Nigerians including politicians, military and security personnel who wantonly abuse the use of tinted glasses and unlicensed vehicles, thereby complicating the challenge of effectively policing the country and endangering the lives and property of law abiding citizens.

The Nigeria Labour congress has called on the federal government to urgently explore all legitimate avenues to bring to an end the culture a militancy and terrorist activities  in some states of the federation.

The Labour Union urged the government to re-equip the nation’s intelligence and security forces to allow for proactive measures against the new security challenges.

The NLC in a statement urged Nigerians not to be intimidated following the recent bomb attack on a motor park in Kano, saying that it was coward and shameful attack and not incapable of advancing any cause except evil.

Statement signed by the Acting President of the NLC, Promise Adewusi called on every law-abiding citizen of the country to be vigilant and forge a sense of community with their neighbours in order to overcome this temporary challenge.

Prophet Obadare Is Dead, Ondo CAN, Mimiko Mourn

Prophet Timothy Obadare

The renowned clergyman, Prophet Timothy Obadare is dead, This was confirmed by the one of the sons of the deceased, Mr Joseph Obadare.  

According to Joseph, late Prophet died in the early hour of yesterday at his house in Adinlewa street, Akure, the Ondo state capital. 

According to him, the founder of World Soul Evangelical Ministry, (WOSEM) had been on sick bed for sometimes before he passed on Thursday 

He however refused  to talk about the burial arrangement saying his eldest son would discuss the burial arrangement.  

Sopeaking with Daily Newswatch at the residence of the deceased, Joseph said " I am not in position to talk about the but the fact is that baba has passed on to glory, so  the burial arrangement will be announced later" 

Meanwhile, in his reaction,  the State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko  said that the death of Pastor  Obadare, is an example of the marching on of a saint.

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Eni Akinsola,  Obadare's life, ministry and influence can be likened to those of saints, rare and uncommon.

"In his way of life, concern for the lost soul and uplifting of the name of God, Obadare stands tall among the prophets of his generation and broke barriers that health attempted to place on his way. He was consistent and controlled, aggressive yet unobstructive and had no pretensions about his faith and God, "  

"Prophet Obadare made the life of the poor and the down trodden his and helped many re-discover their connections to God His strident cries against sin and warnings to those departing from what is right and just will be sorely missed," Mimiko said.

Similarly the state Chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) prophet Obadare would be missed for his the roles played in the association when he was alive.  

Speaking with Newswatch, the Deputy President of CAN in the state, Rev Nelson Fadoju said " we will surely miss him, Ondo state chapter of CAN has lost an important member of our association 

President Jonathan Appoints New Head Of Civil Service Of The Federation

New Head Of Service Bukar Goni Aji

President Jonathan Appoints New Head Of Civil Service Of The Federation 
True to his promise, President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday appointed  Bukar Goni Aji, as the new Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to replace Isa Bello Sali who will attain the mandatory retirement age of 60 on Saturday, March 23

A statement from the Office of Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity indicates that Alhaji  Goni was until his new appointment, the Permanent Secretary, Common Services Office, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation
Alhaji Goni hails from Yobe State and was born on January 13, 1959 and attended Government College, Maiduguri, Borno College of Basic Studies, Maiduguri and graduated from the University of Maiduguri in 1984.

A career civil servant, Alhaji Goni was appointed Director, Planning, Research and Statistics at the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs in 1995 and moved to the Ministry of Defence in the year 2000 as Director of Personnel  Management.

He headed various departments in the Ministry of Defence until his posting to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in 2008 as Director, International Organizations.

 He was appointed Permanent Secretary in 2009 and posted to the Ministry of Defence and later served as Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Police Affairs from August, 2009 – August, 2010 and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works from September, 2011 – November, 2012.

Breaking News: Chinua Achebe Is Dead

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) with the acclaimed novelist and Professor of Africana Studies at the Brown University , Providence, Chinua Achebe  and one of his sons, Dr. Chidi Achebe shortly before the Governor delivered his Keynote address on the sub-theme,’ West Africa: Regime Change, Ethno-Religious Insurgency and Statecraft in the 21stCentury at the Achebe Colloquium on Africa 2012 with the theme, ‘Governance, Security and Peace in Africa‘, held at the Martinos Auditorium, Granof Center , Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island , United States 

Nigeria’s literary icon and publisher of several novels, Chinua Achebe, is dead.
Mr. Achebe, 82, died in the United States where he was said to have suffered from an undisclosed ailment.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt he died last night in a hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

A source close to the family said the professor had been ill for a while and was hospitalised in an undisclosed hospital in Boston.

