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Chelsea claimed superiority over Manchester United in the English Premier League (EPL) on Sunday as Alvaro Morata scored his first goal since September to enable “the Blues” beat “the Red Devils” by a lone goal. Morata cleverly nodded the ball into the net in the 55th minute to register his eighth goal for the club for Chelsea’s third consecutive league win. David de Gea kept out further efforts from Morata and Eden Hazard as Chelsea looked to add to their lead. Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford blew away several goal scoring chances before substitute Marouane Fellaini’s close-range strike was saved by Thibaut Courtois. The loss now placed Man-U eight points behind leaders Manchester City, who beat Arsenal 3-1 earlier in the day. Chelsea remained on the fourth place after the win, while Tottenham Hotspurs ran away with a lone goal victory over Crystal Palace to occupy the third place. Liverpool are now fifth on the log after Saturday’s 4-1 bashing of West Ham United. Arsenal occupy the sixth place. Elsewhere, Everton came from 2-0 to beat Watford 3-2 to earn their first win in five matches. Watford threw away the chance of winning the day after they blew a two-goal lead and Tom Cleverley missed an injury-time penalty for the visitors.

The Parents/Teachers Association (PTA) of the Federal Government Girls’ College, Benin, Edo State, has dragged the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to a Federal High Court in Benin, over alleged anomalies in the running of the school. Also joined as defendants in the case filed by the Chairman of the PTA, Foster Efosa-Enobakhare, on behalf of himself and the association, are the past principal of the school, Patience Erhahon and the past acting principal, Gladys Madueke, Zenith Bank Plc and Unity Bank of Nigeria Plc, of Lagos and Abuja headquarters respectively. In the suit marked FHC/B/CS/147/2016, the plaintiffs prayed the court to order the past principal, Patience Erhahon and the past acting principal, Gladys Madueke to refund the sum of N28 million collected by way of house dues and class dues from 2013/2014 to 2016/2017 academic sessions. The plaintiffs also want the court to direct the former principals to refund the sum of N90 million collected from the parents and guardians of the students of the college by way of Skool Media collections dues from 2013/2014 to 2016/2017 academic sessions. They further prayed the court to order the former principals to refund the sum of N30 million being the illegal collections in the name of insurance levy surreptitiously imposed on the students of the college between 2014/2015, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic sessions. The association prayed the court to direct the former principals to refund the sum of N34 million being excess profit from the compulsory purchase of books from the “ghost bookshop” in 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic sessions to parents and guardians. Other demands of the parents are refund of N2 million, N5 million, N12 million, N3 million and all other monies collected illegally by the former principals from 2013/2014, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic sessions. The plaintiffs, however demanded the sum of N20 million damages each from Zenith Bank and Unity Bank of Nigeria Plc for a breach of customer relationship. The parents and guardians also prayed the court to make a declaration of the purported proscription and ban of PTA in the school by the organs of the federal government as illegal, null, void, unconstitutional and an infraction on the constitutional right of freedom of association of its members. Other prayer was the declaration that the Minister of Education acted outside the purview of his authority and power when he directed the director, basic and senior secondary education, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja and the past acting principal to instruct Zenith and Unity Bank of Nigeria Plc to freeze the accounts of the Union. The PTA said the action was in defiance to the Federal Ministry of Education’s circular with reference number FME/S/146/C.7/T/, titled: “Advisory on the Management of PTA funds” and dated April 1, 2016. When the case came up for mentioning last Thursday, the Presiding Judge, Justice (Mrs.) Njoku, who granted leave to the plaintiffs to amend the originating process, adjourned the case to December 13, 2017, to enable defendants reply to the amended originating processes.

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.

