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Blasphemy: Christian girl escapes mob attack in Bauchi

Uba Group

BY MAYOWA SAMUEL

A Christian lady has escaped a mob attack by angry Muslim youths in Katanga, Warji Local Government Area of Bauchi State after she accused of alleged blasphemy.

This is coming barely one week after Deborah Samuel Yakubu was burnt to death in Sokoto, over alleged blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.

Reports said the angry youths launched a search for the lady after the Jummaat prayers but friends and family on receiving information on the impending danger, whisked the girl away to safety.

Enraged by their unsuccessful search, the irate youths allegedly started destroying properties belonging to Christians in area.

A witness told a news media that some buildings in the area were burnt down and some Christians, including an ECWA church pastor were injured in the attack.

A leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the state, who confirmed the sad incident, said the Commissioner of Police and the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Bala Mohammed of on Christian Religious Affairs have been informed of the development.

He, however, called on the Christian community in the state to remain calm and not to allow the situation to degenerate.

The CAN leader said they had to protect themselves from the attackers, assuring that security operatives would do everything possible to protect lives and properties.

“We were at home Friday evening, when we heard shouts from Muslim youths in their hundreds wanting to attack the ECWA church, but Christian youths and others resisted and repelled them, but after they had already set the shops attached to the Church on fire.

“In the process, one of the pastors of ECWA Church was seriously wounded, as l am speaking to you, efforts are on to save his life as blood is rushing from the wounds inflicted on him”, a source narrated.

Another source said, it was one of the youths who recently got converted from Christianity to Islam that allegedly raised the alarm of the alleged blasphemy by the Christian lady and led other Muslim youths in search of her.

Buhari appoints new Statistician-General for NBS

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Uba Group

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Semiu Adeniran as the substantive Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer of the National Bureau of Statistics, with immediate effect.

This is contained in a statement by the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Sufuyan Ojeifo, on Friday in Abuja.

According to Ojeifo, the appointment follows the demise of the former Statistician-General of the Federation, Simon Harry, on April 13.

Adeniran is a professional statistician of repute with bias for Demography and Social Statistics.

He has over three decades of statistical hands-on experience, garnered from various local and international institutions.

Until his appointment, Adeniran was the Director of Demographic and Household Statistics at the NBS.

(NAN).

Court jails former NDDC MD’s aide for non-disclosure of assets to EFCC

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Uba Group

The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Friday, convicted and sentenced a former Special Assistant to Dan Abia, erstwhile Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, Goerge Turnah, to four years’ imprisonment.

According to a press statement by the spokesperson for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Wilson Uwujaren, the trial judge, A.T Mohammed, jailed Turnah on counts 1 and 3 for failure to make full disclosure of his assets in his disclosure to the anti-graft agency.

“Turnah was sentenced to two years each on counts 1 and 3 for failure to make full disclosure of assets contrary to section 27 (1) & (3)(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act 2004 and punishable under Section 273)(c) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act 2004,” the statement said.

Turnah was prosecuted by the EFCC, between 2017 and 2022 for obtaining money by false pretense, money laundering and abuse of office.

He was, thereafter, arraigned together with his wife, Jennifer Turnah, on May 16, 2018, and re-arraigned on June 18, 2019, by the EFCC on a four-count amended charge.

Both of them entered “not guilty” pleas to the allegations.

However, prosecution counsel, I. Agwu, called several witnesses and presented several documents in court during the trial.

In his judgment, the trial judge said the prosecution established that the convict did not fully disclose his assets in the asset declaration form he filled out at the EFCC.

In addition, the court discovered that he was one of the Directors and majority shareholder of Ashford Consult and Events Nig. Ltd.

One of the count charges read: “That you George Turnah Alabh on or about 15th March 2017 at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, South/South Zonal Office, No, 6A Olumeni Street, Old GRA Off Forces Avenue, Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court knowingly failed to make full disclosure of your assets to wit: your interest in one of the Director and majority shareholder of Ashford Consult and Events Nig. Ltd in the Asset Declaration Form you filled at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1) & (3)(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (3)(c) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act 2004.

Count three read: “That you George Turnah Alabh on or about 15th March 2017 at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, South/South Zonal Office, No, 6A Olumeni Street, Old GRA Off Forces Avenue, Port Harcourt within the Jurisdiction off this Honorable Court failed to furnish information of your interest as one of the Directors and major shareholder of Ashford Consult and Events Nig. Ltd in the Asset Declaration Form you filled at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 27 (1) & (3)(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act 2004 and punishable under Section 27 (3)(c) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Establishment Act 2004.”

