British govt deports 23 Nigerians for immigration offences; Policemen attached to presidency protest over unpaid risk caution allowances; Senate okays e-voting & card reader for elections in Nigeria; Attacks on Nigerian students shock India – FM Sushma Swaraj; Magu slams N5bn libel suit on The Sun over alleged Abuja mansions; Buhari’s ministerial nominee already an ambassadorial designate; No plan to bring UK doctors to treat Buhari in Abuja – Presidency; Boko Haram faction seeks grassroots support in Northeastern Nigeria; Short BIO: Boko Haram:; DSS quizzes Ifeanyi Ubah; Court invalidates 2015 NBA constitution & Mahmoud as president; MTN pays part settlement of N30bn to FG . . .
The British Government has deported 23 Nigerians for committing immigration-related offences. NAN reports that the deportees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMlA) Lagos at about 6.a.m on Friday. The deportees, who are all males, were brought back in a chartered aircraft. DSP Joseph Alabi, the Spokesman of the Lagos Airport Police Command, confirmed the development to NAN. The deportees were received by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), and the Police. Also on ground to receive them were officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). NAN gathered that the deportees were profiled by immigration authorities and given stipends to facilitate their transportation to their respective states.
Police guards attached to the presidency are unhappy over their unpaid risk caution allowances. The policemen alleged that their bosses have denied them more than two years Risk Caution Allowances (RSA) approved by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Unpaid allowances run into millions of Naira. Those allegedly affected are corporals and inspectors while ASP to DCP officers receive their allowances regularly. The corporals are said to be entitled to RSA of N75,000/month and N92,000/month for inspectors. After several appeals to the NSA Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd) to intervene went unheeded, the aggrieved policemen reportedly approached an NGO, Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN).
The Nigerian Senate has okayed e-voting and card reader systems for elections in Nigeria. The use of electronic voting (e-Voting) system, electronic transmission of election results and the deployment of Electronic Card Reader (ECR) were some of the amendments to the Electoral Act, 2010, passed by the Senate on Thursday. With the amendments, INEC will, beginning from 2019 general elections, electronically transmit election results to collation centers. The passage of the bill followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on a Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act No. 6, 2010 and for other related matters (SB 231 and SB 234). The bill has provision for the use of e-Voting by INEC during future elections, use of ECR and INEC power to modify the voting process if there is a challenge. The Senate also approved a provision to enable INEC transmit the result of elections electronically in an encrypted and secured manner to prevent hacking.
India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj has promised an “impartial” inquiry into attacks on Nigerian students living in Noida, near Delhi. The attacks were prompted by the death of a local teenager due to a drug overdose. His parents blame Nigerian students for giving him the drugs.
Five Nigerian students were attacked on Monday by crowds, while another was beaten by a mob inside a shopping mall. Police say five people have been arrested over the attacks.
Ms Swaraj said she had spoken to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and he had assured her of a “fair and impartial investigation into this unfortunate incident”. According to BBC News, the attack on the student inside a popular shopping mall in Noida was recorded on mobile phone cameras by other shoppers and widely circulated on social media. The victim told Indian reporters he had been beaten with rods, bricks and knives. He said that no one had helped or even called the police. The reactions have been mostly those of shame and outrage.
The EFCC Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu has asked publisher of the Sun Newspaper in Abuja to pay him N5billion damages in a libel suit. In a statement by EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren on Thursday Magu sought compensation for libelous imputations and statements made against him in a story published on the March 25, 2017 edition of the Saturday Sun captioned “Magu Under Fresh Probe over 2 Abuja Mansions”. Magu’s solicitor, Wahab Shittu, in the letter complained that the authors – Fred Itua, James Ojo and Lawrene Enyoghasu, “wilfully and maliciously made false, destructive, and defamatory statements” alleging that Magu owned “two mansions on different streets in highbrow Maitama area of Abuja. “This is a case which they could not substantiate, and which in fact was false, and nothing but the figments of their imaginations”.
One of the two persons President Muhammadu Buhari nominated for ministerial positions on Wednesday, Suleiman Hassan, is the same person the president chose in January from Gombe State as one of his 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees, Premium Times can confirm after a background check. Mr. Hassan, already ambassador-designate having been so confirmed by the Senate earlier in March, was nominated for ministerial position on Wednesday by Mr. Buhari via a letter to the Senate. He is to represent Gombe State in the Federal Executive Council, following the exit of former Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, from Nigeria’s public service to take up responsibility as the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. When asked for comment on the seeming confusion, presidential spokesperson, Femi Adeshina, said: “I have no information on that”.
There are no plans to fly in doctors from the UK to treat President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Presidency said yesterday. The President’s SSA on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the plan for the President to return to his doctors in the UK for follow-ups has not changed. Mallam Shehu debunked reports of flying in Buhari’s doctors to Nigeria in a chat with reporters in Abuja yesterday. According to him, it was not true that Buhari had decided to bring his doctors to Nigeria instead of returning to London. His words: “It is false news (that Buhari is no longer going to London). We are not aware of the reported advance movements. The last time the President spoke about this, he said he would return to his doctors after some time. We are not aware that this has changed.”
