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A new book on the 2015 General Election has revealed how former President, Goodluck Jonathan plotted his own defeat during the presidential poll. The book, “The Nigerian General Election of 2015,” has a number of frontline researchers and political analysts contributing to the book. Three leading professors of political science, namely John A.A. Ayoade, Adeoye A. Akinsanya and Olatunde J.B. Ojo conceived the idea under a Programme for Presidential Studies. Basically, the contributors to the new book, The Nigerian General Elections of 2015, were drawn from academics, the media, civil society organisations, public institutions and research institutes with direct electoral duties during the 2015 elections. In the last six years the erudite scholars initiated the programme five priceless books have been turned out. The books are: Nigeria’s Critical Election: 2011; The Jonathan Presidency; Nigeria: Descent into Anarchy and Collapse and The Jonathan Presidency: The Sophomore Year. Among others, the new book empirically analysed voters’ turnout, voting behaviour, the roles of political parties, the defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the dilemma of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and factors that defined the victory of the All Progressives Congress (PDP). The book x-rayed the strategic errors of the administration of Jonathan, which it argued, cost the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and its presidential candidate fatal defeat that could have been avoided if some concessions were made. The book explained that the presidential election was a particularly interesting one in which the former president was self-assured that he had done enough to deserve a renewal of his electoral contract with the Federal Republic of Nigeria. According to the book, “Jonathan was challenged by Buhari, a veteran political war-horse. That was the fourth time Buhari presented himself for election to Nigeria. Some saw him as a habitual electoral failure or a serial loser while other saw him as a possible comeback kid.” The book faulted the Jonathan’s presidential campaign, which it described as a manual for aborting victory even though the former president had a political headstart being an incumbent against a serial loser that was widely perceived perpetually unelectable. It observed that the incumbency advantage was neutralised by specks of electoral authoritarianism like the certificate crises and the postponement of election on spurious security grounds. “The postponement of the election was perceived by a good percentage of the electorate as biased. It was meant to demoralize the opponents; overstretch their resources and get Goodluck Jonathan to outspend General Buhari,” the book said. However, the book said Buhari led a team of unrepentant unbelievers in his anti-corruption crusade, while explaining the problem with Buhari’s anti-corruption syllabus and the failure of his administration to meet people’s aspiration and yearning, noting that even if Buhari had selected the anti-corruption crusade as the programme for four years, he could not have been able to complete the task. The book also identified three main challenges with Buhari’s anti-graft crusade, first citing the pervasiveness of corruption in the Nigerian public space and the failure of the Nigerian public to recognise various forms of corrupt ion in the country.” It explained the depth of the social ill that had undermined the country’s human development index in the last five decades, noting that corruption “has engulfed all facets of public life such that Buhari, the focal anti-graft crusader is a deviant, who is not even sure that his closet associate is with him.” The book, also, observed that the citizens “has not been sufficiently socialized to recognise various forms of corruption, although experience shows that, given the opportunity, a large percentage of them would be corrupted. The critical ingredient of patriotism is lacking.” It equally pointed out that Buhari “is leading a team of unrepentant unbelievers in a crusade. A senator once complained that he could identify many criminal senators whose files he had treated when he was in the Nigeria Police. “It is just logical that no institution can be better than the people that make it up. The reality of the Nigerian situation is that it is dangerous to trust politics to politicians because they are the problem that causes the problems in the first place.” “Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade is almost a battle led by a general without troops or at best with potential deserters. A large part of the Nigerian population cannot understand the implications of looting the public treasury; otherwise there would have been public outcry against some people still in high places dictating the shots. “Unfortunately, the same public is in search of quick change to the economy. The crusade should not just be a government project, but a citizen project. If this present exercise fails, then corruption would have been indirectly written into the Nigerian Constitution,” it said.

