News

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the author of Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah

Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie has been named amongst the 50 greatest world leaders in the 2017 Fortune magazine ranking.

 

The ‘Half of a yellow sun’ writer was ranked at number 42 on the list with Chicago Cubs baseball team president Theo Epstein at number one.

 

Business mogul Jack Ma of AliBaba group of companies appears at number two and Catholic leader Pope Francis is in third place for his social integration projects as a clergy.

 

Melinda Gates is number four in recognition of the impact of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which she co-chairs.

 

The list also features celebrated basketball player, LeBron James at 11, comedienne Samantha Bee at 19.

 

Colombian music superstar Shakira is at 27 for her philanthropic work through her Pies Descalzos (Barefoot) school foundation.

 

Just outside of the top five is Ava DuVernay recognized for her directorial work in Academy Award winning film, Selma and her forthcoming Disney adaptation, A Wrinkle in Time.

 

Chance the Rapper checks in at number 46, the 23-year-old hip-hop star is commended for his willingness to remain an independent artist and release his music for free and his education philanthropy in his Illinois, Chicago hometown.

 

Adichie’s book ‘Americanah’ recently won the “One Book, One New York” campaign from the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment in partnership with BuzzFeed.

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Customs Boss, Col Hameed Ali (Rtd)

The senate has called for the resignation of Hameed Ali, comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The senate also declared Ali unfit to hold public office and condemned a letter written by Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF).

Malami in the letter told the lawmakers that the comptroller-general could not appear before the lawmakers because the matter of his uniform was in court.

The resolutions of the upper legislative chamber was sequel to prayers moved by Enyinnaya Abaribe, senator representing Abia south.

The resignation demand comes barely 24 hours after the All Progressives Congress (APC) announced its intervention in the row between Ali and the senate.

Ali fell out with the lawmakers after he was summoned to explain the rationale behind customs directive that vehicle owners should pay duty on their cars.

The senate asked him to appear before it in uniform on March 8, but he failed to honour the invitation on the ground that he had a management meeting.

Not satisfied with the reason, the senate issued a warrant mandating Ali to appear on March 16, and he honoured the invitation this time around, but in civilian attire.

This irked the lawmakers who sent him away and ordered him to return in uniform at 10am on March 22.

But, on Tuesday, Ali told state house correspondents that he would not be at the senate, citing advice from the attorney-general of the federation as the reason for his decision.

He said that he had written to the senate on the development, explaining that a case had been instituted in the court on the matter.

He said the AGF wrote to him, asking him and all parties to stay action on his summon to appear at the senate in uniform, pending the determination of an originating summons filed by one Mohammed Ibrahim.

Truly, he did not appear even though he was listed as the fourth item on Wednesday’s order paper.

Prompted by his seeming disrespect, senators went into a closed-door session at exactly 10:32am.

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INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu

As part of its preparations for the 2019 election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has cancelled manual transmission of results from polling units.

It will now use e-Collation and Result Transmission System in all the 120, 000 polling units.
The commission opted for the new result transmission system after a three-year trial or test run during by-elections and rerun elections.
But the commission was silent on an important aspect of making the new proposition benefit the country, which is ensuring the method of transmission is captured in the country’s Electoral laws. When in 2015 the commission introduced a new way of accrediting voters with Card Readers, it failed to send a bill to the National Assembly for the laws to recognize the card reading machines. That turned out to be the death of credible elections that year. Nigeria’s professional vote riggers went on to doctor election results and got helped by Supreme Court justices who preferred manual method of accreditation to a technologically enhanced method.

The details on results transmission are contained in a document titled “Towards 2019: Recent technological deployments” made available to stakeholders between March 14 and 21 by INEC.

INEC said the adoption of e-collation followed recurring manipulation of results between Polling Units (Pus) and collation centres.
INEC said: “Observations have shown, over the years that most election malpractices that take place do not happen at the Polling Units (PUs)
“The challenge has been after the polls -between the PU and the Collation Centres, and at the Collation Centres.
“INEC has, therefore, decided to securely transmit election results from all Pus straight to a central database, such that only viewing access  is allowed at the Wards and the LGAs – which ultimately is aimed at eliminating manual collation processes.”
The electoral commission also highlighted the features of the new e-collation system:

•is a robust and well secured platform that collects data from the Polling Units (PUs) and collates the results up to the required level for any set election;

•has the ability to collate and transmit data across the country;

•can collect results from either of the following: Local Government Area (LGA), Ward/Registration Area (RA), or PU;

•works with any election type – Presidential, National Assembly, Governorship or State Houses of Assemblies;

•The portal has a flexible dashboard with a real-time user interface, showing a graphical presentation of the current status of results collated per given time; and

•has been piloted for all bye-elections and re-run elections since 2014.

The document added: “INEC is preparing for 2019, and is further deploying technology to improve its service delivery, make its processes more credible and less prone to manipulations.

“The votes of Nigerians must keep counting, and this is what technology is helping us to achieve. “Continuous Voter Registration is commencing soon, Nationwide – giving an opportunity to those who have recently turned 18 or have not been previously enrolled to vote.

“Operations of the SCRs are being improved to make  the process of voter authentication better.

Result collation process will become better when results are transmitted from the PUs.

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Samuel Galadima, Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development in Plateau State , is dead. He died while jogging this morning with Governor Simon Lalong, at the Rwang Pam Stadium, Jos.

Mr Emmanuel Nanle, Director of Press Affairs, confirmed the incident. “Yes, the commissioner slumped while jogging and was rushed to the Plateau Specialist Hospital, where he died,” he said.

Nanle said that the official was gasping for breath by the time he arrived the hospital.

“Doctors tried to stabilise him but could not. We have lost him,” he said. It was not first time this kind of sudden death had happened. A famous case was that of the former governor of Benue Aper Aku who also died while jogging.

