1 June, 2012
This was a new month and it started on a protest note. Officers of the Nigeria Police Force fired teargas at protesting students of the University of Lagos, while they resumed on the third day of protest over the renaming of their institution. The clash began when the security agents tried to prevent the students from heading to the streets to commence another day of protest which started on Tuesday. The police officers were stationed at the main gate of the institution with instruction not to allow them out and as the students’ procession wanted to force its way through, canisters of teargas were fired to disperse them. But they beat the police to it and filed out at the school’s gate, chanting war songs, insisting that they did not want their school to be called MALU, but UNILAG.
2 June, 2012
It was bad news from Ghana. A cargo plane belonging to Nigeria crash-landed today near the airport in Ghana’s capital, Accra, after overshooting the runaway and hit a bus on the ground, killing at least, ten people, but the crew survived. Wreckage from the Boeing 727 Allied Air plane could be seen in an area near the airport along with a badly damaged bus. One witness reported seeing the plane come down and hit the bus, killing those inside. “I closed from work, walking home in the rain, only to see the plane falling and people in the Benz bus crushed to death,” said Kofi Anor. But Most Ghanaians were not happy after learning that the plane came from Nigeria. Why should it crash here?
Back home, things were no longer at ease among the leaders of the North as facts emerged today that the visit of some of these leaders to President Goodluck Jonathan, during which they discussed how to end the bloodbath in the zone, was fueling discord. Apparently, those angered by the visit were hardliners opposed to Jonathan’s administration. One of them, Muhammed Junaid, said: “Many of them are going to the President to say they are representing the North when they are not. Some of us do not want to be seen with them. Is it our duty to quench crises in the north? The President believes only in his tribe and that is why he has put them in strategic positions and even when they are not doing well, he dare not remove them. Look at the Ministry of Petroleum. Look at the scandals coming from there. Has the President deemed it fit to remove the woman? Not so, let him run his government the way he likes.” That was the anger from the North. Mr Jonathan was not wanted!
3 June, 2012
It was a black Sunday today, as a passenger jet crashed into a residential area in Lagos, killing all 153 passengers and the crew on board. Several others also died as the ill-fated Dana Airline Flight 992 destroyed some buildings in the area, killing about 12 residents and injuring many. Among the victims were the Group General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Livi Ajuonuma, two staff of the World Bank, Ehime, first son of the military Vice President, the late Admiral Augustus Aikhomu; John Ahmadu, a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG); Lt.-Colonel Jumbo Ochigbo and others.
The aircraft, an MD-83 marked 5N RAM, returning from Abuja, lost an engine mid-air and though the pilot called for emergency landing and made frantic efforts to sustain the buoyancy of the aircraft with the remaining functional engine, this effort came to naught.
The plane crashed into a densely populated area of Popoola Street, off Okundaye Street, along the Railway crossing in Ishaga. The ill-fated aircraft was first spotted flying low and first crashed into a mango tree, then it struck a factory building, hit four residential buildings and burst into flames. “It is a national tragedy,” said Dr. Harold Demuren, the Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). “It was Dana (airline) flight from Abuja to Lagos with about 153 on board. I don’t believe there are any survivors.” And tragically, there were none!
4 June, 2012
All was calm and gloomy today in Iju-Ishaga on the outskirts of Lagos, where the Dana Airline plane went down yesterday. Rescue operations had given way to investigation on how and why the aircraft crashed. It was also time for relatives of victims to begin the terrible but necessary task of identifying their loved ones among the piles of bodies. As of 8.30 p.m. today, 148 bodies had been taken to the morgue. All 153 people on board died in the crash. An unspecified number of people also died on the ground as the plane crashed into buildings.
Today, the President was here. So were also the governors of Ogun and Lagos. The President was very sad and he said: “Let me use this opportunity to express my condolences to all those who have lost their dear ones in the crash. It is a sad event for all of us and which is why the Federal Government has declared three days of mourning.”
The Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), was already on his way out after visiting the scene when he encountered three distraught kids, who were wondering what had become of their parents. Joel Okwuchukwu, 11, his nine-year-old brother, Chisom Okwuchukwu and seven-year-old sister, Esther, until yesterday, lived with their parents – Mr. Jeremiah and Mrs. Josephine Okwuchukwu – in one of the buildings affected by the crash. Joel told the governor that they narrowly escaped the tragedy as they were sent on an errand by their parents. The incident occurred while they were returning home. And they had never seen their parents since then. Alas, they were buried in the rubbles.
5 June, 2012
The sad news continued about the Dana Air flight crash. Out of the 148 bodies recovered, 103 had been burnt beyond recognition. Only 45 bodies could be identified by their families, while others had no clue of trace. Chief Medical Director of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Professor Wale Oke, confirmed this. They sent the bodies to LASUTH morgue for further forensic examination. Bereaved relations of victims of the plane crash had besieged LASUTH to fill the identification form in their efforts to retrieve the bodies of their dead ones only to be confronted with the issue of identification, as members of two families started fighting over corpses.
Very sad was the case of five of the victims, including the NNPC General Manager, Dr. Livi Ajuonuma, who died in the crash. They were originally not on the passengers list. Ajuonuma and four other victims bought the tickets of passengers that did not make it to the airport before the departure of the ill-fated aircraft. They rushed to buy the tickets, only to also rush to their death.
6 June, 2012
It was revealed today that none of the dead victims of the Dana plane crash would be buried until another two weeks. The Lagos State government said that it would need the period to validate the identity of the dead victims and conduct autopsy. Though 103 of the bodies were said to have been burnt beyond recognition, 52 bodies had been identified as of today. But the relations that had expressed the desire for quick burial would have to wait for the state government to process the necessary paperwork in line with the coroner law.
Life must continue, however, as President Goodluck Jonathan today sent a bill to the National Assembly, seeking to amend the University of Lagos Act. He wanted his action to be backed by the law after changing the name of the school. But some lawmakers were irked by this, saying why didn’t he tell them before the change? He got his fingers burnt and now he was looking for a soothing balm!
7 June, 2012
The reports making the rounds after the crash was that the Dana Air flight which went down killing all its passengers was faulty and that was why the Federal Government promptly suspended its operating licence, but the airline’s officials came out today, saying the aircraft was not faulty. Of course, no one believed them since many people who went to Abuja with the flight before its return crashed asserted that it moved on air like a bus with knocked engine. That was why many were so interested in the reports of the investigation of the Black Box.
Today, it was reported that former head of state and presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Bola Tinubu, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and other ACN chieftains, on Thursday night, met in Kaduna to work on gray areas of the proposed merger between the CPC and ACN. Tinubu spoke from Buhari’s house saying, “there must be change in 2015!”
8 June, 2012
They resumed today again: the terrorists. After waiting for a while, probably because of the many deaths recorded from the Dana aircraft crash, five persons were killed in a suicide attack on the Borno State Police Headquarters in Maiduguri by members of the dreaded Boko Haram. The suicide bomber had attempted to gain access to the command, but the bombs he bore exploded at the gate and killed the victims. Police spokesman, Frank Mba, confirmed this, saying a lone suicide bomber driving a light green Toyota Camry car loaded with explosives attempted to crash into the gate of Borno Command HQ at about 11.30 a.m. today. He was resisted and the bombs exploded, killing himself, Inspector Ali Bulama and four civilians, who were passing by.
Most shocking news of the day, however, was that the driver who absconded with his master’s three kids and a new car, has been apprehended. Godwin Tikia, employed by Mr. Amusiem some three months ago, picked up the children from school as he had done for three months. This time, he did it in the family’s new lemon grey Toyota Avensis car which had no registration number and he never returned!
9 June, 2012
Before today, there had been rumours of some money changing hands between an oil baron and chairman of a committee in the House of Representatives. Now, the $620,000 alleged bribe given to the chairman of the committee by the oil magnate was said to have been given to him at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja. The money was supposed to be the first installment of the $3 million allegedly offered to be paid by the oil magnate ostensibly to compromise the work of the oil committee.
