[ Masterweb Reports:Yusha'u A. Ibrahim reports ] - Onfficials of the Nigerian Customs' Comptroller General Compliance Task Force have seized 210 cars smuggled into Kano and Jigawa states respectively. Leader of the task force, a Chief Superintendent of Custom, Bala Dole disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Kano on Monday.
Dole said the task force also confiscated 97,570 bags of foriegn rice and 2,916 cartons of superghetti, 2,770 cartons of vegetable oil and 889 belts of second hand clothes.
Others items confiscated include 50 belts of fairly used school bags 50, 110 cartons of brand new foreign shoes, 956 cartons of mosquito coil worth N269m.
He said the seizure was carried out from July 2016 to date, saying the goods were smuggled into Kano, Katsina and Jigawa state through Nigeria's borders with Niger republic and Cameroun respectively.
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Ifreke Inyang reports ] - The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, has warned civilians against wearing military camouflage. Usman stated this in a recent interview with Punch. He said such offence attracted a one-month prison term.
“It is an offence. I expected journalists to have done their homework very well. The Penal Code is there. And I think the punishment is even mild.
“Knowing what the law says about wearing military camouflage is part of basic civic responsibility. I also know that ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
“However, for the benefit of doubt, please know that Sections 110 & 111 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act states: Any person who unlawfully wears the uniform of forces, etc. L.N. 112 of 1964. 1967 No. 27(1) not being a person serving in any of the armed forces of Nigeria, wears the uniform or any part of the uniform of such forces, or any of the armed dress having the appearance or bearing any of the regimental or other distinctive marks of such uniforms; or (2) not being a person holding any office or authority under the Government of Nigeria or of any part thereof, wears any uniform or distinctive badge or mark or carries any token calculated to convey the impression that such person holds any office or authority under the government; is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for one month, or to a fine of N10, unless he proves that he had the permission of the President or of the Governor of a State to wear such uniform or dress, badge or mark or to carry such token: Provided that this section shall not apply to the wearing of any uniform or dress in the course of a stage play or in any bona fide public entertainment,” Usman said.
*Photo Caption - Nigeria Army banner
[ Masterweb Reports: Isiaka Wakili reports ] - President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun and Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele to act appropriately and with dispatch in releasing the second tranche of the London-Paris Club refunds to the states in order to ease their financial hardships.
It came as he said he barred governors from visiting him during his ill health in the UK because he didn’t want government to move to London.
“I wanted it to remain here and I am glad it did,” he said.
The announcement to release the next tranche of the London-Paris Club refunds came at the National Economic Council meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and attended by state governors.
President Buhari, however, urged the governors to use the refunds for the settlement of unpaid salaries and pension liabilities of their workers.
“I will not rest until I address those issues that affect our people. One of these basic things is the issue of salaries. It is most important that workers are able to feed their families, pay rent and school fees, then other things can follow,” Buhari said.
Buhari, who went round the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa to shake hand with the governors one after the other, commended the unity of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).
*Photo Caption - President Muhammadu Buhari
[ Masterweb Reports: Emma Elekwa reports ] - The leadership of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has threatened to stop the second term bid of the Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano. The threat is coming on the heels of the governor’s description of the body as a toothless bulldog.
IPOB’s spokespersons, Emma Nmezu and Dr. Clifford Iroanya, who also quoted Obiano to have referred to the group as being “populated by youth who are at best misguided,” wondered why he should be attacking a group that was instrumental to his being governor.
“For the records, IPOB though apolitical, was instrumental to Obiano becoming the governor of Anambra State because we repudiated the Northern dominated APC represented by Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige and we still do repudiate them till today.
“We promise Obiano that even though we abhor and repudiate Nigerian politics, we shall do to him what we did to Dr. Ngige in 2013 Anambra gubernatorial election.
“Obiano called IPOB toothless bulldog but after the November 2017 election, he will know if IPOB is a toothless bulldog or not,” they said.
Emma Elekwa reports from Awka, Anambra State.
*Photo Caption - Governor Willie Obiano
[ Masterweb Reports: Abdullateef Aliyu reports ] - A fifty-seven (57) year-old grandmother, and textile merchant at Balogun market in Lagos, Odeyemi Omolara Morayo has been caught in connection with cocaine smuggling to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She was arrested at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos while attempting to board an Egypt Air flight.
The suspect was believed to be embarking on lesser hajj when she was caught with the substance weighing 1.595kg.
NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba explained that the two parcels of white powdery substance that tested positive for cocaine were carefully concealed inside her luggage.
"The cocaine which was concealed in a false bottom of her bag was discovered during routine check on passengers at the departure hall. We had to cut the bag open to recover the cocaine because of the way it was neatly concealed. She was immediately arrested and the case is currently under investigation", Garba was quoted in a statement by NDLEA spokesman Ofoyeju Mitchell.