The Federal Government has told the Federal High Court in Lagos that the record of spending of N388.304billion London Paris Club Loan refunds by 35 states released to the states by Federal Government to pay overdue pensioners’ entitlements and workers’ salaries “is protected by professional privilege, and therefore confidential.” The Federal Government through the Accountant General of the Federation Alh. Ahmed Idris was responding to the suit number FCH/CS/523/17 filed by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) seeking “an order of mandamus directing and/or compelling the government to publish details of spending of N388.304billion London Paris Club Loan refunds allegedly diverted and mismanaged by 35 States.” The Federal Government’s response filed last Friday followed the ruling in June by Justice Muslim Hassan that SERAP could proceed with the legal challenge to unravel how exactly 35 states spent Paris Club loan refunds. Justice Hassan had while granting leave stressed that it was important for the authorities “to come and tell us how they spent our money.” However, in its defence the Federal Government is now arguing that, “The relationship between the Accountant General and the 35 states is professional and confidential. It is a fiduciary one akin to that between a bank and its customer and allied professionals. On that score, record of the spending of N388.304billion London Paris Club Loan refunds by the 35 states is exempted from publication, assuming the Federal Government has the information sought by SERAP.” The Federal Government is also arguing that, “The Accountant General does not have custody or possession of the information or record relating to the spending of N388.304billionLondon Paris Club Loan refunds by 35 states which the government gave them. The Accountant General did not release the funds to the states. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the Accountant General argues that assuming we have the information sought, the government is not obliged to comply with the request.” The government argued that, “States have exclusive control over their revenue and expenditure and the Accountant General of the Federation cannot demand obligatorily from any tier of government including the 35 states information how they have spent the Paris Club refunds.” According to the government, “SERAP has the right to the information sought but not to request that the information be passed to the Attorney General of the Federation. In any case, the Accountant General has no record of the spending of N388.304billion London Paris Club Loan refundsby 35 states and therefore cannot be compelled to release the record, as the court does not act in vain. An order of mandamus should not be issued because it will be unnecessary and not effective and will not serve the purpose.” Responding, SERAP argued that, “Due to non-payment of overdue pensions and salaries of workers by the states, citizens have continued to languish in untold hardship and poverty. Therefore, there is compelling public interest in knowing how exactly the Paris Club loan refunds were spent by the 35 states. There is also no professional relationship or privilege between the Accountant General and the 35 states as to warrant any duty of confidentiality on the part of the Accountant General.” According to SERAP, “There must be transparency and accountability in the spending of the refunds, in line with the principle of Open Government Partnership (OGP) to which Nigeria is a signatory. In addition, section 15(5) of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) provides that the state shall abolish corrupt practices and abuse of power. Citizens must be able to access the performance of government, and this depends on access to record about spending of the refunds by the 35 states”. SERAP also argued that, “Assuming without conceding that the Accountant General does not have record of spending of N388.304billion London Paris Club Loan refunds by the 35 states, nothing stops the Accountant General from working with other agencies/ministries to release information on the spending, especially being the Chief Accounting Officer of the Federation, and constitutionally charged with the overall responsibility of keeping and managing all the receipts and payments of the Federal Government.” SERAP said that, “The Accountant General cannot therefore say he is unaware of the spending of the refunds by the states. Otherwise, this would mean that the Accountant General is lacking in his duty as Chief Accounting Officer of the Federation.” SERAP’s response read in part: “The Accountant General has a duty under section 2(2) of the FOI Act to keep and maintain records, and to proactively disclose information without SERAP even requesting it. A basic principle behind the FOI Act is that the burden of proof falls