Dapchi Girls: We’ll Not Abandon Christian Student Still In Custody – Buhari

By Anule Emmanuel



President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed that his government will ensure that no one group in the country imposes its religious beliefs on others in Nigeria. The President, who stated this yesterday, also assured that the Federal Government will not abandon the only girl from Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State still in custody of the Boko Haram sect. Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said he was committed to the freedom of the only Dapchi schoolgirl still in captivity.

“The Buhari administration will not relent in efforts to bring Leah Sharibu safely back home to her parents as it has done for the other girls after she was held back by the terrorists over her decision, as reported, not to convert from Christianity to Islam. “President Buhari is fully conscious of his duty under the constitution to protect all Nigerians, irrespective of faith, ethnic background or geopolitical location and will not shirk in this responsibility. “The President is equally mindful of the fact that true followers of Islam all over the world respect the injunction that there is no compulsion in religion.

“To this effect, no one or group can impose its religion on another. His heart goes out to the isolated parents who must watch others rejoice while their own daughter is still away. “The lone Dapchi girl, Leah, will not be abandoned,” he said. The President told the Sharibu family that the government will ensure that the girl is reunited with her parents. (New Telegraph)

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SHOCKING: Mother Of Four-year-old Girl Sells For Her N100 |The Republican News

By Uchenna Inya ABAKALIKI

A four-year-old girl in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state Uloma Igwe has been sold to a widow, Nwali Josephine for N100.

The girl’s mother, Veronica Igwe owed Nwali Josephine N100 during a transaction at Abakaliki Rice Mill.

The woman insisted that she must be paid the money and Veronica Igwe decided to use one of her children in exchange for the money pending when she will pay back.

Nwali then took Uloma to her house at CAS campus of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki where she has been since nine months.

However, the bubble burst when the girl became seriously sick with a swollen stomach.

A resident of the area contacted the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Ministry who stormed Nwali’s house and rescued the girl.

The ministry is currently making preparations to take Uloma to a hospital for medical treatment.

Nwali was summoned by the Ministry and handed over to the police.

Mrs Elom Cecilia in charge of child maltreatment at the Ministry confirmed the incident.

“It is child abuse and exploitation because the poor girl did not transact any business with her. This is a serious child abuse

“We received a call that a woman called Nwali Josephine was maltreating children. We hastened up immediately and went to the scene and saw the children. One of the children is four years. Her biological mother, Veronica Igwe told us that she doesn’t even know the woman should sell her child.

“She told us that she met the woman at Rice mill Abakaliki and bought something on credit from the woman. She said she could not pay the
woman N100 that was remaining and suggested to the woman to take her child if she cannot endure for her to pay her the money and the woman accepted to take the child.

“We invited the Mrs Veronica to our office and she honoured our invitation. After interviewing her, we handed her over to the police for further investigation. The child has not been united to his parents because he is sick. We are taking her to the hospital for because her condition is very bad.

On his part, Director of Child Welfare and Protection in the Ministry, Godwin Igwe described it as child trafficking.

The child was placed in debt bondage and it is one of the criteria for human trafficking. The woman who took this girl for N100 debt is a
widow, she gave birth to a baby last Saturday and she has three children already before the present baby”, he said.   (New Telegraph)

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EFCC Confirms Raid On Boroh’s House, ‘Not Aware’ Of $9m Recovery |RN


Paul Boroh

Responding to a media report that agency detectives had searched the home of Paul Boroh, the former head of the Presidential Amnesty Programme for ex-Niger Delta militants, a spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) confirmed the raid, but not the supposed amounts recovered.

Wilson Uwujaren, in an interview with Premium Times, said on Wednesday that “I am not aware of such discoveries,” making reference to a ThisDay Newspaper claim that $9 million was recovered as a result of an early Tuesday morning raid by the EFCC and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) on Boroh’s Abuja residence.

Retired Brigadier General Boroh, who had headed the Amnesty Programme for three years, was fired from his post a week ago by the President on corruption-related charges. Boroh was immediately replaced with foreign policy expert Charles Dokubo.

The EFCC spokesman confirmed ThisDay’s report of the early morning (3:00 AM) raid at Gwarimpa Estate in Abuja, though he gave no indication about how much was discovered in the search.

Boroh’s wife, Mrs Ibinye Boroh at a press briefing with family lawyer Olusola Oke, has since denied the claims by the paper about the amount recovered.

“The publication by a section of the press stating the contrary is fabricated, false in its entirety, malicious and calculated to mislead the public,” she said, confirming the raid, but not the outcome.

Mr Boroh has been in the custody of the EFCC since Monday, it is reported.

