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caption: Somoe of the girls rescued

caption: Burnt classroom

By SaharaReporters, New York

The parents of schoolgirls abducted from Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State have vowed to go into the Sambisa forests in order to search for their daughters no matter the consequences.

Speaking to our correspondent, one of the parents, Malam Bitrus Audu, aged 49, said, “We want the government to do everything within its reach to track down these evil people.” He added: “Don't let our daughters’ vision be aborted by wicked and heartless people.”

Meanwhile, the principal of the GGSS, Asabe Kwambura, has appealed to the insurgents to “have mercy on the innocent girls.”

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, visited the location of the school on Monday, promising that the state government would do its utmost to rescue the abducted girls.

The lack of information about the whereabouts of the abducted students has continued to raise questions in Nigeria as well as in the international media.

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The Oyo State Police Command on Wednesday in Ibadan urged residents to desist from spreading false information capable of breaching the peace.

The command’s spokesperson, Olabisi Okuwobi-Ilobanafor, stated this in a press release issued to dispel the rumour that Boko Haram members had laid siege to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Wednesday.

“The story that 18 suspected Boko Haram members operated on the highway with AK47 rifles, killing nine policemen and 11 civilians is untrue.

“There was an occurrence of a lone auto accident involving a trailer loaded with bags of wheat.

“ FRSC officials, policemen and other security officers were only at the scene to control traffic and clear the gridlock,” she said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that residents of Ibadan had started receiving messages of the rumoured attack through the social media and text messages in the early hours of Wednesday.

In a related development, the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Indabawa, said on Wednesday that there was a security report of an influx of foreigners into the state.

Indabawa, represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Clement Adoda, said this at a security meeting held with leaders of the Hausa, Fulani and Yoruba communities at the command’s headquarters in Eleyele, Ibadan.

He urged the communities not to accommodate strangers as doing so could threaten security.

“You should be vigilant and watch out for foreigners from Chad and the Republic of Niger,” he said.

The police boss also called for peaceful co-existence between farmers and Fulani herdsmen.

“Herdsmen should stay off farmlands and where an infringement occurs; aggrieved farmers should seek redress through appropriate authorities,” he said.


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The Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate for the June 21 election in Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has said commercial motorcycle operation, otherwise known as Okada, will not be banned by his administration if he is elected as the governor in the coming election.

He said the operators would be free to operate without fear of being proscribed, if he became the governor.

Fayose stated this at Ire-Ekiti, Oye Local Government Area of the state, during his ward-to-ward campaign tour.

In a statement by his media aide, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, on Wednesday, the PDP candidate urged the commercial motorcycle operators not to vote for any party that would throw them into unemployment market after getting to power.

Fayose said the All Progressives Congress had reputation for using Okada operators to win election only to proscribe their operations later.

He said, “To the Okada operators, vote for me Ayo Fayose, your friend. I dine with you, play with you. I am the governor you can feel, who will leave the office to the street in order to have rapport with you.

“Go and get your voter cards ready and use it to expel the APC government out of the Government House. If you claim that you love Fayose and you don’t have a card, you don’t love me at all.

“Beware of those who will ask you to release your card to them and give you token only to return it later. They have gone to do fraud with your card and may put you in problem later. Hold your card firmly; don’t release it to anybody.”

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The National Conference has confirmed that it received the letter of Mr. Olisa Agbakoba indicating his intention to reject any form of remuneration or financial benefit as a delegate in the confab.

The conference’s acknowledgement letter was dated April 8, 2014 and signed by its secretary, Mrs. Valerie-Janette Azinge. Our correspondent obtained a copy of the acknowledgment letter on Wednesday.

In the letter, titled, “Re: Acceptance of nomination as delegate to the national conference,” the conference’s secretariat noted the ted that it would treat Agbakoba’s decision accordingly.

The letter reads in part, “I write to extend the compliments of the Chairman of the National Conference and to acknowledge the receipt of your letter to Secretary to the Government of the Federation, dated March 18, 2014, a copy of which was received by the Chairman National Conference on the above subject matter.

