Esther Benyeogo Emerges Winner Of The Voice Nigeria 2021

Esther Benyeogo has emerged the winner of season 3 of The Voice Nigeria 2021, an International talent show.

This was announced at the Grand Finale, which aired live on African Magic and other platforms, on Saturday, monitored by CAMPUS GIST.

CAMPUS GIST reports that, Esther is a 2019 graduate of the University of Benin, where she bagged a Bachelor’s degree from Department of English and Literature.

She battled against three other top finalists, coming out victorious and grabbing the N10 million cash, a car, and a record deal with Universal Music Nigeria.

The six talents who battled for the coveted prize are Naomi Mac, Esther, Dapo, Kitah, Kpee and Eazzie who scaled through to the final stage out of the 25 talents who started the contest.

The coaches in the musical contest include popular artistes: Falz, Yemi Alade, Waje and Dare.

The top three for the show was Esther and Kpee in Team Dare and Eazzie in Team Waje.

However, Esther sang her way to the top and with support from fans through massive votings, she emerged victorious.

The show, which started three months ago, saw electrifying musical performances from the contestants, and a blend of rigorous musical training and pure entertainment.

Speaking on her win, Esther said: “I am grateful to The Voice Nigeria and my fans out there for this amazing experience. It has been my utmost joy to come on your screens every week and share my gift on such a huge platform. This win is even more special for me because it is one thing to know you have a gift, but it means everything to be recognized for that gift. I must however give thanks to God without whom I would not be here today and also appreciate my family and friends for their love, support, and prayers. Of course, I am thankful to my Coach, Coach Darey, for making my time here truly rewarding, and for equipping me with the skills to give this my best shot.”

Coach Darey, who guided Esther tirelessly through the entire competition, praised her saying, “Esther has consistently shown throughout the season that she is indeed phenomenal. Her passion, dedication and commitment to improvement were clear signs that she had her eye on the prize and I cannot be more pleased by the outcome. Certainly, all the talents this season devoted themselves to every one of their performances, but evidently, Esther stood out and I am so proud to have been her coach. It is my great pleasure to congratulate Esther on this big win! Now, it is time for us to celebrate.”

The Voice Nigeria Season 3 with all its excitement was produced for the first time in Nigeria by Livespot360 and UN1TY Limited. This season, Coach Waje and Coach Yemi Alade, alongside new Coaches — Darey and Falz, went on the hunt for the next champion of the show among 13,000 applicants. The viewers and fans of the show made their final decision at the grand finale, voting Esther Benyeogo Season 3 winners.

The Voice Nigeria Season 3 was proudly sponsored by First Bank, Baba Ijebu, Airtel Nigeria, and snack sponsor Minimie.

Source:- Campusgist

Kukah: Stop Intimidating Nigerians, Ortom Tells Presidency

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Saturday called on the Federal Government to stop intimidating patriotic Nigerians who raise concern over insecurity in the country.

Ortom described as unfortunate the response of the Presidency to the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah’s address to the United States Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding the wave of insecurity in the country.

Kukah had in a virtual address before the American lawmakers faulted the handling of the security situation in Nigeria by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

The cleric also accused Buhari of nepotism in key appointments, saying his regime favoured Muslims over Christians.
The governor, in a statement titled, ‘I stand with Bishop Kukah,’ issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, said as a patriotic Nigerian, he would have said similar things if he were to address the same audience.

The governor reminded the Presidency that Nigeria today was practising democracy which had no room for repression and dictatorship.

He explained that the country’s Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech to all citizens, “unlike a military regime which suppresses the right of the people to voice their opinions on challenges facing their country.
Ortom said Kukah was right when he stated that nepotism had been elevated above federal character by the present administration.

The statement read in part, “He (Ortom) expects the Presidency to rather be worried that Nigeria is ranked as the most terrorised nation in Africa with an average of over 2,000 deaths per year on account of terrorism. He emphasises that the combative approach the Presidency has adopted in engaging citizens on issues will not solve the problems confronting the country.”
The governor said Bishop Kukah was not the first Nigerian to address a foreign audience on the security situation in the country, recalling that in February 2015, Buhari, was at the time the candidate of All Progressives Congress when he delivered a speech at Chatham House in London, where he said, “Boko Haram has sadly put Nigeria on the terrorism map, killing more than 13,000 of our nationals.”

The statement added, “The President went on to announce to the world on that occasion that apart from the Civil War era, Nigeria had never been more insecure in the country’s history.”

Source:- Punch Ng

Police Arrest Couple Over Alleged Self-Kidnapping In Niger

The police command in Niger has arrested a man, Mohammed Mohammed, and his wife, Sadiya, for alleged conspiracy and self-kidnapping.

The command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Wasiu Abiodun, disclosed this in a statement in Minna on Friday.

He said that the couple who are residents of Chanchaga Local Government Area of the state was arrested on July 22, in the Limawa area of the Minna metropolis.

Abiodun said that Sadiya was reported to have been kidnapped on July 15, on Old Airport Road in Minna after closing from work.

“Her father was contacted by an unknown caller who demanded five million Naira, finally the sum of one million Naira was given for her release,” he said.

The PPRO said that Sadiya was invited by the police for questioning after she returned home on July 21.

“During interrogation, she confessed to having conspired with her husband, Mohammed to fake her kidnap and that she was taken to Nugupi village.

“The husband also confessed to have given his mobile phone to a friend named, Abdullahi, who negotiated
and collected the ransom,” he said.

Abiodun said that the suspects would be arraigned in court as soon as the investigation was concluded.


Magistrates, IG Have No Powers To Freeze Bank Accounts, Court Rules

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ruled that magistrate courts do not have the powers to issue orders freezing bank accounts.

Delivering judgment in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1635/2019, Justice Inyang Ekwo also declared that banks should not act on “bankers order” served on them by the police to freeze or place a post-no-debit on personal accounts.

Five children of one late Edward Akponovwe Esiso had taken their brother, Yoma Esiso, four banks, the Inspector-General of Police (IG) and the Commissioner of Police in charge of the IG Monitoring Unit to court for freezing their bank accounts in 2019.

The plaintiffs — Eunice Oddiri, Beauty Ogbodu, Sunny Esiso, Edirin Esiso, and Emuobosa Consin — said in September 2019, one of the landed properties of their late father situated in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was sold and the proceeds shared among them, including Yoma.

According to them, they were later arrested and detained after Yoma petitioned the police.

Upon their release, the plaintiffs said they realised that their accounts were frozen following authorisation by the office of the IG and the Commissioner of the Police in charge of the IG monitoring unit.

The banks in their defence said the letters from the IG office were accompanied with a document called a “bankers order” from a magistrate court, ordering the freezing of the accounts.

The banks are Zenith Bank Plc, Stanbic IBTC Bank, GuarantyTrust Bank and First Bank Plc.

Only GTBank filed processes in response to the suit.

In the judgment, Ekwo held that there was no existing Nigerian law or relevant foreign law empowering magistrates to make such an order for the freezing of personal accounts.

“The bankers’ order/order freezing and/or enabling the post-no-debit cannot be validly issued pursuant to a non-existent/repealed Bankers Order Act 1847 and any other irrelevant foreign law,” he ruled.

“A magistrate lacks the powers to make bankers orders and/or order freezing or enabling a post no debit on bank accounts pursuant to non-existent/repealed section 7 of the Banker’s Order Act 1847.”

Consequently, the judge ordered the four banks “to unfreeze the accounts of the plaintiffs and desist from further giving effect to the non-existent bankers order served on the prompting of the 5th and 6th defendants (IG and the IG monitoring unit)”.

Source:- Thisdaylive

Lagos LGA Elections: RRS Commander, Egbeyemi Addresses Agege Youths

Lagos LGA Elections: RRS Commander, Egbeyemi Addresses Agege Youths

The Lagos Rapid Response Squad Commander, CSP Yinka Egbeyemi earlier today addressing street boys Agege as part Local Govt elections monitoring across the State.

