Day: June 17, 2020

Lightning strikes three FRSC officials dead in Ogun

Three FRSC officials have died after they were struck by lightning in Ogun State.

The tragedy occured early on Wednesday, June 17, in the ancient town of Ilese, near Ijebu -Ode, in Ijebu North-East local government area of Ogun State.

The lightning struck at about 10am while officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) were preparing for the early morning parade within the vicinity of their office located at the old toll gate.

According to Vanguard, a senior member of the Corps disclosed that there were about twelve officials in the same office when the lightning struck 3 of them.

Men of the state’s special security outfit code-named “OP MESA” have taken over security of the entire area, chasing onlookers away and preventing journalists from taking pictures.

Also, traditionalists worshipers otherwise known as Sango adherents have joined other FRSC officials at the scene of the incident in Ilese Ijebu in a bid to perform some traditional rites on the corpses before they are released to government officials for burial, the publication adds.

Popular Radio personality, Dan Foster dies

Nigerians have taken to Twitter to mourn American radio personality, Dan Foster.

The former Cool FM radio host’s death was announced today, June 17. There are speculations he died of Covid-19.

Colleagues and friends reacted to the tragic news by paying tribute to him via their social media accounts.
Cool FM OAP Do2dtun wrote: “Oh Dan Foster… you gave me the strength to do this and even more. This is really painful.”

He added: “He saved me my job.. Such a story!.. he kept me regardless.. look at me now.. “The Big Dog” Dan Foster put it all in for me and us at Coolfm. What an OAP…. The best morning show host till date in Nigeria. This is a big loss.”

Nigerians mourn as radio personality, Dan Foster dies

Frank Edoho wrote: “I just got off the phone, my friend Oscar confirmed that Dan Foster has passed on. This is a very very dark year. How can I overcome this unending melancholy. Rest in Peace, dear Friend.”

Nigerians mourn as radio personality, Dan Foster dies

Comedian Bovi wrote: “When I moved to lagos in November 2003, Dan Foster was one of the reasons I didn’t run back home to delta state. I tuned into cool fm one morning and Dan made me love radio. Rip big dawg! I’m sad you left. But I’m happy your mark remains forever !”

Nigerians mourn as radio personality, Dan Foster dies

Daniel ‘Dan’ Foster was popularly known as The Big Dawg or Top Dawg. He worked with Cool FM and Inspiration FM in Lagos, Nigeria. He was formerly an Idol series judge. He also held a similar position with the Got Talent franchise.

Edo 2020: INEC says no deadline extension for primaries, submission of nominations

NEC says it will not extend the deadline for the conduct of primaries and submission of parties nominations for the Sept. 19 Edo governorship election.

INEC postponed 4 senatorial by-elections

By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will not extend the deadline for the conduct of primaries and submission of parties nominations for the Sept. 19 Edo governorship election.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, stated this at the commission’s second virtual consultative meeting of the Inter-agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES), on Wednesday in Abuja.
Yakubu reminded political parties fielding candidates of the need to conclude their primaries for the nomination of candidates in the next 10 days.
“The deadline is Saturday, June 27, 2020. I must stress that the date is firm and fixed. There will be no extension.
“While the conduct of primaries and nomination of candidates will be the sole responsibility of political parties, our officials will monitor the primaries as required by law.
“Already, INEC has published the date and mode of primaries for each of the 15 political parties that indicated their intention to participate in the election.
“Similarly, there will be no extension of time for political parties that fail to submit the names and other details of the candidates that emerge from their primaries using the dedicated portal created by the Commission.
“For emphasis, the deadline is 6 p.m on Monday, 29 June 2020,” Yakubu declared.
He advised political parties to adhere to the four mandatory requirements for eligibility of candidates for governorship elections as enshrined in Section 177 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