NGX: Market capitalisation dips by N159bn

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Uba Group

Trading on the nation’s bourse closed on a downward trend on Friday, with market capitalisation dropping by N159 billion to close at N28.562 trillion compared with N28.721 trillion achieved on Thursday.

In the same vein, the All-Share Index lost 295.53 points or 0.55 per cent to close at 52,979.96 points against 53,275.49 on Thursday.

Hence, the Year-to-Date performance of the index decreased to 24.03 per cent.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Royal Exchange Assurance, Academy Press, amongst others.

However, market market closed with 28 gainers relative to 25 losers.

Neimeth Pharmaceuticals dominated the gainers chart in percentage terms appreciating by 10 per cent to close at N1.76 per share.

Conoil Plc came second with 9.88 per cent to close at N31.15, while McNichols Consolidated Plc rose by 9.79 per cent to close at N2.13 per share.

Cutix Plc rose by 9.77 per cent to close at N2.92, while NEM Insurance rose by 9.75 per cent to close at N4.39 per share.

Conversely, Learn Africa led the losers chart in percentage terms losing 10 per cent to close at N2.25 per share.

GSPEC Plc trailed with a loss of 9.79 per cent to close at N3.41 while Academy Press dipped 9.56 per cent to close at N1.23 per share.

Royal Exchange Assurance lost 9.52 per cent to close at N1.14 while FTNCocoa shed 8.57 per cent to close at 32k per share.

Transactions in the shares of Jaiz Bank topped the activity chart with 142.36 million shares valued at N126.87 million.

Chi Plc followed with 100.06 million shares worth N60.06 million, while Transcorp traded 21.34 million shares valued at N27.83 million.

Abbey Buildings sold 13.88 million shares worth N22.23 million, while United Bank for Africa transacted 11.11 million shares worth N87.99 million.

In all, the total volume of shares declined by 59.01 per cent with an exchange of 436.58 million shares valued at N3.22 billion traded in 4,716 deals.

This was in contrast with 274.57 million shares worth N8.45 billion traded in 5,184 deals on Thursday.

(NAN)

Flying Eagles win 3-1 to lift WAFU title

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Uba Group

Nigeria’s under-20 male football team, the Flying Eagles, on Friday emerged champions of the West Africa B Zone when they defeated the Young Squirrels of Republic of Benin 3-1.

They achieved this feat after winning in the final match of the WAFU B Under-20 Championship held in Niamey, Niger Republic.

Tolulope Ojo set Nigeria on the path to victory in the 38th minute with a marvelous goal at the Stade General Seyni Kountché.

Ojo, who plays his club football for Ikenne-based Remo Stars, made it two for Nigeria in the 62nd minute.

Ibrahim Muhammad made it 3-0 with 16 minutes to go, when he cleverly won the ball as the Beninoise goalkeeper tried to launch an attack, and then heaved the ball over his head.

The Squirrels scored a consolation goal with few minutes to the end of the match.

The Republic of Benin side had won their Group A which included hosts Niger Republic, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo, before edging Burkina Faso in the first semi-final match on Tuesday.

Nigeria, seven-time African champions, were worthy winners of the trophy.

They started their campaign with a 2-0 spanking of tournament title-holders and continental champions Ghana, before a 2-2 draw with Burkina Faso.

In the semi-finals, they were stretched to the limit by an Ivorian team with a blistering pace and superb turn, but they still edged the tie 2-1 after extra time.

Nigeria and Benin Republic will now fly WAFU B zone’s flag at the 2023 Africa Under-20 Cup of Nations in Egypt.

(NAN)

Uba Group

Katsina youths drum support for Yahaya Bello’s presidential aspiration

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Uba Group

Ahead of the APC’s primaries, youths in Katsina State have staged a rally in the metropolis in support of the presidential ambition of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

Addressing the youth on Saturday in Katsina, the Coordinator of Rescue Nigeria Mission in the state, Abdullahi Usman, said the rally was to mobilise the people of the state, especially the youth, to support Bello.

According to him, the rally is necessary because the Kogi governor has done a lot of developmental projects in the state, especially the youths’ empowerment programmes.

“Bello has done a lot in terms of security in Kogi State; the state is among the most peaceful in the country, especially in the northern part.

