The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling party, the APC has just commenced at the State House, Abuja. President Buhari, VP Osinbajo, Governors and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Party and other members of the NEC are in attendance.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has described the death of the former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi as a great loss to his family, the people of Oyo State and the country as a whole.
The Governor added that he is saddened by the loss.
Sanwo-Olu, in a statement, signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile on Thursday, said Ajimobi’s shocking demise, after all efforts by medical professionals to stabilize him, when he took ill, has opened a deep sore in the hearts of millions of Nigerians, who looked up to him as a rallying point and a political stabilizer.
He said: “the passage of Senator Ajimobi hurt me. My heart was filled with grief when I was informed that I had lost another political icon our battle against the coronavirus.”
“Senator Ajimobi was more than just a politician, he was a man of many parts, whose managerial skills and experience are required at this critical period in our national life.”
“Senator Ajimobi was a distinguished Nigerian, who bestrode the economic and political space of the country like a colossus. He made his mark in the corporate world before venturing into politics.
“As first elected Governor to serve two terms in Oyo State, his achievements will remain indelible in the annals of political history of that State and Nigeria as a whole.”
While commiserating with the deceased’s family, Sanwo-Olu urged them to take heart, saying ‘‘the death of loved ones is usually one of the most painful episodes in peoples’ lives but we must realize that death is inevitable. We all will die someday. Therefore we must gather enough strength to carry on.”
“It is with heavy heart that I commiserate with his beloved wife, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, the children and other family members he left behind. My heart and prayers are with you all at this period of your grief. May God comfort you.”
“May Allah grant the soul of late Isiaka Ajimobi eternal rest and preserve a place for him in Aljanah firdaus.” Sanwo-Olu said.
Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has expressed sadness at the demise of the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
The governor, in a condolence message to the Ajimobi family and the good people of Oyo State, also directed that the state’s flag fly at half mast on Friday.
The condolence message read: “I was so sorry to hear the news of the passing away of the immediate past Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, which sad event took place earlier today.
“I cannot begin to imagine the pain the family must be going through at this time because of the loss of their patriarch. It is my prayer that God grants them all the strength to bear this great loss.
“I join the good people of Oyo State as we mourn the death of a statesman. I have directed that flags fly at half-mast tomorrow in honour of our brother, friend and illustrious son of Oyo State.
“Surely, he will be remembered for leaving a blueprint for some of the activities that our administration is now undertaking.
“The Oyo State Government will be extending to his family, all the courtesies deserving of his personage. “May his soul rest in peace.”
United States (U.S.) Secretary of State, Mr Michael Pompeo, says the “tide is turning against” Chinese multinational telecom giant, Huawei, in the sale of 5G technologies.
The assertion comes amid efforts by the U.S. to cut off the global information and telecom solutions provider from the supply chain over cyber security concerns.
President Donald Trump believes the Chinese government is using Huawei to conduct cyber espionage on the U.S. and around the world, an accusation the company denies.
In 2019, the administration blacklisted Hauwei, a move that forbids U.S. ICT companies from buying equipment from the Chinese firm.
The administration also threatened to severe intelligence sharing ties with U.S. allies that patronise the company for their ICT infrastructure.
It went further to release a rule in May aimed at crippling global sale of chips made with U.S. technology to Hauwei.
The new rule requires U.S. licences for shipments of such chips, produced outside the U.S., to the telecoms giant.
Pompeo said: “The tide is turning against Huawei as citizens around the world are waking up to the danger of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state.
“Huawei’s deals with telecommunications operators around the world are evaporating, because countries are only allowing trusted vendors in their 5G networks.
“Examples include the Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Estonia, Romania, Denmark and Latvia.”
The Secretary of State said Greece recently agreed to use Ericsson rather than Huawei to develop its 5G infrastructure.
According to him, some of the largest telecom companies around the world are also becoming “Clean Telcos”.
“We’ve seen this with Orange in France, Jio in India, Telstra in Australia, SK and KT in South Korea, NTT in Japan, and O2 in the United Kingdom.
“A few weeks ago, the big three telecommunications companies in Canada decided to partner with Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung, because public opinion was overwhelmingly against allowing Huawei to build Canada’s 5G networks.
“Telefónica states in its Digital Manifesto that ‘security is paramount,’ and its CEO and Chairman José María Álvarez-Pallete López recently declared, ‘Telefónica is proud to be a 5G Clean Path company.
“Telefónica Spain and O2 (UK) are fully clean networks, and Telefónica Deutschland (Germany) and Vivo (Brazil) will be in the near future without equipment from any untrusted vendors,” he added.