COVID-19 Update For July 24 2021 In Nigeria

272 New COVID-19 Cases, 8 Discharged And 1 Death On July 24

272 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria;


170,895 confirmed
164,788 discharged
2,132 deaths

Today’s report includes:

✅Three states with zero cases reported: Kaduna, Kano, and Sokoto

A breakdown of cases by state can be found via

BBNaija 2021:- I Was Almost In The BBNaija Lockdown House, But 45 Minutes To The Show I Was Walking Back To My Hotel Room – Jaypaul (Video)

BBNaija 2021:- I Was Almost In The BBNaija Lockdown House, But 45 Minutes To The Show I Was Walking Back To My Hotel Room – Jaypaul (Video)

JAYPAUL Reveals he was almost in Bbnaija Lockdown. But 45 minutes to the show, he was walking back to his hotel room.

Watch video below…

BBNaija 2021:- Saga Says He Was A Disappointment To His Dad, Because He Graduated With Second Class Lower (Video)

BBNaija 2021:- Saga Says He Was A Disappointment To His Dad, Because He Graduated With Second Class Lower (Video)

The BBNaija housemate Saga spoke on how disappointed and depressed his dad was finding out he graduated with second class lower result, he also added that he almost threw his result at him as nothing could come out of it…

Watch video below…

BBNaija 2021:- My Students Are Crushing On Me, One Cried Whilst Proposing To Me- BBNaija 2021 Housemate, Yousef

BBNaija 2021:- My Students Are Crushing On Me, One Cried Whilst Proposing To Me- BBNaija 2021 Housemate, Yousef

2021 Big Brother Naija housemate, Yousef has shared his experience with female students who he teaches in a school.

Yousef who was the third housemate unveiled at the opening ceremony of Big Brother Naija season 6 is a Basic Technology teacher for a junior secondary school students in the high school.

After he walked up on stage to join the host of the show, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, told him that some of his female students are crushing on him and he recounted how a girl walked up to him and broke down in tears as she confessed how much she loves him.

According to him, he told her he can’t be her girlfriend and assured her of getting the man who will love her as he emphasized that he is not a pedophile.

He said

“She opened up to me that she was crushing on me with tears in her eyes. I had to encourage her that she will find the right one for her when she grows up”.

“My students are crushing on me but I can’t do anything with them because they are juniors and I am not a pedophile” Yousef told Ebuka

Yousef hails from Jos, Nigeria, and according to him, he’s bi-racial.

BBNaija 2021:- I Was Married In 2017 And It Crashed The Same Year — Housemate, Boma Reveals

BBNaija 2021:- I Was Married In 2017 And It Crashed The Same Year — Housemate, Boma Reveals

This year’s edition of Big Brother Naija promises to be action packed and entertaining as the new season has kicked start today, with the unveiling of male housemates.

Boma, the first housemate who was unveiled at the opening ceremony on Saturday, July 24, shared some of his life’s experience with his fellow male housemates.

He revealed that he got married in 2017 and in that same year his marriage crashed and the year was a turning point for him. Boma said that it was after everything had happened to him he decided to sit and think about his future and the next step he should take.

Igboho Didn’t Want To Flee Nigeria – Monarch

Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, fled Nigeria to Benin Republic to avoid being killed, a monarch close to the Yoruba rights activist told The PUNCH.

The monarch said Igboho was “forced” to leave the country, noting that the agitator was ready to continue the fight against killer herdsmen.

According to the monarch, there was a division among Igboho associates before he left the country.

While some said he should stay back to fight, others, especially his kinsmen, aligned with the thought that he should leave the country.

The respected monarch said Igboho did not leave the country immediately the Department of States Services raid his home as insinuated.

He said, “He didn’t want to leave for Benin Republic. He preferred to face the battle in Nigeria but we felt the manner DSS raided his house and killed people was dangerous for him. We actually forced him to flee because of his safety. They went as if they were directed to either kill him or bring him alive.”

When asked if asking Igboho to flee would not affect the self-determination agitation, he said, “Yes, we want Yoruba Nation, but not at the expense of anyone’s life. There would not have even been an agitation if the government lived up to their responsibilities.”

On the choice of Benin Republic, he said, “We have Yoruba-speaking people there. We have monarchs who still have ancestral traces to Nigeria. The Ooni and Alaafin still have a strong influence on some of their monarchs and we are of the belief that it was the best option. The monarchs gave him all the support he needed and we appreciate that.”

When asked how Igboho crossed Nigeria border to Benin Republic, he said, “Eledumare (God) did it.”

Igboho is currently facing charges on immigration offences in Benin Republic after he was arrested on Monday, alongside his wife, Ropo. However, his wife has been released.

Following the bloody raid on Igboho’s Sooka residence, the Department of State Services also arrested and detained 13 of Igboho’s associates, adding that during a “gun duel,” it had killed two of Igboho’s supporters later identified as Adogan and Alfa.

DSS had presented seven AK-47 rifles allegedly recovered during the raid on Igboho’s house on July 1, as well as three pump-action guns, 30 fully charged AK-47 magazines, 5,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, five cutlasses, one jack-knife, one pen knife, two pistol holsters, a pair of binoculars, a wallet containing $5, local and international driving licences in his name, ATM cards, a German residence permit No. YO2N6K1NY bearing his name, two whistles, 50 cartridges and 18 walkie-talkies.

Others were three charm jackets/traditional body armour, two laptops, one Toshiba and one Compaq laptop, Igboho’s passport and those of his aides.

Source:- Punch Ng

Serious Tragedy As Fisherman And Labourer Drown In Ondo

In what will come across as a really horrific development, two persons have been confirmed dead in Ondo town, headquarters of Ondo West Local Government after drowning in a river in the town.

The two victims identified as God’sTime James, 34 and Boluwaji Akinade, 35, drowned at Arigba river behind Saint Andrews Grammar School, along Sir Olabanji Akingbule road, Arigbabola street, Ondo.

The incident was coming barely a week after two motorcyclists were swept away by flood at Oka area of the town after heavy downpour.

Following the incident, people in the area trooped to the scene of the incident as they were in a pensive mood over the development.

According to sources, one of the victims had gone to the river to fish while the other was at the river to pack sand when they both met their waterloo.

With their lifeless bodies recovered by local divers, James who hailed from Isoko, Delta State was said to have fallen into the river when he was fishing while Akinade, who was packing sand tried to rescue him but were not lucky as both drowned in the process.

Speaking on the development, an eyewitness, Mrs. Christianah Olugbenga, said when the incident happened, the victims screamed for help but it was too late before arrival of the local divers.

Lamenting over the development, a Chief in the area who craved anonymity, disclosed that water-related incidents in the community are becoming a huge concern, as he stated that the incident might have spiritual implications.

“About a week ago, an incident like this happened and claimed lives. Today, it happened here and there was no flooding in this area this time around. I think it is high time community leaders stood up and did the needful to stop these tragic incidents from continuing.”

On his part, the chairman, Ondo West Local Government, Mr. Ebenezer Akinsulire who visited the scene of the incident assured that steps would be taken to forestall such incident from happening in future.

Why BBNaija Is Dropping SMS voting – Busola Tejumola Reveals New Features Of The Reality Show

In this interview, Busola Tejumola, the Executive Head of Content and West Africa Channels at MultiChoice Nigeria, speaks with TOFARATI IGE on the new features in the 2021 edition of Big Brother Nigeria.

Voting by text message is believed to be one of the major ways through which Big Brother Naija makes money. Why was that scrapped for this edition of the show?

At the end of the day, what we focus on is providing the best content for Africans by Africans. We would like to stay true to that and that is why everything we do revolve around that. We tried online voting for years, and last year, viewers were able to vote on the GOTV and DSTV apps, and they were able to vote multiple times. This year, we decided to change the format of voting so that every subscriber can vote for free on our apps. This year, we would be dropping the SMS voting and allow people focus on the content we are providing.

