Tuesday, 28 February 2017 08:03


in News

Africa telecommunications giant MTN warned shareholders Monday to expect big losses caused by a $1 billion regulatory fine in Nigeria, damaging foreign exchange rates and a share offering to promote black empowerment in South Africa.

A statement from the South Africa-based company said it would announce full-year losses for 2016 on Thursday.

MTN said it expects to post a basic headline loss per share of 74 to 81 South African cents and a basic loss per share of between 137 and 151 cents. 

That compares to 2015 headline earnings of 746 cents a share and earnings per share of 1,109 cents.

It attributed the biggest loss of 455 cents a share to the fine in Nigeria, its biggest market. 

MTN Nigeria was fined for having 5.2 million active but unregistered SIM cards. Two of the unregistered cards were used in the kidnapping of a former Nigerian Cabinet minister.

Nigerian authorities issued several warnings to telecommunications companies expressing concern that unregistered cards were being used by criminals, including the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group, which uses cell phones to detonate bombs. MTN Nigeria had to cut off some 11 million customers.

Professional fees related to settling the fine would bring losses of about 73 cents a share, the statement said. 

The group hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who negotiated the fine down from $3.9 billion.

MTN also cited losses on investments in Africa Internet Holdings, Middle East Internet Holdings and Iran Internet Group.


Tuesday, 28 February 2017 07:59


in News

The Presidency on Monday said it was wrong for anybody to claim that acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, had been performing better than President Muhammadu Buhari since the President started his extended medical vacation.

It said Osinbajo “still consults with Buhari on major national issues” on a regular basis.

Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Babafemi Ojudu, said this in an interview with State House correspondents.

While describing those behind the argument as thoughtless, Ojudu described it as a ploy by the opposition to cause an unnecessary division in the Presidency.

He said the President and Osinbajo had a joint ticket and they were both elected based on the manifesto of the party which they had been implementing since their inauguration.

The presidential aide said, “The same people who said we never had economic team, no policy, nothing, are the ones saying this. It is now that the policies we are implementing are maturing and they are seeing the result. It is not a question of one person being better than the other person.

“There is nothing that has been done since the Vice-President started acting that is not something that started far back in the past. A good example is the Niger Delta initiative.

“The President called the Vice-President and said ‘I am giving you the mandate, go into the Niger Delta and meet with everyone who is a stakeholder, all the communities, talk to the militants and make sure you solve this problem for the benefits of Nigerians.’

“We are losing 1.2 million barrels of oil per day, all the gas pipelines powering the turbines are being blown up. And the President has said unless and until we resolve this problem we will not get out of recession. The VP took up the mandate and went to the Niger Delta, it is the initiative of Mr. President not that of the Vice-President.

“These are mischief makers, those who do not wish this country well, who are always promoting crisis, who will not allow the people to benefit from this democracy. They are the ones promoting this kindý of divisive tendencies.”

When asked to say specifically if Osinbajo had been consulting Buhari before taking the decisions he had taken so far, he said, “He consults with him almost on a daily basis, yes.”

“Well, there are things he still needs to consult the President on. I mean it is not a regular thing but he still has to consult Mr. President on major decisions. The President is still the President", he added.

When asked if such consultation was not an indication that Osinbajo was not really in charge despite being the Acting President, Ojudu said, “He (Osinbajo) is in charge but like I said earlier on, this is a joint ticket. The President of Nigeria remains the President of Nigeria. He is acting because is one and the same.

“He (Buhari) is more experienced, he has been in the game longer than the Vice-President and if there are major issues that he needs to take decision on, he could call on him and say ‘Sir, what do you think about this we are about to take decision on it? Do you have an opinion? That does not mean he is not in charge.”

Ojudu further explained that once somebody like Osinbajo was given a responsibility, he must be able to show to the President that despite his absence, there was no vacuum.

While insisting that opposition members were the one behind the insinuations, Ojudu said such statements were sent out intentionally to cause division within the Presidency.

“Some people are trying to promote division and we are not going to allow that. This President and the Vice-President worked together in tandem and I know they both have confidence in this nation", he added.

The presidential aide also faulted claim that Buhari was poisoned.


Tuesday, 28 February 2017 07:57


in News

In a recession year, Zenith International Bank Plc has managed to stay afloat, declared a profit after tax of N129.65 billion and a final dividend of N1.77 per share for 2016.

The company’s audited account released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday in Lagos showed the bank grew its profit by 22.7 per cent, compared with the N105.66 billion profit in 2015.