The source declined to provide further details, saying the family would issue a statement on the development later today.

Contacted, spokesperson for Brown University, where Mr. Achebe worked until he took ill, Darlene Trewcrist, is yet to respond to our enquiries on the professor’s condition.

Until his death, the renowned author of Things Fall Apart was the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies at Brown.
The University described him as “known the world over for having played a seminal role in the founding and development of African literature.”

“Achebe’s global significance lies not only in his talent and recognition as a writer, but also as a critical thinker and essayist who has written extensively on questions of the role of culture in Africa and the social and political significance of aesthetics and analysis of the postcolonial state in Africa,” Brown University writes of the literary icon.

Mr. Achebe was the author of Things Fall Apart, published in 1958, and considered the most widely read book in modern African Literature. The book sold over 12 million copies and has been translated to over 50 languages worldwide.
Many of his other novels, including Arrow of God, No Longer at Ease, Anthills of the Savannah, and A man of the People, were equally influential as well.

Prof Achebe was born in Ogidi, Anambra State, on November 16, 1930 and attended St Philips’ Central School at the age of six. He moved away from his family to Nekede, four kilometres from Owerri, the capital of Imo State, at the age of 12 and registered at the Central School there.

He attended Government College Umuahia for his secondary school education. He was a pioneer student of the University College, now University of Ibadan in 1948. He was first admitted to study medicine but changed to English, history and theology after his first year.

While studying at Ibadan, Mr. Achebe began to become critical of European literature about Africa.  He eventually wrote his final papers in the University in 1953 and emerged with a second-class degree.
Prof Achebe taught for a while after graduation before joining the Nigeria Broadcasting Service in 1954 in Lagos.

While in Lagos with the Broadcast ing Service, Mr. Achebe met Christie Okoli, who later became his wife; they got married in 1961. The couple had four children.
He also played a major role during the Nigeria Civil War where he joined the Biafran Government as an ambassador.

His latest book, There Was a Country, was an autobiography on his experiences and views of the civil war. The book was probably the most criticised of his writings especially by Nigerians, with many arguing that the professor did not write a balanced account and wrote more as a Biafran than as a Nigerian.

Mr. Achebe was a consistent critic of various military dictators that ruled Nigeria and was a loud voice in denouncing the failure of governance in the country.
Twice, he rejected offers by the Nigerian government to grant him a national honour, citing the deplorable political situations in the country, particularly in his home state of Anambra, as reason.

Culled From:

Monday, 18 March 2013

Amaechi To Tukur: I Remain Loyal, Committed To PDP

Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum(NGF), Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has assured the National Working Committee of his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that he and his administration remain loyal and committed to the party and will continue to deliver accountable, transparent, developmental and people-oriented leadership to the people of Rivers State.

Amaechi spoke on Sunday when he played host to the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur who led the National working committee members on a courtesy visit to the governor in Port Harcourt. Amaechi also urged the National working committee of the PDP to fashion out workable modalities to rebuild and reconcile lingering differences in the party.

“We will remain in PDP... We support the issue of reconciliation, reconstruction and rebuilding of the party”.

“We are in PDP, I have told my cabinet members that if we want to win election, we must work in such a way that the people are happy with us, currently we are popular in Rivers State, we have to maintain our popularity while in office and thereafter, and the only way to maintain that popularity is to continue to do what we are doing now, putting the people first."

Earlier, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur expressed satisfaction with the level of people oriented projects put in place by the Amaechi administration in the state and that it's in line with the Party manifesto.
“You are executing socially, a responsible development, and this has made me to be very happy and proud that our party is working, so what we can see today is a testimony of a responsible programme to the people of the state. I assure you that, PDP will continue to cherish and appreciate this kind of support. Thank you(Amaechi) for your leadership, thank you for executing the provisions of the manifesto of our party”, Tukur said.

NEMA Issues Early Disaster Warning Message; Calls For Establishment Of More State Emergency Management Agencies.

The National Emergency Management Agency NEMA says it has developed an early warning message which it hopes will serve as guide to all stakeholders in disaster management.