Some people have complained about the ‘toxic’ behaviours of some of the former housemates on the show. What steps are there to ensure the space is relatively ‘clean’ this year?

I would like to remind everyone that the show is not scripted. Because of that, we really cannot anticipate behaviours. However, there are guidelines that the housemates follow in the house. It is a global format. But, I think we should focus on what the show is for. Aside from creating and providing entertainment to our viewers, we are creating a platform for the housemates. It is a big platform for them to showcase their talents and all they can do. Former housemates are doing well, and it’s not just about the winners. There are quite a number of former housemates who did not win but have gone on to be really ‘big’ and relevant in the industry. The show is practically a reflection of who we (Nigerians) are. We live in a country where there are different tribes and different cultures. If you put people from different cultures across the country in one space, it is expected that there would be some disagreements. Over and above that, we do know that everyone makes up for it and they are all good.

Some people say MultiChoice Nigeria should sponsor more educational shows and not BBN. What’s your reaction to that?

We do have a wide array of about 200 channels on our platform that provide a mix of entertainment, information and education. So, we do provide educational content. We provide something for everyone across the different genres that are available around the world.

Back to Big Brother, the show provides information, entertainment and education. The tasks in the house are purposefully created and developed to educate some of our viewers on different topical issues.

What plans are emplaced to keep the housemates safe from COVID-19?

Big Brother Naija is one of the few reality shows that were able to run amidst the pandemic. We had the Lockdown edition last year and we did not record any cases of COVID-19.

We have put some measures in place and we are working hand in hand with the Lagos State Safety Commission, to make sure we are following protocols that have been set. All the intending housemates have been tested multiple times and they are currently in their own ‘bubble’. Also, we are limiting outside interactions. So, there wouldn’t be any guest artiste, ‘ninjas’ or other external side attractions. We will keep the show closed, just like we did last year.

What other new features are available in this edition of the show?

There are new currencies. There is also a new show on Showmax called ‘The Buzz’ and we hope that viewers would remain engaged for the duration of the show.

Source: The PUNCH

The Day Soldiers Raped Our Women, Used Bombs To Level Odi – Activist, Patrick Tari Gives Shocking Account

Mr Patrick Tari, a forty-three-year-old man who is a native of Odi, Kolokuma/Opukuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, who witnessed the November 20, 1999 ‘Odi massacre’, gives an account of the grim episode in this interview with GODFREY GEORGE

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Comrade Tari Patrick. I am an indigene of Odi of Kolokuma/Opukuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. I am a political activist and social mobiliser. I was the state Chairman of Mass Mobilisation for Good Governance, a local government coordinator of Nigerian Youth Congress and presently, a member of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta.

How best can you describe Odi community?

Odi is a community of 11 compounds (clans). This means we have more than 100,000 persons in that community. It is well-known, because of its proximity to a community called Kaiama, which is the home of the late Major Isaac Adaka Boro, a one-time minority rights activists.

How old were you in 1999 and what can you say led to the ‘Odi massacre’ that year?

I am 43 years now. So, this means I was 21 years old then. I was in Odi when that incident happened. There were some slight issues that ensued between residents of Odi and government officials.

What ‘slight issues’?

It was basically an argument between the residents and the military, because of the oppression in our region. So, at a point, this oppression became too much to bear.

As of 1999, Nigeria was under civilian rule, with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in power. What kind of oppression were the people of Odi subjected to?

Niger Delta is a region where our people deal in fish farming and related products. We have residents who do not have reliable sources of income but only rely on fish farming to survive, since the oil firms in the region refused to employ the people of the region. What they (the oil firms) do is to employ outsiders from other states and also bring in expatriates. For example, in a firm like Shell, the majority of the workers we see are from other states. Where a manager in Shell is a Yoruba man, he employs his brother and brings him into the company. At that point, we, the natives of Bayelsa, were forced to react to these injustices being done to us. They tagged us unexposed or uneducated people – this is the lie they always sell to the world – but, I can tell you that we have a whole lot of graduates roaming the streets without jobs. When it comes to technical and practical aspects of the job, we have vast knowledge, but we are not recognised and given opportunities. What we get, at best, are menial jobs as labourers.

So, this was part of what precipitated the crisis of 1999?

Yes. When the farmers went to the farms, the military men took bribes from them before they were allowed to go through the security checkpoints with their produce or loads. The business class was not left out, as they were also made to bribe their way into their community, especially when they went outside the state to buy goods for sale.

Petty traders within the local governments had to pay between N100 and N300, to be able to sell their goods without harassment by the military. The community then decided to rise up to say ‘This is not right! This is oppression!’ This was when our people decided to fight back. As a young man, I cannot stand a situation where you beat up my mother, because you are wearing khaki. I will not allow it to happen. Even a lazy man cannot watch you beat his father; he will fight you. It is either you kill him or beat both of them. At some point, it became so bad that there was no food to eat. One of those days, our people saw a truck carrying foodstuffs and a few work equipment and they held it hostage.

Who owned the truck that was held hostage?

The truck was en route to Port Harcourt. A few boys from Odi and neighboring communities who heard that a truck had developed mechanical faults around the area came around, and began carting away some bags of rice. This caused an issue with the military and one of the Joint Task Force officers shot one young man from Kaiama, whose name was Godswill Tombara, dead. This angered the boys and a fight ensued between them and the security operatives.

What do you remember took place on November 20, 1999 and the days that followed?

Before that day, the soldiers had come to Odi, but they could not gain access into the community.

Why was this so?

A few persons were leading a protest to protect the community. Before November 20, 1999, we had had a series of threats from the soldiers. They were around Sagbama and Opokuma Junction. The soldiers were harassing anyone coming towards Odi. The soldiers were frustrated because they could not gain access into the community. The soldiers were scared, knowing full well that the boys were ready to fight and die for their community.

Why do you think the soldiers were scared of coming into the community when they were armed? Were the Odi youths also armed?

We are Nigerians. When the matter got to a point we decided to defend ourselves. So, at the end of the day, it became a do-or-die affair – you kill us or we survive the struggle.

So, you are saying the boys were armed?

No, they were not armed, but they were ready to defend themselves. We had already told our parents and loved ones to leave the community on hearing rumours that the military were coming to wreak havoc, but few of them refused to go. The day they came, they used bombs and grenades to level the community, starting from the junction.

What can you say about a report that 12 police officers were murdered in Odi by some unknown men?

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo ordered them (the soldiers) to invade Odi but this is democracy. Human beings are not animals. If a crime is committed, what is the reasonable thing to do? Is it not to investigate and find out who did it and why? Nobody in Nigeria has the mind to fight a military man in uniform, except he is provoked to heights of anger where he will tell you: ‘I will die today; if I don’t die, you will die!’ This was the point the boys were. The government was wrong in its actions. It was supposed to find out what exactly led to these killings, look for the culprits and arrest them, not order soldiers to burn down an entire village – houses, schools, churches, hospitals. The only thing standing was the building housing the First Bank of Nigeria Plc, The building was rented from my uncle, a retired Army General, Gen. Jeffrey Tombiri. He is alive as we speak. One of the survivors, a retired Army officer, who knew the rule of engagement, was only spared, because he waved the Nigerian flag. They took this man round the community and made him watch as they maimed his people, destroyed their properties and raped their women.

Do we have children born out of these rapes?

I cannot give a report of that nature, but I know that anyone they raped, they killed.

You witnessed this first-hand?

Yes. We were at the north boundary of the community, holding our own end. But you know government is government, no matter how much you fight; you will run out of your defence materials. At that point, we, the youth, decided to leave the community. So, we boarded boats and left. This was when they fully had their way to burn the other half of the community, which we had prevented them from accessing.

Did you lose any loved one – family or friend – to the massacre?

