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A Magistrate court in Yaba, Lagos State, has granted bail to the embattled #EndSARS protester, Peter Eronmosele Adene, in the sum of one million naira.
The court granted the bail on Tuesday after it rejected a request by the police for an order to detain him for another 30 days, to enable them conclude investigations into the allegations against the defendant.
Counsel to the defendant, Mr Adeshina Ogunlana, argued that the facts were not weighty enough to support further remand of the defender, who has been in police custody for about 12 days since his arrest.
Before proceedings commenced, there was a disagreement between the family members and friends of Eromosele who protested police refusal to allow them enter into the courtroom, while Eromosele was made to sit in the Hilux van outside the court for over an hour.
The security operatives had arrived in the area earlier today, blocking the road leading to the court premises.
The embattled youth was arrested on November 7 by the police, for his involvement in the #EndSARS protest and also on allegations of providing financial support to the movement.
He was subsequently whisked to Abuja, the nation’s capital, days later, quickly sparking the trend, #FreeEromz.
The Senator representing Imo West senatorial district and former governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha, yesterday, said that the time is ripe for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction to emerge.
Okorocha spoke in Owerri, when a group called Igbos for Rochas 2023 President, led by Jeff Nwaoha, from the five states of the Southeast zone, visited him.
Okorocha said that all regions have produced a president and it’s only the Southeast region that is yet to occupy the number one position.
It was Okorocha’s believe that the Igbo would do a new thing in Nigeria, should they be given the chance as well as to make Nigeria greater to compete economically with other developed nations of the world.
The Senator said: “I am happy because you find me worthy. I am happy because you have made huge sacrifices driving through the long distance to meet with me on Nigeria’s presidency. I have read in between lines of your submission. That you want a Nigerian presidency of Igbo extraction and you have found me worthy for this position. I feel honoured and I am happy.
“Let me salute you in the manner which you have conducted yourself in a more peaceful approach and this is commendable.
“It is true that Igbo are highly misunderstood but allow me to say that Igbo are the most peaceful Nigerians and wherever you find them they are building bridges of peace and economic development. The Igbos are the only people that have invested more outside than what they had invested in their own land.”
He added: “Igbo people alone cannot make the president of Nigeria. We need the support of other regions of this country to produce the president of Nigeria. We need the Hausa, Yoruba and other regions to be able to produce the presidency.
“For me, I have run for this office of the presidency using different political parties and up to three times now, I have run for the office of the presidency under the ANPP, and the second time under PDP, the third time in APC, and now If I must run it is for the unity of Nigeria. If I must run, it must be for the empowerment of the youths of Nigeria, and if I must run for the presidency, it will be to make this nation compete with other greater nations of the world economically.”
Okorocha pointed out that, “The North has produced a president, the West has produced the president and the South-south has also produced a president of this country and we have seen all they have done. It is time for Igbo to produce a president and let us see how the Igbo will change this country.”
Former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama on Monday evening took aim at President Donald Trump for his refusal to concede after losing the Nov. 3, presidential election.
In an Instagram post, Mrs Obama said the love of country required everyone to respect election results even when unfavourable.
She wrote: “The presidency doesn’t belong to any one individual or any one party.
“To pretend that it does, to play along with these groundless conspiracy theories, whether for personal or political gain, is to put our country’s health and security in danger.
“This isn’t a game.
“So I want to urge all Americans, especially our nation’s leaders, regardless of party, to honour the electoral process and do your part to encourage a smooth transition of power, just as sitting presidents have done throughout our history.”
The former First Lady recalled her struggle after Trump defeated Hillary Clinton “by a far closer margin” in the 2016 presidential election.
Mrs Obama said although she and her husband were hurt and disappointed, they listened to the voice of the people and immediately set the transition ball rolling.
“The American people had spoken. And one of the great responsibilities of the presidency is to listen when they do.
“So, my husband and I instructed our staff members to do what George and Laura Bush had done for us: run a respectful, seamless transition of power – one of the hallmarks of American democracy.
“We invited the folks from the president-elect’s team into our offices and prepared detailed memos for them, offering what we’d learned over the past eight years.
“I have to be honest and say that none of this was easy for me,” she said.
Mrs Obama further wrote that Trump had “spread racist lies” about her husband that had exposed her family to danger.
It was not something she was ready to forgive, according to her, but she mustered the strength and maturity to let go for the sake of the country.
“So, I welcomed Melania Trump into the White House and talked with her about my experience, answering every question she had, from the heightened scrutiny that comes with being First Lady to what it’s like to raise kids in the White House.