The suspect, an indigene of Ogun State, reportedly told investigators that her friend and customer introduced her to drug trafficking.
Omolara said, "I am a textile merchant at Balogun market, Lagos. I have two children and my daughter is married with children. Recently, I told my friend that I loved to go on pilgrimage this year and she promised to sponsor my trip. That was how she collected my international passport, processed my travel documents and bought return ticket on Egypt airline.
"The only favour she requested from me was that I should take a bag to Saudi. She also told me that somebody will collect the bag from me at Jeddah. It was an empty bag so I kept my personal effects inside it. On getting to the airport, officers discovered cocaine inside the bag during search and I was arrested" Omolara stated.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Col Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah described the suspect's action as condemnable, saying the agency had saved her from execution as drug trafficking attracts capital punishment in Saudi.
"Apart from saving her from execution in Saudi, the prompt arrest also protected our country from disrepute. The Agency will not relent in the fight against illicit drug production, trafficking and abuse" Abdallah said.
The arrest came few days after Justice B.O. Quadri of the Federal High Court Abuja sentenced a 55-year old female pilgrim Binuyo Basirat Iyabo to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour after being caught last September for smuggling 76 pellets of cocaine weighing 931 grammes to Medina, Saudi Arabia.
*Photo Caption - NDLEA logo
[ Masterweb Reports: Zakzaky Writes Buhari by Proxy ] - Dear Mr. President; I greet you with peace as you rest in the United Kingdom. My salutations and warm wishes to you and your loved ones there to take care of you in your time of need. I pray Allah's mercy on you.
Sir, do you remember July of 2014? I am sure you remember the tragedies of July 2014. It was that month that faith put us together in tragedy and survival. July 2014 was the month when Nigeria roused up, perturbed by the attempt on your life in the bombing that claimed almost a hundred innocent lives. That was a month that Allah's divine mercy spared you. July 2014 was also the month that the Nigerian army under president Goodluck Jonathan extra-judiciously killed three of my sons among 35 Muslims exercising their constitutional rights of assembly. Destiny bound us together that month as Nigerians said they could not take it any more.
The current Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufai, paid his condolences to my husband, and on July 26th, referenced the tragedy that afflicted me when I lost three of my sons with this caption, "Genocidal Jonathanian Army Kills Once Again," as he shared a PremiumTimes article covering the incident.
El-Rufai was not inciting the people against the army or Jonathan's government, he was laying the truth of my tragedy bare as was his responsibility and Nigerians could take it no more. They voted for you.
Dear president Muhammadu Buhari, as administrator of Nigeria who Allah(s) has charged with the responsibility of serving justice to 180 million people, you are yet to probe the Jonathan government for this massacre that governor Nasir el-Rufai verified their guilt in.
And while we waited for you to deliver justice for us as you have been charged, on the tragic July 2014 massacre of my three sons, rather December the next year, 2015, the army under command of your General, Tukur Buratai, massacred 1000 more Muslims across Zaria after some disgruntled youth protested and blocked his path. Additionally the army raped our daughters, burned many Muslims alive as they demolished our properties across six locations in Zaria. Your army did not stop there, they bombed and demolished our family home on our heads and burned it down. When they found me and the rest of my family hiding in a bathroom, saved by Allah's grace by the boiling water tank which exploded setting off the fire; they shot at all of us and killed another three of my sons right in my eyes.
Under your watch the Kaduna government and army under Lt. General T. Y. Buratai's command, in the dead of the night, secretly went and buried 1000 Muslims, men, women and children, many while still alive at an unmarked mass pit in Mando cemetery. There has been no exhumation of the graves, no apology, no list of names of victims published, no investigation and no atonement. Not a single army officer or state official indicted by your very own judicial panel report as you ordered governor el-Rufai execute, has been punished almost a year and a half later in spite of global reminders and condemnation.
Your army, DSS and Kaduna government has since detained many of us for over a year without charge. Me and my husband who sustained several gun shots with him paralyzed on one side and blinded, have been locked up since, denied our freedom even in contempt of court orders.
We are sick, we are broken though we have not lost faith in Allah(s). We are unable to see our families, we missed our son's wedding. Dear President Muhammadu Buhari. Why do you keep me locked up like this? What have I done to deserve this? God has blessed you with the opportunity and Nigeria's wallet and presidential jet to travel to the United Kingdom and afford the best therapy in the world at any cost. We praise Allah(s) for his mercies.
All I wish to know is why you remain in defiance and above the law and will not obey the law and abide by the judgement of the court that still stands regardless of appeal, which mandates you to free me so I can hug my last surviving son and embrace my two daughters?