I know persons who lost their parents. I know of a distant relation, who lost his father, Jesu.

There was some official report from government that put the death toll from the incident at 48. What do you have to say about this?

In Nigeria, if two million persons are killed, they will tell you it was five persons. That’s the pattern of the military. Same thing happens in military reports. If they kill 10 million military men, they will tell you it is just one that died. They killed a whole lot of people, not 48. We should be talking about a double of 48, if not more; within a hundred or thereabouts.

Did the government do anything about these killings?

They never did. The people of Odi had to fight it out in court and won.

Is it true that N15bn was paid by the Federal Government as compensation to the community after Odi won the case against the FG?

Yes. The N15bn was not even enough. You cannot compare life to money. People used the money to dig foundations for buildings; this gave the community a little face-lift, but the people that we lost that day are gone forever.

Was this money shared amongst everyone affected?

Yes. Every son and daughter of Odi, who came to register in that process, got their own share. From ages 0-18 got N200, 000; 18 and above got N500, 000.

Did the event of that day in any way shape your outlook on life?

The truth about life and the things we have been able to learn about the events of the day is that the government is not being sincere to the people of the Niger Delta. We know that they have never respected our rights. All they do is lie to us. We have learnt to manage what we have left and how to give our children a decent life, and make sure they don’t see the kind of things we saw on that black Saturday.

Were you emotionally affected by the things you saw that Saturday?

The events of that day affected me emotionally, but by the grace of God, I have grown past it. It was 22 years ago. We have slowly walked out of it; but, there are a few things you will see, and it will take your mind back to the events of that day.

People have likened this massacre to the Lekki shootings of October 20, 2020, during the #EndSARS protests. Do you share in this sentiment?

Yes. This is because the same thing soldiers did to us in 1999 was what they did at Lekki. They cannot tell us that the government did not give that instruction. Innocent persons were killed. When will we step out of this page, where a democratically instituted government will wake up and kill its citizens? This is not acceptable; we are not running a military regime. Nobody is being held responsible for all of these killings. Even if ours was worse, what they did at Lekki is unacceptable.

What do you think of the various panels set up by the government to investigate the matter? Do you feel they did enough?

There is no panel that they will put up anywhere in this country that will indict the government. In Rivers State, for instance, Ken Saro-Wiwa was murdered by the government; they killed him unjustifiably. No panel was able to bring him back to life. So, constituting a panel is a waste of time. They come up with different cock-and-bull stories that do nothing but make a joke of the situation.

Some commentators have said that the Odi massacre gave birth to the Niger Delta piracy and militancy in the South-South region of the country. Do you agree?

No. This is not true. Before the massacre at Odi, there was militancy. The boys did not just go to the creeks to vandalise oil pipes and kidnap people; they had reasons. The region has been marginalised from time. Do you know, the wealth, when it comes to the oil sector of this country, lies in the hands of the Niger Delta people, but the common Ijaw man does not have potable water to drink? I can confidently tell you that there are still communities in this time and age in the region that do not have drinkable water? Such communities include the likes of Lobia, Ezetu, Kolama, Ekini, Pere-Toru-Gbeni and a host of others. To travel from Yenagoa to these communities will take between three to four hours on water. There are no access roads; most of them have not set their feet on tarred roads since they were born. Sachet water is sold for N30; these people are forced to survive in very harsh conditions. In the end, they have nothing, as they are mostly poor fishermen. The oil firms pollute the waters, thereby killing the fishes and act like nothing happened and no compensation is paid to help these people cope with life. They do not have farms; they are forced to survive anyway they can. These boys did not know how to break pipes; they were taught by the expatriates. A common Ijaw man does not know how to break pipes; they were taught by others. They drill our oil and run it down to Kaduna, where they have refineries. You expect these boys to be quiet?

Have the people of Odi truly forgiven the Federal Government after the payment of the compensation?

We have decided to move on with life. Whether the government comes in or not, we must survive. So, we keep pushing. We do not have personal grudges against the government. The deed has been done, and so nothing can be changed. We just want to make sure that our children do not go through the pain that we have gone through in the past.

Source: The PUNCH

NYSC: Changes In Date Of Graduation, Courses Will No Longer Be Effected On Certificate

Daily Post reports that the management of the National Youth Service Corps has announced the decision to henceforth include the course of study and date of graduation on NYSC Certificate of National Service and Certificate of Exemption.

This was disclosed in a press statement signed by the NYSC Director, Corps Mobilization, Mrs Ango V. on behalf of the Director-General of the scheme, Brigadier Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim.

She said the decision was in line with the management’s resolve to standardize records and it will kickstart with the 2021 Batch ‘A’ service year.

“I am directed to remind you that, management has approved the inclusion of Course of Study and Date of Graduation on NYSC Certificate of National Service, and Certificate of Exemption.

“This decision is in line with earlier resolve to standardize records and will take effect from the 2021 Batch “A” Service Year which commenced in March 2021.

“You are to note that, in order to avoid deviation from Senate/Academic Board Approved uploads, request for changes in date of graduation and Courses of study would no longer be entertained.

“Kindly give this circular the widest publicity it deserves.

“Please, accept the assurances of the Director-General’s warm regard,” Mrs Ango said.

Vigilante, Two Others Shot Dead By Suspected Cultists In Ondo

It was serious tragedy that struck in Ondo State on Friday following the killing of a vigilante officer and two others during a cult-related clash.

The deceased persons were said to have been killed by gunmen suspected to be cultists

The incident occurred at Oke Agunla in Ondo town, headquarters of Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State.

According to sources, the gunmen were putting on shirts with the inscription of DSS when they invaded the house of one Seun Akinsiku, popularly known as ‘Shewen’ within the area around 6:00 pm.

One of the sources disclosed that as Shewen came out of the house , the suspects fired shots and killed him instantly.

The source who craved anonymity added that when the guns were leaving the area, they also killed an officer of Amotekun and another man, whose identity is still unknown as of press time .

“As Shewen came out of the house, the people shot him. As they were leaving, they also killed an officer of Amotekun.”

The killings had been said to be a reprisal attack between two cult groups in the town.

Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Tee-Leo Ikoro, said investigation has began into the incident.

Ikoro, however, said that only two people were killed by the gunmen.

He also said a massive manhunt had begun for cultists in Ondo Town.

Igbo Not Silent On Nnamdi Kanu, Ohanaeze Tells Critics

The National Publicity of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Alex Ogbonnia, has said the Igbo are not silent on the issues concerning the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.

Ogbonnia, who spoke exclusively to Saturday PUNCH on Friday, stated that the Igbo have been meeting over the issue of the IPOB leader, although they did not bring details of their deliberations into the public space.

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, had set up a 28-member committee made up of notable South-West personalities to look into the arrest of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, and other issues relating to the South-West.

Some critics, however, slammed the south-easterners for allegedly not doing enough to stand united to fight for Kanu’s release.

The Ohanaeze spokesperson, reacting to the criticism, said it was not a statement of fact to say the Igbo were not united.

He said, “The Igbo are meeting, it’s just that we are not publicising it as such. We meet and reach an agreement on steps to take. It was the Igbo elders that met and told Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe to stand as a surety for Nnamdi Kanu when he needed one.

“The Ohanaeze also provided him with legal services when his trial started. To ensure the fair trial of Nnamdi Kanu, we constituted a legal team led by the National Legal Adviser of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide and eminent Igbo leaders to monitor the legal proceedings throughout the trial.”

Ogbonnia said the South-East elders would never leave Kanu to suffer as an orphan, and that they were meeting to make resolutions on the case.

He said, “We are not silent on the affairs of Nnamdi Kanu, we have been meeting. Ohaeneze have met, other Igbo elders have also met, so we are not quiet.