on the body asked for information in this case the Accountant General, and not the person asking for it. The person making the request does not have to explain their actions.” “The government’s counter-affidavit constitutes objection and legal argument, and therefore same ought to be disregarded by the court as it offends section 115 of the Evidence Act. Besides, any control by the 35 states over the spending of Paris Club Loan refunds is not absolute, and in fact subject to scrutiny by Nigerians.” “The Accountant General owes no duty of confidence to the 35 states but rather to the entire citizens of Nigeria. Disclosure will not constitute an actionable breach of confidence if there is a public interest in disclosure which outweighs the public interest in keeping the information confidential.” “The FOI Act does not say that the information requested can only be issued to the person making the request nor does it say that SERAP cannot request information for the use of another person, especially when that person is the Attorney General of the Federation who is constitutionally obliged by law to act in the public interest, including in matters relating to the spending of the Paris Club Loan refunds by the 35 states.” “The intention of the drafters of the FOI Act as shown in its preamble and its sections is to allow access to information, enhance and promote transparency, accountability, openness, justice and development. Therefore, all public officials including the Accountant General ought to strive to ensure the effective implementation of the FOI Act.” It would be recalled that the motion on notice was set for Wednesday 14 September 2017 for the hearing of argument on why the government should not be directed and compelled to public details of projects on which the Paris Club loan refunds were spent. But the government has now filed a counter-affidavit and brief of arguments, claiming among others that the matter was confidential. It would also be recalled that the Federal Government released N388.304billion of the N522.74 billion to 35 states as refunds of over-deductions on London-Paris Club loans. The amounts received by the states are as follows: Akwa Ibom N14.5bn; Bayelsa N14.5bn; Delta N14.5bn; Kaduna N14.3bn; Katsina N14,5bn; Lagos N14.5bn; Rivers N14.5bn; Borno N13,654138,849.49; Imo 13bn; Jigawa 13.2bn; and Niger N13.4bn. Others are: Bauchi N12.7bn and Benue N12.7bn, Anambra N11.3bn; Cross River N11.3bn8; Edo N11.3bn; Kebbi N11bn; Kogi N11.2bn; Osun N11.7bn; Sokoto N11.9bn; Abia N10.6bn; Ogun N10.6bn; Plateau N10.4bn; Yobe N10bn; and Zamfara N10bn. Other states are: Adamawa N4.8bn; Ebonyi N3.3bn; Ekiti N8.8bn; Enugu N9.9bn; Gombe N8.3bn; Kwara N5.4bn; Nasarawa N8.4bn; Ondo N6.5bn; Oyo N7.2bn and Taraba N4.2bn. SIGNED Timothy Adewale SERAP deputy director 5/11/2017 Lagos, Nigeria Emails: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter: @SERAPNigeria Website: www.serap-nigeria.org

Activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Tuesday sustained bullish trend for the second consecutive day, with major equities recording price growth led by Nestle. Nestle recorded the highest price growth with a gain of N22 to close at N1,252 per share just as predicted by market watchers. It was followed by Seplat with N15 to close at N492 and Dangote Cement rose by N5 to close by N224 per share. Flour Mills rose by N1.50 to close at N31.50 per share. Some financial experts on Oct. 30 predicted that the 2018 budget proposal presentation and improved third quarter earnings would impact positively on the market this week. Consequently, the All-Share Index appreciated further by 195.99 points or 0.54 per cent to close at 36,680.29 against 36,484.30 on Monday. In the same vein, market capitalisation inched N67 billion or 0.53 per cent to close at N12.694 trillion compared with N12.627 trillion on Monday. Total posted the highest price loss to lead the losers’ table with a loss of N4 to close at N236 per share. Beta Glass trailed with a loss of N2.84 to close at N54.01, while Unilever dropped by N1.59 to close at N41.19 per share. Nigerian Breweries lost N1.50 to close at N150 and Forte Oil declined by 99k to close at N40 per share. Also, the volume of shares transacted inched by 48.08 per cent with an exchange of 259.08 million shares valued at N3.05 billion traded in 4,503 deals. This was against a turnover of 174.96 million shares worth N1.82 billion achieved in 3,401 deals on Monday. Diamond Bank was the toast of investors during the day, exchanging 42.94 million shares worth N42.64 million. Fidelity Bank came second with an account of 31.07 million shares valued at N47.62 million, while FBN Holdings traded 21.47 million shares worth N132.12 million. Dangote Flour sold 19.72 million shares valued at N183.97 million and Transcorp traded 19.34 million shares worth N27.15 million.

