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Snakes Force Liberia President George Weah From Office |The Republican News

Snakes have been found in Liberian President George Weah’s office, forcing him to work from his private residence, the BBC has learned.

Press secretary Smith Toby told the BBC that on Wednesday two black snakes were found in the foreign affairs ministry building, site of the official office.

All staff has been told to stay away until 22 April.

“It’s just to make sure that crawling and creeping things get fumigated from the building,” Mr Toby said.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosts the office of the president, so it did an internal memo asking the staff to stay home while they do the fumigation,” he said.

when they appeared near the building’s reception.

“The snakes were never killed,” Mr. Toby said. “There was a little hole somewhere [through which] they made their way back.”

Police and presidential security were seen guarding Mr. Weah’s residence in the capital Monrovia. A fleet of vehicles including escorts jeeps were parked outside.

Mr. Toby said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs started to fumigate on Friday.

“That building’s been there for years now, and [because of] the drainage system, the possibility of having things like snakes crawling in that building was high,” he said.

The president is definitely returning to his official office on Monday after the fumigation whether or not the snakes are found and killed, Mr. Toby said.    (BBC)

 

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Woman, 42 Gives Birth To Five Babies After 18 Years Of Wait In Kogi |The Republican News

A 42-year-old woman has been delivered of five babies (quintuplets) at Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Lokoja, Kogi, after 18 years of barrenness, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who visited the woman and her babies at the hospital on Friday reports that both mother, Mrs Uchenna Okeigbo and her kids are in good condition.

Okeigbo, an indigene of Olokoro Amangbo Community, Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia, gave birth to three boys and two girls on April 17 through a Caesarean Section.

Speaking with NAN, the woman expressed gratitude to God for the rare gift of five babies, saying that her wait for 18 years did not end in vain.

“It is not easy to have five children at once,” Okeigbo said.

She showered praises on her husband for standing by her.

NAN further reports that the quintuplets, three boys and two girls, weighed 1.3kg 1.6kg, 1.7kg, 1.8kg and 1.9kg, respectively.

However, the first baby, who weighed 1.3kg was still inside the incubator as at the time of NAN visit.

The father of the quintuplets, Mr James Okeigbo, 47, an employee of a private establishment, who was overwhelmed with joy, described the coming of the babies as the happiest moment of his life and his wife as well.

”I thank my wife for retaining her respect for me for this 18 years of childlessness without quarreling with me.

“I am also grateful to her family for standing by us,” Okeigbo said.

He, however, solicited for assistance from government and members of the public to ensure adequate care for the five children.

‘ As a good citizen of Nigeria, I am appealing to government to help us,” he said.

Dr Grace Ogoke, Consultant, Obstetrician and Gynecologist at FMC, Lokoja, who handled the delivery of the quintuplets, said she was very happy and gave glory to God for the feat.

She told NAN that she delivered the babies on Wednesday April 17, through a Caesarean Section (CS) at about, 11:45 pm, which coincidentally was her own wedding anniversary day.

”They are three boys and two girls, and they weighed 1.3kg, 1.6kg, 1.7kg, 1.8kg and 1.9kg, respectively. The three boys came first and the one that first came out has the least weight of 1.3kg.

” The baby is put under observation inside an incubator because he weighs less than 1.5 kg but the baby is active,” Ogoke explained.

According to her, the couple approached the FMC when they were seeking for the fruit of the womb with lots of investigations.

”After going through all their investigations, I saw that they would need to be assisted, that spontaneous pregnancy medically speaking might not be achievable, and I advised them to be assisted.

” The procedure for the assisted reproductive technology through In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) was successful, and the doctor referred them back to her for management of the pregnancy.

”I feel very happy and I give glory to God for seeing us through, because it was like all of us are pregnant during the pregnancy.

”This is my first time of taking delivery of quintuplets, the highest I have taken was three.

‘It is a relief and achievement for all of us and I thank God for that,” Ogoke said.

The Chief Medical Director of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Dr Olatunde Alabi, said that exprienced gyneacologists and padsetricians were deployed to manage the woman from pregnancy to delivery.

Alabi said it was the first time quintuplets will be delivered at the hospital, saying that the management of the pregnancy and successful delivery of the babies underscored the quality of staff at the hospital and their dedication to duty.