“We are a united people. The Igbo are one of the most united tribes in the world. I don’t want anyone to misrepresent the Igbo’s position on Nnamdi Kanu. We have been holding meetings to make sure Nnamdi Kanu is not left as an orphan. We don’t want the matter to appear as if we left Nnamdi Kanu alone. We have been meeting to proffer solutions to the issue.”

Kanu, who is facing an 11-count charge of treason, treasonable felony, terrorism and illegal possession of firearms, among others, jumped bail in 2017 and left the country.

The Federal Government said security and intelligence agencies were on the trail of Kanu for over two years before he was rearrested, adding that the head of the outlawed IPOB movement was detained again on Sunday – without giving details on the location of his arrest.

Source:- Punch Ng

Igboho Seeks Asylum In Benin Republic

It has been learnt that the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, aka Sunday Igboho, who is desperately wanted by the Department of State Services in Nigeria, with an international arrest warrant hanging around his neck, and facing immigration-related offences in Cotonou, is now seeking asylum in the Republic of Benin.

According to Saturday PUNCH, it was gathered that the 48-year-old activist resorted to the option after he was arrested on Monday, July 19, 2021, by the International Criminal Police Organisation at the Cadjèhoun Airport in Cotonou, Republic of Benin.

Igboho was arrested with his Germany-based wife, Ropo, at the airport while they reportedly tried to catch a flight to Germany around 8 pm on Monday.

Although the Cour De’appal De Cotonou ruled on Thursday that Ropo should be released unconditionally as there were no charges against her, Igboho is spending his first weekend in a police cell in Cotonou.

He is being tried for migration-related issues after he was allegedly caught with a fake Beninese passport at the point of his departure to Germany through an Air France flight.

“He (Igboho) was already at the airport with a passport. The immigration officers suspected his passport to be fake and so they stopped him. A passport was allegedly forged for Igboho in the Benin Republic for the purpose of the Germany trip. At the airport, they discovered he was the one,” a source familiar with the matter told Saturday PUNCH.

The source, who craved anonymity, however, said although an application had been filed for Igboho as a political refugee in Germany, processes had also been completed to file another application for asylum for him in Benin Republic.

“Igboho has already applied for asylum in Germany and he hopes to file a similar application in Benin Republic in the coming days,” the source said.

The source also said that there was the possibility that the Beninese Government would drop the migration-related offences brought against Igboho over alleged forgery of passport.

The leader of Igboho’s legal team, Yomi Alliyu (SAN), had also in a statement noted that his client could not be extradited because the 1984 Extradition Treaty between Nigeria, Benin and two other countries excluded political refugees like Igboho.

Meanwhile, upon their arrest, Igboho and his wife were detained in police custody in Cotonou but the Cour De’appal De Cotonou ruled on Thursday that Ropo should be released unconditionally as there were no charges against her.

The court session lasted for about six hours with intermittent breaks.

The court, however, ruled that Igboho be remanded in police custody till the next date of adjournment which is likely to be next week.

My Abductors Insisted On N5m Ransom, Threatened To Bury Me In Enugu Forest – Abuja-Based Businessman

In this interview, Mr Nick Ugwu, an Abuja based businessman, who was abducted in January when he visited his hometown of Eha-Amufu, Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State, speaks to RAPHAEL EDE on the terrifying experience

You were reportedly kidnapped in January in Enugu when you went home for Christmas and New Year celebrations. How did it happen?

On January 13, I was still in the village after Christmas and New Year celebrations. I took my family to visit friends and it was after visiting the Anglican Bishop of Eha-Amufu and we were leaving the Bishop’s Court that the incident happened around 7pm. Some young men, numbering about five, opened fire on my car. The car stopped because the tyres, windscreen and some other parts were destroyed. They swooped on us. They did not touch my wife and children, but they seized me and ordered me to lie down.

After a while, they asked me how much I had in my bank account. I told them that we had been at home since Christmas and I did not have much in my account.

What happened then?

They told me to call some of my rich friends. I told them that our people are not rich. They threatened that they would kill me if I couldn’t call anyone to get them money. So, I told them to allow me to call my pastor friend, a bishop.

Did the bishop pick your call?

Yes, he did. They then started negotiating with the bishop. They demanded N10m ransom. That very night, we slept and on the second day we started making calls to see if our people could raise anything (money). When that didn’t happen, on the third day, they gave my people an ultimatum to raise N5m, threatening that failure to deliver the money they would bury me inside the forest. So, everyone, including the church and town union, made contributions.

Did they eventually raise the N5m?

As God would have it, the amount our people were able to raise, they (kidnappers) accepted it and released me after the third day.

How will you describe your abductors?

They were all Fulani guys. They were five in number and were armed with three AK-47 rifles and machetes.

What was the experience like for you being held by these people in the forest for about three days?

It was a horrible experience but we thank God for life. What I noticed was that they were having a field day, there was no one to challenge them. My opinion is that since after that #EndSARS protest, our police are no longer the same. They are not as responsive as they used to be in the past, coupled with bad roads here, this community has become a safe haven for the Fulani bandits. Apart from my own case, the Fulani herdsmen have been carrying out their criminal activities unchallenged for a long time. And the police and the government are aware of this.

Source: The PUNCH

Heartbreaking Story Of Nollywood Actor Who Has Been On Sickbed For 20 Years (Photo)

In what will come across as a really heartbreaking development, for about 20 years running, dreams of a budding Nigerian actor, Chukwuma Kabarachi, have been put on hold after he suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident on August 28, 2001 in Lagos.

At 42 then, Kabarachi, who adopted Chukwuma Ugwumba, as his cast name in the movies, was a bubbly man of many ambitions. Aside from being an actor, he had his eyes fixed on a thriving music career.

Our correspondent learnt that he was billed for a studio session to record his songs to jumpstart his music career on the week the accident occurred.

Since then, the father of one has been exposed to a flipside of life steeped in pain, loneliness and despair. He was billed between N3.5m and N3.8m at a hospital in Lagos some years back but he couldn’t afford it.

While narrating his plight to City Round, Kabarachi said the bill might have increased due to the country’s economic situation.

He stated, “I had an accident in Lagos which resulted in spinal cord injury. I was rushed to a private hospital for medical attention. Unfortunately, the hospital had neither the required medical personnel nor the equipment to take care of my medical needs. After five months, I was moved away from the hospital as my health condition got worse with nine bedsores two of which required plastic surgery. It’s almost 20 years since I had the accident and I am still on a sickbed with bedsores around my waist and a fracture a little above my left ankle. It is still on these bedsores I lie down after they are dressed every day. The pain I go through is indescribable, and the mental torture is better imagined than experienced. I now depend on pain relieving drugs every day to reduce the pain.

“For many years I have been confined to a room in my father’s compound and this is where I was when I lost him and my step-mother who were supposed to enjoy their old age under my watch and care, having earlier lost my dear mother and my sister. Now I have found myself at a lonely and secluded part of life where loneliness, feeling of abandonment and betrayal have become my day-to-day companion. ”

Every day, Kabarachi, a native of Obinato in the Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo, reflects on his short-lived blissful marriage and how the incident had deprived him of the ability to sustain the happy union.

“There were times I wished I had died. When I look at the face of my younger brother who has borne the brunt of taking care of me all these years, and I remember the young lady that left her people in Ondo State for a marriage of two years and eight months and our son of about two years and six months, I weep like a baby for becoming an unexpected burden to them,” he stated, grimly.

For his surgery and treatment, he said his doctor referred him to a medical facility that can provide services of specialist neurologist, dermatologist, orthopedician and anaesthetics.

He added, “His estimate was between N3.5m and N3.8m. This was made a long time ago and may have changed as a result of many factors, including other health complications. I am now seeking financial assistance to enable me to undergo a thorough medical treatment in a specialised tertiary medical institution, so that if I cannot stand again, I can, at least, sit comfortably in a wheelchair.”

A letter signed by the Managing Director of Trinity Medical Centre, Dr A.N Oyekwena, stated that Kabarachi currently receives “ancillary services” at the hospital, “having been totally incapacitated following an accident that affected his spinal cord.”