Nigeria’s new found democracy is approximately twenty years old but the same issues that afflicted the polity when the political process was hijacked by the military dictators for many years are still very much around. One of those disturbing social ills that afflicted the society in times past when such dictators held powers in the 1980’s is the widespread use of torture as the method of interrogation by operatives of the armed security forces in Nigeria. The use of torture by operatives and officers of the armed security forces in Nigeria has gained global notoriety leading to several reports by internationally respected bodies including but not limited to Amnesty international of the United Kingdom; Human Rights Watch of New York, United states of America and office of the special rapporteur on torture to the United Nations. These reports of widespread use of torture is extensively damaging even as observers expect all the top Generals heading the various branches of the military to view the need to eradicate torture as a legacy they must bequeath to their successors. This task must be done clinically given that all tge current hierarchies of the military are reputable officers who are said to be top military professionals. Sadly, even with the leadership of these reportedly excellent military professionals, apart from the fact that torture is still being widely used by the Nigeria Police Force all over the federation as once documented by a special rapporteur on torture to the United Nations Secretary General who toured some police detention facilities across Nigeria some few years back, the Nigeria Army has been singled out as a notorious user of this grotesque, illegal and inhuman/inhumane method of interrogation of civilians allegedly in conflict with the law. The Nigeria Army has come under the search light of many local and international groups who raised serious concerning on how the security institution has handled protests by the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) prior to its controversial proscription through an exparte order of a federal high court. Conversely, the Nigeria Army has faced criticisms for the use of torture against members of the Islamic movement of Nigeria or shiites – a group that reportedly lost hundreds of members through alleged extralegal executions by the Army few months back in Zaria, Kaduna State. The Department of State services has been accused too for the use of torture against detainees who are kept in some underground cells for many months before been brought for prosecution. Phenomenally, the Nigeria Army has come under fresh rounds of criticisms over the conducts of some of its personnel during the just ended operation python dance II in the South East of Nigeria. It is sad that the officials have yet to come to terms with the historical needs to realistically investigate these allegations and apportion appropriate sanctions on their men and operatives caught on the wrong side of global human rights laws. The undeniable fact is that lots of civilians were subjected to cocktails of physical, emotional and psychological torture by the Army – a fact that even the usually conservative Abia State governor Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu was compelled to issue a public rebuke of these misconducts by the military during the python dance II. Unfortunately, the hierarchy of the Nigeria Army does not seem to be predisposed towards eradication of the widespread use of torture by their operatives during internal military operations. These military officials are unfortunately living in denials even when these disgraceful tendencies of their misbehaving troops have already been recorded and are being circulated globally. This is because the media Centre of the military have often engaged in the use of propaganda to say that the use of torture does not constitute a major setback. But this is a fallacy because the more the public relations' directorate of the various segments of the armed forces and police are denying the existence of these issues; the more photographic evidences are circulated courtesy of the new inventions in the social media. For instance, there are several recorded evidences of the widespread use of torture by the Nigeria Army during the just ended operation python dance II. It is imperative that the Army’s hierarchy makes up their mind to tackle the challenge posed by the widespread use of torture by their operatives and deploy legal mechanisms to sanction indicted operatives. These cases of torture must not be swept under the carpets of impunity. The Army must of necessity end the use of torture if it must make the claim that it is a professional institution. As a human rights advocacy group that has consistently supported the military whenever visible efforys are made to advance respect for the human rights of Nigerians, this platform will not hesitate to use this medium to inform the military chiefs that there is the urgency of the now to do the needful by weeding off all undesirable elements and brutes who are tarnishing the professional image of the military institutions by the use of torture. Torture is evil and it must not be associated with the military institutions created by law. In the book “The Soldier and the State”, published in 1970 by the Havard University press, Huntington .S. made the far reaching claims about the military as a professional body. Hear him: “The military profession like other professions has the major characteristics of expertise, responsibility and corporateness”. Janowits M, in his own book titled “The professional soldier:A social and political portrait” stated that: "the military