This is coming on the heels of the 2013 seasonal rainfall prediction of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency NIMET.

Speaking at the document presentation by a technical committee, director general of NEMA, Mohammed Sani Sidi decried the failure of some state governments in setting up emergency management agencies at a time the impact of climate change is visible in Nigeria.

NLC Calls On President Jonathan To Withdraw State Pardon Granted To Alamieyeseigha

NLC President Abdulwahed Omar
As the State Pardon granted to the former Bayelsa State Governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha continue to generate reactions, the Nigeria Labour Congress NLC has called on President Jonathan to immediately withdraw the pardon

The Labour Union in a statement said it was alarmed by the decision of the National Council of States to pardon Diepreye Alamieyeseigha who was impeached as Governor of Bayelsa State and eventually convicted by a properly constituted court for stealing public funds and Shetima Bulama, a former Managing Director of the Bank of the North who was also convicted for misappropriating the bank’s funds.

The NLC said is totally unacceptable that those who committed economic crimes in such magnitude that affected public interest be granted state pardon, lamenting that the National Council of state is sending a wrong message to Nigerians corruption can be rewarded in the country.

Statement signed by the NLC President, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar said if the anti corruption battle must be won, the Presidency must lead by its actions.

President Jonathan Receives President Michel Sleiman Of Lebanon Lebanese Hostages In Northern Nigeria Top Agenda

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has admitted that some of the 8 foreign Nationals being held hostage by terrorists in Northern Nigeria may be dead due to ill health and other complications. 

The President spoke on Monday as he received Lebanese President Michel Sleiman who is on a 2 day working visit to Nigeria

President Jonathan however expressed confidence that based on security reports most of the hostages are still alive and will be rescued soon.

Nigeria has over the past 2 days played host to Foreign representations from countries whose National are being held as hostages.

On Saturday French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was in Abuja with a message from President Francois Hollande while on Monday he received at State house President Michel Sleiman of Lebanon.

Of course the issue of the hostages would top the agenda in these discussions and though he is placed in a difficult position, President Jonathan continues to give assurances that his government is doing everything within its resources to secure their release.

Beyond the hostage situation, Nigeria and Lebanon have agreed to deepen their bilateral ties along 5 broad categories: works and infrastructure development, trade and investment, culture and tourism Security and Aviation.

The Lebanese President acknowledged and appreciated the efforts of the Nigerian government in trying to resolve the hostage situation.

But he was called upon by members of his delegation that Lebanon was secure and stable and determined to go ahead with elections slated for later this month.

President Sleiman was also quick to assure would be Nigerian investors that their investments would be secure in Lebanon.

This is the first visit of a Lebanese President to Nigeria since independence in 1960.

FCT Minister Attributes Voter's Apathy To Insecurity

Bala Muhammed

Fews hours after the release of the just concluded local council polls in the capital territory,  the FCT Minister Senator Bala Mohammed has blamed the apathy association with the election on general fear of insecurity in the country.

The Minister who said the low voters turn is a huge challenge that must checked  during future polls however commended  the entire residents of FCT, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agents for  the peaceful  conduct of the local Council elections.

Reviewing the election a day after while speaking with newsmen
on Sunday,  the Minister hailed the orderly conduct of the voters, polling officials, the traditional rulers, religious leaders and civil society organizations
Senator Mohammed enjoined the FCT electorate to keep on with the same high spirit during future elections and to always turn out in larger numbers to exercise their civic right.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Press Release:President Jonathan Mourns Late President Chavez Of Venezuela

Hugo Chavez

On behalf of himself, the  Federal Government and the people of Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan extends sincere commiserations to the government and people of Venezuela on the death yesterday of President Hugo Chavez.

President Jonathan and Nigerians join the brotherly people of Venezuela in mourning President Chavez who greatly endeared himself to the ordinary people of his country with his admirable efforts to improve the living conditions of underprivileged Venezuelans.

As they observe the seven-day period of mourning which has been declared for late President Chavez, President Jonathan urges members of his family, officials of his Administration, members of his political party – the United Socialist Party, his supporters and all Venezuelans to take solace in the knowledge that he did the very best that he could to uplift his people and country in the 14 years of his Presidency.