“I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do, because our democracy is so much bigger than anybody’s ego,” she disclosed.
The 2020 election was called in favour of former Vice President Joe Biden on Nov. 7, after crossing the 270 electoral college votes required to win the race.
But Trump, who has refused to concede, is claiming that the votes were rigged against him.
The president, who is challenging the election in court in key battleground states, is impeding a smooth transition of power to Biden.
Teacher who lost 2 months pregnancy in SARS custody is Evans the kidnapper's sisterWritten by Admin
A teacher Mrs Ndubisi Obiechina who told the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry on Restitution for Victims of Special Anti- Roberry Square, SARS, Related Abuses and Matters that she lost a two-month-old pregnancy, Tuesday, told the panel that popular billionaire kidnapper Chukuwudmeme Onwamadike known as Evans is her brother.
She said that she never knew that he was popularly known as Evans.
When asked by a Police lawyer from Force Intelligent Response Team, (IRT), Nosa Uhumwangho, if she was related yo Evans, Obiechina said yes.
“Who is Chukeudumeme Uwanmadike to you? ” He is my brother,” Obiechina said.
Uhumwangho told the panel that Evans was arrested because of Mrs Obiechina.
” It was through her invitation that we were able to arrest Evans.”
The Magistrate Court of Lagos State has granted #EndSARS promoter, Eromoesele Adene, N1m bail and rejected the request of the State’s Commissioner of Police to remand him for 30 days over alleged provoking breach of public peace.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Folarin Williams, granted Eromoesele bail with the conditions of two sureties having not less than a million in their accounts and tax-compliant.
Earlier in the court’s proceeding, Counsel to the Defendant, Mr Ogunlana Folarin, described the application of the Commissioner of Police to remand Mr Eromoesele as deprivation of his constitutional right.
Folarin stated that the facts presented are not weighty enough as proper and adequate investigation ought to have been carried out by the institution before carrying out any arrest.
The Lawyer explained that the Police did not state that the accused was calling for riot nor insurrection but a peaceful protest which is his constitutional right.
He said that the Police should be investigating armed robbers or kidnappers rather than molesting citizens and hence, urged the court to dismiss the application as unmeritorious as the judiciary is being seen as the bastion or the freedom of the people.
“We are praying this Honourable Court to grant our demand.
“The essence of the application is to deprive the defendant his constitutional right enshrined by the freedom of movement.
“Such an application is not persuasive and has no materials and data to present before the court to persuade the court of law to accede to such a request.
“They could have investigated the man since they have purported confessional statement
“Facts are not weighty enough to support the ground at which they arrested the defendant.
“They didn’t say he was calling for riot. They didn’t say he was calling for insurrection. They said he called for a protest which is a fundamental human right.
“Demanding for a 30 days remand of the defendant is trying to overreach not only the court of law but the justice system of the country.
“It is a different thing if this application is coming ten days ago but this gentleman had been with them from Lagos to Abuja.
“The court is the bastion or the freedom of the people. This application should be rejected and found unmeritorious. They are supposed to be investigating armed robbery or kidnapping not molesting citizens of the country.
“The Constitution states that the court has the right to grant bail. Our hope as Nigerians vis-a-vis government lies here.
“Deny them application because the action is unmeritorious but I am not also saying that the defendant should be allowed to go home just like that,” Mr Folarin said.
Meanwhile, the Plaintiff’s Counsel, Mr O. Adegoke, said that the Defendant’s right was not deliberately infringed upon but for the interest of the state.
Adegoke explained that the institution was trying to avoid a situation where the security of the nation will be threatened.
He added that efforts would be exerted to ensure that he enjoys all the rights the constitution allows him.
“We did not just deliberately infringe upon the fundamental right of the defendant but for the interest of the state.
“We will continue to provide him with all the rights the constitution guarantees him.
“We are trying to avoid a situation where the security of the nation will be threatened,” the Counsel said.
The Federal Government has linked the recent increase in the cost of petrol to the announcement of the development of a COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, disclosed this while fielding questions from State House correspondents after his routine meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.
He said the announcement impacted on the price of crude oil, noting that since government had decided to allow the petrol price to float, a rise in the crude oil price would naturally be reflected in the price of petrol.
“Now what happened recently was because of the announcement of a vaccine for COVID-19 by Pfizer. With that crude oil prices went up a little bit. If you have been following crude oil prices you would have seen that crude oil prices went up a little bit as a result of this announcement,” Sylva said.