The Chief Medical Director , however, pleaded for more support for the centre from the government and corporate organisations, especially in the areas of equipment and funding.

(NAN)

 

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Embattled CJN, Onnoghen Appeals Conviction by CCT |The Republican News

Walter-Buhari
 
by Evelyn Okakwu
 
 
 
The embattled Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has appealed the judgement delivered by the Code of Conduct Tribunal in his case of alleged false asset declaration.
 
Mr Onnoghen was convicted by the CCT, led by Danladi Umar on Thursday.
 
The tribunal which ruled that it had jurisdiction in the matter, also dismissed another application by the defence which suggested that Mr Umar should remove himself for alleged bias.
 
According to Mr Umar, the tribunal is a body empowered by section 158 (1) of the constitution to perform its duty “without external interference of bodies like the NJC.”
 
The section it relied on provides for the independence of the CCT and states that it “shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other authority or person.”
 
 
Mr Umar ruled that the relationship between the tribunal and the presidency “was purely administrative” in nature and insufficient for the defence to accuse him of bias.
 
According to the CCT chairman, “all judges of superior courts are appointed by the president, Muhammadu Buhari, on the recommendation of the NJC.”
 
The CCT chairman added that the appointment of the said judges is not be regarded “as a reason for them to act according to the whims of the president”.
 
 
“It is to be noted that without the chairman, there is no CCT,” Mr Umar added
 
The tribunal had also dismissed the request against its jurisdiction after submitting that Mr Onnoghen was being tried “as a public officer and not as a judicial officer.”
 
 
 
Mr Umar also said that the “CCT had powers to overrule him where it finds that it has taken a decision that was wrongly reached.”
 
Subsequently, the tribunal overruled its earlier decision which freed another Supreme Court Justice, Sylvester Ngwuta, of a similar allegation.
 
Precedent
 
Mr Ngwuta was one of seven judges whose houses had been raided by the State Security Service in October 2016, after President Muhammadu Buhari’s government accused them of fraud.
 
He was arraigned on false asset charges at the tribunal by the CCT. But the tribunal, also chaired by Mr Umar suspended the case following a decision of a Court of Appeal in a related matter.
 
The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal had decided during the trial of another judge, Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, that the only body responsible for the indictment of a serving judicial officer was the NJC.
 
That decision had forced the suspension of the trial of Mr Ngwuta at the tribunal.
 
However, on Thursday, Mr Umar regarded the decision on Mr Ngwuta as a wrong judgement and “overruled himself.”
 
After dismissing the various applications, Mr Umar ruled in his judgement that the prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr Onnoghen was involved in the alleged breach of the CCT act and found him guilty of same.
 
‘Three major punishments’
 
Mr Umar invoked section 23 of the act which allowed the tribunal to issue three major punishments to persons found guilty of such allegations.
 
The provision demands that a convicted person shall be made to vacate his office for a period, not exceeding 10 years. It also allows the tribunal to order that the convict shall forfeit assets found to have been acquired fraudulently.
 
 
Not satisfied
 
But in an appeal to the appellate court, Mr Onnoghen has insisted that the tribunal erred in law when it ruled that it had jurisdiction in the matter.
 
According to Mr Onnoghen, he was arraigned at the time when he was still a serving judicial officer, therefore the tribunal lacked powers to entertain the allegations against him.
 
Although Mr Umar overruled the judgement in Mr Ngwuta’s case, Mr Onnoghen cited the January 2018 decision of the CCT which freed Mr Ngwuta as the reason for the tribunal to have ruled against its jurisdiction.
 
Mr Onnoghen also submitted in his request that the tribunal erred in law when it dismissed the application challenging its jurisdiction.
 
“Once an allegation of real likelihood of the bias is raised, the Court or tribunal will have nothing more to say except to wash its hands from further proceedings in the matter,” Mr Onnoghen said in his appeal.
 
The embattled CJN also argued that the failure of Mr Umar to recuse himself vindicated the defence in their submission that Mr Umar was a “person of interest.”
 
Mr Onnoghen said it was against the principle of natural justice for Mr Umar to sit in judgement of his own case.
 
He also argued that there was no way the tribunal could have been fair since the prosecution and the tribunal are both bodies working under the instructions of the executive arm of government.
 
Mr Onnoghen also submitted that the tribunal erred in law when it ruled that he confessed to having committed the allegations against him.
 