Family lawyer Oke refuting details of the ThisDay report as “disparaging” and “fallacious”, asked for a retraction within 48 hours.

Mr Boroh is just the latest in a series of former heads of the controversial Presidential Amnesty Programme who have been investigated for embezzlement and looting of public funds. Boroh’s predecessor in the Jonathan Administration, Kingsley Kuku, is still at large and may have fled the country since 2015.   (The Sun)

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Osinbajo Confirms Buhari’s Impotence |The Republican News

                                          Osinbajo, Buhari

Abimbola Adelakun

If Vice President Yemi Osinbajo expected a public outrage at his latest revelation that the whopping sums of N100 billion and $289 million were embezzled by the Goodluck Jonathan administration weeks to the 2015 elections, he must be disappointed by now. Up till now, nobody is exactly asking for Jonathan’s head on a spike. Osinbajo has confirmed people’s suspicion: that Buhari, the man who was elected to tear down the temple of corruption in Nigeria is not as potent a force as he was marketed. Nigerians that thought they were getting two raging bulls must be wondering how they ended up with these hand-wringing jokers. Osinbajo should not be surprised at the yawns and wrinkled noses he got from Nigerians for his exposé, people now think that still blaming Jonathan is an old subterfuge considering everything else that has befallen us under Buhari. If Jonathan and his merry band stole so much and up till now, the best you do is throw out repetitive lines of how much he stole; maybe you should not be in government. Nigerians voted you to fight corruption, not to join them to moan about it.

This day three years ago, it was five days before the presidential elections. Everywhere you turned at that time, you heard “Sai Baba” chanted to the tune of “anti-corruption.” Followers of the candidate and now President, Muhammadu Buhari, evangelized about the coming of this messiah whose no-nonsense stance will cleanse Nigeria’s Augean stables for good. Even his former foes forgave him without him asking. Buhari himself, aware of the weight of expectations imposed on him, sold himself as the karma of corruption in Nigeria. Everywhere he went, he sang about fighting corruption and Nigerians rocked themselves to its sonic sensation.

When Buhari was first sworn in, bragging about what Jonathan’s administration had done wrong was the most priced and bestselling share on the stock market, and the APC — still basking in the euphoria of unexpected victory — made huge dividends out of it. Almost three years after he was sworn in, the folks who rhapsodized about Buhari’s anti-corruption agenda have found that he was no different from his predecessor. He is just as clueless, and corruption — Nigeria’s Frankenstein monster — has once again swallowed another one of its creators. Post-2015 Nigeria is still in the doldrums of ineptitude, nepotism, tribalism, and uncontained violence.

Osinbajo is still talking about what Jonathan did wrong when their government has barely been able to do a single thing convincingly right. Osinbajo was also quoted as saying that at some point, those who promoted strategic alliance contracts between the NNPC and the NDPC made away with almost one-tenth of our national reserves! That is a mind-boggling amount. Such a theft ought to be thoroughly investigated and punished, and not just crunched into a sensational speech at an occasion. Osinbajo, again, said that it was only in talking about such mega-thefts that we could resolve such thieving. True, he has a point that such scams need to be addressed, but he seems to forget that talking is all Buhari’s government has done till now. People are tired of accusations; they are tiring and demoralizing. What we want to see is what the government under his watch has done about such embezzlements. How many of those people have been tried and how many are on their way to jail now? If nothing of the sort has been done, then what is the point of informing us who stole what? You are only confirming that you are weak, and your government is more or less a paper tiger. Mentioning Jonathan’s name alone used to be a potent means of whipping Nigerians into frenzied outrage about “corruption,” but people seem to be fatigued about the unending talk of what is wrong; they want transparency, reforms, and action. They are bored with people like Osinbajo constantly revving the engine of a vehicle that has no wheels.

Not only are officials of this administration adept at just talk, they, in fact, act as a striptease. Just a few days ago, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), also said that if he released details of the allowances of the principal officers of the National Assembly, Nigerians would be shocked. But what exactly would be shocking to Nigerians about his revelations considering that Sagay already informed Nigerians last year that lawmakers earned as much as N29m monthly? What else is “shockable” about what he has to reveal? At worst, he will reveal that Senate President, Bukola Saraki possibly earns N1bn monthly. Even if we find out that things are that sordid, what exactly is the reaction he expects the shock we will experience to solve?