He further stated that: “If the price of crude oil goes up then it means the price of the feedstock has gone higher, it will also affect the price of the refined product and that is why you see that product prices are usually not static, it depends on the price of crude oil, which goes up and down. That is why we say deregulate, so that as the price goes up or down, you will begin to go up and down as well at the pump.
“Before now we fixed it, which was not optimal for us as a country. So, we said our earnings are not fixed because they are dependent on crude oil price. If we fix it at this end, then it becomes unsustainable at some point. So, let us keep it floating so that if crude oil prices go up, you’ll see a reflection of that and if crude oil prices go lower, you’ll see a reflection of that at the pump.”
Sylva, however, assured Nigerians that would get used to the deregulation of the pump price of petrol just as they had become in the case of kerosene and diesel. He said diesel and kerosene were even more important to the ordinary citizens than petrol, which he said was mostly used by the elite. The minister reiterated that Nigeria was no longer in the position to subsidise the cost of petrol, in view of falling crude oil production and lack of optimal sale.
“Let us first agree that these are not the best of times, not only for Nigeria but for the global community. What we have said over and over again as a government is that government is no longer in the business of fixing pump price, that is the meaning of deregulation and stepping back on subsidy.
“Yes, we are very aware that this will result to some increase but why do we have to do this, because it is clearly impossible for government to continue to subsidise. The money is not there now.
“Just take the example of our production levels; our crude oil production level was over two million barrels a day, today to comply with OPEC cut and quota, we have reduced production to 1.4 million barrels. “Having reduced production to 1.4 million barrels, crude oil is also not selling at an optimal rate. Where do you get the money to continue to subsidise?
“Our FIRS collection has also reduced because less oil is being produced, there is less activity in the oil industry which is driving the economy,” he said. While regretting the harsh effects of the increase in the pump price of petrol, he expressed confidence that things will be better in future.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday told the quarterly meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) that he will not allow a repeat of the #EndSARS protests that culminated in the destruction of properties in the country recently.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Dingyadi, disclosed this while briefing correspondents at the end of the meeting presided over by the president at the presidential villa, Abuja.
He explained that in vowing to do everything within his power to prevent a reoccurrence of the #EndSARS protests, the president assured that he will carry all stakeholders, including the youth along in the process of maintaining peace in the country.
Asked whether it would include a crackdown on potential protesters, the minister replied: “On the issue of #EndSARS protests that you have raised, what we are saying is that the government will continue to dialogue, it will continue to listen and will continue to carry all stakeholders along in ensuring that there is no repeat of what happened that destroyed a lot of properties, public and private, individuals in this country.”
The minister said the council reviewed the security situation of the country and noted with concern the increasing rate of armed banditry particularly in the north-west and northeastern parts.
He stated that the council, therefore, resolved to be proactive and to take decisive actions to bring the situation under control.
The minister added that the meeting stressed the need to pay more attention to the police by supplying them with modern equipment to enable them to discharge their functions.
Dingyadi stated: “The meeting noted with concern the increasing cases of armed banditry particularly in the north-west and northeastern part of the country. The meeting agreed to be more proactive in dealing with the situation in a more decisive manner.
“The meeting noted the need to pay greater attention to the police in the discharge of its functions to maintain peace in the country, in the areas of equipment and modern technology.
“The meeting thanked the president for the concern which he has shown in repositioning the police to perform more effectively.
“In his concluding remarks, Mr President thanked members for the efforts they are making in maintains peace and assured members that he will do whatever it takes to support security agencies in providing peace in the country.
“Mr President assured Nigerians that he will do whatever it takes to ensure the repeat of #EndSARS protests does not occur in Nigeria again.
“Mr President reassured that all stakeholders will be involved in the Process of maintaining peace in the country, particularly the youth, community leaders, traditional rulers, politicians, public servants, religious leaders etc.
“The Federal Government will continue to maintain its bureaucratic, humane and just postures in handling security matters in the country.”
On what are the decisive actions the council planned to take and whether there were timelines for them, the minister remarked: “Let me say that in whatever one does, you must have a timeline, you must have your targets and you must work towards achieving those targets. We have our timelines, we have our targets and we are working towards achieving those targets.”
“Decisive action means, it’s an all-inclusive action that is going to be taken to ensure that in terms of technology, the equipment we can face these challenges head-on,” Dingyadi declared.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State has said President Muhammadu Buhari needs the support of all and sundry to overcome evil forces in the country.