The Nigerian Police Force(NPF) has gunned down the latest ranking by The International Police Association and the Institute for Economics and Peace, that puts it at the bottom of the world police formations. The 2016 World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI) credited to the two organisations, rated the Nigerian police the worst in the world. The ranking measured the ability of the Police to address Internal Security Issues in 127 Countries in four key areas of Capacity, Process, Legitimacy and Outcomes. The report, according to a report by Cable, showed that Nigeria under-performed on all four domains, with a score of 0.255. “There are 219 police officers for every 100,000 Nigerians, well below both the Index median of 300, and the sub-Saharan Africa region average of 268,” the report read. “This limits the capacity of the force to measure up to its law and order mandate. In terms of process, legitimacy and outcomes, the story is not different which makes the force fall short of the required standard. “High levels of political terror have been an issue for Nigeria since 1993, with the country scoring a 4 on the Political Terror Scale every year since then.” According to the report, the top 10 performing African countries are Botswana which ranked highest at 47, followed by Rwanda which took the 50th position. Others are Algeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Ghana, South Africa and Mali, in that order. The 10 under-performing African countries are Madagascar (111th), Zambia (112th), Ethiopia (115th), Sierra Leone (117th), Cameroon (120th), Mozambique (122nd), Uganda (124th), Kenya (125th), Democratic Republic of Congo (126th). But a statement today, the NPF trashed the assessment as unempirical and instead proclaimed itself one of the best in the world. “Nigeria Police Force is the best in UN Peace Keeping Operations, Best in Africa, One of the Best in the World. The Force rejects the report as unempirical and absolute falsehood, should be disregarded and discountenanced”, said the police in a preface to their statement of objection to the report . “The Nigeria Police Force after a careful study of the report and the news items emanating from it, wishes to state categorically that the report is entirely misleading, a clear misrepresentation of facts and figures and essentially unempirical, considering the area of coverage of the report which was said to have been carried out in 2016 by the above mentioned associations. “The report did not take into cognisance the significant improvement in the areas of Capacity Building, Training and Re-training of the entire personnel of the Force as provided for by the current Federal Government of Nigeria and other Foreign and Local NGOs which has greatly improved the efficiency and service delivery of the personnel of the Force throughout the country. “It is pertinent to state that the instruments used to evaluate the performance of the Force vis-à-vis that of other countries is absolutely incorrect and grossly inadequate and therefore a plain distortion of facts and figures. The strength of about Three Hundred and Seventy Thousand (370,000) Police Personnel in the country stands at around One (1) Policeman to less than Six Hundred (600) people in a population estimates of One Hundred and Eighty Millions (180,000,000) Nigerians. “It is equally significant to state that the current recruitment of additional Ten Thousand (10,000) Police Personnel into the Force by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the request by the Inspector General of Police to Government for approval of the recruitment of Thirty One Thousand (31,000) Police Personnel yearly for a period of 5years will definitely increase the strength of the Force to meet up with the UN ratio of One (1) Policeman to Four Hundred (400) citizens. “Furthermore, in the UN Peace Keeping System, the Nigeria Police Force is rated as the best in UN Peace keeping operations in the world. This clearly shows that the Nigeria Police Force is not and cannot be the worst in the world under any known scientific yardstick or measuring instrument. “Currently, the Nigeria Police Force is one of the only two African Delegates representing the whole of Africa continent on the executive committee of Interpol, a position the Force attained based on high performance, merit and sustained good track records. “For avoidance of doubt, since the inception of the present Police administration in July 2016, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris NPM, mni, he has introduced and implemented diverse internal reforms aimed at improving capacity building and efficient service delivery of the personnel of the Force, which is yielding positive results in the standardisation of the capability of the Nigeria Police Force to deal with violent crimes and terrorism throughout the country. The establishment and take-off of a world class Terrorism Investigation Bureau for the Force with state-of-the-art equipment and technical support from foreign partners has greatly improved the capacity of the Force to deal with threats posed to internal security in this regard. “However, it must be pointed out that the Nigeria Police Force sees the report as a clear demonstration of mischief, ignorance and calculated attempt to distort the feat being recorded by the Force in ensuring adequate security and safety of Nigerians. Nowhere in the report were references made to either the improved capacity or achievements recorded by the Nigeria Police Force across the country in the recent time, the Force therefore implores all Nigerians and international community to disregard the report as unfounded and misleading”.