“I am to also inform you that your decision not to accept any form of remuneration /financial benefits as a delegate to the National Conference has been noted and will be treated accordingly. However, you are advised to fill the Delegates Registration Form to enable the Secretariat have your detailed information for record purposes.”

Another delegate who had also indicated his intention to reject remuneration for his participation at the conference was Pastor Tunde Bakare.

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nigeria house of reps

Terrorism: House Diaspora Committee Chairman Urges Nigeria To Seek Foreign Help

The Chairman of the House Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, on Wednesday said that whatever strategy the Federal government was using to curb the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria was not working hence the need to seek help of experts both within and outside Nigeria

Dabri-Erewa, who represents the Ikorodu Constituency of Lagos state, in the House of Representatives said that She was worried that there was no compassion in governance in Nigeria anymore, portrayed by President Jonathan’s partying in Kano, a day after the bomb blast that claimed the lives of Innocent Nigerians.

Speaking at a “Girls in ICT Day” workshop at the Sheraton Hotels Lagos, the Lawmaker described President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to Kano to sing and dance a day after the Nyanya bombing and on a day 234 girls were abducted in Borno as insensitive, callous, prepostorous and very annoying

She called on President Jonathan to apologise not only to the families and victims of the Nyanya bombings but also to the families of the abducted girls and to all Nigerian woman
Dabiri-Erewa also called on all mothers to be united and mobilise in demanding and pleading for the release of the abducted girls.

She noted that the need for Nigeria to seek outside help had become necessary following continued attacks on Nigeria by the Boko Haram sect.

“There are Nigerian experts on security in diaspora that could be contacted/consulted by government to assist.

“The recent bombing in Nyanya, an outskirt of the Federal Capital territory and the abduction of over 200 girls from a secondary school in Borno has shown that efforts by the nation’s security do not seem to be working effectively.

“The fight on terrorism is yet to curb the insurgency situation in Nigeria and such huge security challenge cannot be allowed to continue.

“Nigeria needs assistance even from security experts accross the globe that must not necessarily be Nigerians” she stated.

The lawmaker decried the abduction of innocent little girls by the Boko Haram sect and appealed to them to set them free.

According to her, as long as Nigeria can no longer guarantee the safety of its young ones, there is need for wider consultations.

“The little ones are the hope and future of this nation. We cannot sit and watch them being destroyed daily,” she further stated.

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There was palpable anxiety yesterday in Ogun State over alarming text message in circulation, warning travellers – going to either Ibadan or Lagos, to steer away from the Lagos – Ibadan expressway for their safety.

The text message which were being circulated on GSM phones and facebook pages warned would be travellers on the designated route that over a dozen of members of the extremists Boko Haram sect bearing AK – 47 riffle had taken over the expressway and equally shot dead civilians and a number of police officers trying to repel their attack.

The fear aroused in residents of Ogun, particularly travellers was compounded by a gridlock experienced yesterday at the Iwo and Ogunmakin stretch the expressway in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, as people unable to have free flow of traffic soon began to believe the rumour as true.

Many turned back, half way into the journey while others didn’t venture to take off, waiting until there was assurance of safety.

Reacting, the Police Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, who acknowledged the false and alarming text message in circulation, told The nation that there was no Boko haram attack in Ogun state.

Adejobi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police(DSP), said the gridlock which was perhaps mistaken for Boko haram attack, resulted from a truck carrying wheat flour that fell on the highway and obstructed movement at the Iwo and Ogunmakin stretch of expressway in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of the state.

Adejobi said: “The attention of the Ogun State Police Command has been drawn to a  rumour widely circulated  on social media that Boko Haram members were on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway displaying AK47 rifles and killed  some policemen and civilians.

“There  was no iota of truth in this social media broadcast as nothing of such happened along the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway or any other part of Ogun State.

“Probably the rumour mongers took the presence of police and other security agencies at a point where a truck loaded with wheat  fell across the express between Fidiwo and Ogunmakin in Obafemi Owode local Government Area of Ogun State  for Boko Haram attack. The police and other security agenicies including Nigerian Army,Federal Road Safety Corps and TRACE( Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps of Ogun State) are at the point to clear the obstruction for free flow of traffic  and not a Boko Haram attack.