“I believe this is achieved due to his commitments, and interest in the progress of the country.

“Therefore, the people of Katsina should also give their support for his presidential aspiration.

“Security is among the top challenges in the country, therefore he has strategies to tackle the problem in the country.

“And also, we are seeking the women, and youths’ support for Bello, because he is a youth like us.

“We have the belief that he will carry us along, and will be the best,” he said.

The youth, including people with special needs, converged on the APC state secretariat.

(NAN)

Nigeria, UAE to further extend bilateral ties

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Uba Group

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his determination to do more to ensure the growth and intensification of the strategic partnership between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In a short interaction with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the new Ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE during a condolence visit to the Presidential Palace on Friday, President Buhari expressed his condolences and that of Nigeria on the demise of the late President Sheikh Khalifah and congratulated the new President on his election.

President Buhari expressed the hope that under Sheikh Mohamed the two countries will continue to actively champion a vision of sustainable security, strengthen counterterrorism cooperation, facilitate trade and investment, and promote prosperity and development.

In the seven years of the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency, the two countries have actively conducted bilateral dialogues leading to several agreements and Memoranda of Understanding that have paved the way for further cooperation, mutual understanding and progress in many aspects of their bilateral relations.

Osun 2022: My life in danger — Lasun

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… Alleges attack on campaign office by opponents

Uba Group

BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO

The governorship candidate of Labour Party in the July 16 election in Osun State, Lasun Yussuff, has alleged that his political opponents are after his life over his insistence on contesting the governorship seat of the state.

Yussuff also disclosed that some unknown gunmen, allegedly hired by his political opponents, stormed his campaign office at Oroki Estate, Osogbo and destroyed the louvers and campaign billboards on Thursday night.

Addressing journalists at his campaign office in Osogbo on Friday, the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives said he would be lodging complaints at the police and Department of State Security commands adding that security agents would find out the particular political party or person behind the threat to his life and attack on his office.

He said, “happenings in recent times, particularly since we secured the ticket of the Labour Party to contest the July, 16th 2022 election in Osun State, there have been some unusual behaviour by certain individuals and groups towards me and my campaign team. As a politician, I believe/think this is one of those antics in politics by some politicians until I started noticing open confrontations being carried too far which the public, especially security agents, must be aware of.

“I hereby seize this opportunity to intimate the press and public about the ugly incident/attack to our campaign office yesterday (Thursday) and some previous physical attacks to my person and my entourage in the past two weeks. All these ugly attacks on me, personally and my campaign office, point to the fact that my life and all others involved in my Gubernatorial Campaign in Osun are in serious danger.

“Last week, some group of political thugs abruptly stopped my convoy threatening and warning me of several planned attacks if we refuse to back down/stop our gubernatorial campaign. In fact, to put it straight, I was told point black that my life is in danger and that they will continue to trail me to attack me and also disrupt all my campaign activities and events anywhere in Osun State.”

On how the alleged attack took place, the governorship hopeful said, “At exactly 11pm yesterday (Thursday), some political thugs numbering about eight stormed my campaign office at Oroki Estate barely thirty minutes after we all left for the day. They came with cutlasses, guns and other weapons and descended on my billboards, signposts and windows of the gate house destroying everything in sight.

“The night guard in panic came out to challenge them with all his might. He was however, able to battle them causing them to run away. But this happened after they had destroyed everything outside the campaign office while the night guard’s resistance prevented them from gaining entrance to the campaign office.

“I therefore seize this opportunity to intimate the public and the whole world that my political opponents have sponsored some thugs to be after my life and to disturb our gubernatorial campaign. The security operatives are hereby put on red alert in this respect.

“I state here unequivocally that nothing can stop our campaign and no threats can stop me from becoming Governor of Osun State come July 16th 2022. I am peace loving and expect all contestants to be. Thuggery and hooliganism or employing violence to win election will not work this time around! Even using money will not!

“My campaign is based on issues and programs premised on changing the narratives for Osun and its people. The sitting governer and other contestants are hereby advised to desist from thuggery and hooliganism and let our campaigns be based on sound debates focused on issues and our programs for Osun economic growth and development,” Yussuff warned.

Nigeria’s next president must pay attention to restructuring, says Tambuwal

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Uba Group

Governor of Sokoto State and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Aminu Tambuwal, on Friday said the next president of the country must pay attention to the yearnings of Nigerians on restructuring, devolution of power and fiscal federalism.