The wife of the Governor, Chief Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) has called on ndi Anambra especially Christians and Moslems in the state to pray for peaceful elections. The wife of the governor made the plea in a brief chat with newsmen on Friday at Governors’ Lodge, Amawbia. Osodieme said that it is important that Moslem commit the state in prayers today and likewise Christians of various denominations on to commit the state in the hands of God. Said she: “Anambra state has been a haven of peace and tranquility in the last three and half years and we want that sustained. I also know that we cannot ignore the hand of God in the progress our state has made so far. Hence, this call for prayers by all and sundry. As mother of the state, I am equally concerned like all mothers about the well-being of my children and we do not want anything that will put anyone in harm’s way.” Speaking further Osodieme stated; “As you all know, we are all precious in the sight of God. Therefore, it is important for all of us to promote peaceful conduct by all our sons and daughters to ensure peaceful elections on 18thNovember 2017. “

Igbosere High Court in Lagos on Friday dismissed the application seeking to quash a fresh charge filed against the alleged kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike a.k.a Evans. In dismissing the application, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo said the court had the jurisdiction to hear the case, saying a prima facie case had been established. Our Source reports that the Lagos State Government had filed two separate charges against Evans. Evans was docked in the first charge with Victor Aduba on conspiracy, kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms. In the second charge, Evans was arraigned with three other defendants — Joseph Emeka, Chiemeka Arinze, and Udeme Upong. They are facing charges bordering on murder, attempt to commit murder, attempt to kidnap, sale and transfer of firearms. While ruling on the application to quash the charge, Taiwo said: “It is my humble view that this charge did not offend the provisions of Sections 152 and 153 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) which states that every offence shall be tried separately. “Thus the two counts of unlawful possession of firearms are not defective, they can stand on their own.” “She said there was no duplicity in the charge because the provisions of the law was duly satisfied.” On whether there is authorisation from the Attorney-General of the Federation to prosecute the defendants for a federal offence, Taiwo said the letter is attached to the proof of evidence. She said letter of authorisation sufficiently disclosed that the defendants could be prosecuted by the Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Taiwo added that the proof of evidence linked the defendants to the charge before the court, saying “if the charge were brought before one judge, it will make the trial lengthy and complex. “However, the application is misconceived and lacks merit. This court has jurisdiction to entertain the charge, the application is hereby dismissed.” However, an amended charge was brought for arraignment of the defendants in the second charge but the defence counsel, Mr Olukoya Ogungbeje, argued that the amended charge was irregularly filed. The judge held: “I find that the amended charge is irregularly filed. However, this does not warrant that the charge should be struck out. “All the prosecution needs to do is to file the proof of evidence and serve same on the defence before the next date of appearance.” After the ruling of the court, Evans and Aduba were arraigned on the four-count charge bordering on conspiracy, kidnapping and unlawful possession of firearms. The duo pleaded not guilty to all the charges. During the last hearing, counsel to Evans, had urged the court to quash the charge for abuse of court processes. Ogungbeje argued that in the first charge, the first and second counts which bordered on alleged kidnapping, constituted gross abuse of court’s process because the defendant had been charged with same offence before Justice Hakeem Oshodi in Ikeja. The lawyer said unlawful possession of firearms which the defendants were being tried for was a federal offence which should be prosecuted by the Attorney-General of the Federation. On the second charge of seven-count offence of murder, attempt to commit murder, attempt to kidnap and sale and transfer of firearms, Ogungbeje said counts one, two and three were based on murder, adding that before murder could be sustained there must be evidence to prove that someone was killed. Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey, who stood for the Prosecution, however, urged the court to dismiss the arguments made by the defendant’s counsel. Trial was fixed for December 15

