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Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Mr. Joseph Akande, Monday told the House of Representative ad-hoc committee that the commission was blackmailed into reabsorbing the former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pensions Reforms (PTFPR), Abdulrasheed Maina. In his shocking revelations Akande said that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, virtually blackmailed the Service into re-absorbing Maina, who eloped from the country after being declared wanted over allegations of multi-billion naira pensions fraud. Mr. Akande said the commission’s refusal to yield to Malami’s memo resorted to blackmail as the AGF threatened that as the number one law officer of the country, the commission could not turn down his directive. Mrs. Winifred Eta-Oyo, Head of Service of the Federation, also told the committee which is investigating the disappearance, sudden reappearance and reinstatement of Maina that she only learnt of Maina’s reinstatement and promotion through the media as there was no way she would have approved any request to that effect. Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Eta said categorically that she never acted on the letter requesting the reinstatement of Maina which emanated from the Attorney General’s office based on a request from the Ministry of Interior. Present at the hearing are Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Danbazzau; Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Valentine Tochukwu, representing the Inspector General; and Mohammed Sani Kado, counsel to Maina. The committee, chaired by Aliyu Madaki (APC, Kano), is still sitting as at press time.

Good Christians should not just follow the commandments, but must also actively help the poor, Pope Francis says in a homily. “[The poor] are the ones who open to us the way to heaven; they are our passport to paradise. For us it is an evangelical duty to care for them,” the pope said. Francis is celebrating the World Day of the Poor, a new Catholic festivity for which some 6,000 to 7,000 poor people, mostly from Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Poland, have been invited. The Pontiff warned that is is “sad” when Christians “do no more than keep to the rules and follow the commandments, like employees” of the Lord, and do not actively engage in charity. “All too often, we have the idea that we haven't done anything wrong, and so we rest content, presuming that we are good and just. […] But to do no wrong is not enough,” he adds. Pope Francis is spending Sunday with thousands of poor people from all over Europe, leading a special Mass in St Peter's Basilica and later sharing lunch with them. At the 10 a.m. (09:00 GMT) service, Francis is being assisted by 12 migrants, poor or homeless people, and one of the readings is to be delivered by a Syrian refugee. The Vatican said after Mass, about 1,500 poor people were due to have lunch with the pope inside Vatican walls, while the others were to be given food by volunteers at several locations around Rome. Francis, who calls himself “a street priest,” said days after his election to the papacy in 2013, that he wanted to lead “a poor church, for the poor.” On Thursday, the day he visited a field hospital for the poor near St Peter's, he tweeted: “Poverty is not an accident. It has causes that must be recognised and removed for the good of so many of our brothers and sisters.”

International evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke has arrived Lagos for the Farewell Gospel Crusade which kicks off on Wednesday. The German evangelist addressed a news conference at the Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island on Monday and promised a mighty revival and outpouring of God power. Bonnke, 77, said he was glad to be back in Nigeria for his last crusade in Africa, describing Nigeria as his favourite nation. He said he had no regrets for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in Africa for 50 years now. The man of God said Nigeria was about to witness a mighty outpouring of the move of God on Wednesday when the crusade kicks off. “God’s words will be preached, miracles will be full and the Holy Spirit will come down. The ripple effects of this crusade will be felt all over the world. “No man has invented water but no one can live without water. We can’t live without the gospel, the gospel is eternal and can never be invalid. The gospel is true today Because it was true at the beginning,” Bonnke said. Bonnke added that he chose Nigeria because of its huge population, saying that he could smell harvest of souls beginning from Wednesday. Chairman, Central Working Committee of the Bonnke Farewell Crusade, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola said the nation was glad that Bonnke chose Nigeria for his last crusade in Africa. “We believe that if there is any darkness still remaining in Africa, after this crusade, such darkness will vanish. Bonnke arrived on Sunday and we can feel the mighty presence of God in this land. We believe that millions of people will receive Christ,” he said. The crusade kicks off on Wednesday behind Sparklight Estate, opposite OPIC, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and end on Sunday.

