Category Archives: Breaking News

PHOTONEWS: Edo PDP Women Storm Benin City Centre, Reject APC

Thousands of women on Friday morning stormed the Benin City Ring Road Friday morning, chanting and praying against the All Progressives Congress (APC)

They said they don’t want the APC anymore in the state.

The women however, wore insignia of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Photos:

Edo Priestesses Visit Edo Assembly With Juju, Lay Curses on Opposers of Governor Obaseki

The spiritual leader of Ekutetebite Negwogho group, Princess lnibokun lmasemwenbor, has laid curses on opposers of Governor Godwin Obaseki.

The Edo priestess, who visited the Edo State House of Assembly with her team on Friday morning, pronounced the curses at the gate of the Assembly.

She was in company of other priestesses, who said they represent the priestesses of traditional worship centres across Benin Kingdom.

Speaking on their behalf, Princess lnibokun lmasemwenbor, said she inherited her symbol of authority as juju priestess from her grandfather and whatever she pronounced on anyone will be so.

“I was at home when I saw on television the crisis at the Edo Assembly. I heard some of the things said that some people from other ethnic groups are trying to turn Benin upside down. We Benin people don’t like what they are doing.

“APC is oppressing Obaseki, that is mere oppression, they want to oppress our Obaseki.

“Why I am interested in the matter is that we did not have access road to my community before Obaseki became Governor. We used to spend so much to come to Benin. But now, we can travel in and out of our community with ease, no more erosion.

“For that reason, I must support Obaseki for a second term. Whoever says he will turn the state upside down to rig the election, let the heads of our ancestors torment them.

“Obaseki is a peace maker, he gave us amenities of life and for that reason, I have to back him up with my strength.”

Princess lmasemwenbor assured that Obaseki will be re-elected Governor again for another four years.

“Nobody will grab it from him and whoever says he will turn the state upside down to subvert the wishes of the people, help us tell such people that the head of our ancestors will torment them, all the deities of Benin kingdom should torment them,” she warned.

BREAKING: Edo House of Assembly roof dismantled, iconic mace taken down

Some men on Thursday vandalised the Edo State House of Assembly and removed its roof.

According to a video shared by Channels Television, the men were seen removing the iconic legislative mace on top of the building.

The video also showed trucks offloading gravels at the entrance of the Assembly Complex while the suspected vandals trooped into the building.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that policemen on Thursday surrounded the Assembly complex in Benin City, the state capital.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the Deputy Speaker, Yekini Idiaye, was impeached by the state lawmakers.

The member representing Orhionmwon-South constituency, Roland Asoro, has since been appointed deputy Speaker and was immediately administered the oath of office and oath of allegiance by the Speaker.

(The PUNCH)

Federal Police take over Edo House of Assembly

Men of the Nigerian police were spotted at the Edo state House of Assembly complex today, a day after minority members impeached the Deputy Speaker, Yekini Idiaye.

Dozens of the security officials were said to have stormed the complex while patrol vehicles were stationed there.

Also reports from Channels Television gathered that the police took the action following a reported threat of an attack on the facility.

The police officers were led to the Assembly by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Ayoola Ajala from Abuja.

The motive of the police was not clear, as this is a developing story.

Idiaye was impeached on Wednesday during a plenary session of just 10 members of the Assembly out of the elected 24.

The speaker, Frank Okiye was elected by the 10 members, in an inauguration that took place at night last year, and endorsed by Governor Godwin Obaseki.

The excluded 14 members have not been part of the assembly since then and the minority members had even gone further to declare their seats vacant.

But matters came to a head on Wednesday, when Idiaye was impeached.

The lawmaker representing Akoko-Edo Constituency I and four other members of the Assembly on Monday pledged their support to the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Those who joined Idiaye are Hon. Emmanuel Agbaje, Akoko-Edo Constituency II; Hon. Nosayaba Okunbor, Orhiomwon East Constituency; Hon. Dumez Ugiagbe, Member-elect, Ovia North East Constituency I; and Mr. Hon. Vincent Uwadiae, Member-elect, Ovia North East Constituency II.

