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The chairman of Wukari local government area in Taraba state, Mr Adi Daniel has raised alarm over fresh attacks by the Tiv militia in Wukari town.


He told newsmen via a telephone interview that the militia from Benue state had launched attacks Friday morning in Wukari and burnt down over 28 houses and shot many people before they were chased away.


The chairman who expressed shock over the attacks said this came barely three days after deputy governors of Benue and Taraba states including their traditional rulers and other key stakeholders met and signed a peace accord.


He with the peace accord signed it was expected that both sides in the crisis would lay down their arms.


He said the militia invaded Wukari with heavy arms and started shooting and setting houses ablaze.



“They invaded Wukari at about 6am and burnt down 28 houses and wounded many people,” the chairman said.


The chairman of the Tiv cultural association in Taraba state, Mr Goodman Dahida said it was the Jukun militia that first launched an attack on Kywo town which is a Tiv community at about 10pm Thursday.


Mr Dahida stated further that the Jukun militia who attacked the Tiv community were chased and ran into Wukari town



Contacted, the police public relation officer Taraba police command, DSP David Misal said the command is waiting for the report on the incident from DPO Wukari.



Residents of Nsukka town in Nsukka Local Government of Enugu State have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the N30, 000 new National Minimum Wage Bill into Law.


The residents, in a separate interview with the newsmen in Nsukka on Friday, said the president had once again demonstrated that his administration was workers friendly.


Mr George Ngwu, Chairman of National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Nsukka Local Government Area, said the president had shown that he had the welfare of workers at heart by signing the bill into law.


“By this gesture, he has demonstrated that his administration is workers friendly.



“The N30, 000, when implemented, will help to increase the purchasing power of workers as well as enable them to attend to other family needs,” he said.


Ngwu, however, urged the president to ensure that governors implement the new minimum wage, to put a smile on the faces of workers.


“Now that the president has given assent to the new national minimum wage, he should go a step further to ensure that all state governors implement it.”


Mrs Njideka Edeh, a civil servant, said she was as happy like a newborn child yesterday when she heard that Mr President had assented to N30, 000 new national minimum wage for workers.


“I commend Buhari for signing the new national minimum wage into law as well as saying that the implementation should start on April 18.


“Though N30, 000 is not capable of solving all the financial problems of civil servants, based on the present economic hardship in the country, but it will to an extent reduce them,” she urged.


Mr James Ozioko, a trader, described the signing of the bill into law as a welcome development, adding that it would go a long way to increase the purchasing power of workers.


“Traders make good sales when civil servants have money because when a worker has money, he or she will enter the market to buy what he or she needs.


“I am happy that the President has signed the N30,000 new national minimum wage bill law, traders are going to make more sales when implemented,” he said.


President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, signed into law, the N30,000 new minimum wage bill and ordered that its implementation should take effect from April 18



(NAN)



A former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, has dragged the United Kingdom to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, in a bid to quash his conviction by a London court.

The attestation papers, filed in this respect, were received by the European court on April 16, 2019.

The foundation of Ibori’s appeal, according to the papers filed by his counsel, rests on his claim that Britain disobeyed its own laws all in a rush to get him convicted.

His counsel argued that “this application concerns an unusual provision of United Kingdom law: s17 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (‘RIPA’).


According to the former governor’s counsel, “it prohibits any reference, in any proceedings, to an intercepted communication or its contents- e.g. an intercepted phone call – in circumstances in which its origin as an intercepted communication is disclosed or could be inferred. The United Kingdom is virtually unique in having such a provision: intercepted communications are used routinely as evidence in court proceedings throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

Ibori’s counsel alleged that the “operation of Section 17 of RIPA, as applied in the highly unusual circumstances of his case, resulted in a violation of Ibori’s rights pursuant to Article 6 of ECHR”.

He further argued that this actually is the crux of the matter, because Britain’s failure to obey its own laws has rendered every other thing that followed, including his guilty plea later, defective.

