Chibiko Ikenna Offorhttp://www.therepublicannews.netA trained scientist and fictional story writer. A republican by all definition and an advocate of youth leadership in politics. Tough conversationalist, debater, and a musician by nature. I love to bring to the audience some hard stories that could be considered controversial but good enough for much-needed debate. Social debate must always be in the front burner to help harness social justice.
A Chief Magistrates’ Court in Kano, on Tuesday, ordered the arrest of three persons including Mannir Sanusi, the Chief of Staff to the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II.
NAN reports that the three were dragged before the court by the Kano State Public Complainant and Anti-corruption Commission for failing to honour its invitation in a N4 billion fraud investigation against the Emir of Kano.
Chief Magistrate Mohammed Idris ordered the arrest of Sanusi, who holds the traditional title of Damburan Kano, Mujitaba Abba and the Accountant of Kano Emirate Council, Sani Muhammad-Kwaru, over their alleged refusal to honour the commission’s invitation.
The commission wrote to the court seeking an order of arrest against the three palace officials.
Idris consequently issued and signed the arrest warrant sequel to a motion by Salisu Tahir, Chief State counsel. Tahir had said that the request was based on the provision of Section 38 of the enabling Law establishing the Commission.
According to NAN, the Commission had invited four people in connection with the allegation, of which only one person, Isa Bayero, alias Isa Pilot, who was a former Scribe to the Emirate Council, honoured the invitation.
When contacted, the Chairman of the commission, Mr Muhiyi Magaji said the three persons that have an arrest warrant on their heads are the principal suspects in the case.
He said the commission had already requested security operatives to enforce the order and arrest the three persons.
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An American identified as Ara Dolaria, has been arrested by the United States government over an illegal arms deal with the Nigerian government. The 58-year-old man who was arrested on May 15 and also stands accused of money laundering, and conspiracy, allegedly accepted approximately $8.3 million from Nigeria and SEI. A statement released by the U.S. attorney’s office on Monday, May 20, 2019, revealed that his Fresno-based arms brokering company, Dolarian Capital Inc. (DCI), had been denied licenses to broker international arms deals by the U.S. Department of State beginning in 2013 and continuing through 2014.
However he went on to execute sales contracts with Societe D’Equipments Internationaux (SEI), a French arms brokering company acting on behalf of Nigeria, for the purchase and transfer of high‑explosive bombs, rockets, military-grade firearms, and aircraft-mounted cannons worth more than $8.5 million. It was gathered that the Nigerian government funneled the funds, in part, through a purported furniture company in Hong Kong and then routed them through numerous shell accounts held by Dolarian and others.
Below is the tweet from the United States Department of Justice with regards to this case against the accused, Mr Ara Dolaria.
Former Fresno man allegedly attempted to broker sales of bombs, rockets, military firearms, and aircraft-mounted cannons from Eastern Europe and South Africa to Nigeria https://t.co/ioyCpIPRiA— EDCAnews (@EDCAnews) 20 May 2019
While the US government seized over $6 million that remained in Dolarian’s account with civil forfeiture proceedings related to that seizure currently pending, it was learnt that he used the funds to pay off personal expenses such as federal and state tax debts, and the purchase of a BMW SUV. The American who was arrested for $8.5m illegal arms deal with Nigerian government, had also tried to broker illegal arms deals with the Cameroonian government as well as Paul Malong, a South Sudanese warlord in Kenya. (Culled from unclesuru, US Department of Justice)
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Bahrain’s Olympic women’s marathon silver medalist Eunice Kirwa has been provisionally suspended after failing a doping test, the Athletics Integrity Unit said in a statement. Kenyan-born Kirwa, who switched allegiance to Bahrain in 2013 and finished second at the Rio Olympics in 2016, tested positive for erythropoietin, EPO, a banned blood-boosting hormone that improves endurance.
“The AIU confirms (a) provisional suspension against… Bahraini long-distance runner Eunice Jepkirui Kirwa… for a violation of the IAAF’s (International Association of Athletics Federations’) Anti-Doping Rules,” AIU said in a statement.
Kirwa becomes the second women’s marathon podium finisher at Rio to test positive for the same substance after Kenyan gold medallist Jemima Sumgong, who was suspended for four years by her country’s anti-doping agency, ADAK, in 2017.
Sumgong’s ban was doubled to eight years by the AIU after the IAAF found her guilty of providing false information while defending herself against the initial sanction, but was allowed to keep her gold medal as she tested positive in April 2017.
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The Anambra State Police Command has warned the Indigenous People Biafra not to dared it or be ready to face the consequences. The police warning followed insistence by IPOB that it would on 30th, May paralyse economic activities in the South-East and beyond with a sit-at-home protest.