“The rumour  was a handiwork of mischief makers who wanted to create fears in the minds  of the people of Ogun state and Nigerians in general.

“The command therefore debunks this rumour and urges the general public to disregard it and go about their lawful businesses as all hands are on deck to curtail any threats or security challenges in Ogun state and even beyond its boundaries.

“The Commissioner of Police Ogun State Mr.  Ikemefuna Okoye has assured the people of the state of adequate protection of lives and property;and has put all officers and men of the command on red alert to forestall any break down of law and order.

“The command also wishes to give out the following telephone numbers to contact the police  in case of any strange movements or faces within the state. The numbers are 08081770416 or 08081770419 or 08036197688(State Intelligence Bureau).

“The command urges d general public to disregard d rumour and go about their lawful businesses as all hands a on deck to curtail any break down of law and order in d state.”

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The FCT Police Command on Wednesday appealed to residents spreading rumour of bomb blasts in the territory to desist from such habit.

The spokesperson of the command, DSP Altine Daniel, made the appeal while reacting to another purported bomb scare at the Federal Secretariat.

Daniel advised anyone with useful information on suspected persons, movement or objects, to call the police instead of spreading rumour, thereby causing panic.

“Don’t spread rumour, anyone with useful information on suspected explosive object should call the police.

“Those spreading rumour of bombs do not have experience to handle explosive devices; they only cause panic.

“It is the police and other security agencies that are trained to handle suspected bombs. If there is any, please call the police and stop spreading rumour,’’ she appealed.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the appeal followed a bomb scare at the Federal Secretariat at about noon on Wednesday.

Daniel, however, said that the rumour was about a car allegedly laden with explosive devices and parked at a section of the Federal Secretariat.

NAN learnt that following the rumour, personnel from the anti-bomb squad, supported by sniffer dogs, were immediately deployed to comb all nooks and crannies of the secretariat.

However, they did not find any object.

Some workers at the secretariat, who spoke to NAN, claimed ignorance of the rumour.

NAN, however, reported that normal official activities had resumed at the secretariat.

However, a security officer, who pleaded anonymity, said personnel from the police bomb disposal unit had been visiting the secretariat on daily basis.

The source said that during the visit, they combed everywhere for suspected explosive devices, adding that this was one of the proactive measures adopted recently to forestall any eventuality.

It would be recalled that there was a bomb scare at the secretariat last week.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today (February 23, 2014) arraigned one Tajo Sani Yunusu and his company, Sani Brothers Oil and Gas Limited, before Justice Dije Abdu Aboki of Kano State High Court on a 2-count charge bordering on issuance of dud cheque.

The accused allegedly collected 125, 000 litres of diesel valued at N20, 000, 000 (Twenty Million Naira from the complainant, one Amanallahi Ahmad Mohammed, and gave him three Zenith Bank Plc cheques for the sum. However two of the cheques were dishonoured on presentation at the bank due to lack of fund standing to the credit of the drawer.

One of the charge reads, “that you Tajo Sani Yunusa and Sani brothers Oil and Gas Limited sometime in February 2013 at Kano within the jurisdiction of the
High Court of Kano State did issue a Zenith Bank cheque with serial number 70562337 of Sani Brothers Oil And Gas Limited dated the 30th day February 2013 for the sum of N9,600, 000 (Nine Million, Six Hundred Thousand Naira ) to Amanallahi Ahmad which was presented and returned unpaid on the ground that no sufficient fund were standing to the credit of the drawer as at 17th April 2013 the date it was presented and you thereby committed an offense contrary to section 1(1) (a) and punishable under section 1(1)(b) of the Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act, laws of the Federation, 2004”.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N5, 000, 000 (Five Million Naira) and two sureties in like sum. The sureties should be public servants of not below the rank of Director with a landed property in Kano.