A Boko Haram faction led by the son of the group’s founder is trying to win over civilians by shunning the indiscriminate violence of its longtime figurehead that has alienated locals. Eyewitnesses to a spate of recent raids attributed to Islamist fighters loyal to Abu Musab Al-Barnawi in northeast Nigeria have said they repeatedly told villagers they would not be harmed. Others say mass violence has been reduced in parts of the northern Borno state around Lake Chad now controlled by Barnawi and Mamman Nur, his right-hand man who is seen by some as the real leader. But experts tracking the eight-year conflict said it might be a calculated tactic purely to win support. Herdsman Jabbi Sambo said jihadists loyal to the elusive Boko Haram chief, Abubakar Shekau, repeatedly stole or killed their prized cattle, abducted women and children, and razed their homes. “Things changed dramatically” when Nur took over control of the Lake Chad area, Sambo, from the town of Shuwaram, he told AFP.
Short BIO: Boko Haram:
Mohammed Yusuf (photo: left) born 29 January 1970 – 30 July 2009, also known as Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf, was a Nigerian Muslim sect leader and founder of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram in 2002 . He was its spiritual leader until he was killed in the 2009 Boko Haram uprising. Yusuf died in mysterious circumstances in Nigerian Police custody after his handover to the police after his capture by the Nigerian Army. Boko Haram was founded as a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist sect, influenced by the Wahhabi movement, advocating a strict form of Sharia law. It developed into a Salafist-jihadi group in 2009. The group’s official name is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”
Boko Haram, referred to by themselves as al-Wilāyat al-Islāmiyya Gharb Afrīqiyyah (Arabic: الولاية الإسلامية غرب أفريقيا, (Islamic State West Africa Province, ISWAP)and Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād (Arabic: جماعة أهل السنة للدعوة والجهاد, “Group of the People of Sunnah for Preaching and Jihad”) is an Islamic extremist group based in northeastern Nigeria, also active in Chad, Niger and northern Cameroon. The group was led by Abubakar Shekau until August 2016, when he was succeeded by Abu Musab al-Barnawi. The group had alleged links to al-Qaeda, but in March 2015, it announced its allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Since the current insurgency started in 2009, it has killed 20,000 and displaced 2.3 million from their homes and was ranked as the world’s deadliest terror group by the Global Terrorism Index in 2015.
The group’s official name is Wilayat Gharb Afriqiya, to designate it as a branch or “province” of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Prior to Abubakar Shekau’s pledge of allegiance to ISIL, the group’s official name was Jamā’atu Ahli is-Sunnah lid-Da’wati wal-Jihād جماعة أهل السنة للدعوة والجهاد, meaning “People Committed to the Prophet’s Teachings for Propagation and Jihad”. The name “Boko Haram” is usually translated as “Western education is forbidden”. Haram is from the Arabic حَرَام ḥarām, “forbidden”; and the Hausa word boko [the first vowel is long, the second pronounced in a low tone], meaning “fake”, which is used to refer to secular Western education. Boko Haram has also been translated as “Western influence is a sin” and “Westernization is sacrilege”. Until the death of its founder Mohammed Yusuf, the group was also reportedly known as Yusifiyya. Northern Nigerians of Hausa-Fulani extraction have commonly dismissed Western education as ilimin boko (“fake education”) and secular schools as makaranta boko.
The DSS on Thursday, in Abuja, interrogated the Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd., Chief Ifeanyi Ubah, over NNPC claims that it had N11billion worth of Premium Motor Spirit stored in Ubah’s firm’s tank farm facility. The NNPC had written both the DSS and EFCC asking them to help recover the said amount. The NNPC alleged that the product was stored in the facility under a special arrangement, which it claimed was breached by Capital Oil, claiming that Chief Ubah sold the product without its permission. The DSS is mediating in the trade dispute between NNPC and Capital Oil.
A federal high court in Abuja has voided the 2015 constitution of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA). The court gave the order on Thursday in a suit filed by Supo Ojo, a lawyer, challenging the procedure of amending the said constitution. The court order de-legitimises the NBA leadership including Abubakar Mahmoud who emerged NBA president on the voided constitution. It also implies that all appointments he has made and recommendation of senior lawyers to the NJC for appointment as judges are now invalid. It was gathered that the general council of the bar will now have to take over the administration of the NBA. A fresh election may now be conducted under a constitution passed by a resolution of members in 2001. Speaking with newsmen on Friday, Muritala Abdulrasheed, media aide of the NBA president, said the judgment affects all decisions the body had taken since 2010 – and not the just the election of the president. He, however, added that there was no injunction removing Mahmoud as NBA president. He said the NBA would issue a statement on the development soon.
MTN has payed N30 billion to the federal government in part settlement of a N330 billion fine imposed on the South African telecoms giant for not disconnecting unregistered SIM cards, Reuters said quoting a source. Having paid N80 billion in December, the current payment brings the amount paid out of the fine to N110 billion. The fine is due for payment in six installments over three years. MTN Nigeria was originally fined $5.2 billion last October for failing to deactivate more than five million unregistered SIM cards, but the fine was reduced in a settlement that paved the way for MTN to list its subsidiary on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. MTN, which operates in 20 countries, had set aside $600 million last year to pay the fine. Two months after making the first payment from the fine, MTN Group declared its first full-year loss, blaming it on the fine.