According to the secessionist group, it would use the day to honour people of Biafra allegedly killed during the civil war of 1967-1970 and others allegedly killed recently by security agencies in different parts of the geopolitical zone.
But in a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Haruna Mohammed, the command warned IPOB not to dare it by going on with the planned protest, reminding the pro-Biafra group that it remained a proscribed organisation.
The statement read in part, “Information at the disposal of the Anambra State Police Command has revealed that the outlawed group, Indigenous People of Biafra is perfecting plans through public announcement and threats in Nnewi and other parts of the State in order to enforce a “sit-at-home,” warning people to stay at home and not to come out for any business activities on the 30th of May,2019.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Indigenous People of Biafra is still a proscribed organisation hence all its activities remain illegal.
“The Commissioner of Police Anambra State, Mustapha Dandaura enjoined all Anambra people to disregard alleged calls by any group urging them to sit at home on the 30/5/2019 and go about their lawful businesses.
“The CP further assured the public that adequate security arrangements have been put in place by combined security forces in the State to nip in the bud any threat emanating from such groups.”
The statement added, “The Command will therefore not hesitate to deal decisively with and in accordance with the law any individual or groups under any guise that will disrupt public peace in the State”.
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BMW is on the verge of making the next generation of its flagship i8 sports car a fully electric model, according to sources at the firm. Bosses are at a crucial decision-making stage with the next i8 and senior officials at the German car maker are now said to be favouring a pure-electric model.
Gallery: 2020 BMW M550i xDrive gains more power in Europe (motor1.com)
The second-generation i8, tentatively slated for introduction by the end of 2023, was originally conceived as a high-powered four-wheel drive evolution of today’s petrol-electric hybrid. That type of set-up has been clearly indicated by BMW development boss Klaus Fröhlich on a number of occasions over the past year.
However, recent information out of BMW’s R&D headquarters in Munich, Germany, reveals the development of an alternative plan under which the next i8 would adopt a newly developed pure-electric drivetrain. The Current i8 combines a three-pot petrol with electric power move would be part of a “race to road strategy” that, Autocar has been told, aims to provide a “tangible link” between BMW’s involvement in Formula E and its i electric car division.
The alternative pure-electric plan developed for the i8 revolves around what one key Munich insider describes as a “new high-torque pure-electric driveline”. Its adoption could put the successor to today’s first-generation model into direct competition with a number of emerging limited-volume zero-emission supercars, including the Tesla Roadster and a planned pure-electric replacement for the existing Audi R8, while eclipsing rivals such as the planned plug-in hybrid Porsche 911.
Secrecy surrounds the new electric driveline and the amount of power it develops, although Autocar has been told it shares key elements with the four-wheel-drive system being developed for the production version of the BMW iNext, which is undergoing testing ahead of its planned launch in 2021.
Among its innovations is a new generation of electric motor. Developed in-house, it is claimed to achieve “significantly higher rotational speeds” than the existing synchronous units used in the hybrid system of today’s i8.
Prototype versions of the new electric motor, which is scheduled to be produced at BMW’s drivetrain plant in Munich, have already been tested in i8 mules, according to Munich-based engineering sources. They suggest the new motor has been conceived to provide future BMWs with the high-revving characteristics of the company’s combustion-engined cars.
The battery pack for the all-electric BMW sports car is expected to draw on lithium ion cell technology from Chinese battery specialist CATL. The two companies have already announced plans for battery manufacture at BMW’s Dingolfing plant in Germany from 2021 in readiness for the introduction of the iNext.
Although BMW has studied automotive applications for solid-state battery technology with US partner Solid Power since 2017, one source said such tech is not deemed sufficiently mature for consideration for the next i8. The source admitted that although simulation tests under laboratory conditions have brought promising results, it is still not yet ready in the unit capacity that would be required for ranges over 250 miles.
A further sticking point in the proposal to turn the i8 into a pure-electric model is the platform. Although it has been described as being suitable to support pure-electric capability, the existing model’s carbonfibre structure lacks the modularity of more modern skateboard-style designs used by rival car makers.
One possible scenario is to base the future i8 on a modified platform from the production version of the iNext (above), which, unlike the upcoming iX3 and i4, is set to receive a newly developed structure.
“There are two lines of thought on the new i8. Both appear to have their merits, but there is no definitive decision as yet,” a high-ranking BMW official said in response to rumours in the German media suggesting the company had already settled on the alternative all-electric option.
With raw material and battery cell sourcing contracts becoming an increasingly important consideration in the production of hybrids and pure-electric cars, a decision on how the i8 will progress would likely need to be taken before the end of 2019 to ensure it meets its planned introduction date.