Head, Media & Publicity
23rd April, 2014


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brazil 2014 fifa world cup

Brazil 2014: UNAIDS Launches Protect The Goal Campaign

Ahead the 2014 FIFA World Cup which kicks off in Brazil on June 12,
the UNAIDS has launched the Protect The Goal Campaign, which seeks to
use sports to unite the world for the goal of an AIDS-free generation.
LEADERSHIP Sports gathered that already, the kick-off of the Protect
The Goal World Tour was held on March 5, at the Soccer City Stadium,
South Africa, on the occasion of the Brazil-South Africa friendly
match, which attracted 94,736 people at Africa’s largest stadium.
The tour will continue through the five African countries whose teams
qualified for the 2014 World Cup, and also through some selected
countries in other regions of the world.
The tour will stop over in Abuja on May 3 through May 5, but the
advocacy and awareness is expected to last through December 2015.
Activities would include distribution of two million condoms to
football fans, along with a Protect The Goal leaflet in the form of a
In the concept note made available to LEADERSHIP Sports, other
activities outlined include the voluntary HIV testing of over 15,000
rapid tests will be offered in the Protect The Goal branded trailers.
“The launch of the Protect the Goal campaign in Nigeria will be the
result of close partnership with UNAIDS, UNFPA, the UN Country Teams,
NACA, Department of STI and AIDS, Ministry of Youth and Sports,
national football confederations and the private sector partners,
civil society and networks under the leadership of NACA.” It stated.
Partners of the Protect the Goal campaign in Nigeria are National
Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), National Sports Commission
(NSC), UNAIDS, UNFPA, NYNETHA, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and
the Federal Ministry of Sports.

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World Cup: Carlos Lauds Neymar ‘Genius

Brazil legend Roberto Carlos has lauded the “genius” of Neymar and
revealed his desire to one day take charge of the Selecao.

The hopes of the national side will rest on the shoulders of the
Barcelona star at this summer’s World Cup, as Brazil look to lift the
trophy on home soil.

Carlos, 41, was part of the Selecao side who were crowned world
champions back in 2002 after losing the 1998 final to France, and says
he is confident the current national side can go all the way with
Neymar in their ranks.

He told Bild: “(I think we will win) not only because of the advantage
of playing at home, but because Luiz Felipe Scolari changed the way we
play football in the Confederations Cup last summer.

“Neymar is a genius. He will be a key player at the World Cup. What is
most striking about him is his character. Players with good judgement
and confidence are needed.”

The former Real Madrid defender is now in charge of Turkish Super Lig
outfit Sivasspor but revealed he harbours lofty ambitions in his new
life as a coach.

“The Bundesliga is incredibly sexy, or do you think Pep Guardiola went
over there because Germany has the best beer?! Maybe I will be the
first Brazilian to manage a Bundesliga club.

He added: “One day I want to manage Brazil.”

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The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said it was expecting a police report before commencing legal action against perpetrators of the assault on two women in Ejigbo area of the state.

Mr. Ade-Ipaye, Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, said this at the 2014 ministerial press briefing in Ikeja.

He said the state Office of the Public Defender had concluded all arrangements to pursue justice for the victims but prosecution was being delayed by the report.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that two women were last year assaulted by a mob of young men at an Ejigbo market for allegedly stealing pepper.

A video recording of the assault, which went viral on the social media in December 2013, sparked outrage in several quarters, with many calling for speedy justice for the victims.

“At the moment, we are awaiting the police report because there are certain aspects of the investigation which I understand they are working on.

“Immediately we get the report, we will be going to court to prosecute the accused,’’ Ipaye said.

The Attorney-General said the state government was committed to the protection of rights of residents and would not hesitate to bring those who violated such rights to book.

He said the government, through the OPD, had successfully prosecuted a number of individuals and organisations for infringements on the fundamental rights of some residents.

“One of the cases is the one involving the killing of fuel subsidy protesters by the Divisional Police Officer of Pen Cinema Police Station in Agege .

“We won the case instituted on behalf of the victims, and the court awarded N4,000,000 as compensation against the defendant,’’ he said.

Ipaye said the government was also able to get compensation for one Alexander Ossai, who lost her seven-month old pregnancy to assault by her Lebanese employer.

The Attorney-General urged residents to report cases of abuse of rights to the appropriate government agencies for prompt legal assistance.

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A disagreement over resource control, fiscal federalism, and devolution of powers has pitched delegates against each other as the National Conference commenced committee sittings on Tuesday.

