June 13, 2019 // 3 days ago


Buhari: We Will Lift 100m Nigerians Out of Poverty


President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday set a 10-year target for Nigeria to lift at least 100 million of its people out of poverty. The president, in his inaugural address for a second term in office delivered in Abuja, said his administration would thenceforth begin to lay the foundations for accomplishing the poverty redemption goal by offering a leadership with a sense of purpose. He had deferred the inaugural address till yesterday, after his formal swearing-in for a second term in office on May 29, to give colour to the maiden celebration of June 12 as the nation’s Democracy Day.


Oando: Court Allows Tinubu to Seek Judicial Review of SEC’s Sanctions


A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, has granted the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando Plc, Mr. Wale Tinubu and his deputy, Mr. Omamofe Boyo, leave to file a motion for a judicial review of the sanctions the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) imposed on them. Tinubu and Boyo, through their counsel, had approached the court for an order to review their ban from being directors of public companies for five years and the additional imposition of N91,125,000 on Tinubu. Justice Ayokunle Faji granted the order of certiorari following an application filed by Tinubu and Boyo seeking a review of the decision of SEC.


2019 Budget Threatened as Oil Price Slumps to $60


The fundamentals of the 2019 budget are under threat as crude oil price slumped again yesterday to flatten at $60 per barrel, the same benchmark on which the N8.8 trillion budget was predicated. During the preparations of the budget estimates, crude oil price was around $80, thus giving the federal government the comfort to ignore the $50 benchmark proposed in the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) and to opt for $60 as the oil benchmark on which to base revenue projections for the budget. Concerns that Iranian oil exports to the global market would drop because of renewed sanctions by the United States had pushed the price slightly above $80 per barrel for the first time since November 2014. However, the unexpected rise in the US crude inventories, coupled with weaker outlook for global demand, has continued to push down oil prices, despite the efforts of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers, led by Russia, to reduce excess supply in the global market.


NAF Helicopter Crash-lands in Katsina


The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has said that its helicopter crashed in Katsina State in the process of landing while returning from an anti-banditry combat mission in the North-west Theatre under Operation HADARAN DAJI. There was also pandemonium on Tuesday at Labo Community in Batsari Local Government Area of the state, following the abduction of the village Head, Alhaji Maigari Bature, by unknown gunmen suspected to be kidnappers.


Mixed reactions as Buhari vows to rebuild Nigeria, renames stadium after MKO


President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday honoured the winner of the June 12 1993 presidential election, the late Chief MKO Abiola, by renaming the Abuja National Stadium after him. The President said this in a speech he read at the first National Democracy Day celebration in Abuja, stating that he approved June 12 as the nation’s Democracy Day as part of the healing and reconciliation efforts for the annulment of the presidential election.


Buhari, Tinubu will soon taste el-Rufai’s venom, says Shehu Sani


Former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani, has described the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, as a hypocrite, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari will soon taste the poisonous venom of el-Rufai. Sani said this in a Facebook post while responding to el-Rufai’s comments online. El-Rufai had posted photos of Sani and former lawmaker, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, mocking them and boasting that he was responsible for their defeat in the last elections and their “permanent” retirement from politics. In his response, however, Sani described the governor “as a neophyte who relies on the popularity of President Buhari to win elections.”


FG may lift land border vehicle importation ban — Customs boss


The Federal Government may relax the ban on importation of vehicles through the land border. The government had in January 2017 ordered a ban on importation of vehicles through the land borders. The restriction on the importation of vehicles followed that of rice, whose imports through the land borders had been banned since April 2016. But the government may reconsider its decision after the successful implementation of a new initiative by the Nigeria Customs Service and the Customs Service of the Republic of Benin to automate and network all electronic information about incoming cargoes through the border.


Suspected herdsmen attack travellers in Osun, kill LG worker


Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, on Wednesday, attacked travellers on the Ife-Ibadan Expressway at Ikire and shot dead an employee of the Atakumosa West Local Government Area of Osun State, Samson Adenipekun. Punch Metro learnt that the deceased was travelling to Ibadan, Oyo State, in an unregistered Toyota Corolla car driven by one Ismaila Olayiwola, when the incident happened. Sources said the herdsmen fired shots at the vehicle, one of which hit Adenipekun in the head.




Gowon, Obasanjo, other ex-leaders absent from June 12 celebration


It was meant to be the celebration of a democratic milestone witnessed by people of the home country and leaders of other nations. But yesterday’s Democracy Day left many observers puzzled as none of Nigeria’s former leaders attended. Although the names of Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Ibrahim Babangida and Yakubu Gowon were included in copies of the programme shared to guests at the Eagle Square Abuja venue of the event, nobody caught a glimpse of any of the past leaders. President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were however joined on the occasion by top government officials, and foreign leaders: President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz; President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame; President of Liberia, George Weah; President of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso; and President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo.


DSS, army, NSCDC arrest activists, stop June 12 rally in Ibadan


Operatives of the Department of the State Services (DSS), alongside the Nigerian Army and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), yesterday stopped a rally of the Yoruba Summit Group scheduled to hold at Agodi, Ibadan, Oyo State.

The peaceful rally, organised by Yoruba Koya Leadership and Training Foundation, tagged “June 12 O’to ge, was expected to take place in all South-West states and Kwara and Kogi. Three activists working under a Yoruba socio-cultural group, Oodua Coalition Against Insurgency and Kidnapping in Yorubaland, were arrested and detained by men of the DSS after dispersing the June 12 rally.