Tambuwal who stated this in Asaba while addressing PDP delegates, said that without addressing the issue of restructuring and other constitutional amendments the country cannot move forward.

According to him, I believe that the next President of Nigeria should pay attention to the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians for restructuring.

“It’s high time we sat down and engaged on how best we can achieve efficient management and governance of the country, so that Nigeria can work for all of us.

“I also believe in devolution of powers and also giving more resources to states, and local governments.

“I believe that for us to arrest the degenerating issue of insecurity in this country, we must revisit the issue of state police and strengthening the security architecture of communities and the state level to ensure lasting peace in the country,” he said.

The former House of Representatives Speaker said he understood all the issues bedeviling the Nigerian nation, assuring he would partner with stakeholders to resolve and find solutions to Nigeria’s problems.

“We must have a President of Nigeria that can speak to Nigerians, that can engage and discuss and find solutions to Nigeria’s problems.

“So, I assure you by the grace of God when we get the mandate of our party, and we eventually win the elections, it’s going to be a partnership between the federating units and the Federal Government at the centre.

“All of these we can achieve if we have a President who understands the constitution and have friends across the country to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.

“I am the youngest among the aspirants in the PDP and I appeal to our leaders and delegates to consider me to change the narrative for our dear country,” Tambuwal stated.

He thanked leaders and stakeholders of the state PDP for their support for Governor Okowa culminating in his massive achievements in empowerment and job creation, healthcare delivery, education, infrastructural transformation of Delta like never before.

He described Okowa as a leader and a leading voice of wisdom for the party and country.

“By sustaining peace and peaceful co-existence in the state, Delta has remained one of the most peaceful states in the country

“We know the Delta of the past and the Delta of today that he presides over so we must thank him immensely for his dogged and astute leadership.

In about a week from today we will be going to Abuja for our party’s National Convention to nominate the standard bearer of our party to square up with whoever the APC will present.

“As delegates we must be very conscious of the candidate we will chose because our action will have direct consequence on the lives of those alive and those yet unborn.

“It’s a very sacred responsibility which we must emphasis with every sense of patriotism, commitment and sincerity.

“I thank leaders like Governor Okowa for resolving the issue of rotation in our party the way it was resolved.

“Agreed the constitution of our party recognises rotation, but yet again force majeure has made it compelling for the PDP to adopt the doctrine of necessity.

“In this case, the PDP said all presidential aspirants, irrespective of where they are from, can go to the field and canvass for votes and whoever wins will now be the flag bearer of our party.

“There is a lot of wisdom in what has been done and thats why you can see that our party has been stable.

“The main objective for PDP is to win the election, how can we win the election and who is that candidate that can deliver victory to our party,”

He said party leaders and delegates must watch out for indices such as electability of the candidate and how the candidate can be appreciated, valued and trusted by all the tendencies such as, regional, religious, tribal and age.

He added that the president Nigeria needs now must be competent with capacity, character and the right temperament to govern the country because “If you are erratic it will be difficult for you to manage the Nigeria of today.” he added.

On his part, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said Tambuwal was a true friend of Delta and lauded him for his outstanding accomplishments in his state’s health and education sector.

“We have had time to listen to you and we know about your success story as the Rt. Hon. Speaker of the House of Representatives and we know also of your achievements in Sokoto State.

“A lot of people may not have the details but I have had the privilege of visiting to inaugurate a health project and I also took the opportunity to go round and I have seen your strides both in the health and education sectors.

“As a leader in Nigeria and the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, I know that you have played your role and I believe you have all the experiences needed to govern this nation.

“We are at a critical time in the history of our nation and it requires a lot of efforts on the part of all leaders and all members of the PDP to be able to deliver this country from where we stand as at today.

“I believe that our party as we approach the National Convention on the 28th of this month, would have to do a lot to pull the people together and we must understand that the interest of Nigeria and the party must take the center stage.

“And if we look at it in that manner, we would be able to do an analysis and resolve what would be best for us before going into the general elections and i am very certain that we would be able to take the right decisions at that point in time,” Okowa said.

He said Nigerians were tired of the inept leadership offered by the APC at the federal and urged all stakeholders to work together to rescue Nigerians from the APC maladministration.

“There is no doubt that we cannot continue to allow the current APC government to govern the nation because Nigerians are definitely not satisfied with what has happened.