Donations for Kabarchi’s treatment can be made to his younger brother’s First Bank account with the name, Ikechukwu Emeghiebo, and account number: 3035627668.

How My Crashed Marriage Affected Me – Actress, Uche Iwuji Opens Up

Uche Iwuji, a Nigerian actress, has revealed that she is open to marriage again, though her career is her utmost priority after her long break from the movie industry.

She told Saturday Beats, “I took a break from acting but I have been back for a while. I shot movies last year and this year too. I took a break because I needed to ‘find’ myself. The break was worth it was because I wanted to rediscover myself. I was trying to rebrand myself and also concentrate on my business. I am back to acting full time. I don’t think I can work for anyone because of the exposure that acting offers. I prefer to be my own boss. I won’t really say I missed anything because I have been working but not much. The pay has also been okay. When one leaves the scene and comes back, one won’t be paid in millions immediately.

“My love life is perfect and yes, I will give marriage another try. But for now, I want to concentrate on my career. I want to be well equipped for the journey ahead. Marriage will happen when God permits it. Years back, I was always in the news for different scandals. I think I should have corrected those misconceptions and not shy away from them as I did. I would advise young actors to enjoy their lives and make money. The only regret I have is that my private life was exposed. Other than that, my life has been good. My marriage crashed and it affected me but thankfully, I have been able to bounce back. My crashed marriage affected me mentally and physically. A child was involved and I was left alone to take care of him without his father. It drained me for some years but thankfully, I was able to bounce back. I just needed time off for myself and my son. We all fall but our ability to rise again makes us strong.”

The actress also maintained that though some people expected actresses to expose their bodies, she would not do that.

She said, “I have quite a number of followers and I’m also a brand influencer. Social media users may expect one to expose one’s body but I have had my fair share of controversies and won’t go that route again. It’s about me and what I want to show the world. I just want to be myself. Many people have left the scene but I’m thankful that God brought me back. It was not an easy ride but with God, things have been easy for me.”

Obi Cubana’s Source Of Income Is Nobody’s Business – Actor, Emeka Ike Blows Hot

About a week after the grand burial of the mum of Obi Iyiegbu, the nightclub owner and businessman, aka Obi Cubana, actor, Emeka Ike, has said those criticising the lavish display of wealth at the weeklong event have no right to do so.

In an interview with Saturday Beats, Ike said, “We all mind one another’s business in this country because people are always looking for the negative things. As he (Iyiegbu) is spending, it shouldn’t be anybody’s problem. He is simply having fun. And if it is a way of honouring his late mother, what stops him from calling his friends to come around and celebrate her life? Maybe, that’s his way of doing it. He has also said that he has helped many people and many of them would want to repay the favour.”

Ike also disagreed with those who said that Nollywood painted most rich Igbo people as occultists. He said, “There are different ways people can show their affluence. Some might choose to ‘spray’ money and it could be a one-off thing. I don’t think I have heard Kanayo Kanayo spraying money anywhere before now.

“We are not going to carpet all that because of someone spraying money at a function. Maybe Cubana had been nice to them and they decided to spray that amount of money. However, it is left for the government to decide whether to ban spraying of money or not.”

The actor also maintained that Nollywood actors were not all about showing off.

He said, “People can have whatever opinion they want about Nollywood. The industry is diverse and there are many people working in it. The fact that some actors sprayed money there does not mean we should carpet the whole Nollywood. Later this month, we (some actors) are going to commission a computer centre with over 20 computers, desks and accessories at Ejigbo Community High School, Lagos. It is also fitted with a projector screen. We would give awards to the best students in certain subjects, and outstanding teachers.”

BBNaija: Erica And Laycon Finally Reconciles, Hangs Out Together (Photos, Video)

Former Bbnaija Housemates Laycon & Erica Finally Reconciles And Were Spotted Hanging Out Together.

@PulseNigeria247 tweeted;

It is all love from this side �

@Ericanlewedim x @itsLaycon ❤

About 10 Persons Died From COVID-19 In University Of Ibadan – Vice Chancellor

Professor Adebola Ekanola, ahe Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, on Friday said that about 10 deaths were recorded from people in the university due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He expressed concerns that people were still taking the infection for granted.

The VC stated these during a virtual meeting of deans and heads of the departments of the university which was organised by the UI COVID-19 emergency response team.

Ekanola noted that “there has been a lot of laxity on personal protective measures because many assumed that they are safe from the infection.

“Although the university so far is lucky not to have been badly affected by the pandemic, the students and staff of the institution need to take charge and be responsive in ensuring that no COVID-19 case is recorded in the university.”

According to him, the risk of the pandemic is higher when the academic session started and therefore, individuals’ health should be prioritised above other pursuits of life.

Professor Ekanola said that a task force to emphasise and encourage high compliance of students and staff of the university to wear face masks, ensure hand washing and social distancing would begin work in the school.

The Head of UI Department of Virology, Professor Georgina Odaibo, stated that tests done at the University’s Department of Virology indicated that positivity rate had gone up from about 1.5 per cent in April, 2.8 per cent in May, 12 per cent by June ending and 16 per cent in July.

Professor Odaibo said if protective measures were not in place, the infection could spread round the university.

How I Was Chained, Starved For One Month, 26 Days In Police Cell Over False Kidnap Allegation – Rivers’ Politician

In this interview, Mr Wariboko Basoene, a former Community Development Committee Chairman of Abissa, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, tells DENNIS NAKU about his hellish experience in the police cell where he was detained for nearly two months over kidnap allegation

When and where were you arrested?

I was arrested on March 8, 2021 at No. 8 Warri Street in D/Line, Port Harcourt.

What was the issue that led to your arrest?

They (the police) said they got information that my nephew was involved in the kidnap of a monarch in the Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State and that they believed I would be able to give them my nephew’s phone number and house address. But I told them that I could only give them my nephew’s mobile phone number; that I didn’t know his house address.

What happened then?

They arrested me and took me to the anti-kidnapping unit at Mini Okoro Police Station. They told me that they needed to see my nephew, otherwise I would not be released. But they later changed the story and said I was the one involved in the kidnap, which is not true.

What happened when you got to the police station?

They detained me. I was detained for two months and 26 days in the police cell.

Were you tortured in the police cell?

I was tortured. They hanged me and poured about seven buckets of water on my face. They blindfolded me while pouring water on my face. They brutalised me. I was injured and wasn’t given the opportunity to see my family or my lawyer.

The most painful part was that they stripped me down to my underwear and chained me down by the legs for one month and 26 days and there was no food for me to eat. It is a place that while you are there, you will begin to think of the past. You can even change from your bad ways. It was very painful to me because it was the first time I would be arrested in my entire life.

Do you mean you were not given food throughout your detention period?

There was water in the cell. But for food, if I ate once, there would be nothing for another four to five days or even a week. So, I started begging my cell mates. But they too were not buoyant enough to give me food every day. It was by God’s intervention that I was alive till I was released.

Didn’t your family members or relatives visit you while you were in detention?

My family didn’t see me until May 23. That was a few days before I was released. I was released on May 26.

How were you released?

It was after my family members were allowed to see me that they started making moves for my bail. Even the lawyers that came initially didn’t have access to me. It was the Chairman of the Rivers State Civil Society Organisation and one other lawyer who tried to penetrate and ensured that my family saw me at the office of the Commissioner of Police.

What is the size of the cell, in which you were kept?

It is just like a one-bedroom flat, but very small.

How many of you were in the cell?

Sometimes we were up to 50, sometimes 40. The number of persons they detained increased or reduced by the day.

Is it true that you went to thank the Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka, after you were released?


Why did you do that?