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Anyim Pius Anyim, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF)

The house of representatives on Thursday recommended the prosecution of Pius Anyim, a former secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) over the Abuja centenary city project.

The recommendation came in form of a resolution directed to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Anyim  played a huge role in the project, which cost over $18 billion.

According to PUNCH, the resolution by the lower legislative chamber followed the consideration and approval of a report presented to the house by the committee on the federal capital territory (FCT) which probed alleged infractions in the project.

On February 3, Anyim, while appearing before the committee, accused the Herman Hembe, the committee’s chairman, of “deep-seated personal bias”.

The former SGF described the probe into the project as a vendetta carried out on him by Hembe.

He demanded that Hembe resign from the panel, and allow his deputy take over.

“Mr Chairman I said one, you have told everybody who cared to listen that when the former DG of Security and Exchange Commission accused you of demanding bribe from her, you pushed for her to be sacked and I refused to sack her while I was SGF and this is an opportunity to pay me back,” he had said.

However, at plenary, the committee’s report said Anyim and others involved in the project “abused” the detectives of former president Goodluck Jonathan who during his tenure approved the project.

The committee also said Anyim and his associates flouted existing laws guiding the Abuja land swap policy for personal gains.

The house further approved the recommendations after it was voted on.

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Radio Biafra will go live in America from Sunday, Leonard Anemene, a leader of the organisation, said in a statement issued on Friday.

Anemene said but for some challenges, the project would have been out earlier.

He did not say the exact location where the station will be operating from.

“On the 12th of January 2017, the leadership of IPOB in unison with the leader, deputy leader and the Directorate of State (DOS), decided to expand the broadcasting services of the Biafran struggle through the creation of a new broadcasting service in the Americas,” he said.

“So, a live broadcast of Radio Biafra International (RBi) from the Americas has been imminent for a very long time now but was delayed due to logistic bottlenecks.

“However, we are proud to announce to you all today, that we are going live on air on Sunday, the 19th of March, 2017 with a maiden broadcast, starting from 10.00 am Biafra time.”

In July, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) jammed Radio Biafra signals as a result of inciting messages transmitted by the station.

“Right now the signals from radio Biafra have been jammed successfully by the NBC,” she had told state house correspondents in Abuja.

“The commission is also working with security agencies to get those that are behind that radio because it is an illegal radio. It is not licensed by anybody to be on the airwave in Nigeria.”

But dismissing the claim, the station said the federal government cannot silence it.

“NBC lied to their master. Radio Biafra is live in BiafraLand. They cannot even ban our local station, do they even know we also transmit via satellite and online as well,” the group said in a statement.

Nnamdi Kanu, a director of the station, is currently in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Last month, a court ruled that he should be tried for treason.

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Andrew Yakubu, former NNPC GMD who admitted ownership of $9.8m cash found in a house in Kaduna

Andrew Yakubu, a former Group Managing Director of the state oil firm, NNPC, was earlier today arraigned on a six-count charge of fraud at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The former head of Nigeria’s state-owned oil company was charged by the anti-graft EFCC after he admitted owning over $9.8 million cash found in a house that also belongs to him in Kaduna State.

On Thursday, he pleaded not guilty to the charges filed by the EFCC.

The presiding judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, then ordered he be remanded in Kuje prison pending the determination of his bail application on March 21.

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Hameed Ali, Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service

The senate has asked Hameed Ali, comptroller general of the Nigerian Customs Service  (NCS) to reappear before it on Wednesday, March 22, in his customs uniform.

The senate, presided by Ike Ekweremadu, the deputy senate president, took a voice vote on Ali’s refusal  to appear before the house in uniform, and many voted against listening to him on policies, until he appeared in uniform.

The upper legislative chamber has been having a running battle with the Customs boss over appearing before it in uniform. Ali has insisted on going on mufti, saying he is heading Customs as a political appointee, and not a career Customs Officer.

Earlier, the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, who was presiding over the affairs of the legislative house, had asked Ali why he appeared before the Senate without uniform, Ali replied that there was no law that compelled him to dress in uniform.

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Ahmad Ahmad, new CAF President

Ahmad Ahmad of Madagascar has emerged the president of Confederation of African Football (CAF), defeating long-time incumbent, Cameroon’s Issa Hayatou.
Ahmad Ahmad polled 34 votes against Issa Hayatou’s 20 votes to beat the incumbent who has refused to step aside even as the continent’s fortunes in global football dwindled under his watch.

Hayatou, in charge for nearly three decades, has often been re-elected unopposed. On the two occasions when he did face a challenge, he won with landslides amongst the electorate of presidents of Africa’s football associations.

In 2000, he beat Angola’s Armando Machado by 47-4 votes and four years later he defeated Ismail Bhamjee of Botswana by 46-6 votes.

Caf former presidents

Abdel Aziz Abdallah Salem (1957-1958)

Abdel Aziz Moustafa (1958-1968)

Abdel Halim Muhammad (1968-1972)

Yidnekatchew Tessema (1972-1987)

Abdel Halim Muhammad (1987-1988)

Issa Hayatou (1988-2017)

Ahmad Ahmad (2017)

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has resumed duties after a 49-day vacation in the UK.

Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

“In compliance with section 145 of the 1999 constitution (as amended), the president has formally transmitted  letters to the senate and the house of representatives, intimating the national assembly ‘that I have resumed my functions as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with effect from Monday, March 13, 2017, after my vacation,’” read Adesina’s statement.

Last Friday, Nigerians across the country celebrated the president’s safe return to the country.

While he was out of the country, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo acted in his stead.

At a brief ceremony at the presidential villa, Buhari disclosed that he had been very sick, and that he might return to the UK for more medical checks “within some weeks”.