*This is a developing story

Air Peace sacks over 70 pilots, cuts salaries by 40%

Air Peace has sacked over 70 pilots across its fleet types as the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a huge toll on its operations.

The airline said it had to take the “painful but rightful” decision in the face of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations and financial health.

It said the job erasure for pilots amongst it over 3000 staff became imperative because it could not afford to continue fulfill its financial obligations without carrying out restructuring of its entire operations to survive the times.

Besides, the carrier said the painful decision was to keep its operations afloat after it carried out a raft of measures including cut of zero to 40 per cent in the salaries of staff.

In a statement in Lagos on Monday, the airline management said such move was critical to sustain its operations and survive the times.

The statement reads: “This decision is inevitable under the circumstances we find ourselves. In order to protect the continuity of majority of the existing jobs and the possibility of creating new ones in future, the survival of the airline is of paramount importance. When everything comes back to normal those pilots affected today will have a place to come back to in future if they so wish.

“Anything short of what we have done may lead to the collapse of an airline as could be seen in some places worldwide during this period.

“Therefore, we decided to review the salaries being paid to all staff. The new salaries reflect zero to 40 per cent cut of the former salary depending on the salary grades of every staff.

“Even after the cuts, it was obvious for us to be able to sustain our operations and survive the times, some jobs must inevitably have to go.”

BREAKING: Gov Ikpeazu sacks TIMAAS boss, LG chairmen of Umunneochi, Aba North and South,  Commissioner for Transport

The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Ph.D has approved the immediate suspension of the following

1. The General Manager of Traffic and Indiscipline Management Agency of Abia State (TIMAAS).

2. The Transition Committee Chairman of Aba South Local Government Area.

3. The Transition Committee Chairman of Aba North Local Government Area.

The Governor has also relieved the Commissioner of Transport, Barr. Ekele Nwaohammuo of his appointment as Honourable Commissioner.

The Transition Committee Chairman of Umuneochi LGA, Engr. Mathew Ibe has equally been relieved of his appointment.

The Governor, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, Ph.D has also approved the appointment of the following as Commissioner Nominees;

1. Tony Nwanmuo

2. Godswill Nwonoruo

The Governor has also approved the appointment of Barr. Ezechikamnayo as Transition Committee Chairman Nominee for Umuneochi Local Government Area.

The Deputy Chairmen of the affected Local Government Areas are to take over and together with their Heads of Service immediately set up a taskforce to check environmental indiscipline and other vices.

TIMASS taskforce is also to be setup to further check these excesses.

SIGNED:

Dr. A.C.B. Agbazuere
Chief of Staff to the Governor.

Group sues Buhari, Malami, over unpublished details of govt loans

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to order President Muhammadu Buhari to publish details of loans that have been obtained by the government since May 29, 2015.

These will also include the interest rate, the total amount of debts that have so far been incurred by the government, as well as details of the projects on which the loans have been spent.

Joined as respondents in the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/785/2020 are Mr Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; Ms Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; and Ms Patience Oniha Director-General of the Debt Management Office.

SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to tell Nigerians the names of countries and bodies that have given the loans, specific repayment conditions, and whether any public officers solicited and/or received bribes in the negotiations for any of the loans, and if there is plan to audit the spending of the loans, to resolve any allegations of mismanagement and corruption.”

The body is also asking the court to: “direct and compel President Buhari to tell Nigerians if he would instruct the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor the spending of all loans obtained since May 2015.”

SERAP is arguing that: “Opacity in the spending of loans would continue to have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of citizens. Transparency would ensure that the loans are not diverted to private pockets, increase public trust that these loans would be used to benefit Nigerians, provide good value for money, and reassure Nigeria’s creditors.”

According to SERAP, “This suit is permitted under the Freedom of Information Act, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.”