I did that to show my appreciation because it was not easy. Some persons who are in the cells or even prison are innocent. Some landed there as a result of false allegations heaped on them by people who hate them. In my case, after the CP looked at the issue critically, he told me to go because I was able to answer clearly most of the questions he asked me. He also interviewed the person they claimed was my accomplice. But that person repeatedly said he didn’t know me. He said he would not hide the truth no matter how much pressure the police put on him.

The CP personally interviewed me in the presence of my lawyer, Mr Higher King. Some journalists were also there.

What do you want now?

I want the police and the government to thoroughly investigate the man that levelled a false allegation against me. Although I have been released, I am begging the Commissioner of Police to investigate the matter to find out the truth so that I can enjoy my freedom and clear my name.

Source: The PUNCH

Sunday Igboho Files N5.5bn Suit Against AGF, DSS Over Ibadan House Invasion

Chief Sunday Adeyemo, the Yoruba Nation agitator, better known as Sunday Igboho, has asked the Federal High Court in Ibadan to compel the Attorney General of the Federation and the Department of State Services to pay him N5bn in damages over the invasion of his house in the wee hours of July 1 by DSS operatives.

Igboho, who is currently in detention in Benin Republic, filed the suit on Friday through his counsel, Chief Yomi Alliyu (SAN).

He is, in the suit, contending that the invasion of his house in the Soka area of Ibadan, during which DSS operatives gunned down two of his associates and arrested 12 others, was not only malicious but also amounted to a violation of his fundamental human rights.

Igboho told the court that the DSS operatives stormed his residence at about 1am on July 1 and “without announcing who they were or asking the applicant (Igboho) to open his gate, shot their way through, killing two people, including an elderly Imam doing Tahjud (vigil), shooting at cars, thereby destroying them and not sparing animals, like cats and dogs in total violation of the intendments of the fundamental human rights provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Act.”

He said for two hours, the DSS operatives shot through the ceiling and roof of his house, thereby depriving him “the quiet enjoyment of his house for the period of the armed invasion of the said property.”

The activist, through the SAN, is urging the court to declare that the AGF and the DSS, through the midnight operation, violated his right and trampled on the nation’s constitution.

He wants the court to order the defendants to return his personal belongings, which they allegedly carted away during the operations.

He listed the items to include N2m cash, €1,000, travel documents belonging to him and his family members, gold jewellery and wristwatches, a I-Phone 12 mobile phone, Samsung mobile phone, and other items yet to be ascertained.

For the invasion, Igboho, through his lawyer, is urging the court to compel the AGF, the DSS and the DSS DG to also pay him N500m to cover for the damage done to his cars and house and another N5bn as “exemplary and/or aggravated damages for breaching the applicant’s fundamental rights in the course of the illegal and malicious invasion of his residence.”

He also wants the court to compel the defendants to tender a public apology to him, to be published in two national dailies – The PUNCH and The Nation newspapers.

In addition, the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator wants the court to declare that he has “unquestionable and inalienable fundamental right to peacefully campaign and seek for self-determination of Yoruba tribe in Nigeria and lobby the legislature to amend the 1999 Constitution.”

He wants the court to declare that it is illegal for the DSS and the AGF to be hunting him with gun, with a view to arresting him because he is “propagating his belief in association with other like minds to create a Yoruba Nation/Oduduwa Republic for his indigenous Yoruba people.”

He also wants the court to restrain the defendants and their agents from further harassing him or causing his bank accounts to be frozen.

The court has yet to fix a date for the hearing of the suit.

Jimi Agbaje: Lagos Has A Lot Of Work To Do To Maintain Mega City Status

Jimi Agbaje, two-time governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State in this interview with TEMIDAYO AKINSUYI, speaks on latest developments in the polity and issues of governance in Lagos. Excerpts:

How best do you think the Federal Government should handle the case of Yoruba nation, agitator, Sunday Igboho who was arrested on Monday in Benin Republic?

Everything should be by due process. We don’t want a situation where we are becoming a police state where every measure of opposition is handled with a very heavy hand. The idea of chasing people around to me is not the best way to go. People run away from the law when they feel they will not get justice. If you feel that the way they even come after you is as if you are already guilty, then how can you get justice? For me, the Sunday Ighoho matter should be handled with due process. The Benin Republic government should do things properly so that we don’t have a repetition of what happened in the case of Nnamdi Kanu. Till today, we are not even clear as to how Kanu came into the country. But it is obvious that something is hidden and it did not follow the due process. That is why nobody has come out to tell us exactly what happened. We hope that due process will be followed in Igboho’s case. Everybody must feel that the law is even-handed. You are not guilty until so proven. Nobody is saying anyone who is guilty of a crime shouldn’t be prosecuted but justice, equity and fair play must be done and due process must be followed.

The Senate last week rejected the confirmation of Lauretta Onochie, President Muhammadu Buhari’s media aide as INEC commissioner. What is your take on that?

Well, I think that was the right thing to do. Whatever reasons they may have given for me is not the point at this time. The fact is that the National Assembly succumbed to the pressure from well-meaning Nigerians and even from the international community. I believe that is what strengthened the National Assembly to reject that nomination.

There are concerns that the President may re-present her for confirmation. Do you think that is possible?

I believe that if you look at the National Assembly on that day, like I said, the pressure is such that I’m not even sure I heard anybody supported her nomination when it was mentioned by the Senate President. It was a total rejection and I think that signal is very clear. If the president wants to help Lauretta Onochie, then they can find somewhere else where impartiality will not be an issue.

How will you react to the defections that have rocked your party in recent times, don’t you think it may impact negatively on PDP’s chances in the 2023 elections?

As general elections come, politicians tend to bring about self-interests in what they consider is in their own interests. The way it works normally is that the opposition party tends to lose membership at the beginning. Whereas, defections will also play out in the ruling party but because it is about self-interests, those in the ruling party still enjoys benefits which is the consequence of their defection. That is going to play out also as we get nearer the election where you will find that from the ruling party, people will also begin to defect. If you look back, that has been the trend. So, at the appropriate time, some people in the ruling party will also defect to the opposition. Of course, that is not to say that the PDP doesn’t have a role to play. The PDP must look inward and see how to hold on to their existing members and get more members to join the party. That is the way forward for the party. So, defection generally is for self-interests and if you look at those who have defected and the excuses they have given, you will find out that it has to do with self-interests.

The Southern governors few days ago issued a communiqué where they expressly stated that the Presidency must come to the South in 2023. Are you in agreement with them on this?

They didn’t say it must come to South. If you look at their communiqué, they said it is the turn of the South to produce the president in 2023 based on the principle of fairness, equity and peaceful co-existence, it should come to the South. It is not a shotgun demand. They are saying ‘we believe in Nigeria and equity. So, for that reason, the North has had its own share of eight years, then in that spirit, it should come to the South. It is not a take it or leave it arrangement. No, that was not the impression I get from their communiqué. Their communiqué was very clear and all those things they listed was based on that principle.

Coming to Lagos, are you impressed with the performance of the current of the current government in the state?

For me, I have always said that when you assess Lagos, you cannot be doing so compared to other states in Nigeria. Lagos is one of the mega cities of the world. Therefore, the way it is expected to be assessed is that it cannot be compared to other states in the country. The best way to assess Lagos is to look at the development indices that Lagos has been assessed on. Those indices are out there. When you talk about indices of the worst cities to live in the world, indices of developments and so on. So, for me, the indices are there for everybody to see. Lagos has a lot of work to do to be able to hold its own as one of the mega cities of the world.

Will you be contesting for governorship again in 2023 or have you given up?

Let’s put it like this, I think the state of our nation at this point in time, I am more concerned that things are not working as they should in our country at the moment, especially when you consider the issues of insecurity, poverty level and unemployment. I believe that our first challenge is how to hold our country together. In this part of the world, they said when trees fall on one another, you remove the one at the top first. That is my attitude at this point in time.

As for the issue of Lagos governorship, I think the first thing we should do is to get a lot of people out to come and vote. In the last governorship election in Lagos, only 18 percent of the population came out to vote, according to INEC statistics. It was the lowest in the country.