Ibori went on appeal after pleading guilty. But his counsel said, in the appeal papers filed at the European Court of Human Rights, that Ibori had pleaded guilty to criminal offences but subsequently applied for permission to appeal his convictions in light of the disclosure of new material.

According to his counsel, it is this “new material” which surfaced later that Ibori is predicating this appeal on.

The counsels argued that, “it was a highly unusual note because it provided information, which could easily identify the source of the new material on which the Applicant’s appeal was based. However, in a reverse twist, such disclosure is prohibited in all court proceedings by Section 17 of RIPA”.

In an effort to attempt to comply with Section 17 of RIPA for the remainder of the hearing, the Court of Appeal imposed ‘Ground Rules’ on the parties, which limited what the applicant’s counsel could refer to in his submissions.

The applicant submitted to the Court of Appeal – and submits in this application – that Section 17 of RIPA, combined with the ‘Ground Rules’, prevented him from properly developing his submissions before the Court of Appeal, adding that “as a result his appeal hearing was unfair.”

This development, it was learnt, is the major plank on which Ibori’s case rests.

The former governor appealed to the EU Court of Appeal because a London Appeal Court had refused to interrogate this submission and actually ruled that the issue of what is now known as “the Wass Note” was a no-go area.

He alleged that Britain denied him his rights to fair trial – which is recognised everywhere in the free world.

His appeal was based on the following issues: “That identified corrupt British Police Officers were responsible for the conduct of the case against him. That they deliberately withheld prosecution evidence, which had it been disclosed at the correct time would have prevented any guilty pleas being entered. That the prosecution failed to follow the legally required RIPA procedure as stipulated in British Law.”

He alleged that the Court of Appeal ruled against him and went further to refuse him leave to bring an appeal on the case they had just determined.




President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday that recent upsurge in banditry, kidnappings and other violent crimes in the country, shook him, but assured the nation that the killers would be defeated ultimately.

He stated that security agencies had been given the necessary support to end the killings, which the President admitted was a trying phase that would pass away.


Buhari raised his concerns in an Easter message he released in Abuja.

In the message, which he personally signed, the President rejoiced with Christians, urging all to “use this auspicious season to show love to our neighbours, and cater to the needs of the less-privileged in our midst,” a lifestyle exemplified by Jesus Christ.

On the security challenges, he stated, “Our nation is currently gripped with gloom over unfortunate killings, kidnappings and violence, as seen in the recent tragic incidents in some states of the federation.

“This should not be. We must reinforce the bond of brotherhood and good neighbourliness that citizens of a cohesive country must share. We must not allow the few bad elements in our communities to put asunder our communal tendencies and chords of unity.

“I know from my regular interactions with security chiefs, state governors, victims and members of communities caught up in the unfortunate cycle of violence, that Nigerians are united against the evil minority.

“This administration will do all it takes to adequately equip and motivate our armed forces and other law enforcement agencies to enable them successfully confront these security challenges. We will not allow merchants of evil and death to overwhelm the nation.

“Under my watch, the nation will triumph over them – terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and the like.”

In his message, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, urged Nigerians to imbibe the value of sacrificing in the interest of the country as demonstrated by Jesus Christ.

He said Christ’s selfless service to humanity was being commemorated across the world at the Easter period.

Saraki stated this in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, on Thursday.

He congratulated Christian faithful in Nigeria and across the world as they celebrate the Easter festivities.

He expressed appreciation to Nigerians for their steadfastness and prayers which he said, had immense impact on the peace, unity and continued survival of the nation.

He noted that the successful conduct of the 2019 general elections was a direct testament to the sincere efforts and prayers of all Nigerians.

Saraki said, “The Easter period is again a reminder that we have to imbibe the spirit of making sacrifices in the interest of Nigerians as exemplified by Jesus Christ whose birth, life, passion, death and resurrection brought salvation to mankind.”

Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, enjoined Edo residents and Christians across the country to emulate Jesus Christ’s example of selfless sacrifice as espoused in commemoration of Good Friday.