Security agents had by now retrieved the call logs of the committee member and the businessman, described as one of the largest donors to the campaign fund of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011.
10 June, 2012
No end at sight! A suicide bomber and some gunmen today revved up the spate of terror attacks in the country when they struck at two churches. While the suicide bomber struck at the Christ Chosen Church, Rukuba Road, Jos North Local Council, Plateau State, the gunmen launched an attack on Ekilisiyan Yanuwa a Nigeria (EYN) Church, Biu, Borno State. The Jos suicide bombing which occurred at about 11.15 a.m. while the day’s service was on, left three people dead alongside the suicide bomber, whose vehicle was mangled beyond recognition from the impact of the blast. Forty-one worshippers were injured in the blast which also destroyed the church. The incident triggered a reprisal attack carried out by some youths in the area, who killed eight commercial motorcycle riders by setting them ablaze with their motorcycles. The President, through his Special Adviser, said he did not like this “bombing and bombing.”
And the controversy that arose at the weekend over an alleged bribe given to a prominent member of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee that probed misdeeds in the application of petroleum products’ subsidy fund raged last night with Honourable Farouk Lawan and some oil industry operators denying the allegation. The House was planning to investigate the allegation that Lawan collected a $620,000 bribe as part of a $3 million offered the committee by an oil firm. But Lawan denied it all today, saying: “Whoever has any evidence or proof should come out and make it public to ascertain the claim on this baseless situation. I will advise for proper investigation into this matter to enable us curb corruption in the country.”
11 June, 2012
Today showed the abyss to which Nigeria had sunk when the Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on the mismanagement in the oil industry, Farouk Lawan, came out to confess he actually took the $620,000 bribe. Contrary to his insistence that he did not meet with or receive any bribe from anybody, he had written to the police and the Chairman of the House Committee on Drugs/Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Adams Jagaba, that he took the money from Femi Otedola of Zenon Oil. He had all along been taking Nigerians for a ride, claiming he held no meeting nor received any money as well as calling for efforts to curb corruption. Lawan now stated that the police were aware of the bribe because he informed them. But all there were not out until Femi Otedola squaked, for Faruk never knew Otedola had “any proof.”
12 June, 2012
Today was a special day that had refused to go away. There was a call from an unexpected quarter today that this day must be made a national day. The Arewa United Association restated the need for June 12 to be declared a national day in Nigeria in honour of the late Chief MKO Abiola. Alhaji Ado Dansudu, the coordinator of AUA said, “Abiola was a great Nigerian and should be remembered with a national day. The June 12 election was the best Nigeria ever had. It was the fairest and freest. The election united Nigeria,” Dansudu told newsmen.
From Alhaji Lateef Adegbite came another call: Abiola should be declared a President-elect posthumously. The Secretary General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs lamented that the Nigerian authorities was yet to accord due recognition to that historic day. He suggested that the result of that election be officially released and Abiola declared winner, then he should be conferred posthumously with all honours due to a president and June 12 of every year be declared Abiola Day.
The day was well celebrated except in Ikenne, Ogun State, where the traditional ruler, Alakenne of Ikenne, Oba Adeyinka Onakade, nearly got killed by assassins. He was, however, faster in running than they were and he beat them to it, escaping by the whiskers.
13 June, 2012
Well, the $3 million bribe disrupted the relaxation of members of the House of Representatives today. The bribery scandal hanging on the Farouk Lawan-led Ad hoc Committee that probed the fuel subsidy regime forced the House members to cut short the two-week recess which started June 6. Its leadership summoned an emergency session, ostensibly to move for the suspension of the embattled lawmaker, Lawan. The embittered members were mounting serious pressure on the leadership to suspend him so as to save the House from further embarrassment. The House had on June 6 embarked on a two-week recess and originally slated its resumption date for June 19. Then the Lawan scandal blew open and none of the members could sleep again.