SERAP is also arguing that: “While access to loans can provide indispensable resources, the mismanagement and squandering of any such resources would be counter-productive. Nigerians should no longer be made to repay debts incurred in their name but which have not benefited them in any manner, shape or form.”

The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) request dated 30 May, 2020 to President Buhari, expressing “concerns that while governments since 1999 have borrowed money in the name of Nigeria and its citizens, much of the funds have reportedly been mismanaged, stolen or squandered, leaving the citizens with the burden of having to repay these loans.”

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Adelanke Aremo, read in part: “the massive and growing national debts have continued to have negative impacts on socio-economic development and on Nigerians’ access to public goods and services, including quality education, adequate healthcare, clean water, and regular electricity supply.

“SERAP is praying the court to hold that the interest of the public in publishing the information sought is far greater than any other interest President Buhari may be trying to preserve.

“Transparency and accountability in the spending details of all the loans that have so far been obtained by the government, and those obtained by previous administrations would mean that the loans can help Nigeria to overcome its acute development challenges, and reduce the possibility of mismanagement and corruption.

“SERAP is seeking an order to direct and compel President Buhari to disclose information on details of spending of loans obtained by successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999, list of countries and bodies that have given the loans, and specific conditions of repayment of the loans.

“Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens but more particularly those who publicly took oath of office to protect and preserve the constitution is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of law.

“The Nigeria Government has signed on to the Open Government Partnership [OGP], and the country is a state party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.”

It would be recalled that Buhari recently sought the National Assembly’s approval for a fresh loan of $5.513bn, reportedly to fund the 2020 budget deficit, critical projects, and support some states. The National Assembly also recently approved a N850 billion loan. Another loan of $22.79bn, had previously been approved by the National Assembly.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

BREAKING: Nigerian govt announces NECO, NCEE, NABTEB exam dates

The Federal Government says the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) organised by the National Examination Council (NECO) for SS3 pupils will commence on October 5.

The examination will end on November 18, 2020.

Also, National Business and Technical Examination Board (NABTEB) examinations will start on September 21.

It will end on October 15, 2020.

Emeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education, announced the dates at the end of a two-day meeting with Chief Executives of examination bodies.

Director of Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education (FMoE), Ben Goong, made the announcement.

Furthermore, the National Common Entrance Examination (NCEE) into Unity Colleges will hold on October 17, 2020.

The Basic Education Certificate Examinations, (BECE) for JSS 3 pupils also conducted by NECO, will start on August 24 and end on September 7, 2020.

However, registration for the NECO (SSCE), which is on-going, will end on the 10 of September, 2020 with no option of extension.

BREAKING! Abia State PDP Chairman, Onuigbo Is Dead

Chairman of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Abia State chapter, Chief Johnson Onuigbo, popularly known as Akinboard is dead.

Jungle Journalist Media Ltd learnt that he died in the late hours of Monday after a brief illness.

A family source said the cause of his death is unknown.

He has been deposited at the mortuary.

More details to follow.

BREAKING: Fuel tanker explodes in Delta, killing many (PHOTOS)

About 20 persons have been reportedly burnt to death when a tanker carrying petroleum product exploded around Koko Junction section of the Benin/Saepele Expressway in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State.

The incident, according to sources, occurred around 11am on Wednesday when the tanker exploded.

It was gathered that the victims were burnt beyond recognition while no fewer than 10 vehicles were gutted by fire.

“The tanker carrying petroleum product was trying to escape a bad spot when it fell and suddenly exploded between Koko Junction and Ologbo section of the Benin/Warri in Delta State.

“More than 20 persons were burnt beyond recognition. About 10 vehicles were trapped in the explosion. The victims were occupants of the burnt vehicles.

“Officials of FRSC and security agencies are already here trying to remove the corpses. Many persons were injured. It’s a terrible situation”, a source eh witnessed the incident told our correspondent.

Niger Delta Today