The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has said that prayer is key to power and good governance. Governor Obiano made the assertion Saturday evening while addressing the 9th Provincial Conference of Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria (CCRN) Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Awka. The governor who was represented by his wife Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) stated that the payers of members of the Catholic Charismatic Movement and the rest of ndi Anambra is behind the successes of his government in the development of Anambra state.Said he: “I am not a clergy but as we all know, once God decrees, it comes to past. It is your prayers for the leaders of Nigeria and Anambra that guides all of us right in the corridors of power and I encourage you not to relent. Many can attest that since we came into office, positive transformation is happening in our state. I have no doubt that God will answer your prayers and meet all the needs that have brought you to Awka.” Governor Obiano commended the Charismatics for choosing Anambra state as host of their Provincial Conference and enjoined the members to feel at home in the safe and secure environment of the beautiful capital city of Awka. He highlighted the achievements of the state government in the area of security of lives and property which he noted has changed the previous perception as the den of robbers and kidnappers to the safest state in Nigeria, leading to investor confidence and new infrastructural development.The governor noted that the good of ndi Anambra is of paramount importance and that informed his commitment to the welfare of workers seen in prompt payment of salaries, pensions and gratuity. He noted the complementary support of Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ), NGO of the wife of the governor in ensuring that the less privileged, widows and the physically challenged are not left out in the scheme of things. Through the training and empowerment over 3600 persons, building and handover of ten houses to widows, construction of eleven toilets in rural market to promote hygiene, and fitting of prosthetic limbs to 1300 beneficiaries amongst other programmes.Obiano also assured the visitors that Anambra accommodates all persons with good intentions for the states’ growth and progress and called on the society to pray specially in this period of elections for peace to reign and for Anambra state to have successful elections. The Catholic Charismatics Renewal Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province includes members from Archdiocese of Onitsha, Diocese of Awka, Abakaliki, Awgu, Enugu, Nnewi, and Nsukka. The highpoint of the evening was special prayers by the members for God’s protection and guidance of governor Obiano his family and Anambra state government officials.

A former President of the Court of Appeal, Retired Justice Ayo Salami, has rejected his appointment as chairman of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO). A source from the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) confirmed this during a telephone interview on Thursday in Abuja. The rejection was based on principle and conscience after the retired judge was appointed to head the committee by the National Judicial Council (NJC) last month. Justice Salami was said to have consulted widely with leaders on the Bench and in the Bar before resolving with his family to reject the offer. On September 27, the NJC named Justice Salami the Chairman of COTRIMCO during its 82nd meeting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. The 15-man committee consists of the President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr Abubakar Mahmoud, and some former presidents of the association. They include Mr Wole Olanipekun, Mr Olisa Agbakoba, Mr Joseph Daudu and Mr Augustine Alegeh, as well as some state chief justices among others. Less than a week after, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, asking him to review the composition of the committee. In the letter dated October 3, SERAP had said: “While international law does not prohibit some representation of the legal profession or academics, we urge your Lordship to select candidates from these fields to the Salami committee based on their demonstrable commitment to the fight against corruption, and after extensive consultation, and a thorough scrutiny of the candidates’ past record of legal practice, to eliminate all possibilities of bias and conflict of interest.”

A N44million white Mercedes Benz G-Wagon (2017 edition) belonging to the Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, reportedly got burnt in Lagos on Tuesday. Fayose’s spokesman, Lere Olayinka, who confirmed the incident, revealed that the SUV caught fire while on motion to the airport but the governor was not in the vehicle. He added that no casualty was recorded and the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. Olayinka said the governor expressed his gratitude to the people who helped control the situation and grateful to God that no casualty was recorded.According to a review by the autos team of U.S. News & World Report, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class ranks 7 out of 7 Luxury Large SUVs. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class ($122,400) is the most expensive SUV in its class. At the current exchange rate of $1 to N359, the SUV will cost N43, 941, 600 (Forty three million, nine hundred and forty one thousand and six hundred naira only). The report reads: The 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is more of a status symbol than an everyday SUV. It costs more than every competitor, and it isn’t particularly practical to drive anywhere but off road. However, if you want something that’ll grab attention and impress, it doesn’t get more distinctive than the G-Class, also known as the G550. While the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a part of the luxury large SUV class, it’s really in a category all its own. The G-Class is not a good SUV for most people. With its jarring ride and ponderous handling, the G-Class is not suitable for daily driving or lengthy trips. However, it’s at home on treacherous trails and in harsh weather. The G550’s twin-turbocharged V8 engine delivers smooth power, and plenty of it. The AMG G63’s twin-turbo V8 engine will rocket you past other cars on the highway. However, that power will cost you at the pump, as the G-Class earns abysmal fuel economy estimates for the class with either engine. The G-Class’ interior is expectedly upscale and fairly spacious, and the seats provide great visibility, but that’s where its practicality ends. If you want an SUV that looks different than anything else on the road and lets everyone know you’ve arrived, few other SUVs will accomplish that better than the G-Class.