Senegal on Friday sealed a return to the FIFA World Cup for the first time since their 2002 debut thanks to a 2-0 win over South Africa in World Cup qualifying African Group D. Diafra Sakho scored the opener for the visitors in Polokwane, before a somewhat fortuitous Thamsanqa Mkhize own goal sealed the three points for the Teranga Lions. The visitors are now five points ahead of nearest Group D challengers Burkina Faso with one game remaining. Senegal stunned the world by beating World Cup holders France in their first ever game at the global finals in 2002. If they are to produce performances to match that at Russia 2018, it is likely that Liverpool’s Sadio Mane will be the catalyst. Unsurprisingly, Mane was integral to the victory that booked their World Cup return, with a wonderfully incisive through ball teeing up Sakho for the opener. 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa played their part – and even dominated possession for spells – in a lively match, with Lebogang Manyama hitting the crossbar. But the second goal, just before half-time, knocked the wind out of their sails. Head coach Aliou Cisse was the Senegalese captain during their 2002 debut, which saw them follow up that remarkable opening win against France to reach the quarter-finals. The former midfielder will be hoping he can inspire them to achieve similarly superlative heights next year in Russia.

Five Nigerians have been sentenced to various jail terms by an Inner London Crown Court over the theft of £610,000 from business bank accounts. According to reports, Victor Oke, 39, of Galleons Drive, Barking, used stolen data provided by Desmond Uyiosa Abifade, 25, of Henniker Road, Stratford, to falsely impersonate company directors via telephone banking. Once Oke gained access, he diverted funds to ‘mule’ beneficiary accounts monitored by Moses Kuye, 28, of Connaught Road, Silvertown. Melinda Mensah-Oke, 37, also of Galleons Drive, impersonated company directors when a female voice was necessary, while Arinola Kuye, 27, also of Connaught Road, acted as the group’s money launderer. They were caught after being spotted by fraud investigators at HSBC, who passed the case to the dedicated card and payment crime unit (DCPCU) to investigate, Punch reports. The DCPCU is sponsored by the banking industry and made up of officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service, bank investigators and support staff from UK Finance. Police were able to analyse when and where the calls were made to identify the phones used and from there, the perpetrators. All five were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, which they pleaded not guilty to. On Wednesday, Oke was sentenced to four years in prison, while Moses Kuye was jailed for three years and three months. Mensah-Oke received a fourteen month suspended sentence and Abifade a two year suspended sentence. Arinola Kuye was given a 12-month community order and instructed to complete 50 hours of unpaid work. DC Dave Cass, who investigated the case for the DCPCU said: “This was a concerted effort to commit fraud against two companies and profit from crime. “The police take fraud very seriously and these sentences should send a message to fraudsters that you will be caught and punished.” All losses were refunded to the genuine business account holders.

Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to contest the presidential election in 2019 just as he has indicated interest for Ebonyi governorship election. The governor told State House correspondents in Abuja on Thursday, that Buhari was very qualified to seek a second term in office. Umahi, a first term governor, who was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was at the Presidential Villa ahead of Buhari’s planned visit to Ebonyi, Anambra and Imo states. “Well, any first term governor would want to go for second term and if what you wish yourself, you should be honest enough to wish another person the same. “Since, Mr President is doing his first term and I am doing my first term, it’s my wish to re-contest and I will as well wish the president the same to re-contest,’’ he said. On the President’s planned visit to Ebonyi, Umahi said the state was fully prepared for the visit. He said: “We pleaded with Mr President for the visit and before then we have been preparing, we are fully prepared.’’ The governor revealed that several projects had been lined up for inauguration by the President during the visit. According to the governor, the twin flyovers that is built across the African trans-atlantic road running from Enugu to Cameroun passing through Ebonyi State will be among the projects to be inaugurated by the president. “We have quite a lot of projects that we have executed within the past two and the half years. “We have three twin flyovers that are built across the African trans-atlantic road running from Enugu to Cameroun passing through Ebonyi State. “So we have to build three twin flyover to decongest traffic on that road, each of the twin flyover is 700 metre length. “We have completed two and the third one is 80 per cent done, Mr President will commission the two. “We also have a mall what we call Ebonyi mall that is modelled after the famous Dubai mall.’’ He stated that the president would lay a foundation stone for the mall during the visit. Umahi expressed the hope that Buhari would inaugurate the Mall project when he returned to the state for re-election campaign in the next 12 months. “Also we are building a tunnel that dovetails into a flyover that is parallel to the existing flyover, that particular junction that is called Akanu Ibiam junction. “We want Mr President to lay the foundation stone and that flyover bridge will be named after Mr President and we are sure to finish that project in the next 12 months. “Mr President will also come back, he will be commissioning it when he comes back for his campaigns.’’