In his message to mark Good Friday, a Christian Holiday in preparation for Easter celebration, Obaseki said, “As Christian faithful celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary this Easter season, I urge everyone to reflect on the essence of this day, the value of giving oneself and passion for the downtrodden.

“Good Friday embodies Christ’s love for mankind, for which he gave his life. Likewise, as we celebrate, we should remember to be our brother’s keeper, uphold the spirit of togetherness and sacrifice for the greater good of all.”

He urged Edo residents to celebrate peacefully and take the opportunity to share the love of the season with their neighbours, noting, “I enjoin Edo people to share the love of this season with their neigbhours. Adequate arrangement has been made to ensure hitch-free Easter celebration in the state.”

Kwara State Governor-elect, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, congratulated Christians on the successful completion of the Lent and Easter celebration.

“This period reminds everyone of the sacrifice, selflessness and commitment of Jesus Christ. I therefore call on Nigerians, especially Kwarans, to reflect on the lessons of Easter and translate same to everyday event in our lives,” the governor-elect said in a statement issued by his media aide Rafiu Ajakaye.

He urged everyone to also strive to bequeath a legacy of peace and selflessness to the coming generations, as did Jesus Christ.



Suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen lost yesterday the battle to affirm his integrity.

The Code of COnduct Tribunal (CCT) pronounced him guilty of violation of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers.

The CCT, in a unanimous judgment of its three-member panel, held that the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt, the relevant elements of the offences in the six-count charge on which Onnoghen was tried.

However, Onnoghen has appealed the judgment.


Tribunal Chairman Danladi Umar held, in the lead judgment, that the prosecution, led by Aliyu Umar (SAN), proved, with hard facts, devoid of technicalities, that Onnoghen made false assets declaration by deliberately omitting to declare the five domiciliary accounts he maintained with Standard Chartered Bank, and in which huge deposits were found.

Umar, who reviewed the evidence led by parties and the exhibits tendered, noted that while the prosecution established its case against the defendant, Onnoghen called only his driver as his sole witness, and in so doing, failed to discredit the evidence of the three witnesses called by the prosecution.

He agreed with the prosecution that Onnoghen’s claim, in his statement, that he forgot to declare the five accounts he opened between 2010 and 2011 in Standard Chartered Bank, which were found to have remained active since then, amounted to admittance of non-declaration and false declaration of asset.

Umar noted that since Onnoghen admitted that he forgot to declare the accounts, it means that the declaration he made was false.

“The prosecution has proved the charge any beyond any reasonable doubt. The preponderance of proof has been established against the defendant. The defendant falsely declared his asset by deliberately omitting to declare his five bank accounts, and he is found guilty of contravening the Code of Conduct for Public Officers.”

After holding that the tribunal has found the defendant guilty, the chairman asked Onnoghen’s lawyer if he had anything to say in the form of allocutus.

Lead defence lawyer, Okon Nkanu Efut (SAN) said he has nothing to say.

When Umar put the same question to Onnoghen, who had all the while sat quietly in the dock, he (Onnoghen) stood up, bowed a little and said: “I have nothing to say, my lord,” and sat down.

The Tribunal Chairman resumed reading the judgment and said: “The tribunal has clearly examined the evidence of PW1, PW2 and PW3 and exhibits tendered by the prosecution, and come to the conclusion that the defendant has falsely declared his assets by deliberately omitting to declare the five accounts under consideration.

“And on that note, find the defendant guilty of the aforementioned breach of the code of conduct for public officers.

“By the provision of Section 23(2). Of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, the defendant has clearly violated the provision of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers and he is accordingly convicted as follows:

*The defendant is hereby removed from office as the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council and Chairman, Federal Judicial Service Commission. 

*The defendant is hereby barred from any public office for the period of 10 years. 

*The money in the five accounts, which the defendant has failed to disclose and has not produced evidence as to how he amassed such amount of money not declared, the money in those accounts is hereby confiscated, seized and forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria as it is crystal clear that such money was acquired illegally based on the fact that the defendant has failed to produce any evidence as to how he acquired such huge sums of money in those bank accounts.”