Sagay thinks Nigeria will explode if people find out what the lawmakers cost them but most people know, just like they know that Buhari’s budget is just as padded as was his predecessors’. They just insist on keeping their sanity intact by ignoring their thieving leaders. I think Sagay — much like Peter Obi who also teased us with information about what governors earn — is overestimating the capability of Nigerians to be still shocked with the mindless looting that goes on in the country every day. Nigerians have come to realize that both the APC and the PDP are bad for their mental and moral health, and there is nothing one side can accuse the other of that it is not guilty of too. That is why Osinbajo’s revelation did not get much more than sneers and jeers. He is working in an administration whose anti-corruption agenda has become more or less reduced to accusations and counter-accusations, and he wants us to be moved by Jonathan’s profligacy.

Since Buhari became president, his cronies too have been accused of corruption, seven million people have lost their jobs between 2016 and 2017, and Nigerians have yet to recover from the effects of a recession. Think of the degree of violence that has occurred under Buhari, from the killings in Benue to Kaduna, Enugu, Taraba, and the abduction of girls in Dapchi. How about those for “shock” and explosion?  If the country did not go on the streets to protest after Buhari spent half of last year abroad, and up till now he has still not accounted for how much his health cost the country, then what is Sagay worried about?

There is every possibility that Osinbajo is right that Jonathan plundered the nation for his re-election. All the money Jonathan’s administration spent in 2015, particularly in the last few weeks of the election when he was crawling on his knees from churches to traditional rulers must have come from somewhere other than his pocket. But Osinbajo will not get the reaction he expects from Nigerians this time because Buhari himself has not shown superior morals when it comes to the issue of dipping your hands into the national pockets. 1n 2015, Buhari did not finance his campaign with five loaves and two fishes. The money too came from somewhere, and we know it was not his putatively untainted pockets. In fact, Buhari has that mystique about him: he has a way of making people believe he is personally not corrupt even though whenever he has needed money to finance his ambition, somebody’s dirty hands have picked up the invoice. Up till now, nobody in the APC has had the honour or dignity to account for their campaign spending yet they cry about others’ faults. By 2019, they are likely to do exactly what they accuse Jonathan of: take money out of the national reserves to finance their campaigns too. That is why their moral posturing moves nobody whose head on his/her shoulders can think their way out of a paper bag.  (Punch)

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N24bn Pension Fraud: Appeal Court Jails Yakubu Yusuf Six Years, Fines Him N22.9bn

                                                         Yakubu Yusuf

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Wednesday quashed the sentence of two years imprisonment with an option of N750,000 fine imposed by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on a former official of the Police Pension Office, Yakubu Yusuf,  for stealing N24bn pension funds.

A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal headed by Justice Abdu Aboki, in a unanimous judgment, described the High Court’s sentence as unreasonable and substituted it with a total of six years’ imprisonment with an addition of N22.9bn fine.

Justice Emmanuel Agim, who delivered the lead judgment of the court, ruled that “the sentences levied” by the High Court “are clearly light and lenient ones.”

The justice ruled that this allowed “the convict, who had admitted misappropriating or stealing N24bn, the option to pay the sum of N250,000 per count of offence in lieu of serving a prison term of two years for the offence,” to enjoy the huge balance he had in his possession.

He added that the “amount” of the sentences “is paltry, a pittance and unreasonably low.”

Justice Agim noted that it was “disproportionate to the amount stolen and therefore can comfortably and quickly be paid by the convict from the humongous amount stolen.”

He added that with the sentence, the convict would be left with “a huge balance of the stolen funds in his possession and without really causing him any pain of punishment.”

Justice Abubakar Talba of the Federal High Court in Gudu, Abuja, had in his judgment delivered on January 28,  2013, convicted Yusuf and sentenced him to two years imprisonment with an option of N750,000 fine.

Yusufu, had after pleading guilty to three of the counts preferred against him and others, was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment on each count with an option of paying N250, 000 fine on each of the three counts.

Although, two years imprisonment was the maximum jail term with an option of undisclosed fine prescribed as punishment by Section 309 of the Penal Code Act, under which Yusufu and his co-defendants were charged, Justice Talba ordered that the two years imprisonment imposed on the convict should run concurrently with the option of paying the N750,000 fine.

The convict had promptly paid the fine and walked free shortly after the judgment was delivered.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had through its private prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), appealed against the High Court judgment.

Delivering the Court of Appeal’s lead judgment on the appeal on Wednesday, Justice Agim held that the considerations of the High Court in imposing the light sentence were contrary to judicially established principles.

He noted that there was no monetary value of the properties already forfeited by the convict to justify the light sentence imposed on him by the High Court.