Governor Tambuwal said this on Monday while receiving the Shehu of Bama who paid him a courtesy call.
“We must work together as people and as leaders and support the federal government to establish peace in troubled areas across the country.
“We will continue to support the President to overcome evil forces who are all out to destabilize our nation,” he said
The governor, however, expressed happiness over the liberation of Bama and other parts of Borno State from the hands of terrorists.
“Bama used to be an epicenter of Boko Haram. But peace is gradually returning to Bama and Borno State. But you still have a lot of roles to play. You must support your brother, Governor Babagana Zulum and the federal government for all that they have been doing to stabilise the state and the country,” he added.
Tambuwal also commended Governor Zulum for the development strides in the state.
While praying Allah to grant his late father Jannatul Firdaus, Tambuwal appreciated the contribution of the late Shehu of Bama in the fight against polio alongside other traditional rulers.
“Your father was a great man, a statesman. He served the Bama kingdom and Nigeria very well. I will not forget his role in the fight against polio alongside other traditional rulers which culminated to the successes that led to the declaration of Nigeria as polio free nation,” he said
The governor, while congratulating the new Emir, prayed Allah to protect the traditional ruler and grant him the wisdom required to steer the affairs of the kingdom.
Earlier, the new Shehu of Bama, Umar Kyari Umar, said he was in Sokoto as part of his familiarization tour, saying Governor Tambuwal and his late father had a close working relationship spanning for years.
“We are here to strengthen the already established working relationship in order to continue to promote peace and peaceful coexistence among our people,” he said.
Ekiti Begins Move To Create LCDAsWritten by Admin
The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has inaugurated a 13-member committee to critically examine and recommend to the government the viability and economic sustainability of the planned creation of Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) from the existing 16 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in State.
Governor Fayemi had hinted on the plan to create new LCDAs while delivering his State of the State address at the State Assembly last month.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony at the State Executive Council Chamber, Governor’s office in Ado Ekiti yesterday, Fayemi said the move was in a bid to bring government nearer to the people and stimulate rapid development in the rural areas in line with his administration’s five-pillar development agenda.
He noted that agitations for the creation of new LCDAs continued to top the list of demands in the various consultative meetings held with stakeholders across communities in the State since the inception of his administration.
He added that the creation of the LCDAs was in demonstration of his administration commitment to justice, fair-play and response to the yearnings of the people for increase and adequate representation at all levels of governance.
Gunmen in military uniform storm Benue Internal Revenue Service outpost, kidnap five officialsWritten by Admin
Unknown gunmen have abducted five officials of Benue State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS).
The officials were kidnapped Monday evening during an attack on the service’s inspection point in Vandeikya Local Government Area of the state, the agency said.
“Unknown gunmen today attacked the Benue State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS) officially gazetted inspection point in Vandeikya Local Government Area, destroying property and kidnapping 5 staff on duty,” a statement posted on BIRS Facebook page said.
It said the gunmen who were dressed in military uniforms, drove in a Hilux van with three motorcycles and invaded the BIRS inspection point in Vandeikya. It said the attackers set fire on staff motorcycle, shot sporadically before kidnapping five BIRS staff and hurting several others.
Calls to the BIRS’ known phone number were unanswered Monday night.
Media officer to the executive chairman of the board, Ati Terkula, said the incident happened around 6:30 p.m.
As at the time of this report the whereabout of the staff were unknown, even as the matter has been reported to the Vandeikya Divisional Police Station, the statement said.
The Kingdom of Belgium has conferred the honorary distinction of Officer in the Order of Leopold, on Africa’s leading investor and philanthropist, Tony O. Elumelu.
The honour, which is the country’s oldest and most important National Honour, is in recognition of Elumelu’s commitment to poverty eradication and the economic empowerment of young Africans.
The Ambassador of Belgium to Nigeria, H.E. Ambassador Daniel Bertrand, presented the royal decoration on Sunday, November 15 – the Belgian King’s Day and a symbolic national day of celebration, at the Belgian House in Abuja, with public and private sector leaders witnessing the ceremony.
Elumelu has been responsible for initiatives creating millions of jobs and employment for young Africans across the continent, through his philanthropy, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). The Foundation’s flagship intervention, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, is a 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor, and fund 10,000 young African entrepreneurs across 54 African countries.
Over 9,600 young Africans are current beneficiaries, just six years since its inception. In addition to its own significant programme, the Foundation partners with institutions such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to bring its proven methodology to an even broader universe. Elumelu believes that youth entrepreneurship has the potential to tackle global challenges such as forced migration, poverty, and hunger.