The situation degenerated to a stage where two delegates, Dara Godini, a professor and Vice Chancellor, Delta State University, and a delegate from the North hurled insults at each other for taking opposing positions on resource control. The name of the northern delegate could not immediately be determined.

“You are not fit to be a professor. I would have been a better professor than you ten years ago if I had wanted to,” the Northern delegate said.

“You didn’t need it because you couldn’t afford it. Professorship is not a child’s play and that is why people like you cannot get it,” Mr. Godini replied him.

It took the intervention of other delegates before the two antagonising members went their different ways while still bickering on the issue in dispute.

Mr. Godini said the imperialists, apparently referring to Northern leaders, have held back Nigeria for so long, adding that the country cannot make any meaningful progress with its present socio-political and economic structure.

Continuing, he said, “They always refer us to Iran and would not talk about the United States where we copy our democracy from. We will not accept it this time around. We cannot claim to practice federalism when we are not.”

Trouble started early in the day when the Co-Chairman of the Committee on Devolution of Power, and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Victor Attah, addressed members of the committee.

Mr. Attah had at the inaugural session insisted that the excessive power wielded by the Federal Government must be reduced if the nation must make meaningful progress.

To understand the need for proper devolution of power, the former governor suggested that his colleagues take time out to study the Amalgamation document of 1914 and the Henry Willinik Commission report of 1957.

He also referred them to study former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon’s 1966 Speech after the coup and the report of former President Ibrahim Babangida’s National Political Bureau of 1987.

“If we keep this at the back of our mind, we will make progress,” the former governor said.

But just as Mr. Attah finished speaking and Mr. Coomassie, the co-chair of the committee held the floor, the former IGP subtly kicked against any attempt to tilt the balance of power from the Federal Government.

Calmly, he said that the focus of the Committee is to decide whether a huge political and economic power should remain at the centre or should be decentralized.

He was quick to add that deliberations by the Committee should be based on the belief that any government without economic power was bound to fail.

Mr. Coomassie said, “If you have government, and you don’t have the resources, then you cannot serve the people.”

He said ethnicity and religion will cease to play a significant role in Nigeria after the Conference. He urged the Committee members to listen to and respect the views expressed by members so that decisions can be based on consensus.

After the mild disagreement, the Committee went ahead to discuss its working document until it went on lunch break.

But after the resumed sitting in the afternoon, the voices of members were heard outside the locked doors as they shouted at one another.

At a point, Mr. Attah’s voice was heard ringing out so loud that reporters rushed to nearby windows and doors to eavesdrop on what was going on inside.

A member of the Committee who pleaded not be named because he is not competent to speak publicly on the matter said the trouble was with resource control.

He said, “The trouble with the two delegates started when we got to resource control. Some delegates don’t want us to talk about resource control while others insist that the issue must be discussed and a position taken.

“We did not even go far into the issue when some delegates became furious and tried to stop the debate. The matter was put off till the next meeting tomorrow (Wednesday).”

PREMIUM TIMES investigation shows that although delegates to the Conference agree on the need for major reforms to be effected in the country, most of the delegates from the North do not support any move that would starve states from the area of funds.

Many states in Nigeria are believed not to have the wherewithal to sustain their economy without allocation from the Federation Account.

On the other hand, delegates from the South have been pushing for resource control and fiscal federalism.

The Committee on Devolution of Power has as its focus: a review of legislative lists of all the tiers of government; and fiscal federalism with emphasis on revenue sharing, resource control, and sharing formula.

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Udi council chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party in Enugu State says it has recalled five aides of Governor Sullivan Chime who were suspended for anti-party activities.

Executive members of the party made this known in Enugu, on Wednesday.

Chairman of the Udi PDP, Mr. Uche Ogbodo, said the decision to recall the aides, who were suspended in January 2014, is in compliance with the decisions and directives of the 374th National Working Committee meeting of the party.

The recalled aides are the Secretary to the State Government, Ameachi Okolo; the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Chijioke Agu; Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Dr. Jude Akubuilo; the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Marcus Agu; and the Executive Secretary, Enugu State Industrial Parks Authority, Mr. Ugochukwu Onyema.

Ogbodo also said that the decision to recall the suspended members is in the spirit of the Easter Season of resurrection, forgiveness and restoration.