has the responsibility to ensure compliance to prescribed ethics and standards of discipline which members of that profession must maintain and prescribed sanctions for their breach." The late Major General T.E.C. Chiefe, one of the finest legal minds to have adorned the Nigeria Army's uniform, also affirmed that every nation usually prescribes a code of conduct for its military, which in totality constitutes military law for members of the armed forces of that nation. This refined gentleman who at the time he authored his classical law book was the Army's Director of legal services was quick to add that all military laws in operation in Nigeria must comply with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended). Besides, Aycock, William B. and Wartel Seymon W., in their book titled: “Military law under the uniform code of milital justice", Connecticut: Greenwood press, 1972,” stated that: “Military law as of necessity is to promote good order, high morale and discipline in the military for the accomplishment of the military mission.” A meticulous examination of the extant rules of engagement for the Nigeria military during internal security operations tells you that the use of torture is not tolerated in compliance to section 34 (1) (a) of the Nigerian constitution which provides that: “No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment.” It is noteworthy that the four Geneva Conventions and the two additional Protocols of 1977 have been formally given effect in Nigeria by the enactment of Federation of Nigeria 2004. "In sum, the Conventions and Protocols which are now an Act of the National Assembly, elaborately spell out the laws of armed conflicts on the use of force and the legal implication of disregarding rules regulating the means and methods of warfare, among other things. Specifically, section 3 of the Act provides for trial and punishment for breach of the Geneva Conventions as follows:(a) Incase of grave breach involving willful killing of a person protected by the Convention, sentence of death. (b) In any other such grave breach, imprisonment for 14 years",(military law in Nigeria- under democratic Rule, by Major General T.E.C. Chiefe(rtd)Ph.D). As far back as June 1987, the United Nations convention against torture and other Cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment came into force. Nigeria is a signatory to it. In the part 1, Article 1 of the aforementioned convention, torture was defined thus: “For the purposes of this Convention, the term "torture" means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.” Interestingly, Article 4 of this convention states thus: “Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law. The same shall apply to an attempt to commit torture and to an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture. 2. Each State Party shall make these offences punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account their grave nature.” The question that comes to mind is why the Nigerian Criminal or penal code or indeed the 2015 Administration of Criminal Justice Act do not seem to have sufficient and unambiguous provisions on this very disturbing social phenomenon of torture even when the Constitution absolutely criminalizes it. Since it is a notorious reality that torture is widely applied by members of the armed security forces on civilians, why then is there no national commitment on the part of administrators of criminal justice to sanction indicted abusers of this anti-torture international law? The British Broadcasting corporation did a research on torture and made far reaching findings including arriving at concrete response on why torture is wrong. The reasons why torture is wrong can be divided into reasons of pure principle and reasons based on the bad consequences of torture. The reasons why torture is wrong can be divided into reasons of pure principle and reasons based on the bad consequences of torture. Both sorts of reason are valid. Torture treats the victim as a means to an end and not an end in themselves• It treats the victim as a ‘thing’, not as a person with all the value that we associated with persons• Torturers often explicitly dehumanize their victims to make it easier to torture them• It uses the physical body of the victim not as a component part of a person of value, but as a tool to achieve the aims of the torturer(Torture) dehumanizes people by treating them as pawns to be manipulated through their pain. Kenneth Roth, Getting Away with Torture, Global Governance, 2005 found out the following; Torture is sometimes used to destroy the autonomy of the victim;• Some societies have used torture to suppress independent thought and convert people to ‘right-thinking’. The individual is tortured until they abandon their own views and beliefs and adopt those of the torturers. The victim ceases to be an ‘end in themselves’ but becomes just another means to support the regime of the torturer• Torture violates the rights and human dignity of the victim, including the legal right to remain silent when questioned. Consequentially, Torture is a slippery slope – each act of torture makes it easier to accept the use of torture in the future;Torture is an ineffective interrogation tool• It may well produce false information because under torture a prisoner will eventually say anything to stop the pain- regardless of whether it is true• Because of this the interrogator can never be ‘sure’ that they are getting the truth and will never know when to stop;• More effective methods of interrogation that don’t involve torture are available• If a suspect is tortured it may be impossible to prosecute them successfully – British common law excludes involuntary statements or confessions on the ground that such evidence is inherently unreliable. Torture damanges the human dignity.