A Nigerian high court today ordered the remand in Kuje Prison of four suspected fraudsters over their alleged complicity in the theft of N339m military pension funds. Justice D. Z. Senchi of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Jabi, made the remand order after the suspects: Wing Commander Ishaka Yakubu, Lieutenant Commander Akinbamidele Odunsi, Abidemi Aderemi Kolade and Violet Ofoegbunam were accused of conspiring to collect monies meant for payment of death benefits to deceased army officers, and converting same to personal use. The offence breaches Section 315 of the Penal Code Act Cap 532 LFN (Abuja) 1990, and punishable under the same Act. The suspects were arraigned on Thursday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a six-count charge of conspiracy and stealing of pension funds. One of the counts reads: “That you, Wing Commander Ishaka Yakubu ‘m’ while serving as a cashier with the Military Pension Board, Lieutenant Commander Akinbamidele Odunsi ‘M’ being an Assistant Director, computer, while serving with the Military Pension Board, Mrs Abidemi Aderemi Kolade ‘F’ being a Relationship Manager while serving with United Bank for Africa, UBA Plc, Kuforudua Branch- Abuja and Violet Ofoegbunam ‘F’ being a Branch Manager while serving with UBA Plc, Kuforodua Branch-Abuja, on or about February, 2016 in Abuja within the Jurisdiction of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, while being entrusted with dominion over money belonging to the Nigeria Military Pension Board dishonestly converted to your own use the sum of N339.374million only which was withdrawn from the Military Pension Board Account with pretence that, the said sum represented payments to the supposed next of kin to deceased Nigerian as death benefit, that the said monies were paid and withdrawn in tranches and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 97 of the Penal Code Cap 532 LFN ( Abuja) 1990”.. The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge. In view of their plea, counsel to the EFCC, Steve Odiase, asked the court to fix a date for hearing and to remand the accused persons in custody pending trial. Odiase invited the court to take note of the fact that, Yakubu and Odunsi (1st and 2nd defendants) had on several dates refused to come to court, “an attempt aimed at frustrating efforts to have them arraigned over the alleged offence”. He urged the court to impose stringent conditions should it be persuaded to admitting the defendants to bail. However, Yakubu’s counsel, Patrick Ediale, informed the court of a pending application dated November 2, 2017, praying the court to admit his client to bail. He urged the court to exercise its discretion in favour of the defendant saying, “he is presumed innocent until the contrary is proved”. Other counsel in the defence also joined in seeking bail for their clients. Justice Senchi, while ordering the remand of the defendants adjourned to November 13, for hearing of their bail applications.