“I hold that the sentence of fine of N250,000 in lieu of imprisonment for a term of two years for each offence is unreasonable, unjust, unfair, irrational, arbitrary, and contrary to judicially established principles as it is not the result of a judicious and judicial exercise of the trial court’s sentence discretion,” he said.

He held that considering the humungous amount stolen, the nature and gravity of the offence, its destructive effect on the country, and its impact on retired police officers, the trial court ought to have imposed a severe sentence that would deter further commission of such crime and prevent the convict from retaining any part of the proceeds of the crime.

In passing a fresh sentence on Yusufu on Wednesday, Justice Agim imposed two years imprisonment on the convict on each of the three counts and in addition a fine of N20bn on the first count, N1.4bn on the second count and N1.5bn on the third count.

Justice Agim held that while the monetary fines on each of the counts amounting to N2.9bn would “run cumulatively,” the two years jail terms on each of the three counts would run “consecutively,” giving rise to a total of six years imprisonment.

He held, “In reviewing the sentence of imprisonment with an option to pay fine, as in this case, this court can vary the sentence to one of both imprisonment and fine or imprisonment without the option to pay fine.

“Considering the humongous amount stolen, the nature and gravity of the crime and its destructive effect on the country and its impact on retired police officers and the grave breach of public trust, a severe sentence that would deter the further commission of such a crime and prevent the convict from retaining any part of what he stole to avoid him obtaining financial benefit from his crime should be imposed.

“The sole issue raised for determination in the appellant’s (EFCC) brief is resolved in favour of the appellant.

“On the whole, this appeal succeeds as it has merit.

“I hereby quash the sentences of two years imprisonment or a fine of N250,000 for each of the offences in counts 18, 19 and 20 and substitute them with the following sentences for each count as follows:

“Count 18: The convict is sentenced to two years imprisonment and in addition a fine of N20bn.

“Count 19: The convict is sentenced to two years imprisonment and in addition a fine of N1.4bn.

“Count 20: The convict is sentenced to two years imprisonment and in addition a fine of N1.5bn.

“The prison terms shall run consecutively and the monetary fines cumulatively.”

Expressing concerns over the plight of the retired police officers who must have been at the receiving end of the massive theft of the pension funds, Justice Agim noted, “The offence committed by the respondent, by its nature, involves a grave breach of trust, erodes public confidence in public governance and causes retired police officers hardship and suffering.

“The funds stolen or misappropriated by the convict are police pension funds for the payment of monthly pensions and other retirement benefits of police officers nationwide.

“The theft or misappropriation of over N24bn of that fund would make the prompt payment of monthly pensions to retired police officers very difficult, if not impossible, with attendant hardship and suffering inflicted on such retired officers who rely on their monthly pensions as their only means or source of sustenance in retirement.

“The hopeless, helpless and dehumanising conditions the retired police officers have been put into by this offence that has become habitual and widespread amongst government officials in pensions departments of government whose duties are to be in custody of pension funds and process the payment of gratuities, monthly pensions and other retirement benefits to retired public servants is obvious.”

Justice Abdu Aboki, who led the three-man panel, and another member of the panel, Justice Mohammed Mustapha, agreed with the lead judgment.  (Punch)

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Elon Musk Could Become The Richest Man With His New Pay At Tesla |RN

Emmie Martin



 It’s official: Tesla shareholders have reportedly approved chairman and CEO Elon Musk’s multibillion-dollar stock option pay proposal, which will award Musk $2.6 billion in stock options in 12 tranches, or portions.

Overall, Musk could earn up to $55.8 billion in stock and awards.

The catch is that his compensation is tied to the company’s success, so Musk will only be paid if Tesla reaches a set of aggressive milestones that will eventually grow the company’s valuation from its current $52 billion to more than $650 billion.

Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla.            © Provided by CNBC Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla.

When the billionaire first announced the plan, Andrew Ross Sorkin in The New York Times called it possibly “the boldest pay plan in corporate history.” Supporters have said the plan will align Musk with shareholders and could greatly increase the company’s value.

Musk is worth a reported $20 billion, but the official salary he currently receives from Tesla is far more modest: The CEO earns just around $37,000 per year. (Musk is also the CEO of SpaceX, which is privately held.)

If Musk had things his way, he says, he’d choose not to take a salary at all. But because California law prohibits him from earning less than minimum wage, he still draws a token salary, according to the Times.

The CEO can choose not to spend the money, however. “I don’t cash it,” he told the Times. “It just ends up accumulating in a Tesla bank account somewhere.”

Musk’s not the only top executive declining pay. Taking only $1 in compensation has become something of a point of pride in and around Silicon Valley.