Now, Lam Adesina was angry today. As the leader of Action Congress of Nigeria in Ibadan, he was no longer comfortable with the ACN governor in Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, who was hobnobbing with former governor Rasheed Ladoja and his Accord Party. Ajimobi believed the members of Accord Party would help his government and that if he could slow down Ladoja by going into alliance with his party, 2015 election was a sure banker. Lam sensed usurpation; that political move could erode his position and he was not taking things calmly. He had instructed Ajimobi: “Terminate agreements with Ladoja and Accord Party!”
14 June, 2012
House of Representatives members, civil rights groups and prominent lawyers today insisted on the implementation of the fuel subsidy probe report. They said the Federal Government should not abandon the report because of the $620,000 bribery involving the Chairman of the Ad hoc Committee, Farouk Lawan and the Chairman of Zenon Oil, Femi Otedola. The Chairman of the House Committee on Media, Mr. Zakari Muhammed, said though the House would not condone corruption, “the bribery scam is not an alibi to throw the report away.”
The State Security Service (SSS) in Ogun State today quizzed an Action Congress of Nigeria aspirant for the July 21 local government election in the state, Moshood Akinyele, over the attack on a member of the House of Assembly, Mr. Victor Fasanya, in Abeokuta. When SSS dey quiz aspirant, no be wahala dey come so!
But more trouble was for the governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan. His cousin, 75-year-old Sam Uduaghan, had been kidnapped and the kidnappers were now asking for N50 million to release the old man. Na im the governor shout to oga patapata for police, “Save my uncle oooo!”
15 June, 2012
It was getting more interesting by the day. The Police began a hunt for the $620,000 collected as bribe from oil marketer, Femi Otedola, by the embattled former chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on fuel subsidy payments, Farouk Lawan, even as hope dimmed for his release from detention. Yes, he had been detained by the police.
The decision to keep Lawan in custody followed his refusal to disclose to the team of police interrogators led by ACP Amodu Ali where the bribe money was kept. His failure to declare the whereabouts of the money prompted the decision to search his Apo legislative quarters residence by police detectives. There, they seized his diplomatic passport and the sum of $10,000 found there.
16 June, 2012
Today was Saturday and Farouk Lawan was released on bail. He had been detained since Thursday. Lawan was taken into police custody on the ground of the $620,000 bribe he admitted to have collected from the chairman of Zenon Oil and Gas Limited, Mr. Femi Otedola. As early as 7 a.m. yesterday, some lawmakers from the lower chamber of the National Assembly and Lawan’s relations besieged the Force Headquarters, where he was detained, to gain access to him and seek his release. Although the police authorities denied them access to the premises, the pressure for Lawan’s release kept mounting until today when the police succumbed. Lawan, according to the police, had promised to produce the $620,000 bribe but in full glare of the House of Representatives. He told the police to allow him get in touch with necessary contacts and be given access to the money. The police then released him, saying, “we dey wait for the money o!”
17 June 2012
Smashed limbs, broken heads and torn human flesh. Today was yet another bloody Sunday as suicide bombers hit three churches – two in Zaria and one in Kaduna metropolis – during the “Fathers’ Day” services. No fewer than 16 were killed and over 50 others were injured. The explosion occurred at ECWA Church, Wusasa and the Christ the King Catholic Church on Yoruba Road, Sabon-Gari, Zaria. The explosion in Kaduna took place near Shallom Church of God in the Trikana neighbourhood. An eye witness at the CKC Church, Mallam Bala Mati, said the suicide bomber rammed into the church premises in a Golf IV car defying orders by security officials at the gate to stop for a check. He said he counted 13 bodies after the explosion. At Wusasa, another eye witness, Mr. Johnson Maki, said the bombers came in a Honda Accord (2008 model) car, hitting the security post and knocking down a part of the church building. No fewer than 30 people were injured. Of course, the President was very sad and he put that in his statement: “I am very sad!”