What was responsible for that poor figure and how can it be improved upon?.

We have cases of intimidation of voters, ballot snatching and other things that discourages the electorate from coming out to exercise their franchise. People must believe that their votes count and that is very important. That is why things like electronic transmission of votes begin to help, when you know that your vote counts. But if you have an impression that the actual figure will be different from what will be transmitted, then you don’t bother to come out. Also, good governance is very key. If people vote and those voted failed to deliver democracy dividends, then you will discourage them from voting in future elections. I think what matters is that the process must be open, transparent, free and fair.

Do you think the National Assembly handled the issue of electronic transmission of results well?

No, they didn’t. They have not shown that they are interested in deepening democracy in the country. I can’t even say now this is exactly what their decision was. I think it would have been better if they have fears, they should leave it to INEC to decide whether it is applicable or not. If you have a situation where there is 90 percent coverage, you don’t because of 10 percent throw out the entire system. At worst for the 10 percent, you can do manual. I strongly believe they should have left it to INEC as an autonomous body to decide whether it is possible or not.

Source:- Independent Ng

CBN To Launch Digital Currency Following Osinbajo’s Suggestion

The Central Bank of Nigeria has said it will launch its digital currency following an advice by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that cryptocurrency should be regulated not banned.

The decision to launch its digital currency was reached during a private webinar on Thursday in which the CBN said about 80 per cent of central banks worldwide are exploring issuing digital currencies.

Rakiya Mohammed, CBN director of information technology, explained that the central bank began conducting research in 2017 with regards to developing a digital currency.

It would be recalled that Prof Osinbajo had on February 26 spoke on the controversial issue that blockchain technology was generating at the time. He had urged the CBN to regulate and not prohibit cryptocurrency.

On the very topical issue of blockchain technology, digital assets, and cryptocurrencies let me say two things.

“First is that there is no question that blockchain technology generally and cryptocurrencies, in particular, will in the coming years challenge traditional banking, including reserve banking, in ways that we cannot yet imagine so we need to be prepared for that seismic shift and it may come sooner than later,” he said at the Bankers Committee Vanguard.

CBN considers introduction of digital currency
“Already, remittance systems are being challenged. Blockchain technology will provide far cheaper options for the kind of fees being paid today for cross-border transfers,” he said.

Osinbajo noted that, “I am sure you are all aware of the challenge that the traditional SWIFT system is facing from new systems like Ripple, which is based on the blockchain distributed ledger technology with its own crypto tokens. There are, of course, a whole range of digital assets spawned daily from blockchain technology.

“I fully appreciate the strong position of the CBN, SEC, and some of the anti-corruption agencies on the possible abuses of cryptocurrencies and their other well-articulated concerns, but I believe that their position should be the subject of further reflection.

“There is a role for regulation here. And it is in the place of both our monetary authorities and SEC to provide a robust regulatory regime that addresses these serious concerns without killing the goose that might lay the golden eggs. So it should be thoughtful and knowledge-based regulation not prohibition. The point I am making is that some of the exciting developments we see call for prudence and care in adopting them, but we must act with knowledge and not fear,” he said.

Source:- Chronicle

Constitution Review: “We Don’t Need 469 Lawmakers At National Assembly”

An Owerri-based journalist and PR practitioner, Mr. Ikechukwu Ogbonna has said the current bicameral legislature which accommodates the Senate and House of Representatives, comprising about 469 lawmakers is no more attainable in Nigeria, insisting that current economic realities has made it outdated.

In his presentation in Owerri at the just concluded constitution review public hearing, South-East zone, Mr. Ogbonna said Nigeria must develop its own unique pattern of leadership structure instead of an imported American system which he said does not reflect the country’s needs, ABN TV reports.

He said, “Nigeria’s match to democracy has been bedevilled by several failed attempts aimed at laying a solid foundation for its sustainability and development. This development has been partially stymied and derailed by copy “catism” of our constitution and its structures. We “ADOPT” rather than “ADAPT” to suit our peculiar social, economic and ethnic milieu. To ADOPT is to take something over while ADAPT is to CHANGE something to SUIT YOUR NEEDS.

“In the 1st Republic, we copied the British parliamentary system because our colonial overlords were British and felt their system was best for us. The experiment ended in a fiasco. Since the 2nd republic, we copied hook, line, and sinker, the American model of democracy and yet no respite. We need our own unique system fashioned for our peculiarities.

“Our legislative arm of government is bicameral with two houses like the American system, The Senate and the Federal House of Representatives. This paper is calling for a change to a unicameral system of legislature.”

He, therefore, insisted that the operation of a bicameral system of lawmaking is a big challenge in the country’s quest for an enduring democracy.

He noted that it is expensive to service the 109 Senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives which make up that National Assembly, querying why the country needs 469 legislators.

On the disadvantages of such a system, Mr. Ogbonna said, it duplicates functions, creates lopsidedness, delays in lawmaking as well as fuelling corruption and nepotism.

He said, “We usually hear that a bill has been passed into law awaiting CONCURRENCE from the other House before it is transmitted to the President for assent.

“Kano with 44 LGAs has 24 Reps, Bayelsa 5, Ebonyi 6, Katsina 15, Abia 8, Lagos 24, Kwara 6. In a federation of EQUALS, why should a state have more Representatives than two or three other states put together?

“The need for a bill and other legislative actions to pass through both Houses is an unnecessary delay and a clog in or development.

“It is enough to deal with the corrupt tendencies of one House than dealing with two. We are all aware of the cries of MDAs about the ‘oversight’ functions of our legislators. These MDAs deal with the indiscriminate demands of committees from both Houses on daily basis.”

He, therefore, advocated for the House of Representatives to be scraped from the constitution, leaving only The Senate.

He underlined that, “A UNICAMERAL LEGISLATURE OPERATES IN ALL STATES OF OUR FEDERATION TILL DATE and yet are meeting up to some extent their legislative duties.

“I advocate that the number of Senators be increased to 3 per Senatorial Zone such that each state would send nine (9), rather than 3 Senators, to Abuja making a total of 216 plus 1 from FCT making 217 lawmakers instead of 469 as they are today.”

Source :- Abntv

LG Poll: 15 Political Parties To Contest In Lagos Local Government Election

A total of 15 political parties will participate in the July 24 local government election in Lagos State, the electoral body has said.

The Chairman of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission ( LASEIC), Ayotunde Philips, said this on Friday during a press conference at the LASEIC secretariat.

“The result of our validation exercise of candidates of political parties indicated that 15 political parties are participating in this election,” she said.

Mrs Philips said the final list of candidates for the election is out following approval and screening by political parties.

Mrs Philips said as part of preparations for the Saturday election, non-sensitive materials have been deployed to different wards.

She disclosed that the distributions of sensitive materials to all the LGCs and LCDAS will be done on Friday night in the presence of security agencies and political parties agents to ensure security and transparency.

COVID-19 protocols
The electoral chairman said COVID-19 protocols will be strictly adhered to during Saturday’s election.

“In line with the NCDC, Lagos State government and other relevant health authorities’ protocols on COVID-19, the Commission shall strictly enforce at polling centres, the use of facemasks and observance of social distancing.

“While the Commission shall ensure the provision of infrared thermometers, alcohol-based hand sanitiers, disinfection of chairs, tables, and work areas for the safety of voters and electoral officials, ” she said.

Mrs Philips disclosed that the voting process starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. in all polling units, while those on the queue by 3 p.m. will be attended to.

“Election shall be conducted with the use of Smart Card Readers, PVC and TVC. Persons living with disabilities would be adequately assisted in the election process, while elderly people, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers shall be given preference in casting their votes,” she added.

She assured Lagosians of adequate security during and after the election, adding that the commission will ensure a successful, free, fair, and credible election.

Source:- Premium Times