Following CCT judgment, Justice Walter Onnoghen will forfeit N47, 878,933.87 to the Federal Government.

The cash is the total sum in the five accounts which the tribunal confirmed that Onnoghen did not declare.

The breakdown of the sums is as follows: $10, 187.18 (N3, 565, 513 @N350 to $); £13, 730.70 (N6,563,274.6 @ N478 to £); $63, 832.99 (N22,341,546.5); N2, 556, 019. 25; N12, 852, 580.52.

The case at the tribunal was “about failure to declare five accounts and alleged violation of the Code of Conduct Act.”

The account Exhibits the government presented to the tribunal were as follows:

CCB4o, CCB4p, CCB4q for Onnoghen’s Euro Account No. 93001062686 with NUBAN No. 5001062686 with a balance of $10, 187.18(USD) as at 11th January 2019 
CCB4r, CCB4s, CCB4t and CCB4u for Onnoghen’s Pound Sterling Account No. 285001062679 with NUBAN No. 5001062679 with a balance of £13, 730.70 as at 11th January 2019 
CCB4v, CCB4w, CCB4x, CCB4y and CCB4z, CCB4za, CCB4zb, CCB4zc, CCB4zd, CCB4ze, CCB4zf for Onnoghen’s Dollar Account No. 0001062650 with a balance of $63, 832.99 USD as at 11th January 2019. 
CCB4zg, CCBzh, CCB4zi, CCB4zj and CCB4zk for Onnoghen’s Naira NUBAN Account No. 0001062667 with a balance of N2, 556, 019. 25 as at 11th January 2019. 
CCB4zl, CCB4zm, CCB4zn, CCB4zo and CCB4zp and CCB4zq, for Onnoghen’s Nigerian Naira NUBAN Account No. 5000162693 with a balance of N12, 852, 580.52 as at 11th January 2019.
In two earlier rulings before the judgment, the tribunal dismissed two motions filed by Onnghnen in the form of preliminary objection to the charge.

The first challenged the tribunal’s jurisdiction to try Onnoghen when the allegations against him had not been presented before the NJC, in line with the Court of Appeal judgment in the case of Justice Hyeladzira Ajiya Nganjiwa against the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The second asked the tribunal Chairman to recuse himself from further sitting on the case on the grounds that he was allegedly charged with demanding bribe from a defendant, Rasheed Taiwo, a retired Customs officer, who was charged before the tribunal.

In dismissing the first motion, the tribunal said it had the power to try Onnoghen for the offences contained in the six-count charge before it.

The tribunal said it was trying Onnoghen as a public officer, not as a judicial officer, and hence there was no need to first refer the charge against him to the National Judicial Council (NJC).

It said, in the conduct of its affairs, the CCT is not under any supervision of anybody, including the National Judicial Council, and, therefore, not subject to the directive of the NJC.

The tribunal reversed its earlier judgment in the case of Justice Sylvester Ngwuta on the grounds that its finding in the Ngwuta case was based on wrong legal principles and narrow interpretation of statute.

In the Ngwuta judgment, the tribunal had upheld the Court of Appeal judgment in the case of Justice Nganjiwa, to the effect that any allegation of misconduct against a serving judicial officer must first be referred to the NJC.

In the second ruling, the tribunal said it was impossible to have its Chairman step down from a case, because where there is no Chairman, there is no tribunal.

The issue about the allegation of bribe against the Chairman has been fully investigated and effectively dealt with by the EFCC It said the EFCC cleared the Chairman on the grounds that the petitioners could not prove their allegation.

The tribunal dismissed the defence’s argument that the defendants was not likely to get a fair trial because the Executive was the investigator, prosecutor and judge in the case.

It noted that since the Judiciary, whose judges are appointed by the Executive, is not dictated to by the Executive, the defence’s fear that the CCT’s conduct of the trial would be dictated by the Executive is baseless.



Analysts at FSDH Research have said Nigeria still has room to borrow an additional N7.89 trillion before reaching a threshold of about N32 trillion.