According to Mr Onnoghen, his statement was only meant to clarify the issues raised in the allegations. Mr Onnoghen said he never admitted to not declaring his assets in 2005, as suggested by the charge.
 
“The Appellant did not admit the fact of non-declaration of Assets from the year 2005 as the Justice of the Supreme Court.
 
“The Appellant only stated that he did not declare in 2009 as required because he forgot and did the declaration immediately it realised same.
 
“By the evidence of DWI (Defence Witness:1) and exhibit DW2 tendered, it has affirmed the statement of the appellant that he forgot to make a declaration in 2009 but did in 2010 when he remembered showing there was a declaration after all contrary to count one of the charges,” Mr Onnoghen said.
 
Mr Onnoghen also argued that the tribunal erred in law when it ruled that the evidence of the first defendant’s witness did not cast doubts on the submissions of the prosecution in the first count.
 
According to Mr Onnoghen in his appeal, the first defendant’s witness was able to refute the claims of non-declaration of an asset from 2005. “The doubt created by DWI’s evidence no matter how minute ought to be resolved in favour of the Appellant.”
 
Mr Onnoghen also submitted that his statement suggesting that he failed to include the five accounts in the declaration forms for 2014 because he believed they were not functioning, “does not amount to an admission of guilt.”
 
Mr Onnoghen explained that the forms for 2014 and that of 2016 were both filed the same day. He added that the declaration form for 2016 had all the accounts in it. According to him, the prosecution should not have accused him of false declaration since both forms were filed by him.
 
Mr Onnoghen said the submissions by the prosecution that he made a false declaration, based on the omission of certain details is not backed by the CCT Act. He also argued that the standard procedure for the verification of his forms was not complied with by the prosecution.
 
‘Confiscation of assets illegal’
 
Mr Onnoghen also challenged the order for the confiscation of his assets on the grounds that the assets were legitimately acquired, as against the provisions of paragraph three of section 23 of the CCB act which only permits the seizure of such assets “if they were acquired by fraud.”
 
Mr Onnoghen questioned the failure of the prosecution to present the petitioner, Denis Aghanya, before the tribunal.
 
Mr Aghanya’s petition had birthed the charges against Mr Onnoghen.
 
According to Mr Onnoghen, all the allegations brought against him “constitute no offence and should therefore not have formed the basis for his conviction.”
 
“Section 36 (12) of the 1999 Constitution Provides: –
 
“Subject as otherwise provided by this Constitution, a person shall not be convicted of a criminal offence unless that offence is defined and the penalty therefor is prescribed in a written law.
 
“The allegations contained in all the six counts of the charge constitute no offence known to the law, as the offence as charged is neither defined in any law nor is any punishment prescribed therefor.”
 
Mr Onnoghen made seven requests before the tribunal. They include:
 
– An order that the lower tribunal lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the case.
 
– An order that the lower tribunal ought to have recused itself from the proceedings before it.
 
– An order that the charge has become academic.
 
– An order setting aside the conviction of the Appellant.
 
– An order setting aside the order for forfeiture of assets made by the Honourable Tribunal.
 
– An order discharging and acquitting the Appellant.  
(Premium Times)
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Gen. Buratai,CoAS, Allegedly Awarded $444,000 Contract To His Girlfriend, Maryam – US Journalist

A US-based Nigerian journalist, Jackson Ude, has fingered the Chief of Army Staff, Gen T. Buratai in an alleged fraud, which

Tukur-Buratai

 

In a tweet he made on his official handle, he stated how the Chief of Army Staff, awarded a $444k (N160m) contract to his girlfriend.

Read his post below..

Chief of Army Staff, Gen T. Buratai awarded a contract of $444k to his girlfriend, Maryam. Funds paid thru the Nigerian Army Ordnance Tailoring Factory to one 313 Bureau De Change in Wuse Zone 4 Abuja. 313 wired the $444k to a Bank account in Dubai linked to Gen Burutai.

Mr Jackson has prior to the election revealed how the presidency cabal, namely Abba Kyari, Alhaji Funtua, Lawal Daura and Maman Daura have connived to defraud the DSS of N5 billion out of the N10 billion national budget for DSS to cover its national election budget.

BREAKING: N5bn Loot In DSS By Buhari’s Relatives Bursted, Whistblower Goes Public |RN

All these revelations meant nothing to President Buhari, who is purportedly fighting his own definition of corruption in his own terms, irrespective of the odds against such despicable charade.