Pompeo said global preference of secure 5G was increasing, noting that Hauwei was not a company to be trusted with sensitive data.
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, declined to stop further proceedings in the trial of former Group Managing Director (GMD), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu, over alleged $9.8 million money laundering.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in a ruling, held that although both parties had filed appeals before the Supreme Court, whose outcome would likely impact the case before him, he was constrained by virtue of Section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) to continue with the case as ordered by the Court of Appeal Justice Mohammed noted that the provision of Section 306 of the ACJA and the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Olisa Metuh and the Federal Republic of Nigeria had effectively outlawed the grant of stay of proceedings in criminal cases on grounds of the filing of an interlocutory appeal.
The judge held that although both parties in the case were dissatisfied with the April 24 judgement of the Court of Appeal in Abuja and had since appealed the decision, the court could not do otherwise but to comply with the provisions of the law.
Mohammed adjourned the case until July 8 for the defendant to enter his defence in respect of count three and four, which were now left in the original six-count charge brought against him by the EFCC.
Yakubu was arraigned on March 16, 2017 on six counts of failure to make full disclosure of assets, receiving cash without going through a financial institution, which borders on money laundering and intent to avoid a lawful transaction under law, transported at various times to Kaduna, 9,772,800 dollars and 74,000 pounds.
The EFCC alleged the money was recovered by its agents from a safe allegedly hidden by the defendant in a house in a community in Kaduna State.
On Oct. 17, 2018 the prosecution closed its case after calling its 17th witness, Suleiman Mohammed (an EFCC operative), who gave evidence regarding how the commission’s officials, on Feb. 3, 2017, recovered 9,772,000 dollars and 74,000 pounds stashed in a huge fire proof safe in a building belonging to the defendant, located at Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna State.
At the close of prosecution, the defendant made a no-case submission, which Justice Mohammed partially upheld in a ruling on May 16, 2019.
The judge struck out two of the six counts contained in the charge and ordered Yakubu to enter defence in relation to the remaining four counts
Justice Mohammed said: “I agree with the defence counsel that the prosecution had failed to prove the essential element of transportation of money on counts five and six. I accordingly discharge the defendant on counts five and six.
“Even though I am tempted to discharge the defendant on counts one to four, I am, however, constrained to ask the defendant to explain how he came about the monies recovered from his house.
“Fortified with my position, the defendant is hereby ordered to enter his defence in respect of count one to four.u appealed to the Court of Appeal, Abuja.
In a judgment on April 24, the Court of Appeal partially upheld Yakubu’s appeal.
A three-member panel of the appellate court held, among others, that the prosecution was unable, by the evidence it led at the trial court, to establish a prima facie case against the defendant in relation to counts five and six.
The Court of Appeal then struck out count five and six from the charge and ordered the case be returned to the trial court for Yakubu to enter defence in respect of count three and four.
At the mention of the case on Wednesday, prosecution lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar, said both parties had appealed to the Supreme Court, and that both appeals at the Supreme Court had been entered and briefs of argument filed.
Abubakar argued that the appeal by the defendant was marked: SC/CR/223/2020, while that of the prosecution was marked: SC/CR/241/2020.
“By the provision of Section 306 of the ACJA 2015 and the EFCC Establishment Act 2004, application for stay of prosecution shall not be entertained where there is an interlocutory appeal.
“However, in the instant case, whatever decision the Supreme Court might arrive at will affect this case in one way or the other. “I am not making any application for stay of proceedings in view of the provision of Section 306 of the ACJA,” Abubakar said.
Responding, lead defence lawyer, Ahmed Raji, SAN, objected to the court staying proceedings in the case.
Raji referred to the provision of Section 306 of the ACJA and the Supreme Court’s decision in the Metuh v. FRN case and said: “I am, therefore, not surprised when Mr Abubakar said he is not applying for stay of proceedings. I commend him.
“I would have loved to get a stay of proceedings, because my appeal has great chances of succeeding, which would have made it unnecessary for the defendant to enter defence in respect of the two remaining counts.
“Therefore, as a member of the Inner Bar, I owe it a duty to act, at all times, in accordance with the state of the law.
“We are, therefore, compelled to comply with the subsisting order of the Court of Appeal, mandating the defendant to state his side of the story in respect of count three and four,” Raji said.
Muhammad Abdallah, chairman and chief executive officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Thursday June 25 stated that the insurgency witnessed in the North-East region of the country is fuelled by tramadol abuse.
Abdallah said this ahead of an International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking scheduled for June 26 with the theme “Better Knowledge for Better Care”.
The NDLEA boss who called for a unified stance on the fight against drug abuse, disclosed that tramadol is the most abused opiate in the country.