The bank’s profit before tax stood at N156.75 against the N125.63 billion declared in 2015. Its gross earnings grew by 17.4 per cent to N507. 99 billion compared with N432.54 billion recorded in 2015.

Its non-interest income increased by 45.9 per cent to N25.59 billion due to an 809 per cent increase in foreign exchange revaluation gains of N25.6 billion, this however, declined by 10 per cent from the N8.2 billion reported in nine months of 2016.

The impairment loss on financial assets rose significantly by 106.4 per cent to N32.35 billion in 2016 and 34.6 per cent based on quarter-on-quarter to N10.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Board of directors proposed a final dividend of N1.77 per share to all its investors against a final dividend of N1.55 per share paid in 2015.

The bank had earlier in 2016 paid a sum of 25k as interim dividend, bringing the total dividend in 2016 to N2.02 per share against N1.80 per share declared in 2015.

Zenith Bank is the first bank to declare its 2016 audited result.


Tuesday, 28 February 2017 07:49


in News

The unending leadership crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party appears to be taking its toll on the unity of its members in the House of Representatives as the lawmakers can no longer speak with one voice on who to support between the National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, and Ahmed Makarfi.

Investigations by The PUNCH, on Monday, showed that many members of the caucus were divided over the choice of Sheriff and the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee, which was sacked by the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt penultimate Friday.

House Minority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, had summoned a caucus meeting last week soon after Sheriff was declared as the chairman by the appellate court.

The struggling opposition party controls 139 lawmakers out of the total of 360 in the House.

At the meeting, members were said to have agreed, as a caucus, to back the Makarfi-led faction.

The resolution of the meeting was later made public as the position of the caucus on the raging crisis.

On Monday, however, some members came out openly to distance themselves from the position of the caucus, saying they were not part of it.

One of the members, Mr. Adesegun Adekoya, said many lawmakers in both the Senate and the House were “solidly” behind Sheriff.

Adekoya, who represents Ijebu North/East/Ogun Waterside Federal Constituency, said that the “so-called” caucus position was non-existent.

He said, “You can quote me anywhere any day. We are for Sheriff. As a lawmaker, I should not be a lawbreaker. All the people in my constituency, down to the last councillor, are for Sheriff.

“In Ogun, we have two PDP members: myself and my second (Adebutu Oladipupo). He is for Makarfi; yes, that is his choice.

“But, I am for Sheriff. That makes it 50-50.

“If you go to Osun State, Hon. Wole Oke is for Sheriff. Go and check in all the states, you will find out that many of us are for Sheriff.

“See, my brother, there is one thing about politicians. When they are in the open, they will say one thing, but when it comes to voting, they will go the other way. They will surprise you.

“That is why they always prefer secret voting because what they say in the open is not the truth.”

In Ekiti State, where Governor Ayodele Fayose is a vocal supporter of the Makarfi-led faction, a member from Ekiti, Mr. Olamide Johnson-Oni, is for Sheriff.

Another member of the party from Edo State, Mr. Johnson Agbonayinma, told The PUNCH that some members had realised that they would have to be with Sheriff to be on the side of the law.

Agbonayinma, who contested the PDP governorship primaries in Edo State in 2016, added, “Members have realised that they are lawmakers and not law breakers.

“Based on the decision of the court, we have to support Sheriff.

“Why are people saying they are not with Sheriff? He has won; or is Sheriff not a member of the PDP?

“More importantly, we are all PDP members; it is not about victory for Sheriff or Makarfi, but Sheriff is the man, based on the decision of the court.”

However, several members contacted by The PUNCH dismissed Adekoya’s position.

They described him as representing the “few bad eggs” in the caucus, bent on destroying the opposition party.

One of the members from Adamawa State, Mr. Adamu Kamale, told The PUNCH that it was not possible that serious party members would team up with Sheriff.

Kamale added, “It is not possible that I will be with Sheriff in what he is doing, same for most of our colleagues.

“Sheriff has been working with strangers; we don’t even know these people he carries around.

“I recall vividly that there was a particular meeting he called; when I went there as a PDP member to, at least find out the peace efforts being made, I was locked out.

“How can a man who keeps intimidating legitimate party members claim that he is our leader?”

Ogor claimed, however, that there was no division in the caucus.

He said Adekoya and those thinking in the same line with him were “just noisemakers.”

Ogor, who is from Delta State, added, “You will expect that some people will always want to cause trouble to seek attention.

“The caucus met and took a position. We all agreed that Makarfi is the one in charge of affairs of the PDP and we are with him.

“All these people talking about Sheriff should be ignored. We don’t know Sheriff.”

