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Wednesday, 21 April 2021

9 Suspected Attackers Of Ex-CBN Governor Soludo Arrested

4/21/2021 11:23:00 pm 0

 Nine suspected attackers of former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo have been arrested in Anambra State.


Recall that three of Soludo's police orderlies were killed while others were injured in the attack which occurred during a town hall meeting in Isuofia last month. 


Update of the arrest was given by Governor Willie Obiano at Prof Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Centre in Awka. Obiano who spoke at the public presentation, said; 


“7 years of delivering good governance in Anambra State written by about ten persons, including Dr Emeka Arinze.

“What happened last month was unfortunate, but let me tell you, we have restrategised and we are coming out like a smoking gun.

“We are not going to take prisoners. The nine people that attacked Prof Soludo are in our net now. We are going to eliminate them. We will go after the others.

“We are not going to take prisoners any longer. A special squad has already been put together, and they are already working everywhere.”

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Abductors Demand N800m For Kidnapped Students of Greenfield University

4/21/2021 11:16:00 pm 0

 The abductors of the students of Greenfield University, a private university located in Kaduna state, have contacted their parents to demand a collective ransom of N800 million.


The Nation reports that the abductors have threatened to kill the students if the ransom is not paid. According to the report, a cousin to one of the kidnapped students, Georgina Stephen, confirmed the development. Georgina claimed 23 students, including 14 females and staff of the university, were abducted.


According to her, the kidnappers have been beating the abducted students, insisting if the ransom is not paid they will kill all of them.


Another parent, who craved anonymity, confirmed the development, saying the kidnappers had called to demand a collective ransom of N800 million.


He could not however confirm the number of the abducted students.


The yet-to-be-identified gunmen stormed the school located along the Kaduna-Abuka Highway in Chikun Local Government Area on Tuesday night, April 21, shooting sporadically before whisking some of the students away.

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Hunter Kills Fulani Herdsman In Ondo Forest Reserve

4/21/2021 11:12:00 pm 0

 A local hunter identified as Seyi Sansere has shot dead a Fulani herder, Muhammed Maikudi in a forest reserve in Ifira Akoko, Akoko South East Local Government Area of Ondo state.

It was gathered that Sansere killed Maikudi when he was grazing his cows in the forest reserve.

A leader of the Hausa/Fulani community in the state, Bala Umar, confirmed the incident.

Umar said preliminary investigation revealed that the late herder was traced to the forest by his assailant where he was shot.

He, however, appealed to Fulani settlers in the area to be calm and not take the law into their hands, adding that the police and Amotekun operatives were already on top the situation and had assured that justice would be done on the matter.

Ondo state commander of Amotekun Corps, Adetunji Adeleye, said, “It was a local hunter who shot dead the young herder. Our operatives were not involved. We only made efforts to ensure there is peace in the community.”

The deceased, who hailed from Katsina state, had two children.

He was reportedly engaged by one Alhaji Akerele, a Fulani man from Ilorin, Kwara state, to graze his cows before he met his untimely death.

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Calls For Isa Pantami’s Sacking Not Discussed At FEC Meeting—Lai Mohammed

4/21/2021 11:09:00 pm 0

 The weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting closed on Wednesday without discussing the controversies trailing the continued stay in office of Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ali Isa Pantami.

Various groups have in the last few days called for Pantami’s sacking or resignation.

The raging controversy around Pantami was over his alleged past positions on activities of extremist groups, Al-Qaeda and Taliban, which he was reported to have approved and commended.

However State House correspondents asked the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, if the FEC discussed the brewing crisis on Pantami’s case, especially as demands had been made by the public.

Mohammed had led the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola to the State House media gallery for the post-FEC briefing.

Mohammed was asked whether the council discussed the matter and if the government was comfortable with its burden on its image.

Mohammed said: “I’m not going to go into the issue of whether the government is comfortable or not. I will answer your question directly. It was not discussed at the council meeting.”

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There's Nothing Like Repentant Terrorist, Not Even Pantami — Nnamdi Kanu

4/21/2021 11:04:00 pm 0


The leader of the indigenous people of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has warned that there are no repentant terrorists. 

Kanu was referring to the alleged ties of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, with terrorism.

In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Kanu alleged that terrorism is a form of Islamic ideology, as well as a religious duty for every Muslim that believes in the holy war, Jihad.

He wrote, “In case you forgot, terrorism is a form of #Islamic ideology, as well as a religious duty for every Muslim that believes in Jihad. Therefore, there can never be anything like a repentant terrorist, not even some minister named Isa Pantami (@DrIsaPantami). Please be guided. I am.”

Many Nigerians have called for the sacking or resignation of Pantami after some comments he made some years ago came into light which supported Islamic extremism. 