May Allah(s) have mercy on you and give you long life. May He protect you and your children from harm as we have faced in your and Jonathan's hands. May He forgive you.
Letter written by Dr. Peregrino Brimah ( Email: email@example.com ) for Zeenat Zakzaky.
*Photo Caption - Zeenat Zakzaky
[ Masterweb Reports: Chijioke Jannah reports ] - The Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), has said that it would not allow the proposed rally in support of President Muhammadu Buhari to hold in Awka on Friday.
It described the rally as an attempt by Igbo politicians in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to bring “political disgrace to Igbo land.”
The group said this in a statement signed and issued by its leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu.
He said the decision to hold the rally was a way by Igbo politicians, who have been defecting to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to create the impression that they were on ground.
Madu said: “This rally will not hold anywhere in Biafra land. We have discovered that this is the reason why some Igbo politicians are driving their way into APC that has no interest for Ndigbo.
“We shall never allow them to bring political disgrace to Igbo land.
“What is the significance of the APC rally in Igbo land? Do Ndigbo have any love or likeness for Buhari and APC? Why must such disgraceful rally be planned to hold in Ojukwu’s home state?
“Is the rally more important than the Federal Government’s abandoned second Niger Bridge, Enugu-Onitsha federal road, Enugu- Port Harcourt express way, Onitsha- Okigwe Federal road, etc?
“MASSOB warns the Professor Osibanjo-led Federal Government to call off the APC proposed rally because we shall resist it.
“Our advice is that such a rally should be held in Hausa- Fulani land, where Buhari’s kinsmen are living.”
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Hameed Oyegbade reports ] - Former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has described Nigeria’s political system as a mockery of true federalism, saying restructuring and merging of some states remain the panacea to the challenges facing the country.
He said this yesterday while delivering the Annual Professor Ademola Popoola public lecture of the Faculty of Law at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, with the theme: “The constitutional and political framework for reconstructing Nigeria for true federalism and national integration.”
According to him: “There is no doubt that many of our states are not viable and were not viable from the start, once you take away the federal government allocations from Abuja.
“We have to find creative ways to make them viable in a changed federal system. Collaboration among states in a region or zone will help.
“We can examine the possibility of using the existing geopolitical zones as federating units. We can also find other ways to determine the viability of states, for example by introducing a means of test such that a state that is unable to generate a certain percentage of its expenditures internally for a specified period of time will be deemed unviable and collapsed into another or a group of states,” he said.
*Photo Caption - Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
[ Masterweb Reports: Balarabe Alkassim reports ] - A mother-of-seven who dumped her newborn baby girl in a toilet in Bauchi, has attributed her action to poverty. Juliana James, who lives in Goru area of the state capital, was paraded by the police Friday alongside 130 other suspects who were arrested by officers of the state police command.
The suspect who fries bean cake to make a living said her husband abandoned the family after they had an accident three months ago.
“I can no longer do my business because we have used the capital and the profit for feeding and payment of hospital bills. I dumped my baby in the toilet because I cannot provide for eight children, my husband and myself. After I dumped the baby, I called my neighbours to come and rescue her because she was crying and I couldn’t stand it,” she said.
Juliana said she regretted her action and that she had asked God for forgiveness.
Also paraded were suspected kidnappers; Bello Shomo, Mohammed Zailani, Lawal Wakili and Isah lawal.
According to the police, Shomo and Wakili had been arrested three times, Lawal, four times, while Zailani was a first time offender.
*Photo Caption - As seen.
[ Masterweb Reports: Vincent Ujumadu reports ] - The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has reacted on the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja presided over by Justice Binta Nyako, which quashed all the charges against the detained leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, describing the outcome as the handiwork of God.
In a statement in Awka, IPOB media and publicity secretary, Comrade Emma Powerful urged members of the group to remain resolute in the quest for the restoration of the Biafra Republic.
The statement read: “We the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and its leadership worldwide, thank God Almighty and eminent Biafrans, who made it possible for the case in the Abuja court to be successful.
“We thank all IPOB members and Biafrans who made it to the Abuja High Court in solidarity the Biafra course and our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. May God Almighty bless them all.
“We advise every IPOB member and Biafrans worldwide to remain resolute in the pursuit of the restoration of the nation of Biafra because it is ordained by Almighty God and no man born of a woman can stop it, unless God says so. This is the time for the restoration of the prophesied nation in West Africa.”
Powerful recalled that the Federal High Court, Abuja presided over by Justice Binta Nyako squashed all the charges against Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and three others detained along with him.
According to Powerful, the court pronounced that IPOB is not an illegal organization and also ordered the DSS to release all IPOB members being detained illegally in all the secret cells across the country.
He said that the court adjourned the case to 20th and 21st March, 2017 for further hearing.
*Photo Caption - Nnamdi Kanu