Elumelu’s concept of Africapitalism is redefining national development, making the case for the critical role that the private sector must play in transforming Africa. His businesses are present in 20 African countries and key international markets, with over 30,000 people in employment His investments span power, financial services, healthcare, energy, technology, hospitality, and real estate.
Freight forwarders under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents have tasked the Federal Government to re-open the border in order to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area
Nigeria had closed all its land borders, which shares boundaries with Benin, Niger and Cameroon in August last year, to the movement of goods in order to tackle smuggling.
ANLCA reminded the Federal Government that the AfCFTA regime which hopes to take effect from January 2021, will place Nigerian businesses people at a disadvantage if the nation’s land borders remained closed to trade.
In a statement titled, “ANLCA secures assurances of border reopening, non-interference of NASS in cargo clearing,” it asked the government to effect gradual reopening of the closed borders.
The statement signed by the National President, Iju Nwabunike on November 16th also appealed to lawmakers to stop interfering in cargo clearing.
Part of the statement read thus, “In a similar vein, the association also interacted with ranking members of the Senate over allegations of National Assembly members interference in cargo clearing.
“After closed-door interactions, it was mutually agreed between ANLCA and members of the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise that it negates due process for lawmakers to be involved in cargo clearing.
“Chairman of the committee, Senator Francis Alimikhena gave his words that all cargo clearance hitherto stalled with shipping companies due to the committee’s activities and correspondence will be allowed to be processed in line with extant regulations.”
Similarly, the freight forwarders lamented the loss of 10,000 jobs, as well as N130bn belonging to businesses as a result of the year-long border closure.
It advised the Nigeria Customs Service to allow micro chip shoot on every container along the Economic Community of West African States route into the country in line with international best practices.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has continued its interrogation of Babatunde Fowler, former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), over alleged fraud.
Fowler, who arrived at the commission’s office in Lagos on Monday, is still being grilled over alleged corruption while in office.
He was first invited for interrogation two weeks ago over a case involving Alpha Beta Consulting, a firm that consults for Lagos State government on internally-generated revenue (IGR) in return for a commission.
The company has been embroiled in allegations of fraud, including tax evasion. Oladapo Apara, former managing director of the firm, made some of the allegations.
Before he was appointed head of FIRS, Fowler served as Chairman of the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS).
Nigeria’s galloping inflation rate which has been on the upward trajectory since last year, hit an all-time high of 14.23 per cent in October, 2020 (year-on-year) from 13.71 per cent in September, 2020 according to latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The NBS which released the country’s latest inflation figures on its website, yesterday, said that the increase of about 0.52 per centage points was higher than the rate recorded in September 2020.
It explained that the increases were recorded in all Classifications of Individual Consumption According to Purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the headline index.
According to the Bureau, the October figure stands as the highest inflation rate recorded by Nigeria over the past four years. This is also coming amid outcry by the citizens that prices of basic food stuffs have risen astronomically high in South west states of Ogun and Lagos due to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising transportation cost following recent fuel price hike by the Federal Government.
But reacting to the NBS figures yesterday, President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, (PSN), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, said “Nigeria is digging deeper into poverty because rising inflation means erosion of purchasing power when there is no compensatory adjustment in incomes of households or salaries of workers.
Inflation is a destroyer to many economies and ours is worse because we already have a fragile economic days.
It’s going to increase the misery index, which is unemployment plus high inflation rates. So, we will become more miserable as a people. Businesses will face declining demand as there is no corresponding increase in purchasing power. It might lead to redundancies and all sorts of efforts by the businesses to survive.”
Similarly, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) for its part urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to address the supply side variables impacting domestic prices.
Dr Muda Yusuf, Director-General, LCCI, who spoke in reaction to the October 2020 inflation rate, released by the NBS, listed such variables to include transportation costs, logistics challenges and exchange rate depreciation.
Other variables according to him are forex liquidity issues, Value Added Tax increase, climate change, insecurity in farming communities and structural bottlenecks to production.
The LCCI Director- General, said any mitigation measures will have to be situated in the context of these variables. Yusuf added that the potency of monetary policy instruments in tackling inflation has been very weak.
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Assets Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said the inflation figures released by NBS, did not come as a surprise to economic commentators because it was already projected. He said the high cost of food items occasioned by the dislocation of farmers in the Northern part of the country and the border closure remained key factors that moved inflation figures to an all time high of 14.23 per cent.