The Udi PDP chairman noted that in compliance to a letter signed by the party’s National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladepo, he has instructed his lawyers to file all necessary processes withdrawing Suit No. E/16/2014 – Uche Ogbodo vs. PDP and Ors, which he filed on January 22, 2014 challenging his purported removal from office.

He said, “Cohesive and broad-based associations such as our great party do have their trial moments. However, the consolation is that we have come out stronger and more resolved in our determination to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people of Udi Local Government Area, Enugu State and Nigeria in general.”

Meanwhile, Chime’s aides stated that they were not at anytime suspended from the party.

“The purported suspension has always been the imagination of Uche Ogbodo and his co-travellers,” said the Commissioner for Commerce, Dr. Jude Akubuilo.

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Experts have started excavating a mass grave in Serbia believed to contain at least 250 bodies of ethnic Albanians who were killed during the 1998-99 Kosovo war.

The Serbian government official dealing with the wartime missing, Veljko Odalovic, said on Wednesday that the excavation in the village of Rudnica, near Serbia’s border with Kosovo, will take about 60 days.

A house had to be torn down before the work could begin. A nearby site was excavated earlier but no bodies were found.

International peacekeepers believe Serbs hid the grave’s real location.

Some 10,000 people were killed during the conflict between Serbian security troops and Kosovo separatists and hundreds of bodies were transferred to central Serbia to hide evidence of atrocities.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008.

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At least 37 people have died in a train crash in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s southeast, according to a government spokesman.

The accident on Tuesday involved a goods train that was also carrying people near Likasi, a mining town located between Lubumbashi and Kolwezi.

“Thirty-seven people have died, but the police fear that there will be more,” Lambert Mende, a government spokesman, told the AFP news agency.

He added that it appeared that engine failure had caused the train to speed out of control.

The Reuters news agency reported that Dikanga Kazadi, Katanga’s interior minister, said 56 people were killed and another 69 people were injured in the crash.

“There were two train engines and two carriages overturned,” a witness told AFP, asking not to be named.

An investigation is currently under way to determine the cause of Tuesday’s crash.

The country’s infrastructure is in poor condition due to decades of neglect and conflict.

The World Bank is currently funding a refurbishment of the train network, which has received few upgrades since the country gained independence from Belgium in 1960.

More than 100 people were killed in a 2007 accident involving a goods train in the province of Kasai Occidential.

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has faulted the report by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) which indicted the security agency‎ in the killing of eight squatters at the Legislative Quarters in Apo district, Abuja, last year.

It has given the commission a one month pre-action notice after which it intends to head for court and challenge the report.

The DSS’s pre-action notice is contained in the letter to the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe, written pursuant to section 18(3) of the NHRC (Amendment) Act.

In the letter written by its lawyer, Solo Akuma (SAN), the DSS said it was dissatisfied with the commission’s recommendations and award and had therefore decided to seek a judicial review of the report.

The DSS said it intended to ask the court to quash the ‎recommendations and the award.

It argued that NHRC was biased, lacked the jurisdiction to determine the subject matter, failed to observe rules of fair hearing and committed errors of law on the face of the record.

The DSS said it intend to head for the Federal High Court, where it hopes to pray for among others, an order of certiorari to bring the commission’s report to the court for the purpose of its being quashed.

Eight squatters were killed on September 20, 2013 while 11 others were injured when security operatives stormed an uncompleted building at Apo.

The DSS had claimed after the incident that those killed were members of the Boko Haram sect, a claim some groups contested and petitioned the NHRC for investigation.


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Real Madrid CF will not be short of motivation when they host holders FC Bayern München in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final. If the prize of a first final since 2002 were not enough, they also have the opportunity to avenge their defeat by Bayern in the 2011/12 semi-finals.

The presence of former FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola in the visitors’ dugout adds an extra dimension to this meeting of European heavyweights. Guardiola got the better of Madrid at this stage in 2011 but the home team will hope for a different outcome as they look to end a run of three consecutive semi-final losses.