Abdallah said; “The government of India has upped its ante; they have now put more control on the supply of tramadol to Nigeria.
“Tramadol, if I will explain a little bit more, for normal medicinal dosage is between 50mg and 100mg. But the ones we have seen in Nigeria range from 200mg to like 500mg. Even a horse will be deadbeat by the time it takes that.
“But that is what Nigerians have been taking. That is what fuels insurgency in the north-east, because theatre commandants have testified to me that every Boko Haram camp they have overrun, they found paraphernalia of drug abuse, particularly tramadol.
“The whole average of drug abuse in nations is 5%. In Nigeria, it is getting to 15%. That is not a data or a statistic we should be happy with.”
He further revealed that the federal government has taken some steps in addressing the challenges faced in the fight against drug abuse, and this include authorizing an upgrade on the staff strength of the agency.
Abdallah added; “On the part of the government, it has taken some steps to ameliorate some of the deficiencies of the agency. For a start, Mr President has authorised an upgrade on the staff strength of the agency.
“A staff strength of 5,000, without being told, is not a staff strength that can fight drugs the way it should be fought in Nigeria.
“Let me just mention three local governments – you know Mushin in Lagos, you know Fagge in Kano or even Nyanya in Abuja; I could deploy all of that strength to these places including me and there will still be some loopholes for trafficking and abuse to go on.
“That is why the president has approved the upgrade in phases. Following this will be logistics and equipment which come naturally with the upgrade of personnel.”
The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, has felicitated with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on his 55th birthday saying the Governor has shown true leadership in his administration’s efforts to implement policies that put the state ahead in terms of growth and development.
Speaker Obasa, in a statement released by his media office on Thursday, noted that Governor Sanwo-Olu’s passion for the success of Lagos has reflected in the way the government works round the clock daily trying to tackle various challenges and sustain the tempo of progress in the state.
Obasa, who is the chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures, specifically commended the Governor for ensuring a sustained cordial relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of the state government.
“With joy in my heart, I join other Lagosians, our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Nigerians in celebrating you on this day.
“Your exemplary qualities, wisdom, prowess and love for Lagos state reflect daily in the bond we share. We are now more of brothers bound together by the need to keep Lagos, not just running, but flying, and you have constantly shown the zeal to achieve this.
“Your loyalty to a common course has seen infrastructural rejuvenation, security and peace enjoyed by Lagosians in the last one year.
“Backed by the state legislature, the way Lagos has handled the COVID-19 pandemic has become a reference in the fight against its spread,” the Speaker noted.
While urging the Governor to continue with the pace of progress in the state, Speaker Obasa promised that the House of Assembly, though a separate arm of government, will continue to support positive steps to place Lagos above the “Common Standards of Excellence.”
The All Progressives Congress, APC, National Executive Council, NEC, meeting has commenced.
The NEC meeting convened by embattled Deputy National Secretary of APC, Victor Giadom is holding at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting has in attendance President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and some members of the APC National Working Committee, NWC.
Buhari’s Personal Assistant on New Media, Bashir Ahmad made the disclosure in a tweet.
“The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling party, the APC has just commenced at the State House, Abuja. President Buhari, VP Osinbajo, Governors and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Party and other members of the NEC are in attendance,” he tweeted.
The Coronavirus pandemic has continued to affect the country’s economy, leading to mass retrenchment.
Bowen University has now joined the growing list of organizations downsizing to stay afloat.
According to reports, the private university located at Iwo in Osun State, sacked over 100 workers on Tuesday, June 23.
It was gathered that the sacked staffers received their letters of disengagement through email late on Tuesday.
One of the affected staff said the school claimed that the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic was the reason for the retrenchment.
The mass retrenchment is reportedly “generating tension on the campus” and some are threatening to protest the action.
An affected staff said: “Over 100 of us are affected and we may resort to violence because the reason for the sack was not genuine.
“The Vice Chancellor, Prof Joshua Ogunwole, recently bought a vehicle worth over N42 million despite the economic situation. So you can see that it is caused by wickedness and insensitivity.”
University spokesman Toba Adaramola confirmed that the institution sacked some workers, including academic and non-academic staff. He said about 8-10% of the workforce was affected.
He said: “The decision affected those in academics and non-academic staff.
“In August 2018, it was discovered that the university is heading toward inflection point and the management deliberated on the reasons for the inflection.
“It was discovered that change of culture was part of the problem. Hence we embraced technology and so many staffers were no longer needed to perform certain duties.
“Although it is a painful decision but one that is necessary to sustain the university since it is not public institution that can rely on any subvention apart from the fees it charged its students.”