Partners for Electoral Reform, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has flayed the erection of a statue of South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, in Owerri by Imo Governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha. Condemning the action, the organisation’s Chairman, Mr Ezenwa Nwagwu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that Zuma’s legacy had not attained the level of a statue being erected in his honour in Imo. The statue is believed to cost N520 million to produce and erect. “Okorocha’s action is not well thought-out; I think the visit of Zuma is pure liquid corruption Transparency International defines corruption as the abuse of public office for private gains. “Zuma came to sign MoU with Rochas Foundation, a personal philanthropic initiative of his, not that of the government of Imo. “Only God knows what the intention of Okorocha is in patronising Zuma the way he has done,’’ he said. According to Nwagwu, there is not one initiative of the South African Government in the whole of Imo, not a road, not a hospital, not a school built by South Africa Government. “So, on what basis are we expending the resources of the state on such a statue? If you ask, he will tell you it is not the state’s money. “Alright, where is his factory? Let him show us the factory with which he generates the money with which he will host the president of another country as the governor of a state.” The activist said that the action diminished and brought pogrom to not just people of Imo but Nigerians. He said that South Africans were making mockery of Nigerians because their Supreme Court had called Zuma to go and face corruption charges. He said that if the governor had built a statue for his own father, it might have been more pardonable than bringing a Zuma who had contributed absolutely nothing to Nigeria. According to him, if anything, it is South Africans that should be celebrating Nigerians because of our contributions toward dismantling apartheid in their country. Nwagwu said that instead of South Africa honouring Nigeria’s past presidents and leaders who helped them to dismantle apartheid in their country, “it is a Nigerian governor honouring South Africa’s president’’. He said that if it was the statue of the late sage, Nelson Mandela, it may have made a better impression on Nigerians, Africa and the world. According to him, the one Okorocha just did with Zuma had no basis because it is not a well deserved honou

When it comes to Nollywood epic, there are few names to be identified with that will get you good scripts and also scout for good talents that can deliver the roles well. Just like every other Nollywood celebs, actress, Charity Asuquo, is seriously tormenting the industry with her acting prowess as she recently delivered her lines well in a just concluded movie which is already in its post-production stage. The actress was given the role of a Princess known as Uloma of Umuntu kingdom, where she collected every manhood and cause calamities because they are her subjects and also captives. The movie stars the likes of Regina Daniels and other stars who have given in their best for the movie to come out good.

Hip hop recording artist M.I Abaga, is filing a lawsuit against rapper Nas, for delivering a verse not worthy of his bill. According to the lawsuit, M.I paid $50,000 for a verse from Nas but the American rapper did not deliver. Choc City complained about a lack of lyricism and talent in the verse that Nas sent. Although in the court papers he was called ‘a highly respected lyricist in the music industry’, Choc City claim that they requested Nas to re-record the verse three years ago but he has failed to do so. It is majorly for this reason that Chocolate City is suing Nas and Ronnie Goodman of Mass Appeal Records. Filed in New York State Supreme Court, the suit claims that Nas failed to mention ‘M.I, Chocolate City, Nigeria, Queens, New York—NAS’s hometown—, Mandela, Trayvon Martin, and the struggles of Africans and African Americans,’ as they had initially agreed upon.

Pope Francis will declare 33 martyrs and 2 others from Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Italy, as the Catholic Church’s new saints on Sunday at a Canonization Mass in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square. They include 30 so-called “Matryrs of Natal”, including priests and lay people, who were killed in 1645 in a wave of anti-Catholic persecution by Dutch Calvinists in Natal, Brazil. Another group of 3 indigenous martyrs from Mexico – Cristobal, Antonio and Juan – known as the “Child Martyrs of Tlaxcala” will also be canonized. Aged between 12 and 13, the children were among the first indigenous Catholics of Mexico who were ‎killed between 1527 and 1529 for refusing to renounce their faith and return to their ancient ‎traditions.‎ Among the new saints will also be two European priests. One of them is Spanish Piarist Father, Manuel Míguez González, the founder of the Daughters of the Divine Shepherdess, or the Calasanzian Institute. He died in 1925. The other is Italian Cappuchin priest, Fr. Angelo da Acri, who died in 1739. Source: Vatican Radio

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