CBN signals end to official rate regime for naira


The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) may soon allow the naira to freely find its value, with a possible depreciation on the official rate, usually pegged at about N305/$, an update on its website has indicated. The development is signaling an end to the most criticised foreign exchange rate window, which has been used mostly for government’s critical businesses that affect the public, particularly the importation of petroleum products. If the move sees light of day, it will mean that the value of the naira at the official window is depreciated with its concomitant closure of the peg.


Explosion rocks Rivers shopping mall


A gas explosion has rocked SPAR shopping hall in Port Harcourt, injuring many and causing a major damage to the complex. The Guardian gathered that the blast occurred in one of the restaurants on the second floor of the busy facility near the Government House in the city. The Rivers State Police Command spokesperson, Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed that no life was lost. But the bang, which gutted a part of the building, forced workers and shoppers to scamper for safety.


Kenya on high alert as second person dies of Ebola in Uganda


A second person has died of Ebola in Uganda as neighbouring Kenya intensifies screening at its border. The grandmother of a five-year-old boy who died of Ebola passed on at Bwera General Hospital in Kasese District, western Uganda, on Wednesday evening. The boy died on Tuesday night at the same hospital where an isolation facility was established for Ebola patients to be treated. “She will be buried tomorrow [Thursday] by our team after identifying a place," a source in the Ministry of Health team, which travelled to Kasese, told Daily Monitor on Wednesday. The Ebola outbreak, which has ravaged the neighbouring DRC for the last one year, was Tuesday confirmed in Uganda in the western border district of Kasese.


Zuma allies Parliament exits expose ANC cracks


The resignation of former South Africa President Jacob Zuma allies from Parliament after they were overlooked for cabinet positions has left the ruling Africa National Congress keenly watching their next move. While analysts cite an economic motive in the resignations - the pensions for ex-ministers is higher than a member of Parliament‘s salary - the fact that most of them are allies of the disgraced Zuma suggests a political motive too. Those downplaying the impact of the resignations suggest President Cyril Ramaphosa is cleaning house but others warn the resignees could "come back to bite” him. “All the people who resigned were dropped from their ministerial positions. It has a lot to do with protecting their income which would have declined if they stayed on as MPs,” political analyst Ralph Matheka said. More than 10 senior politicians have resigned as legislators.


Google honours Kenyan writer Margaret Atieno Ogola


Echoes of the award-winning novel The River and the Source continue to reverberate almost eight years after the death of its author Margaret Atieno Ogola. On Wednesday, US tech giant Google honoured the late novelist, paediatrician, and human rights advocate with a doodle on what would have been her 60th birthday.


Zimbabwe demands right to sell $300m of ivory to fund game reserves


Zimbabwe has demanded the right to sell its stockpile of ivory to raise money for conservation, wildlife authorities said Tuesday, joining other southern African nations in calling for the global ban on the trade in tusks to be relaxed. Wildlife authorities in the cash-strapped nation estimate the country‘s decades-old hoard of ivory is worth around $300 million, which they say would help plug funding gaps for game reserves. The proposal has put it on a collision course with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which prohibits the sale of ivory to curb poaching. Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia have cited the growing number of elephants in some regions in their bid to have the restrictions relaxed.


Hong Kong protests: Two people in serious condition with legislature on lockdown


At least two people are in serious condition in Hong Kong hospitals after a long day and night of violence between police and protesters. An estimated 5,000 riot police fired tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and bean bags at tens of thousands of protesters as they forcibly cleared streets around the city‘s Legislative Council in Admiralty. Confrontations went late into the night as crowds of mostly young, college-aged protesters were pushed back from the Legislative Council complex towards the city‘s Central district. At least 79 people were injured in the violence, with two remaining in serious condition, according to a spokesman for Hong Kong‘s information bureau. In a statement, the legislature said no meeting to discuss the extradition bill would be held Thursday -- a partial victory for protesters and opposition lawmakers, who have been calling for it to be postponed or dropped altogether. "Announcement will be made once the President determines the time of the meeting," the statement said.


Trump throws open 2020 election to foreign spies


President Donald Trump just made a staggering offer to every foreign spy agency and American enemy: Have at the 2020 election -- especially if you have dirt that can help him win. Even in a presidency that long ago burned through all conceivable superlatives; Trump‘s statement was a stunner.


Missile hits arrivals hall of Saudi Arabia airport, injuring 26, official says


A missile fired by Houthi rebels struck the arrivals hall of an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, injuring 26 people, a Saudi official said. Eighteen people were treated at Abha International Airport for minor injuries and another eight were taken to hospital, Turki al-Malki, spokesman of the US-backed Saudi-led coalition battling rebels in Yemen, said in a statement published on Saudi state media. "Three women, a Yemeni, an Indian and Saudi and two Saudi children were amongst those injured," al-Malki said, adding that "authorities are working on identifying the type of missile that was used in this terrorist attack."


Sara Netanyahu pleads guilty in illegal meals case as corruption probes loom over husband


Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, agreed to a plea deal on Wednesday morning in a case concerning illegally ordered meals at the Prime Minister‘s residence, according to a statement released by Israel‘s Justice Ministry. Sara Netanyahu, who was initially charged with fraud one year ago, agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of taking unfair advantage of a mistake, the Justice Ministry statement said. She will also pay 55,000 shekels (approximately $15,300) -- 45,000 shekels back to the state, and 10,000 shekels in the form of a fine. A spokesman for Israel‘s first lady had no comment.


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