The INEC boss said that a candidate nominated by a political party must be a Nigerian citizen by birth, 35 years, must be a member of, and sponsored by, a political party, and must be educated up to at least School Certificate level or equivalent.
He said that the advice was crucial in view of INEC’s experience in managing the nomination of candidates for the last two governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi.
“Adherence to these clear constitutional provisions is compulsory in order to avoid litigation that follow the nomination of candidates, some of which are still pending before the Courts.
“In fact, one of such cases involving the attempt to substitute an ineligible candidate by one of the political parties was determined only yesterday by the Supreme Court in favour of INEC.”
Yakubu stressed the need for the commission and security agencies to remain proactive during the party primaries, campaigns, voting and eventual declaration of results.
“We must safeguard the process and protect all those involved – voters, INEC officials, observers, the media and even some of the unarmed security personnel deployed to the polling units.
“Doing so requires professionalism and neutrality.
“In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we should also ensure compliance with the protective measures contained in the recently published Commission’s policy as well as the advisory by health authorities.
“In the context of the current global health emergency, we have the additional responsibility to ensure the conduct of free, fair, credible and safe elections.”
Yakubu recalled that at the last ICCES meeting, there was an agreement to draft a Code of Conduct for security personnel on election duty based on the report of the Special Committee earlier set up to ensure collaboration and synergy in the deployment of security agencies for elections.
“The meeting also mandated the Co-Chairmen of ICCES to take into consideration safety measures for security personnel in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The draft policy has already been circulated for consideration and approval at this meeting.
“Thereafter, the policy will become part of the manual for training of security personnel and to guide their conduct during elections. The policy will be published for public information.”
The Co-Chairman of ICCESS and National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), commended INEC for the setup of the sub-committee to review the existing policy on election security to address challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Monguno, represented by Yusuf Galadima Yusuf, expressed confidence that the reviewed policy, when adopted and put into use, would further secure the electoral space for peaceful elections in the country

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the virtual meeting was attended by heads or representatives of the armed forces and paramilitary organisations, INEC National Commissioners, Resident Electoral Commissioners and Commissioners of Police for Edo and Ondo Commands. (NAN)

Aso Rock shooting: Aisha’s security aides redeployed as Sabiu resumes work

All the security officers involved in the fracas that led to gunshots in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, have been released and redeployed to new locations.

Sources told Daily Trust last night that those redeployed but whose new posts were not known were security aides attached to the First Lady, including her Aide-De-Camp, Usman Shugaba and Escort Commander.

Meanwhile, the Special Assistant to the President, Sabiu Tunde Yusuf, has resumed work, jettisoning advice to go on self-isolation after returning from Lagos recently.

Sabiu, who is popularly known as Tunde, a name he was given after Tunde Idiagbon, the second-in-command to then Major General Muhammadu Buhari during the military regime, was sighted in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.

It would be recalled that Aisha Buhari had approached Tunde to respect the COVID-19 guidelines, following his alleged refusal to go on self-isolation for 14 days.

The first lady’s encounter with Tunde, reportedly in the company of her children ,was said to have gone out of hand after the involvement of security personnel who shot into the air, breaching the security protocol in the State House, Abuja.

The development had led to the arrest of security aides attached to the president’s wife, including her Aide-De-Camp, Shugaba, and Escort Commander.

Mrs Buhari, unhappy with the move by the police authorities, had called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, via Twitter handle, to free her ADC and other police aides taken into custody.

Daily Trust learnt that President Buhari was not disturbed about the development since Tunde returned the day he travelled to Lagos, a situation which may not require self-isolation.

Already, President Buhari had ordered an investigation into the security breach at the State House, Abuja.

Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, had in a statement on Sunday said the president was not under any form of danger arising, either from deadly infections or the reported incident by security personnel currently under investigation.

The spokesman of the Nigeria Police Force, Frank Mba, when contacted by one of our reporters for a comment last night, neither answered phone calls nor replied a test message sent to him. – DailyTrust reports

APC lied, we issued only one certificate to Obaseki – UI

One of the reasons cited for the disqualification of Godwin Obaseki from APC’s June 22 governorship primary in Edo State was that the University of Ibadan awarded him two certificates with separate dates.

However, the University of Ibadan debunked the claim on Sunday.

APC Screening Appeal Committee led by Abubakar Fari, on Saturday, had corroborated the report of the screening committee by stating that “It is inconceivable that the same University will award two certificates with separate dates for the same graduate.

Presenting its report to the National Working Committee headed by National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, Fari added that “We also find it difficult to vouch for the authenticity of his National Youth Service Corps certificate, there is no indication as to where he served. We find that he should be disqualified.”

Oshiomhole in his response, however, commended the chairman and members of the appeal committee for doing a “meticulous” job.

He said “It appears you were extremely meticulous to details and you justified ours – not in terms of your findings but in terms of what you were able to amplify. That you have an eye for very important details.