“A lot of things have gone wrong, we have loads of challenges as a nation and collectively, as a party, we must rise up to protect our country and the future of our people.

“It is our hope and prayer that we would be able to resolve rightly at the convention.

“For us as a people, the delegates from Delta, we would discuss amongst ourselves and at the appropriate time, we would take decisions and our decisions would be based on what is best for our party and what is best for Nigeria.

“There are some issues you have spoken about which I know have touched the hearts of our people, particularly, the issue of restructuring and devolution of powers.

“It is something that our people generally believe in and it cannot be put behind us as it is very necessary to revisit it.

“We believe in the unity of this nation but as we unite ourselves as a nation, we should be able to speak the truth to ourselves and sit on the table in such a way that everybody will be carried along in the management of the affairs of this nation.

“We want to welcome you because you are a friend and brother of this state, so it is my prayer that when we sit to discuss, we would remember those qualities that you already have,” Okowa added

State Deputy Chairman of PDP, Val Areyenka thanked the Sokoto State Governor for the visit assuring that party leaders would meet on the way forward.

The Sokoto Governor was accompanied on the visit by Chairman and members of the Tambuwal Campaign Organisation led by Senator Tunde Ogbeha.

Lagos explains clampdown on Okada

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Uba Group

Lagos State Government has described the ongoing enforcement of restrictions on the operations of commercial motorcycles, popularly called Okada, in certain parts of the state as a necessary step to curb their indiscipline, save lives and improve security.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, stated this on Friday on while shedding more light on the new enforcement order given by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the backlash recorded in a part of the state.

According to Omotoso, the resurgence of Okada operations and acts of indiscipline being exhibited by riders have become a serious source of concern as many people have lost their limbs and lives through Okada accidents.

“Our doctors are complaining that more and more people are coming with Okada-related emergency. About 1,712 accidents have been recorded in Lagos in the first quarter of this year. Out of this figure, about 45 percent; to be precise, 767 of the accidents were caused by Okada. And it is shocking to know that about 54 percent of the victims are between the ages of 30 and 39. These are our able-bodied young people who are getting cut down like that all because they mounted okada.”

Attributing the high fatality rate of riders and passengers to plying about 500 highways, major roads and bridges, which the Road Traffic Law prohibited, Omotoso affirmed that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s order was to reinforce the law and give the riders an opportunity to move out and find some other things to do.

“There is a Law that lists all the routes commercial motorcycles are restricted from plying. The Law is still there; it has not been repealed. So, the enforcement is not new and it is going to continue as the June 1st deadline stands.”

Describing as unfortunate the insecurity in some parts of the country that has forced many people to migrate to Lagos to make ends meet by riding Okada, the Commissioner explained that the development led to complaints from residents who have expressed their rejection of okada.

“Lagosians are worried about the mystery of Okada; they don’t know where they come from; the riders are unknown; they don’t even have number plates. They don’t come for LASRRA registration, so we can’t account for them,” he said.

Speaking further, the Commissioner described the approach to the renewed enforcement as well planned and strategic because the State expected the kind of backlash the exercise has generated, but assured all that it was an experience the law enforcement agents were used to.

On possible increase in crime rate, following the enforcement, Omotoso said “everything the law enforcement agencies need in terms of equipment, welfare and encouragement would be provided for them to step up enforcement and security of lives and property.”

The Commissioner expressed the determination of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ensure full enforcement and allayed fears that the government would want to go back because of politics.

“Mr. Governor is a man of integrity; he is a man of his words. He is going to ensure that whatever it takes to enforce the law will be done. We have been encouraged by Lagosians who have seen the danger and who feel that moving with Okada from one place to another because it is very fast cannot be compared to the security threat they pose. The goal is to have a Lagos without motorcycles because there is no megacity in the world that you go to and find this kind of mode of transportation.

“It is also preposterous for anybody to say for votes come and mess up Lagos. No, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor, is not going to do that. This is the last time we are going to have this as the bikes are being crushed to show people that we are very serious, and communicate to those bringing them in, that enough is enough.”

Omotoso advised Okada riders to look for something else to do as there are so many opportunities in Lagos for anyone who wants to stay in Lagos and wants to be law-abiding.

“You should go and collect your LASRRA card and be an official resident of Lagos and find something to do. Artisans who left their jobs to ride Okada should find a reason now to go back to their jobs,” he said.