Between them the clubs have 14 European Cups. Bayern, five-time winners, are seeking to become the first side to retain the title since AC Milan managed the feat in 1989 and 1990 with a team featuring Carlo Ancelotti, now Madrid coach. Madrid, for their part, are bidding to secure ‘La Décima’ – their tenth European crown – after last lifting the trophy 12 years ago.

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The Osun State Sector Commander of the  Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr Muhammed Husaini, said on Wednesday that  113 road traffic offenders were convicted between January and March  in the state.

Husaini made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Osogbo.

He  said the offences committed by the convicts included  failure to use seat belt, driving without valid vehicle particulars and licences.

Hussaini said FRSC  mobile courts ordered the offenders to pay between N2,000 and N10,000 in fines depending on the  offences.

He  said  14 offenders were, however, cautioned and discharged by the court.

The commander warned motorists against violation of traffic rules and regulations in order to reduce carnage on the roads.

Husaini said  the FRSC would not relent in its efforts at  enforcing  the laws to ensure safety on the highways.

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The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency has entered into partnership with the Nigerian Army to tackle the menace of oil spill and environmental degradation caused by the activities of multinational oil companies across the country.

According to the agency, the partnership became critical as a result of the rising cases of oil pollution and its deadly impact on the environment and human lives.

The Chairman, NOSDRA, Maj. Lancelot Anyanya (retd), described the oil spill in Nigeria as a war which had no foe or friend.

He spoke at the headquarters of the Nigerian Army during a courtesy call on the Chief of Army Staff, General Kenneth Minimah, in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said, “We want to draw your attention to a different kind of war that is raging across the nuke and crannies of our country. This war has no foe or friend and it is a war on the environment.

“People live in great danger on account of the damage to the ecology and environment that oil exploration and exploitation and related activities impose on us. People are dying in instalments as a result of this without knowing it.”

Anyanya said the agency would come with a memorandum of understanding to strengthen the specific relation between NOSDRA and the Nigerian Army in particular and the defence organisations in general.

The Director-General, NOSDRA, Mr. Peter Idabor, stated that oil pollution had gone beyond the Niger Delta.

He said, “It has become more critical for us to partner with the Nigerian Army, especially when it has to do with issues relating to oil spill in this country. Oil pollution has gone beyond the Niger Delta. Most of the underground tanks that people use today to store petroleum products are leaking deep into the water table. And of course the consequences cannot be far fetched.”

He explained that by feeding on plants and animals, human beings were directly or indirectly affected by the degradation and pollution of the environment.

In his response, Minimah assured the NOSDRA team that the Nigerian Army would partner the agency to tackle oil spill.

The army chief said, “I know the effects of oil spillage and the pollution it causes on the environment which include the destruction of the cultural and occupational habits of people. But I want to reassure you that the Nigerian Army will do as much as possible to assist and project the responsibilities of the board.

“The assets of the Nigerian Army are available as at when needed. On the MoU, I’m certain that whenever we receive it, we will study it and we will certainly provide the requisite assistance that will be needed and will help you perform your duties.”

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…Presidency yet to receive 2014 Budget

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the acquisition of $152.12 million loan from the African Development Bank (ADB) towards boosting agricultural produces in the country.

The Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina and Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting Presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Adesina said the loan will be used to boost cultivation of rice, sorghum and cassava in 14 staple crop processing zones in the country.

Stressing that the loan will go a long way to add 20 million tons to Nigeria’s food production by 2015, he said that 120,000 jobs will be created from the initial staple crop processing zones.

He said: “Council today gave approval of a loan of $152.12 million dollars and a grant of $385,000 from the ADB to support the agricultural transformation agenda of Mr. President.”

“We are all excited about this because it is another affirmation by global institution of what we are doing and that we are on the right track as regard to agricultural development. Mr. President set a strategy that we will run agriculture as a business which is a major shift from how agriculture had been run before.”

“We no longer just focus on production but we focus as well on storage, warehousing, processing, value addition, marketing, logistics and trade. In other words, agriculture today in Nigeria is a business which we have to make sure that we provide enabling environment in supporting it to grow and to generate wealth.”

Maku on his part told journalists that the issue of 2014 Budget was not discussed during the FEC meeting, saying the National Assembly is yet to transmit the passed budget to the President.




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