"We are all happy whenever unbelievers are killed,” Pantami once said as an Islamic scholar and cleric. 

He also hailed Osama Bin Laden, who orchestrated the terrorist attacks on United States soil on September 11, 2001, saying the terrorist "is a better Muslim than myself."

Pantami once also condemned Muslims who took up government positions, saying he would never join politics or take up a role in government. 

An audio recording of Pantami’s past teachings where he declared support for Al-Qaeda and Taliban also surfaced last week, generating debates on social media platforms with many Nigerians calling for his sacking and others defending him.

He, however, renounced his radical comments in support of Islamic extremism.

The minister said he was young when he made the radical comments, adding that he was now mature and knew better.

He spoke while answering questions during his daily Ramadan lecture at Annor Mosque in Abuja on Saturday.

He was quoted to have said: “For 15 years, I have moved around the country while educating people about the dangers of terrorism. I have travelled to Katsina, Gombe, Borno, Kano states and Difa in the Niger Republic to preach against terrorism.

“I have engaged those with Boko Haram ideologies in different places. I have been writing pamphlets in Hausa, English and Arabic. I have managed to bring back several young persons who have derailed from the right path.

“Some of the comments I made some years ago that are generating controversies now were based on my understanding of religious issues at the time, and I have changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity.

“I was young when I made some of the comments; I was in university, some of the comments were made when I was a teenager. I started preaching when I was 13, many scholars and individuals did not understand some of the international events and therefore took some positions based on their understanding, some have come to change their positions later.”

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Nigeria Customs Budgets N1.6billion For Boreholes, N180million For Cleaning

4/21/2021 09:03:00 pm 0

 The Senate on Wednesday questioned allocations by the Nigeria Customs Service for 2021, where N1.6 billion was voted for “borehole and other water facilities” and N180 milion was earmarked for cleaning.

Some of the senators also frowned on a vote of N2 billion for retirement incentives.

This followed the presentation of Nigeria Customs Service 2021 budget report by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariffs, Francis Alimikhena (Edo North).

Out of the approved sum, N99.7 billion was voted for personnel cost, N19.5 billion for overhead, and N137.9 billion was approved for capital cost.

In 2021 fiscal year, Customs revenue target was pegged at N1.67 trillion comprising N1.5 trillion for Federation Account and N178 billion for Non-Federation Account.

Details of the budget showed that N2 billion was set aside for retirement incentives for Customs operatives; N3 billion for local travels and transport.

Customs will spend N200 million to maintain its aircraft and N100 million to fuel it.

Internet access charges got N100 million; maintenance of vehicles got N250 million; while N400 million will be spent to fuel the vehicles — this is aside from the N5 billion already earmarked for motor vehicle advances.

Under capital expenditure, Nigeria Customs Service voted N1.6 billion for borehole and other water facilities; N15.9 billion for motor vehicles; N87 million for photocopiers and N81 million for shredding machines.

Before the budget was passed, some senators picked holes in the fiscal document, especially regarding expenditure.

Senator Sam Egwu from Ebonyi queried why the agency is spending N2 billion as welfare packages for retiring officers, while they have retirement benefits.

Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, who also raised the issue of N180 million for cleaning and fumigation, asked what the NCS is cleaning and fumigating to have budgeted such a huge sum.

Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger) expressed concern that Customs is spending huge sums on non-essential items while officers are being attacked at the borders.

Reacting to this budget presentation and consideration, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who presided over the plenary, berated the committee chairman for failing in his oversight function.

He urged the committee to upscale its oversight of the agency and ensure that the budget is implemented within the fiscal year.

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US May Place Pantami On No-Fly Zone – Ex-DSS Director

4/21/2021 08:57:00 pm 0

 A former Assistant Director with the Department of State Services, Dennis Amachree, has said the secret police informed the Nigerian government and the National Assembly of the past radical pro-Taliban views of embattled Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, before his confirmation as minister in 2019.

Amachree spoke on PUNCH Online interview programme, The Roundtable, on Wednesday.

He, however, said the minister must have been confirmed by the National Assembly due to a lot of factors, including federal character balancing.

Pantami, a former director-general with the National Information Technology Development Agency, is the only member of the Federal Executive Council from Gombe State.

Many Nigerians have called for the sacking or resignation of Pantami after some comments he made some years ago came into light, which support Islamic extremism.

"We are all happy whenever unbelievers are killed,” Pantami once said as an Islamic scholar and cleric. 

He also hailed Osama Bin Laden, who orchestrated the terrorist attacks on United States soil on September 11, 2001, saying the terrorist "is a better Muslim than myself."

Pantami once also condemned Muslims who took up government positions, saying he would never join politics or take up a role in government.

Like many Nigerians, the ex-DSS director also called for the resignation of the embattled minister.