• Those who carry out torture are likely to become brutalized by their acts, and desensitized to humanity• The more acts of torture a person carries out, the more likely they are to carry out torture; Torture damages the institution that carries it out• It damages the reputation and moral authority of the institution;• Its use is likely to produce internal dissent and so damage the integrity of the institution• Using torture provides ‘the enemy’ with something they can exploit for propaganda History, according to those who should know, offers no modern examples of the strategic effectiveness of harsh interrogation techniques, but it is replete with examples of the negative strategic effects such techniques have on the counterinsurgency force.Lord Hoffmann, British judge said that:"When the state itself beats and exhorts, it can no longer be said to rest on foundations of morality and justice, but rather on force." For Mordecai Kremnitzer quoted in Marcy Strauss, Torture, New York Law School Law Review, 2004:"While the rest of the world is expected to abide by the UN Convention against Torture, for example, the Americans evaluate international law on the basis of whether it serves their interests. It bears no repeating to call on the Chief of Defence staff; the Chief of Army staff and all other military chiefs to make hay whilst the sun shines by introducing effective study modules to educate their troops on global best practices that absolutely makes the use of torture unacceptable and unlawful. *Emmanuel Onwubiko is head of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria(HURIWA) and blogs@ www.emmanuelonwubiko.com ; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Federal Government has agreed to pay N88 billion as compensation to victims of the Nigerian Civil War in some affected states in the country. This was the outcome of the consent judgment delivered by the ECOWAS Court of Justice in a case of negligence by the Federal Government to remove remnants of landmines and explosives from the civil war. A consent judgment is issued when two parties agree to a settlement to end a lawsuit; the parties write up an agreement for the judge to sign. The suit, filed by Mr Vincent Agu and 19 others against the Federal Government in 2012, had claimed that the government had failed to remove remnants of landmines and explosives since the end of the civil war in 1970. They claimed that the lethal explosives had maimed, killed and destroyed innocent lives in their various communities. The plaintiffs also claimed that apart from physical injuries, the abandonment of the war weapons had deprived them of the use of their farmlands, schools and churches. In the consent judgement delivered by Justice Friday Nwoke on Monday, N50 billion would be paid victims of the war in 11 states in the southeast, southwest and parts of north central regions. The 50 billion naira is expected to be paid to into a United Bank of Africa (UBA) account with number 1018230076 belonging Chief Noel Agwuocha Chukwukadibia, the nominated counsel for the war victims. The remaining N38 billion would be for the evacuation of remnants of bombs and other lethal explosives and the construction of basic structures in the affected areas. The money would be paid to Deminers Concept Nigeria Limited and RSB Holdings Nigeria Ltd charged with responsibility of evacuating the landmines. By the consent judgement, the Federal Government would also establish a National Mine Action Centre in Owerri, Imo State for the victims. Parties involved in the case acknowledged that 685 persons were selected and classified as survivors, identified by experts employed to screen and identify true victims of the war. The experts identified 493 persons of them as victims of either explosions from leftovers of the landmines and other lethal weapons. The parties in their agreement also acknowledged that a total of 17,000 bombs were recovered and destroyed while a total of 1,317 bombs were still in the stockpile located at the Mine Action Centre, Owerri. The Federal Government also agreed to remove and destroy, without delay, the stockpile at the centre and in other areas. Key signatories to the terms of settlement are Mr Chukwukadibia and Alex Williams for the applicants. Others are Mr Femi Falana (SAN), Mr Sola Egbeyinka, Mr Charles Uhegbu and Solomon Chukwuocha for the defendants.

Russia has signed agreements with Nigeria to build and operate a nuclear power plant in the oil-rich West African nation that has a deficit of reliable power and faces security challenges by Islamist militants in the far northeast. Feasibility studies for the plant and a research center construction will include site screening, capacity, financing, and time frames of the projects, state-owned Russian nuclear company Rosatom said in an emailed statement. The nations in 2009 signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of the peaceful usage of nuclear technologies. Nigeria in 2015 was in talks with Rosatom to build as many as four nuclear power plants costing about $20 billion, the Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission said at the time. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, distributes an average of 4,500 megawatts of electricity. Half the output of the Egbin power plant, the nation’s biggest, is lost because of inadequate transmission infrastructure, its chief officer said last month. Rosatom is seeking to build nuclear power plants in other countries on the continent including South Africa.