18 June, 2012
Now, it had grown worse. Sixty-six persons have been confirmed dead following Sunday’s bomb attacks on three churches in Kaduna State. Red Cross officials also told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) today in Kaduna that 140 victims of the attacks were taken to various hospitals for treatment. The Chief Medical Director of Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital, Kaduna, Dr. Huseini Yahya, said that the hospital received 10 bodies, while two died in the hospital. And the counting continued.
This was bad news for corruption fighters: Farouk Lawan was yet to surrender the $620,000 bribe. The embattled House of Representatives member today failed to produce the $620,000 bribe offered to him and the erstwhile secretary of the fuel subsidy regime probe panel, Boniface Emenalo, by Zenon Oil chairman, Femi Otedola. However, in compliance with one of his core conditions for bail, Lawan reported to the investigators at about 12 noon and walked out at about 1.25 p.m. Informed sources at the Force Headquarters disclosed that Lawan pleaded with the investigators to give him more time to gather the money in question.
19 June, 2012
The Farouk Lawan story took a new dimension today. Chairman, House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Hon. Adams Jagaba, whom Lawan said he gave $620,000 bribe, yesterday denied ever receiving any money from the embattled lawmaker. In his statement to the police last week, Lawan said that the money was in Jagaba’s custody. Based on the claim, Jagaba, in a memo addressed to the Speaker, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal yesterday, said that he had no bribe money in his custody. He said: “I wish to categorically and unequivocally state that there was never a time I was in possession of the sum of 620,000 dollars or any other exhibits (in my personal capacity or official capacity as chairman of the House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes) relating to the subject matter of the above investigation. I hope this explanation lays to rest once and for all the claims that I or my committee is in possession of the sum of 620,000 dollars purportedly given as bribe to the Ad-hoc Committee on Monitoring of Fuel Subsidy Regime.”
Another terrible news: No fewer than 30 people including policemen and soldiers were killed yesterday in Damaturu, when bombers and gunmen suspected to be of Boko Haram sect launched coordinated attacks on the town. The attack, which led to a gun battle between the security forces and the Boko Haram men, leaving in its wake, woes as scores died while many were injured. A very dependable source at the State Specialist Hospital, Damaturu, hinted that 30 corpses were brought to the hospital in the afternoon before they were taken to the morgue. Among the dead, according to the hospital source, were two soldiers and two policemen (one from the mobile unit). A police officer also claimed that 15 of the sect members were killed, adding that the patrol team was still picking corpses in different places. Of course, this was trouble.
20 June, 2012
Now, for those who had been wondering why members of Boko Haram were maiming and killing, this probably was the answer: “We’re doing God’s work!” A suicide bomber, who was blown off with an explosive device he was carrying on Tuesday, said on his death bed today that the group was doing “God’s work” and would not stop. The suspected suicide bomber, however, died in the hospital shortly. The police said the suspected suicide bomber died at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, where he was receiving treatment after the bomb he was carrying exploded.
Meanwhile, a human rights organisation, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, today condemned the decision of President Goodluck Jonathan to travel out of the country for climate summit in Brazil in the wake of the volatile security situation in some parts of the country. The chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, in a statement, said for travelling abroad when the country was on fire, “the President has displayed high sense of insensitivity to the rights of every Nigerian.” He alleged further: “A man whose house is on fire does not busy himself with chasing rats. Attending a climate summit when the climate of the nation is scorching every Nigerian is a misplaced priority. What sort of investors do the President intends to attract to the nation when the entity called Nigeria is about to be no more?” Me self, I no sabi o!
21 June, 2012
It was good news today as the Federal Government’s war on terrorism got a boost in Damaturu, Yobe State yesterday, when soldiers captured one of the believed masterminds of last Christmas Day bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State. In the net of the Joint Task Force (JTF) after a shoot-out was Habib Bama, an ex-soldier. Scores of worshippers were either killed or injured in the Madalla attack which was claimed by the Islamist sect, Boko Haram. Security sources said that Bama, one of the Boko Haram leaders, who is believed to hail from Borno State, was arrested in Damaturu metropolis today by the troops after a gun duel.