“We are happy you were able to finish this work timeously. This is the final appeal level, what is left now is the NWC will meet and take a decision one way or the other.”

However, UI Registrar, Olubunmi Faluyi, on Sunday restated that Obaseki graduated from the institution in 1979.

Faluyi said the institution’s stand remained as contained in an earlier statement that “Obaseki gained admission to the University in 1976 and graduated in 1979 with a Second Class Honours, Lower Division. Records of his Admission and Graduation are intact in the archives of the University.”

In the same vein, the varsity’s Director of Public Communications, Olatunji Oladejo, said the claim by the APC was false.

He said “We stand by our statement on Obaseki. How can you issue two certificates to a candidate? That is not true. It is not possible. He graduated in 1979 from the university. We issued only one certificate to him, not two.”

Gov. Obaseki resigns from APC

Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo has resigned his membership of All Progressives Congress (APC), saying he will soon announce his next line of action.

Obaseki, who made his position known to State House correspondents after visiting the Presidential Villa, on Tuesday said his resignation from the ruling party followed his disqualification from the June 22 APC primaries.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Obaseki was disqualified by the APC’s screening committee over alleged discrepancies in his personal and academic records.

The National Working Committee (NWC) of APC also endorsed the disqualification of Obaseki as a candidate for the party’s governorship primaries.

The NWC of APC, led by its National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, had on June 15 met behind closed doors with the Chief of Staff to the president, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, at the State House, Abuja.

Obaseki had in a statement vowed not to challenge his disqualification by the party, allegedly accusing Oshiomhole as the brain behind the disqualification while Oshiomhole said the party was going ahead with its primaries on June 22.

Oshiomhole, after the meeting with Gambari on Monday, said: “We’ve gone a long way: we’ve advertised the timetable, there was the stage of collection of forms and about six people collected forms. In that time table we also provided for screening and we also provided for appeals arising from the screening.

“This is standard practice that the NWC has adopted since 2015 and in the case of Edo, we have completed the process of selling forms; we have also completed the process of screening; we have completed the process of appeals arising from the screening by those who wish to take advantage.

“The NWC has met and has reviewed the report of the screening committee and we were unanimous that the screening was thoroughly done and found that three people were eligible to contest, with regards to the provisions of our Constitution.’’

Obaseki, however, said: “You would recall that my statement in my last tweet I said that I will make a decision after my disqualification was announced by APC that I will make a decision after I have consulted with the leadership and my supporters in Edo state and also having informed the president.

“So, just here today to inform you that I have now decided formally to resign my membership of All Progressives Congress.

“Having done that I would now announce in the next few days my specific line of action and what platform I will be contesting the gubernatorial elections on,’’

The governor, who dismissed all allegations against him by the party’s screening committee, described his disqualification as unfortunate.

On why announcing his resignation while on visit to the State House, the governor said:

“I have said that before I make a decision, I have to show respect to my President, who I adore, who for me is an epitome of incorruptibility, an epitome of order, an epitome of lawfulness.

“This is the man whom for him that is what Nigeria should be all about. I think I owe him that respect to come and tell him what I have done and why I have decided to take the decision I took.’’

Nigeria improves in U.S. fiscal transparency assessment

The United States has classified Nigeria among 14 countries that made “significant progress” towards meeting its minimum fiscal transparency requirements in 2019.

The classification came in the 2020 Fiscal Transparency Report released by the U.S. Department on State on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the document, released annually, assesses budget transparency of 141 national governments that receive U.S assistance.

It uses criteria such as “public availability, substantial completeness and reliability of budget documents” in its assessment.

The report also judges the countries based on the transparency of the process of awarding government contracts and licenses.

The 2020 edition, which covers Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2019, stated that 76 of the 141 countries met the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency.

Fourteen of the 65 governments that did not meet the minimum requirements, including Nigeria, made “significant progress” during the review period.

The 13 other countries that made progress alongside Nigeria are Bahrain, Benin, Ecuador, The Gambia, Madagascar, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Somalia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

In the 2019 edition, which covered Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018, Nigeria was neither among 74 countries said to have met the minimum requirements nor among 13 adjudged to have made significant progress.

“Nigeria made significant progress by including allocations to and earnings from its state-owned enterprises in its budget documents.  

“During the review period, the government made its executive budget proposal, enacted budget, and end-of-year report accessible to the general public, including online.