Amala meal suspected to be poisoned has led to the death of 5 persons in Ibokun, Obokun Local Government area of Osun State .Facts emerged on how a young man identified as Rasaq allegedly poisoned the food because he was dumped by his girlfriend, Esther. Our source reliably gathered that Esther who was dating Rasaq, popularly known as ‘fine boy’ suddenly decided to quit the relationship but Rasaq who is a commercial motorcycle operator was not happy with her decision. Rasaq was said to have connived with one of Esther’s female friends to poison the food meant for the whole family. After eating the food, Esther and her mother, Mrs Kehinde Fasanya who was a staff of Obokun Local Government died instantly. Efforts to save the lives of other people that ate from the food failed as three among the four persons that were taken to Wesley Guild Hospital of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital in Ilesa eventually died. Commissioner of Health in the state, Dr Rafiu Isamotu said he was aware of the death of additional two persons out of the four persons taken to hospital in Ilesa and that he has not been updated about the death of the third person. “Two out of the four persons that we took to Wesley Guild Hospital in Ilesa could not make it. They are dead. Four persons lost their lives so far to the best of my knowledge. I have not been told about the death of any of the remaining two persons,” Isamotu said. The Commissioner of Police in the State, Mr Fimihan Adeoye in a chat disclosed that Rasaq has been arrested and that he was being interrogated. He assured that the matter would be diligently investigated

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Boss Mustapha as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), and terminated the appointment of the suspended SGF, Babachir Lawal. Mr Femi Adesina, the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, confirmed this development in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday. Adesina said the president also approved the termination of the appointment of the suspended Director-General National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke. The statement read: “President Muhammadu Buhari has studied the report of the panel headed by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, which investigated allegations against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir David Lawal, and the Director General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke. “The President accepted the recommendation of the panel to terminate the appointment of Mr Lawal, and has appointed Mr Boss Mustapha as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The appointment takes immediate effect. “President Buhari also approved the recommendation to terminate the appointment of Ambassador Oke, and has further approved the setting up of a three-member panel to, among other things, look into the operational, technical and administrative structure of the Agency and make appropriate recommendations.’’ Mr Boss Gida Mustapha is a lawyer, management consultant, politician, businessman and boardroom guru of considerable repute. His was the former Managing Director/CEO of the National inland waterways Authority (NIWA). He was born in Adamawa and attended Hong Secondary School, in Hong Adamawa and North East College of Arts and Sciences Maiduguri Borno state, crowning it with WASC and HSC in 1976. He earned his Bachelor of Law (LL.B) from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1979 and was called to bar in 1980. Mustapha did the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) – Directorate of Legal of legal Services at the Army Headquarters and was in charge of review of Court Marshall Proceedings from 1980 to 1981.After the NYSC, Boss joined Sotesa Nigeria Limited, an Italian consultancy firm, as an Executive Director in charge of Administration, leaving in 1983 to join the law firm Messrs Onagoruwa & Co in Lagos. He later established his own practice as Principal Counsel in the firm Messrs Mustapha & Associates. In 2000, the Obasanjo administration appointed him a member of Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the defunct Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF). He served till 2007. He returned to legal practice in 2007 as Principal Partner of the law firm, Adroit Lex. As a politician, he was a member Federal Republic of Nigeria Constituent Assembly (1988-1989), Chairman People’s Solidarity Party-Gongola State (1989-1990), state chairman, Social Democratic Party-Gongola State (1990-1991); he was even a gubernatorial candidate for SDP in Adamawa state in 1991. He was also the Deputy National Chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria from 2010 to 2013. In 2007, he again played a prominent role, serving as the Deputy Director General of the party’s Presidential campaign Organization. His services remained in high demand after the fusing of ACN with other parties to form the All Progressives Congress (APC). He was Secretary APC Presidential Campaign Organization Mobilization (2015) and member, APC Transition Committee (2015). He is also a member, APC Board of Trustees. Until his new appointment, the man called Boss, was the Managing Director/CEO of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA). Like Babachir Lawal, Boss is a Christian and he is the National Vice President, Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International Nigeria.

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