At the inauguration of the current 8th Assembly in June 2015, the PDP controlled 139 out of the 360 members of the House.

But, in the months following the factional crisis, some members seized the opportunity to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Only on Wednesday last week, Mr. Emmanuel Ukoette from Akwa Ibom State, a PDP stronghold, also defected to the APC on the floor of the House.

Like others before him, Ukoette cited the factional crisis as his reason for shifting his political party platform.

Sheriff, Makarfi clash over secretariat

Meanwhile, Sheriff and Makarfi groups are at the brink of another clash over the plan of Sheriff to re-open the party’s national secretariat.

The two parties also accused each other of either blackmailing the Supreme Court or attempting to pre-empt the impending appeal before the apex court.

The secretariat, which had been locked since May 2016, was forcefully opened by Sheriff and his members of the National Working Committee on Friday.

He stated that he took the action following the favourable judgment he got from the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on February 17.

But the sacked caretaker committee asked Sheriff to vacate the party’s national secretariat immediately.

It said Sheriff should await the Supreme Court judgment on the matter.

Spokesperson for the faction, Dayo Adeyeye, who stated this at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, also accused the police of working in favour of the former governor of Borno State in the crisis.

Adeyeye, a former Minister of State for Works, said Sheriff must leave the secretariat in order to avoid a breakdown of law and order.

Sheriff also declared that all the activities and programmes done by the Makarfi group, in the name of the PDP, were illegal.

Saying the case was still in court, Adeyeye said the police must ensure that Sheriff and others “are not allowed to use the secretariat,” adding that the status quo ante must be maintained until the determination of the appeal before the Supreme Court.

Adeyeye added, “It is common knowledge that Sheriff and co. forcefully broke into the national secretariat of the party around 6pm on Friday, February 24, 2017.

“The keys of the national secretariat are with the Board of Trustees, who are the custodians of the assets of the party.

“We know that the keys of the secretariat are still with the BoT but Sheriff entered by breaking the doors in an action totally unbecoming of a person who had been governor of a state, Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and also claiming to be a national chairman of a major political party.

“We therefore demand that Senator Sheriff and co vacate the national secretariat immediately.

“We have stated several times that the APC has its hands deep in the PDP crisis. There is no doubt that Sheriff’s activities against the PDP are being aided and abetted by the APC.

“For the record, just last week, the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, gave unsolicited advice that we should support Senator Sheriff.

“That is one instance of their meddlesomeness in the PDP affairs. No doubt that Okorocha and co are happy that their man won at the Appeal Court but very much afraid that he could lose at the Supreme Court.”

Adeyeye alleged that Sheriff and his group had perfected plans to receive non-serving state executive committees of the party at its national secretariat in order to give an impression that he had been accepted by the party’s organs.

Speaking for the Sheriff-led PDP, a former political adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak, said, “The Supreme Court belongs to all Nigerians. They have been talking and grandstanding as if the Supreme Court belongs to them.

“They said they will get judgment from the Supreme Court as if it is their institution. They should stop blackmailing the Supreme Court.

“This party is bigger than everybody. The law does not see your face. It is not a popularity contest and I must say that the law is the law.”

Gulak, who spoke in company with the acting Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Bernard Mikko, also justified their entry into the party secretariat.

He stated that the complex was opened to them after the Court of Appeal judgment, noting that both camps had agreed not to head for the apex court.

He said, “It is a fact that the former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, with the consent of both factions, closed the secretariat of the PDP and both sides agreed because of the conflicting court judgments.

“Both parties agreed that in order to pursue genuine reconciliation, nobody should pursue the case again at Supreme Court.

“All the things that the Makarfi group has done before the judgement are illegal and cannot stand.”

Also, the PDP in Kaduna State vowed never to support the Sheriff’s NWC.

Kaduna State chapter of the party described Sheriff’s reinstatement by the appellate court  as an act of impunity, which was  against the constitution of the party.

They also declared that the state executives and members were loyal and answerable to the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee.

The party stated its decision through a communiqué signed by the Chairman, Drafting Committee, Dr. John Ayuba, after the party’s meeting in Kaduna.

The communiqué read in part, “Members of the PDP in Kaduna State should not lose focus of where we are going as we know where we are coming from. We must face the current challenges headlong to ensure that we change the change come 2019.

“The PDP in Kaduna State remains united, strong, resolute, steadfast and solidly loyal and answerable to the National Caretaker Committee under the leadership of Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi.”


Tuesday, 28 February 2017 07:39


in News

In another dramatic raid, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Oyo/Osun Command, has seized 9,000 bags of imported rice in a warehouse in a market in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.