“Information on debt obligations was publicly available,” the latest edition said.

It added that the government’s 2019 budget documents provided detailed estimates for revenues and expenditures.

However, it said the documents provided “only high-level earnings and expenditures estimates from state-owned enterprises”.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), according to the report, did not make fully audited financial reports available to the public. 

“Actual revenues and expenditures varied significantly from estimated figures making budget documents unreliable. 

“Nigeria’s supreme audit institution completed audits of the government’s budget and reportedly made audit reports on its website. 

“The criteria and procedures by which the national government awards contracts or licenses for natural resource extraction were specified in law and regulation. 

“The government has appeared to follow applicable laws and regulations in practice. 

“Basic information on natural resource extraction awards was publicly available,” the report said.

It suggested three steps that the Federal Government should take to improve its fiscal transparency.

They include publishing its executive budget proposal within “a reasonable period of time”.

A “reasonable period of time”, according to the report, means not less than one month before the start of the fiscal year and before the National Assembly passes the budget.

It also means “within three months of enactment for the enacted budget, and within 12 months of the end of the fiscal year for the end-of-year”.

The Federal Government has also been advised to produce and publish details of its supplementary budget “when actual revenues and expenditures do not correspond to those in the enacted budget”.

The report urged the government to make “full audit reports for significant, large state-owned enterprises publicly available”.

It, however, noted that while lack of fiscal transparency could be an enabling factor for corruption, it did not assess corruption. 

“A finding that a government ‘does not meet the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency’ does not necessarily mean there is significant corruption in the government. 

“Similarly, a finding that a government “meets the minimum requirements of fiscal transparency” does not necessarily reflect a low level of corruption,” the report said.(NAN)

Edo 2020 Poll: Edo Governor, Obaseki, Dumps APC After Meeting With President Buhari

dwin Obaseki, governor of Edo State, has resigned his membership of the All Progressives Congress after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Obaseki was last Friday disqualified by the APC from contesting the forthcoming governorship primary of the party in Edo over alleged discrepancies in his certificates. 

He is expected to announce his move to the Peoples Democratic Party any moment from now.

JAMB sets 160 as cut off mark for 2020/21 admissions

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has set 160 and above as cut off mark for 2020/21 admissions into universities across the country.

The Registrar of the board, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, disclosed this during a presentation of the policy considerations at the 2020 Policy Meeting on Admissions to Tertiary Institutions on Tuesday in Abuja.

Oloyede said that 120 and above has been approved as cut off mark into Polytechnics and 100 and above for both Colleges of Education and Innovation Enterprise Institutions.

He explained that the decision was taken after each of the Institutions had voted and prescribed minimum cut off marks for their schools.

” No University would be allowed to admit a candidate if he or she has scored less than 160 in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

” Also, that is not the only thing that would be taken for admission, some would do post UTME and other physical assessments and that will be added to it to determine the cut off mark.

” Nobody can admit a candidate with a score less than what the institution prescribed. That is, those who voted for 210 can maintain the figure and not 209 or anything below 210.

” All those who prescribed less than 160 for universities cannot be accepted but 160 and above and same goes for Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

” Every institution will have what it prescribed for itself except for those who prescribed lower and have to come up above the minimum mark,” he said.

Oloyede said that there would be no admissions outside the board’s Central Admissions Processing System (CAPS).

According to him, any institution that violates the decisions as agreed at the policy meeting would be sanctioned.

He said that admission process for 2020/21 would commence from August 21.

”Following the country’s uncertainty in the events of the pandemic, a date for the deadline has not been decided yet, but would be communicated later by the Ministry of Education.

”All institutions, must not charge more than N2000, including bank charges, for their post UTME,” Oloyede said.

The Registrar said that waiver has been approved for foreign candidates, the deaf and blind as well as prison candidates against sitting for post UTME screening.

”This, was because of the difficulty in the process as complained by the group,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the meeting was organised by JAMB to signify the commencement of admissions into tertiary institutions.

NAN reports that the meeting, which took place at the JAMB’s Headquarters, had in attendance the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Director General of the National Youth Service Corps and staff of the Board.

Other participants: include Vice Chancellors, Rectors and Provosts of all tertiary institutions across the country, as well as members of JAMB governing board.

The meeting was held virtually via the Zoom network. (NAN)