Among the factors favouring BMW’s original hybrid plan for the next i8 is the relative ease and little cost with which the existing model’s carbonfibre and aluminium platform could be upgraded to accommodate a new petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain.
“I have a carbonfibre chassis in the i8, so I would like to use something like that with much more performance – electric and conventional,” Fröhlich said in response to queries on the future of the i8.
BMW’s head of development also indicated the new i8 could receive a four- or six-cylinder combustion engine in place of the three-cylinder petrol unit in use today: “Then it will be very soon in the 600bhp-or-something region and it will not have a weight of two tonnes.”
With today’s facelifted first-generation model developing 369bhp, such a move could potentially provide the second-generation i8 with nearly double the power of its predecessor. However, such a figure is still significantly down on that of a number of recent electric hypercars, most of which exceed 1000bhp and are from start-up firms.
Maintaining the i8 as a plug-in hybrid may allow BMW to keep it at a more reasonable price point than those cars, which tend to list in the seven-figure range. Although a full-electric car is likely to be pricier, BMW’s economies of scale and engineering would still help keep costs (and therefore the car’s price) down.
A decision on whether BMW will opt to spend big and turn the i8 into a pure-electric model or adopt a significantly more powerful hybrid driveline within a modified structure from the existing model is expected to be made during a board meeting in the second half of this year.
The electric i8 would have to beat
Audi is set to reinvent the R8 as an electric supercar in 2022, according to sources. While that will spell a sad end to the glorious naturally aspirated V10 engine, it will likely give a substantial performance increase. A battery-powered R8 will serve as the ‘halo’ model in Audi’s market-leading electrification plans, with targets to sell 800,000 electrified cars by 2025. The current R8’s sales haven’t been as strong as its predecessor’s and this radical rethink aims to address that.
The second generation of Tesla’s all-electric Roadster has been a long time coming, and the first examples of it aren’t expected to be delivered until 2020. The Californian brand is making typically bold statements about the performance and efficiency of its Roadster, claiming it has the highest range of any production EV, at 620 miles. The promised acceleration stats are just as mind-blowing: 0-60mph in less than two seconds and a top speed of more than 250mph.
Porsche 911 hybrid
Okay, it’s not strictly an EV and not due for a good couple of years. But the 911 is the archetypal sports car and has eclipsed the i8 in terms of sales. Such a traditional car moving to a plug-in hybrid is a sign of the times. Its powertrain is likely to adopt much of the tech from the Panamera S E-Hybrid’s system, albeit mated to a flat six and at the rear. Large performance increases are expected, but it remains unclear if such a heavy system could upset the car’s balance.
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The National Secretary, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Mr Saleh Alhassan, has said his group indeed demanded from the Federal Government the payment of N100bn to herders but for the construction of ranches and not for amnesty as reported on social media.
Alhassan made the clarification in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday.
He claimed former President Goodluck Jonathan promised to give them the money and that was what informed their decision to support his re-election in 2015.
The Miyetti Allah chief, however, said that after Jonathan left, the initiative was suspended, hence the decision of the group to present the matter to the President Muhammadu Buhari government.
Asked why N100bn should be paid to violent herders to stop kidnappings, Alhassan said, “That is a mischievous statement. Do they pay money like that? Have they ever paid any money like that? That N100bn has been on the table for mini-ranches since 2014 when (former) President Goodluck Jonathan was trying to address the lingering crisis between farmers and herders.
“So, part of that money was, I think, used by state governors under the committee chaired by the then Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam. But I don’t think the bulk of the money has reached the pastoralists, the herders.
“As part of that policy, they (the Federal Government) are trying to see how they can now assist livestock producers to address farmers/herders conflicts via a policy.”
He added, “So, people now saying they have given Miyetti Allah N100bn to stop kidnappings are just being mischievous because from what we have observed, there are certain people that are twisting narratives.”
Alhassan lamented that some Nigerians didn’t want any kind of support to come from the government for livestock development.
“If we are going to have ranches, definitely, some support would come from government,” he said.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and some government officials had come under fire last week for allegedly promising to pay Miyetti Allah N100bn as amnesty to curb the rise in banditry, kidnapping and killings.
However, both the police and the Presidency denied ever discussing money with herdsmen.
Alhassan said there was nothing wrong if Buhari honoured a promise made by Jonathan to the farmers.