According to him, the Department of State Services (DSS) has information on all individuals of interest, adding that the minister’s past extremist views were communicated to the Federal Government and the legislature.

Amachree said, “There is no information that escapes the DSS, we have all of it, all. When I was working there, we keep a catalogue of anybody of interest that comes up to the limelight in this country.

“During the vetting process for anybody to be appointed a minister or commissioner or anything, your name is sent to the State Security Service (SSS) for vetting. They check your background up to the extent of your grandmother. They check your schools up to the extent of your primary school. And of course, they keep a tab on you online and offline. We get a lot from open source intelligence and I can tell you that in Pantami’s case, we have it.

“But there is a political angle to it. When somebody is being appointed, if the security agencies see that there is something wrong with his name, they will send it to the appointing agency. The appointing agency will now decide amongst other variables either religious variable, federal character balancing variable, or political variable and say that, ‘Oh, yes, we know that this guy has this and that but let’s appoint him.

“So, the political decision is not taken by the SSS. Even when you go to the Senate for confirmation, there is party by party and you can see that there are some political candidates that the opposition party will say that this one will not be appointed but because he belongs to that party, they will appoint him. So, these are political and federal balancing where they will say that there is nobody from this place that has been appointed, so let’s appoint him.”

The ex-DSS director added that the US was gathering information on Pantami.

Amachree said, “He (Pantami) has just submitted his name into US database. The cataloguing of people is not automatic, it comes in drips and drops. Now, people are talking about him and that has come to the attention of the United States Embassy in Nigeria already. Now, they will do a deeper dive into his background. They will catalogue him and now they will start watching him and if it comes to a very critical level, they will place him on a no-fly zone.”

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Buhari Government Must Review Relationship With UK Over Asylum For IPOB – Arewa Youths

4/21/2021 08:53:00 pm 0

 The Arewa Youths Consultative Forum has faulted the decision of the United Kingdom to grant asylum to members of the Indigenous People of Biafra.

National President of AYCF, Yerima Shettima, said the Nigerian government should review its relationship with its UK counterpart, following such a move.

On Tuesday, the United Kingdom revealed plans to grant asylum to members of IPOB and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra.

The Nigerian government had frowned on the news which it claimed was disrespectful and capable of undermining the fight against terrorism and insecurity.

However, Shettima, wondered if Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB and his members are more important than Nigeria.

Shettima called on the Nigerian government to be decisive in its decision against its UK counterpart.

He said: “It’s a clear indication that the Nigerian government would have to review its relationship with the United Kingdom, UK, because they cannot have a good relationship with a state such as Nigeria and at the same time be giving asylum to a major threat, who is an enemy of this country, a criminal with his organisation proscribed and listed among those of terrorist organisation in the world.

“Giving them asylum means something is wrong, this means that to an extent we will start thinking that the UK has a hand in our problems. Now, what is the interest of the UK in putting them ahead of us?

“I was wondering, is the UK government pretending that they do not know that this guy (Nnamdi Kanu) is doing harm to Nigeria? Is it that they folded their arms for obvious reasons best known to them?

“Are they saying their relationship with that individual criminal is far better than what they have with Nigeria under diplomacy? Something is wrong and for me, the relationship has to be reviewed.

“The Nigerian government must be decisive; it is either the UK government repatriates him to face his trials or they say that Kanu is better than Nigeria.”

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Hoodlums Attack Police Station In Enugu

4/21/2021 03:59:00 pm 0

 Three police officers are feared dead after hoodlums attacked a divisional police station in Adani, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State in the early hours of today Wednesday, April 21.


Residents of the community say the hoodlums began the attack at about 2.30 am and did not stop until 3.30am.


Confirming the attack, Daniel Ndukwe who is the spokesperson of the state police command, said


“Yes, there is a report of an attack on Adani Divisional Police station this early morning. However, the details of the incident are still sketchy.”

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Comedienne Ada Jesus Is Dead

4/21/2021 03:53:00 pm 0

 Comedienne, Ada Jesus, has died. She died in an Abuja hospital today April 21.


She suffered a cardiac arrest on Tuesday night, April 20 and was rushed to the ICU where the doctors monitored her. Sadly, she lost the battle to the kidney ailment she had been battling with on Wednesday, April 21.


She was 22 years old.


Ada Jesus was admitted to the hospital after she developed kidney disease. When her health took a turn for the worse, she went to ask for forgiveness from those she had spoken against in the past, including clergyman, Prophet Chukwuemeka Ohanemere Odumejeje, actress, Rita Edochie, and also some traditional worshipers.


Odumejeje's and Rita Edochie's initial refusal to forgive her got the attention of well-meaning Nigerians who decided to take care of her medical bills so that she can get dialysis. Her health which was said to have improved, took a different turn last night until she breathed her last.


May her soul rest in peace, Amen

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