 

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‘Nigerians’ll Remain What They’re Unless Evils Which Dominate Their Hearts Are Exorcised’ —Awolowo

obafemi-awolowo-1-1533602027.jpg

Pa Obafemi Awolowo

When on Friday, February 28, 1986, Samuel Cookey, a professor of political science, who had just been given an appointment by then military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, IBB, wrote a letter requesting the Yoruba sage, Pa Obafemi Jeremiah Awolowo, to avail the Nigerian state the benefit of his wisdom, he (Cookey) did not bargain for what would be the response.

Obafemi Awolowo
Babangida had promised the Nigerian nation that he would enthrone a new social order by doing away with the politics of the past, bring in new breed politicians and change the political landscape.

And since he was not going to wave the magic wand, he sought and got Cookey to chair a Political Bureau. That Bureau was saddled with the responsibility of fashioning out, after due consultations with Nigerians via memoranda and public presentations, a new political order. It was in the pursuit of this mandate that the professor wrote to Pa Awolowo, requesting his participation and views.

To that request, Awolowo wrote the following:

“Dear Sir,

“I received your letter of February 28, 1986, and sincerely thank you for doing me the honour of inviting me to contribute to the National Political Debate.

“The purpose of the debate is to clarify our thoughts in our search for a new social order.

“It is therefore meet and proper that all those who have something to contribute should do so.

“I do fervently and will continue fervently to pray that I may be proved wrong.

“For something within me tells me, loud and clear, that we have embarked on a fruitless search.

“At the end of the day, when we imagine that the new order is here, we would be terribly disappointed.

“In other words, at the threshold of our New Social Order, we would see for ourselves that, as long as Nigerians remain what they are, nothing clean, principled, ethical, and idealistic can work with them.

“And Nigerians will remain what they are, unless the evils which now dominate their hearts, at all levels and in all sectors of our political, business and governmental activities are exorcised.

“But I venture to assert that they will not be exorcised, and indeed they will be firmly entrenched, unless God Himself imbues a vast majority of us with a revolutionary change of attitude to life and politics or, unless the dialectic processes which have been at work for some twenty years now, perforce, make us perceive the abominable filth that abounds in our society, to the end that an inexorable abhorrence of it will be quickened in our hearts and impel us to make drastic changes for the better.

“There is, of course, an alternative option open to us.

“To succumb to permanent social instability and chaos.

“In the premises, I beg to decline your invitation.

“I am yours truly, Obafemi Awolowo”

It’s 33 years now that Awo wrote this letter. It is clear in my mind that this deep thinker saw into the future as time continues to validate his thoughts. Nigeria may have inadvertently chosen the alternative – “permanent social instability and chaos”.

Otherwise, how else does one explain what has been happening in Nigeria? I remember in 1982 or so when he returned from his annual spiritual retreat, scores of journalists gathered at the airport to interrogate him. One of the questions posted was to query his thoughts on how Nigeria can be redeemed and placed on the path of growth.

He replied emphatically that Nigeria is beyond redemption and there was no more hope. His political opponents dismiss his statement with ignominy and tagged him a prophet of doom.

Prior to that and before his departure for his spiritual retreat, he raised an alarm that Nigeria was sliding very fast in economic and social order metrics. He said there remained a slim chance to change the course of events and save Nigeria. He reeled our immediate steps to be taken by the government but he was labeled alarmist and his counsels were treated politically.

Today, only those who enjoy chaos thrive in Nigeria. It has been tragedies since then.

 

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Buhari’s Easter Message: ‘Don’t Lose Hope Of A Greater Nigeria’ |RN

The President has appealed to Nigerians not to lose hope of a brighter future for the country.

In his Easter message to the nation, President Muhammadu Buhari was confident that Nigeria would overcome its challenges and become a great country.

I rejoice with all Nigerians, especially our Christian brethren on the glorious occasion of the celebration of Easter 2019.

Easter is the most important feast in the Christian calendar and represents God’s redemptive mission over humanity, the triumph of light over darkness, hope over despair and good over evil.

The Christian festival commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ is also a time to emulate the virtues of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, humility, courage and endurance, which Christ embodied and remarkably demonstrated during His earthly ministry.