Controller, Temitope Ogunkua, who vowed to stop illegal importation of goods, spoke yesterday at a briefing on the achievements recorded by the command in the last one year.

He said the command generated N14.8billion in 2016.

During the night raid of the warehouse in an undisclosed Ibadan market, he said one suspect was arrested.

The seizure of the 9,000 (50kg) bags of smuggled imported rice had a duty paid value of N88,776,000.00.

According to him, the night operation was carried out by the combined anti-smuggling team and the Federal Operations Union (FOU), Zone A.

Ogunkua said the command would not rest on its oars in playing strategic roles of revenue collection, trade facilitation and border security.

He said the seizure of the rice and any other products proved to be smuggled into the country illegally was in line with Section 147 of Customs and Excise Management Act, 1990 as amended.

The Controller said 1,207 vehicles paid duty of N320,329,797.00 between January and December last year, adding that 266 packages of Canabis Sativa were seized and handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) within the period under review.

His words: “A total of 8,378 50kg bags of rice were seized within the period under review. The duty paid value of the intercepted rice is N87,153,591.00.

“The Command seized 111 vehicles with a duty paid value of N136,770,011.65; 1971 cartons of frozen poultry products with a duty paid value of N16,373,097.00 were intercepted. A total of 173 (25) litres gallon of petroleum products were seized and handed over to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).”

Ogunkua said the command has a N20.6billion target for the year.

“A total of 9000 (50kg) bags of smuggled imported rice with a duty paid value of N88,776,000.00 was seized and evacuated from a warehouse by the Command’s anti-smuggling team in conjunction with the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A few weeks ago”.

The Nation

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 07:31


in Foreign

Attacks on Nigerians and other foreigners in South Africa have continued.

The Nigerian community in South Africa said yesterday that another shop belonging to a Nigerian was looted in the latest xenophobic attack at Jeppestown, Johannesburg.

South African Police said no fewer than 100 people ransacked shops in Johannesburg overnight, in the latest wave of looting incidents in South African cities.

“We are following up on leads and we are expecting to make more arrests", police spokesman Brig. Mathapelo Peters said.

She said she did not know the nationalities of the shopkeepers and police were waiting for owners to come forward, so that they could open cases of violence and damage to property.

Similar incidents have taken place in Pretoria this month, but police have been reluctant to characterised the attacks as being directed against foreigners.

Anti-immigrant violence has flared sporadically in South Africa against a background of near-record unemployment, with foreigners being accused of criminal activity and taking jobs from locals.

President, Nigeria Union, South Africa, Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, told NAN on telephone from Pretoria that the shop was looted on Sunday night.

“We have received information that there was an overnight attack on shops belonging to foreigners at Jeppestown, a business district in Johannesburg.

“A shop belonging to a Nigerian was affected.

“The goods in the shop were looted by the attackers. The Nigerian was not hurt during the attack.

“We also learnt that shops belonging to other foreigners were also looted", he said.

Anyene said attempts made to loot another shop belonging to a Nigerian failed as the owner called the police.

He said the value of items lost in the affected shop had not been ascertained  while   the incident had  been reported to the Nigerian Mission and the South African  police.

“We have told Nigerians to adopt protective measures to save their businesses and homes.

“The union is in touch with the Nigerian Mission and our chapters in the nine provinces of South Africa are also on alert.

“They have been directed to sensitise our people on the situation in the country and  to  be  cautious in all their endeavours", he said

Also, a Reuters witness said doors and windows were smashed in, and food and other items were strewn on the floor in stores believed to belong to immigrants in Jeppestown, an area in the central business district.

“We’ve been stuck inside here until the police came", Abdul Ebrahim, a Somali shop owner, said after emerging from his store, where a number of his colleagues had barricaded themselves.

“No one told us what they were looking for", he added when asked why the mob had attacked his shop.

At least one person was arrested.

The Federal Government last week urged the South African government to put in place measures to end the incessant xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.

In a statement yesterday, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and The Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, slammed South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Mr. Malusi Gigaba’s statement in the aftermath of the xenophobic attacks, which has brought reprisal on MTN, a South African business conglomerate that “such issues were better discussed at the diplomatic levels” when more than 100 Nigerian lives have been lost in South Africa.

The statement said: “It appears that Mr. Gigaba would rather dwell on and entertain himself with diplomatic niceties when the welfare of Nigerians resident in South Africa are at stake now more than any time in recent history. His response to the xenophobic attacks, which has now become a recurring decimal on Africans, most especially Nigerians living peacefully in their host country of South Africa is indeed unfortunate.