The head of Zimbabwe’s influential war veterans association, Chris Mutsvangwa,said the plan of President Robert Mugabe to instal his wife, Grace as vice president, will be resisted. “This is a coup by marriage certificate ….and it will be resisted,” he told Reuters. Grace, who was a typist in Mugabe’s office before she became Mugabe’s wife, is likely to be installed the country’s vice-president when the ruling ZANU-PF holds its national convention next month. Mutsvangwa ruled out trying to remove Mugabe by force and said war veterans, who had publicly backed the sacked Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and broke ranks with the president last year, would form a broad front with the opposition in elections next year. “We don’t want to abuse the military to resolve a political problem. We don’t want them to become the arbiter of political power,” Mutsvangwa said. Mnangagwa has not been seen in public since his dismissal from government but his ally Mutsvangwa said he was “safe and beyond the reach of the assassins”. Mugabe himself said on Wednesday the route to leadership was long and full of “pitfalls and death”, as he accused his fired deputy and former protege of showing impatience in his bid to succeed him. Addressing supporters at the headquarters of his ZANU-PF party in Harare, 93-year-old Mugabe accused Emmerson Mnangagwa of consulting witchdoctors and prophets as part of a campaign to secure the presidency. Mnangagwa, who was sacked by Mugabe on Monday and expelled from the ruling Zanu-PF party on Wednesday, said he had fled Zimbabwe because of death threats and was safe. “My sudden departure was caused by incessant threats on my person, life and family by those who have attempted before through various forms of elimination including poisoning,” he said in a statement on Wednesday. Mutsvangwa, said that Mnangagwa, 75, would travel to Johannesburg in neighbouring South Africa “very soon”. Mugabe said Mnangagwa, nicknamed “Crocodile”, had made the same mistakes as Joice Mujuru, who was the president’s deputy for 10 years until she was fired in 2014. “You should not try to say because the journey is long, then I should take a short cut to arrive quickly. The road has lions. There are pitfalls. There is death, beware,” he said. “There is no short cut to being the leader of the people. Just as there was no short cut to our independence.” ZANU-PF would move to discipline Mnangagwa’s “co-conspirators”, Mugabe added.

The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) has resolved the stand-off between it and the management of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta over tuition fee increase. NANS president, Mr Chinonso Obasi, led some executive members of the association to engage the management of PTI in a constructive dialogue inside the institution’s premises on Tuesday. NANS had on Monday issued a 24-hour ultimatum to PTI’s management to reverse the approved schedule of charges for 2017/2018 academic year in which tuition fee was increased by 130 per cent. The dialogue which commenced in the morning lasted until night before the management led by the PTI Principal, Prof. Sunny Iyuke agreed to shift ground. Iyuke said that the institution was underfunded and needed to execute a lot of projects. “The school fee has increased because the costs of things have also risen. Four years ago, we were paying N14,000 as school fee but things have changed. “We want to provide quality education for our students; this proposed fee is just an initial; we should be realistic. “We need funding to be able to justify the purpose for which PTI was established,” he said. The Professor of Chemical and Process Engineering who was appointed in July 2016 said that the institution was operating on loans. Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) shortly after the extensive deliberation, Obasi said that the previous fee for General Welding was N51,000, ND 1, N42,000 and HND 1, N43,000. He said that the management increased the tuition for General Welding to N115, 800, ND 1, N99, 800 and HND 1, N103, 800. The NANS president said that after the dialogue, the PTI management agreed to shift ground by slashing down the fee to N81, 600 for General Welding, N67, 200 for ND 1 and N68, 800 for HND 1. “We came to PTI upon 24- hour ultimatum given to the management to give an unconditional reversal in the tuition fee that was increased and the management quickly invited us for a dialogue. “There was about 130 per cent increment and we have been able to bring it down to 60 per cent in the sense that the institution is underfunded. “It is a pity that a national asset like this has been abandoned by the Federal Government. “We have agreed to partner the institution to see how we can generate more funds from other sources for the institution,” he said. Obasi appealed to the institution’s management to always create the enabling environment to dialogue with students on issues. He also advised the students to take their academic work seriously assuring that the association would continue to negotiate and dialogue on their behalf. In the course of the deliberation, a minute silent was observed to mark the one- month-old burial of late Mr Dauda Mohammed, former NANS president, 2011/2012.

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