Let us use this auspicious season to show love to our neighbours, and cater to the needs of the less-privileged in our midst.

Our nation is currently gripped with gloom over unfortunate killings, kidnappings and violence, as seen in the recent tragic incidents in some states of the federation.

This should not be. We must reinforce the bond of brotherhood and good neighbourliness that citizens of a cohesive country must share. We must not allow the few bad elements in our communities to put asunder our communal tendencies and chords of unity.

I know from my regular interactions with security chiefs, state governors, victims and members of communities caught up in the unfortunate cycle of violence, that Nigerians are united against the evil minority.

This administration will do all it takes to adequately equip and motivate our armed forces and other law enforcement agencies to enable them successfully confront these security challenges. We will not allow merchants of evil and death to overwhelm the nation. Under my watch, the nation will triumph over them – terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and the like.

On this holy occasion, I enjoin all Nigerians to intensify prayers for peace and security to return to all parts of the country. I also urge you not to lose hope of a brighter and greater future for the country when we do the right things in love. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

I do not take the import of my re-election for granted, especially the expectations of majority of Nigerians towards providing adequate security, fixing the economy and fighting corruption.

The obligation of this administration as we prepare to take governance to the Next Level, is to continue to provide dedicated and honest leadership, where every citizen irrespective of religion or ethnic origin, feels secure to live, invest and prosper; where public office holders are accountable; and lawbreakers are brought to justice.

Once more, I wish all our Christian brothers and sisters in Nigeria and around the world celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, a Happy Easter.

Muhammadu Buhari
April 18, 2019.

 

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Buhari’s Government Seeks For Fresh $247m External Loan |The Republican News

Muhammadu-Buhari6

File photo: Muhammadu Buhari in his office

by Omooba
 
The Federal Government will take another fresh external loan of $247.3m for the development of infrastructure, despite the country’s rising debt profile.
The Federal Executive Council made the approval at its sitting in Abuja on Wednesday.
It came just days after the International Monetary Fund raised eyebrows over Nigeria’s current N24.38tn debt, advising the country to take borrowing slowly.
Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting rose, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, gave a breakdown of the fresh loan.
She stated that $150m would come from the African Development Bank, to be spent specifically on rural electrification projects; $50m from Africa Grow Together Fund for other electrification projects; and $20m from French Development Agency, which would be loaned to the Lagos State Government.
Lagos plans to use the $20m to build new roads and rehabilitate existing ones.
Another $27.3m IADE facility was approved as part of the ‘North Core Dorsal Regional Transmission Project.’
This will be part of the West Africa Power Pool projects with a total loan requirement of $640m.
The minister explained that the projects were to connect Nigeria, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo, and Burkina Faso “with a high voltage 330 kilowatts transmission line, to facilitate energy trade among participant countries.”
The minister, who gave more details on the approvals by FEC, said, “Council approved three memos for Ministry of Finance. First, it approved a $150m loan facility from AfDB and $50m loan from African Grow Together Fund to finance the Nigerian electrification project. The project is a nationwide initiative to be implemented by the rural electrification agency.
“The project aligns with the strategy of the Federal Government on electrification of rural communities. The project has four components: First is solar hybrid mini-grid for rural economic development, the second is productive appliances equipment for up-grid communities, and the third is energising education while the fourth component is institutional capacity building.
“The impact of the project when fully implemented, about 500,000 people will be able to have access to electricity for about 105,000 households. The maximum power that will be generated will be 76.5 megawatts installed generating capacity part of which is 68,000 megawatts of solar.
“Eight universities will benefit from this scheme and about 20,000 small, micro, medium enterprises across different communities in the nation.
“The second approval is the North Core Dorsal Regional Transmission Project. This is a project that is part of the pipeline for the West Africa power pool priority projects. The intention is for the creation of a regional power pool in the region of West Africa. The pool project aims to connect Nigeria, Niger, Benin Republic, Togo, and Burkina Faso with a high voltage 330 kilowatts transmission line, to facilitate energy trade among participants.
“The project is in the total sum of $640m, out of which each of the four countries involved has a component. Nigeria has the smallest component in this pact, which is a total loan of $27.3 m IADE facility, a concessionary loan. This is a loan that the four countries are taking together; the other three countries have concluded theirs. So, this is one of the final stages for Nigeria to conclude its process.”   (Punch)
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