That’s because a company’s stock value speaks louder than a set salary. “The dollar salary really for them is meant to signify that they have large stakes in their company. The value they’re going to receive — the compensation they’ll earn — is coming solely from their stock,” Aaron Boyd, director of governance for Equilar, a company that researches executive compensation, explained to Forbes in 2014.

In the past, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Snap Inc.’s Evan Spiegel and Alphabet’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin have all opted to take a single dollar in official compensation.


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Data Misuse: Facebook Has A Responsibility To Protect Your Data, Says Zuckerberg

                                                   Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg vowed Wednesday to “step up” to fix problems at the social media giant, as it fights a snowballing scandal over the hijacking of personal data from millions of its users.

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg said, in his first public comments on the harvesting of Facebook user data by a British firm linked to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Writing on his Facebook page, Zuckerberg announced new steps to rein in the leakage of data to outside developers and third-party apps, while giving users more control over their information through a special toolbar.

Zuckerberg said measures had been in place since 2014 to prevent precisely the sort of abuse revealed at the weekend.

“But we also made mistakes, there’s more to do, and we need to step up and do it,” he said.

The scandal erupted when a whistleblower revealed that British data consultant Cambridge Analytica (CA) had created psychological profiles on 50 million Facebook users via a personality prediction app, created by a researcher named Aleksandr Kogan.

The app was downloaded by 270,000 people, but also scooped up their friends’ data without consent — as was possible under Facebook’s rules at the time.

Facebook says it discovered last week that CA may not have deleted the data as it certified.

“This was a breach of trust between Kogan, Cambridge Analytica and Facebook,” Zuckerberg wrote. “But it was also a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it.”

“We need to fix that.”

– Probe by special counsel? –

Zuckerberg’s admission follows another day of damaging accusations against the world’s biggest social network as calls mounted for investigations on both sides of the Atlantic.

Max Schrems, a Vienna-based activist who has brought online data protection cases before European courts, told AFP he complained to the Irish Data Protection Authority in 2011 about the controversial data harvesting methods.

Schrems also recounted a seven-hour meeting with Facebook representatives the following year to discuss concerns around apps operating in this fashion but said they said they saw no problems with their policies.

“They explicitly said that in their view, by using the platform you consent to a situation where other people can install an app and gather your data,” Schrems said.

ABC News reported meanwhile special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, was looking at Cambridge Analytica’s role in the Trump effort.

Citing anonymous sources, ABC said several digital experts who worked on Trump’s campaign have held closed-door interviews with Mueller’s team.

The British firm has maintained it did not use Facebook data in the Trump campaign, but its now-suspended CEO boasted in secret recordings that his company was deeply involved in the race.

– #DeleteFacebook –

The data scandal has ratcheted up the pressure on Facebook — already under fire for allowing fake news to proliferate on its platform during the US presidential election.

A movement to quit the social network gathered momentum, while a handful of lawsuits emerged which could turn into class actions — in a costly distraction for the company.

One of those calling it quits was a high-profile co-founder of the WhatsApp messaging service acquired by Facebook in 2014.

“It is time. #deletefacebook,” Brian Acton said in a tweet protesting the social media giant’s handling of the crisis.

Both Facebook and CA have denied wrongdoing, as attention focused increasingly on Kogan, the inventor of the controversial app — personality survey dubbed This Is Your Digital Life.

But Kogan said in an interview he was “stunned” by the allegations against him, claiming CA had assured him his activities were above board.

“I’m being basically used as a scapegoat by both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica,” he told the BBC. “We thought we were acting perfectly appropriately. ”

The University of Cambridge psychologist said CA had approached him to do the work, and that he did not know how the firm would use the data collected with his app.

European Union officials have called for an urgent investigation while British, US and EU lawmakers have asked Zuckerberg to give evidence.

Responding to Zuckerberg’s comments Wednesday, US Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts was the latest lawmaker to call on Zuckerberg to appear.

“You need to come to Congress and testify to this under oath,” Markey tweeted.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has urged Facebook and CA to cooperate with the national information commissioner’s probe.

“The allegations are clearly very concerning,” she told MPs.

“People need to have confidence in how their personal data is being used.”

Facebook shares steadied Wednesday, gaining 0.74 percent after steep declines this week that wiped out some $50 billion in market value.

But questions abounded on the future of Facebook, which has grown from a startup in a Harvard dorm room to become one of the world’s most powerful companies.

Analyst Brian Wieser at Pivotal Research said Facebook “is exhibiting signs of systemic mismanagement,” possibly from growing too fast.

“Investors now have to consider whether or not the company will conclude that it has grown in a manner that has proven to be untenable,” Wieser said in a research note.


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