The President also calls on Venezuela’s political leaders, institutions of governance and security agencies to ensure that the procedures stipulated in the Venezuelan Constitution are strictly followed to ensure the peaceful and orderly emergence of a worthy successor to President Chavez.

He prays that God Almighty will receive President Chavez’s soul and grant him eternal rest.

Revoke Oil Block Licenses - Ita Enang

Ita Enang

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to revoke licences of the existing oil bloc  and ensure equitable distribution of oil bloc licence in the country.

Enang made the call while reacting to the Northern Senators' stand that the oil producing areas receive too much money from the Federation Accounts.

He said the oil blocs should be revoked and re-awarded to ensure that the federal character principle was applied in distribution of oil blocs, marginal fields and prospecting licences.

Enang, who spoke with Senate Correspondents after the plenary, alleged that most of the owners of the oil blocs were richer than their geo-political zone adding that most of the owners of oil blocs are from the North East of the country.

He accused most of the wealthy operators in the oil sector as being responsible for the theft of oil and illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

FCT Administration Shares Over N2billion Amongst Its Six Area Councils

FCT Minister Bala Mohammed

The six Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory have received and shared N2.099 being share of revenue allocation from the Federation Account for the month of January 2013.

The FCT Area Councils Joint Account Allocation Committee allocated N198.28 million to Bwari Area Council, N190.38 million to Gwagwalada Area Council, N167.92 million to Kuje Area Council, N157.94 million to Abaji Area Council, and N155.29 million to Kwali Area Council. 

This was disclosed yesterday at the FCT Area Councils Joint Account Allocation Committee meeting by the Secretary of Area Council Services Secretariat (ACSS), Yahaya Alhassan Gwagwa, who represented the Chairperson of the Committee, Minister of State for FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide.

He stated that the five per cent Value Added Tax accounted for N1.007 billion, representing 48 per cent of the total revenue allocation for the six area councils

Of the N2.009 billion available for distribution, Gwagwa explained that the JAAC transferred N869.43 million to the FCT Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) for payment of the primary school teachers’ salaries in the area councils; N95.04 million to FCT Area Councils Pension Board (ACPB) being 15 per cent pension fund as statutorily required, and N20.99 million to FCT Area Councils Service Commission.

Senate Commences Debate On Petroleum Industry Bill

The Senate commence debate on the general principles of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

Leading debate on the Bill, the Senate Leader Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba said the bill when passed into law; it will significantly increase domestic gas supplies especially for power and industry.

A cross section of Senators who contributed to the debate opposed to the host community development fund proposed in the bill as well as wide powers given to petroleum minister in the bill.

EFCC Raises Alarm over Spoofing, Arraigns Two Fraudsters for Hacking Aturu’s E-mail Account

The Suspects
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has raised alarm over the rising incidences of e-mail spoofing and account takeover by suspected fraudsters. The trend which targets influential personalities in government, the professions and the private sector has assumed a frightening dimension in recent time with not a few people losing their e-mails to the fraudsters who deploy the accounts to various nefarious ends; including soliciting funds from friends and acquaintances of the owners of the accounts.

The Commission observed that Yahoo account owners are the most vulnerable to this scam which has brought much agony to the victims. So far, effort to engage Yahoo to rein in on the perpetrators of this heinous crime has not been fruitful. Yet their activities continue to pose grave threats to the image and integrity of the nation. In view of this, the possibility of a class action suit against Yahoo by victims who have suffered severe emotional and financial losses arising from the actions of the hackers may not be ruled out.

Nevertheless, local banks that have cooperated with the Commission in the investigation of cases of spoofing deserve commendation for their diligence and sense of responsibility.

Meanwhile two suspects, Onuabuike Chukuebuka and Izuchukwu Emewulu, who allegedly hacked into the e-mail account of constitutional lawyer, Bamidele Aturu were today, March 5, 2013 arraigned before Justice Olasumbo Olarenwaju Goodluck of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Zuba, Abuja on a five count charge bordering on intent to defraud and obtain money by false pretence.
One of the charge reads, “that you Onuabuike Chukwuebuka and Izuchukwu 

Emewulu and another at large, on or about the 11th day of January, 2013, at Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did conspire among yourselves to obtain money by false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 8 (a) and punishable under section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006”.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to them. EFCC Counsel Samuel A. Ugwuegbulam then asked the court to fix a date for trial and remand the accused persons in prison custody.