And the embattled lawmaker, Hon. Farouk Lawan, took his case to God today. Lawan was being investigated by the police Special Task Force (STF) for his alleged role in the $3 million bribe deal over fuel subsidy probe report. He was Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Payments. Lawal allegedly approached Chief Femi Otedola, Chairman of Zenon Oil, to part with $3 million to enable the committee delete his company’s name from the panel’s report. But Otedola insisted that Zenon Oil did not commit any crime because, as an outfit that deals in diesel, it could not have enjoyed anything from the Petroleum Subsidy Fund (PSF). The oil magnate said he succumbed to pressure from Lawan to release the $620,000 part-payment in a “string operation” co-ordinated by the security agencies.The audio and video evidence of the event submitted to the police by Otedola led to Lawan’s arrest, detention and release on bail last Saturday. He was suspended as chairman of the ad hoc committee as well as the Education panel. But yesterday, Lawan said that his travail was sanctioned by God and that at the end of the investigation, he would be vindicated by God.
So sad! Veteran broadcaster and the creator of Nigeria’s longest running television drama, the Village Headmaster, Ambassador Segun Olusola, today passed on in a Lagos hospital after a brief illness. He was aged 77.
22 June, 2012
President Goodluck Jonathan today removed Gen. Andrew Owoye Azazi as the National Security Adviser (NSA). In his place, he named Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) as the new NSA.The Minister of Defence, Bello Haliru Mohammed, was also dropped. But as at press time, no replacement had been made.
23 June, 2012
Seven people, three policemen and four suspected armed robbers were feared dead today during a gun battle at Okija, Anambra State along the Onitsha-Owerri expressway. It was gathered that the robbers, who dressed in camouflaged army uniforms and were driving in a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), had double-crossed the police patrol team made up of members of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP)’s Special Task Force on Heinous Crimes for Zone C and opened fire. In the ensuing gun battle, seven persons died, three on the side of the police and four on the side of the robbers. One policeman was also injured. It indeed was a bad day for the police.
But the Joint Military Task Force (JTF), early today, killed four suspected militants during a shoot out at a hideout at Janbulo Quarters of Rijiyar Zaki area of Kano metropolis. JTF sources said the hideout, a magnificent building, served as an operational base for militants terrorising the ancient city. The raid came less than 24 hours after the security outfit arrested four suspects at Waje Friday Mosque, trying to plant an explosive in the over 15,000 capacity worship centre located within an expanse of land that separated the predominantly Christian quarter from their Hausa Muslim hosts.
24 June, 2012
All the same, we had been assured. President Goodluck Jonathan today declared that the aim of the Islamic religious sect, Boko Haram’s insurgency in the country was to destabilise government and make it unable to function, vowing that his administration would do all that was necessary to halt their terrorist activities. Speaking during a presidential media chat, he noted that the sect’s tactics were similar to those other terrorists in the world, adding that government was adopting various strategies to bring the menace under control.
As he was saying this, however, Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, again came under heavy fire, when suspected members of the Jam’atul Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad otherwise known as Boko Haram, attacked a school and prison in the city. According to reports, the assailants attacked the prison and freed many prisoners while also leaving a prison warder in critical condition and was receiving treatment at a hospital within the state capital. Also, it was rumoured that the Emir of Damaturu, Alhaji Shehu Hashimi Ibn Umar, had fled the city.
25 June, 2012
Opposition political party, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), today expressed its dissatisfaction over Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s refusal to openly declare his assets before he became the country’s president. Former Head of State, Maj-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, contested the last presidential election against Jonathan on the platform of the CPC. Reacting to the statement made by Jonathan at the presidential media parley on Sunday night, National Publicity Secretary of the CPC, Rotimi Fashakin, noted with dismay, the president’s statement that he was not bothered about not declaring his asset.
Maybe that was why the police swung into action: Former Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Mr. Richard Aisuebeogun was arrested by the Nigeria Police Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Milverton Road, Ikoyi. It was gathered that Aisuebeogun was being held over fraudulent acts he allegedly masterminded during his tenure as FAAN chief. It was gathered that the money released by the Federal Government to FAAN for the purchase of materials to effectively run the organisation was diverted into Aisuebeogun’s personal account.