“If today, the Buhari government sees policy that was there since 2014 and wants to see how it can be implemented by supporting cattle breeders, not just Fulani but anybody that is breeding livestock, to access facility like the Anchor Borrowers you have with the Central Bank of Nigeria, I don’t think it’s something that calls for propaganda.” (Punch)
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**NASS passes Bill making it Democracy Day, public holiday
Magnus Eze, Enugu, Fred Itua, Abuja and Chinelo Obogo
The Federal Government has received kudos as the Bill recognising June 12 as Democracy Day scales the National Assembly hurdles.The Senate, yesterday, concurred with the House of Representatives on the passage of a bill to legalise June 12 as Democracy Day.
Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan moved that the House bill which sought the concurrence of the Senate be read the second and third reading. The motion was unanimously carried and the bill passed.
If President Muhammadu Buhari assents to the Bill, May 29 that had been held as Democracy Day since 2000 will cease to be.
It equally means June 12 of every year will replace May 29 as Democracy Day if the bill is signed by President Buhari
In separate reactions, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Afenifere lauded the ratification of June 12 as a healthy development for the nation’s polity.
The apex-Igbo group said the election held in 1993 and annulled by the military government marked a watershed in the annals of Nigeria’s democratic experience.
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chief Chuks Ibegbu told Daily Sun that without June 12, there would not have been any further democratic milestone in the country.
He, therefore, urged the ruling class and all Nigerians to imbibe the lessons of June 12, even as he said what was currently going on in the country was political drama.
“Nobody can discountenance that June 12 was a watershed in this country. Without it, all these subsequent democratic journey wouldn’t have been possible. Anything done to make that day sacrosanct is laudable. The significance of June 12 should not be lost on the ruling class and all Nigerians.”
While the Afenifere also expressed happy that the date has got national recognition, it said until the tenets of democracy were upheld by the Federal Government, such recognition will be futile.
Spokesperson of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin told Daily Sun that the Federal Government has not embraced the principles of June 12, which is free and fair election.
“We welcome the decision of the Senate to recognise June 12 as Democracy Day and we are happy that the date has got official recognition. However, we are worried that if we are not careful, all that we are doing will amount to a mockery of June 12, if we do not embrace the spirit of June 12, which is free and fair elections. We just had elections in March; did that election reflect what June 12 stands for? All that June 12 stands for has been watered down, we are living with the spirit of annulment on the one hand, while we celebrate the date (June 12) on the other hand. So, until we live with the spirit of what June 12 stands for, it would appear that we are just playing games.
“If the president genuinely believes in June 12, we would not have gone into an election without amending the Electoral law. We did not sign the Electoral Bill and went into election only to ratify June 12 in order to validate the election. For us, it is not just about celebrating the symbolism of that date, it is about the nation accepting the spirit of June 12. That’s when we can clap our hands,” Odumakin said.
Reacting, Anthony Sani, Secretary General of the ACF said: “When President Muhammadu Buhari recognised June 12 as Democracy Day in honour of Chief MKO Abiola, we applauded the action and prayed that the gesture would go a long way to bring about healing of the wound inflicted by annulment of the election in 1993. And if the NASS has passed the decision into law, then it is heartening. Democracy Day is now legally on June 12 of every year”
President Buhari, had in June 2018, as a way to immortalise the late M.K.O Abiola, acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, declared June 12 as the new Democracy Day.
To give the Presidential declaration necessary legal backing, Edward Pwajok and Kayode Oladele sponsored a Bill in the House of Representatives last year.
The bill passed by the House in March, sought for an Act to amend the Public Holidays Act to declare June 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria in view of current realities and exigencies of the modern time.
Pwajok who led debate on the bill, noted that before 1979, there were separate Acts regulating public holidays in the country.
The Plateau State lawmaker recalled that in 1975, a law was enacted to repeal all state laws on public holidays and to streamline the process of declaring holidays for the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He noted that by law, the president may declare any day as a public holiday by public notice or Act through the Minister of Internal Affairs.
He added that by the schedule of the Act, some days such as New Year Day, National Day like October 1 and religious festivals were set aside for public holidays.
The lawmaker said in 2000, the National Assembly amended the schedule to declare May 29 as Democracy Day.
He noted that in May 2018, President Buhari announced June 12 as the new Democracy day.
Pwajok posited that for the pronouncement of President Buhari to become effective, there has to be an amendment of the Public Holidays Act.
The Federal Government had said President Buhari’s inauguration for a second term on May 29 will be low-key.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who spoke to State House correspondents on the activities slated to mark the May 29 inauguration said a number of events slated for the inauguration will be held on June 12.
Mohammaed said the decision to have a low-key inauguration for the presidentwas taken at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council on May 8. He said invitations had been sent to world leaders to attend the ceremonies, marking the observance of Democracy Day on June 12. (The Sun)
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