Recall that the Debt Management Office (DMO) during the week announced that Nigeria’s debt stood at N24.4 trillion as at December 31, 2018.


The release of the report stirred a hot debate in the country, with different stakeholders appealing to federal government to reduce its borrowings. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also cautioned the country against embarking on further borrowings.


However, in its report released this weekthe Lagos-based investment company said based on the fact that the public debt-to-GDP ratio of Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, was still under 20 percent, precisely 18.89 percent, it can still get more loans to reach the 25 percent benchmark set for itself and the 56 percent international threshold set for countries in Nigeria’s peer group.



FSDH Research argued that countries like China, South Africa, India, UK and USA all have high debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over 50 percent, but stressed that they have successfully managed to deploy their borrowings into activities that can stimulate revenue generation including education, transportation, construction, security, technology, and other growth-enhancing infrastructure.


“By utilizing these borrowed funds in areas that improve the ease of doing business in their countries, they have been able to grow their economies further, create job opportunities, and create more avenues for their governments to grow their revenue,” the report said.


It advised the Nigerian government to diversify its revenue and create multiple sources so as to change the present narrative.


“Just as FSDH Research has suggested several times in our previous reports, there is an urgent need to expand the revenue base of the country through the growth of the non-oil sector.


“We suggest that the government should adopt strategies to increase and broaden its revenue. Some of these strategies include an increase in the tax base of the country (apart from an increase in the tax rate), removal of all administrative delays in obtaining licences and approvals (including titles to landed properties for building and agricultural purposes), the sale of unprofitable government assets and, removal of subsidies on electricity and Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).


“In addition, we emphasize that borrowing should be tied to specific projects that can improve the competitiveness of the country, such as the FGN Sukuk Bond.


“To conclude, as individuals and business entities in Nigeria, we can help government generate more revenue by paying our taxes and other dues as and when due. And government must surely reciprocate with the provision of appropriate facilities that will make life better for all,” it said.



Folarin Falana, Nigerian Afro-pop act better known as Falz, has topped the Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria’s list of the highest grossing Nollywood stars for 2018.
The rapper, whose formidable presence in the film industry earned him an award at the 2018 African Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, emerged the highest grossing Nollywood actor in the official list released on April 17, 2019.
According to the list, which revealed the details of the highest grossing Nollywood actors, Falz was 2018’s most bankable figure in the industry.
He appeared in three films — ‘Chief Daddy’, ‘Merry Men’ and ‘New Money’ — grossing N513 million.
But, of course, Falz isn’t the only Nollywood actor on the list as nine other Indigenous film stars have equally pulled tremendous feats and their movies grossing are detailed accordingly below.
Richard Mofe Damijo (N496 million)
·         Chief Daddy – N236 million
·         Merry Men- N235 million
·         God Calling – N18 million

Osas Ighodaro (N461 million)
·         Merry Men – N235 million
·         King of Boys – N226 million

Toni Tones (N333 million)
·         King Of Boys – N226 million
·         Lara and the Beat – N31 million
·         The Royal Hibiscus Hotel – N58 million
·         June – N 13 million

Chioma Omeruah (N329 million)
·         Chief Daddy – N236 million
·         Ghost and Tout – N77 million
·         Crazy People – N16 million

Zainab Balogun (N313 million)
·         Chief Daddy – N236 million
·         The Royal Hibiscus Hotel – N59 million
·         God Calling – N18 million

Ademola Adedoyin (N287 million)
·         King of Boys – N226 million
·         Lara and the Beat – N31 million
·         God Calling – N18 million
·         Knockout Blessing- N7 million

Jim Iyke (N272 million)
·         Merry Men – N235 million
·         7 and A half dates – N33 million
·         Lovebirds – N4 million

Ramsay Nouah (N251 million)
·         Merry Men – N235 million
·         Crazy People – N16 million
The 2018 list of highest grossing Nollywood stars was included in the 2018/2019 Nigerian Box Office Yearbook and released in partnership with Comsco, the official data reporting partner.

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