26 June, 2012
The controversy raged on as the northern socio-political group, the Arewa Consultative Forum and some ex-police chiefs on Tuesday rejected Nigerian governors’ forum’s demand for state police. They described creation of state police as an invitation to chaos. But the Action Congress of Nigeria backed the NGF, saying security in the country should be decentralised. The National Assembly, however, said that the possibility of state police will be part of its constitution review.The ACF National Publicity Secretary. Mr. Anthony Sani, said the group did back the NGF’s demand for state police and urged President Goodluck Jonathan to pursue the option of dialogue with the north-based violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
PDP was angry because the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress in Ondo State today endorsed the second term bid of Governor Olusegun Mimiko at a rally in Akure. Both the national and the state leadership of the two workers’ union said the event was to rally support for Mimiko who had used the Labour platform to touch the lives of the masses in the state. But the state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, at a news conference addressed by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Wale Ozogoro, in Akure, condemned the action and alleged that the Labour leadership was paid to do so.
27 June, 2012
They had run into trouble. Investigators are currently probing some chieftains of the People’s Democratic Party fingered as being the masterminds of 6.5 million barrels crude oil theft. Also, two officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and two marketers alleged to be part of the thieving ring were to be questioned by investigators. Already, six new suspects, including four additional Filipinos and two Russians had been arrested for the theft. Six crew members of the French ship, MT Vanessa, used for the theft were arrested on June 21 when the vessel was impounded with the stolen oil. The arrested suspects were said to have mentioned the names of the NNPC officials and four other ships involved in the theft ring. Two of the vessels were said to be owned by two chieftains of the PDP.
So where could we go from here? Police investigators were in dilemma over the whereabouts of the N96 million bribe received by the Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy, Mr. Farouk Lawan, from the Chairman of Zenon Oil and Gas, Mr. Femi Otedola. Lawan, who appeared at the Force Headquarters today, insisted that he gave the money to the Chairman, Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Adams Jagaba. Investigations showed that the police probe into the matter was compounded by the refusal of the State Security Service to provide the Special Task Force with the original copy of the video recording of what transpired between Lawan and Otedola. The police STF had also not received details of marked money allegedly given to Lawan by Otedola.
28 June, 2012
It could have been disastrous: Over three hundred passengers this night escaped death when a 12-coach Lagos-bound train rammed into a Nissan Cabstar pick-up Van at Odo-Eran, Lafenwa area of Abeokuta, Ogun State. The collision, which occurred at 9a.m. saved the train from plunging into a gully created by flood which had washed away part of the rail track. The flood, which was caused by heavy rains in the state capital, had swept away the sand under the rail track. The collision also prevented the train from reaching the damaged rail track.
But this was bad! Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party in Sharubutu Ward of Bachit District of Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State, John Baren, his wife and child, were killed at Gwarim in Rim Village by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen. An eyewitness said the Barens were returning from the funeral of a relation in Riyom when they were killed at about 3.30p.m in a forest.
The torrential rains in Lagos and Ogun states on yesterday and today sacked residents of a street and trapped others inside a storey building in Joju, Sango, Ogun State. Also, a section of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway caved in at Ajala Bus Stop and caused a gridlock on both sides of the expressway. Our correspondent learnt that while a large number of residents of the houses affected by the flood in Joju lost their property, no life was lost.
29 June, 2012
A panel set up by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had indicted more oil majors exonerated by the ad-hoc committee of the House Representatives that investigated the petrol subsidy scam. The discovery by the new panel headed by Aigboje Aig-Imouhkuede, introduced another dimension to the $620,000 bribery allegation against the suspended Chairman of the House ad-hoc committee on the probe, Honorable Lawan Farouk, who was being investigated by the police over the matter. Aig-Imohkuede, who was the managing Director of Access Bank Plc, had in his report, recommended that those oil companies exonerated by the Farouk committee should refund the sum of N430 million to the government, being alleged over payment to them.