“While it’s no longer news that law-abiding Nigerians in that country have borne the major brunt of these attacks, the news by the Home Affairs Minister that his country is trying to get rid of criminals in his country at the time when indiscriminate mayhem and looting of law-abiding Nigerians is very suspicious, to say the least. Even if this unguarded statement must be taken at its face value, we wonder if wanton destruction and indiscriminate killing of their African brothers is the most sensible excuse to give. The minister should have been more guarded and introspective in his statements so as not to further fan the embers of xenophobia that may get out of control if care is not taken.

“Xenophobia is such a debilitating social disease, based mostly on ignorance, in which its carrier also suffers. I therefore suggest that the home affairs minister should engage in the mass education of the South African people about the debilitating effects of this disease with immediate effect.

“The days that the Nigerian government will fold its arms while its citizens are maltreated to the point that some of them have lost their lives for no just cause are long gone.”

Labour to Fed Govt: recall Nigeria’s envoy

THE Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) yesterday asked the Federal Government to recall Nigeria’s High Commissioner to South Africa in protest over the continued killing of Nigerians.

A statement by TUC President Bobboi Kaigama and General Secretary Musa-Lawal Ozigi, urged the government to “immediately begin a process of evacuating Nigerians resident” in that country following the silence of the South African government over the matter.

It said there was a grand conspiracy by the South African government and state security apparatus to mindlessly waste lives and take over properties of innocent and harmless fellow Africans.

The statement reads: “The TUC expresses serious concern over the ongoing xenophobic attacks against foreigners in South Africa and calls for the immediate recall of the country’s high commissioner to the country.

“From all indications, it appears there is a grand conspiracy by the government cum state security apparatus to continue to mindlessly waste lives and take over properties of innocent and harmless fellow Africans.

“First and foremost, their anger is misplaced and probably borne out of the inferiority complex suffered from years of oppression and apartheid. As a credible organisation, we condemn crimes in all its forms and support punishment for those found culpable.

“But in this case, no one has mentioned any case of crime; it is rather a case of a country, whose freedom we staked our lives, financed and spent other resources to fight for and today we get xenophobia as returns.

“How do we refer to this anti-Nigeria, nay Africa attitude on Nigeria? One wonders what these South Africans are turning to. Is it a case of ingratitude or lack of historical documentation by their leaders, of the unmatched leadership role Nigeria played in the 80s towards the dismantling of apartheid?

“It is on record that thousands of South African children were brought to Nigeria and distributed across all the unity schools in Nigeria and were fed and housed free, courtesy of Nigerian government and Nigerians.”

The Nation

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 07:27


in News

A serving police inspector and a dismissed army corporal were among 14 suspects arrested by the NDLEA in Kogi for being in possession of 1,083.62 kilograms of Indian hemp valued at N6 million.

Commander of NDLEA in Kogi, Mr Idris Bello, told journalists in Lokoja on Monday that the police inspector was arrested on February 25 at Crusher area of Lokoja while conveying 75 bags of Indian hemp weighing 818.2 kg in a police bus with registration number NPF 7973 NPF.

He said that the suspect was conveying the drug from Okpela, Edo, to Abuja when he was arrested alongside two other accomplices.

Bello said that the dismissed army corporal was arrested in Lokoja while on his way from Edo with 44kilograms of weed suspects to be Indian hemp

According to him, 12 other suspects, including a woman, were arrested this month with varying kilograms of weed.

He said that the 40- year-old woman was carrying a four-year-old boy at the time she was arrested with 32.4 kilograms of Indian hemp.

The commander said that three other suspects were arrested with 190 blocks of compressed Indian hemp, although the exact kilogram and monetary value had not been ascertained.

He said that the suspects, who were coming from Edo, were arrested at Obajana in Kogi in a car with registration number Kano BC 737 KMC.

Bello, who attributed the success of the command in recent times to the support being received from the state government, thanked Governor Yahaya Bello for the donation of patrol vehicles.

Speaking on the development, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Mr Jerry Omodara, commended the NDLEA for its efforts, urging it to sustain the tempo.

He promised that the state government would continue to offer support to all security agencies in the state.


Monday, 27 February 2017 18:44


in News

Three women namely, Rukayat Basorun , Omobola shodimu and Aanu owoade have been arrested by the Ogun State Police Command for allegedly dumping the corpse of a man in the bush.

The suspects who were arrested for murder met their waterloo when information got to the police and the Divisional Police Officer in charge of ogijo Divisional Headquarters, SP Tijani Mohammed led his men to the area at Mamugba Village simawa, where the main suspect Rukayat Basorun was arrested .

According to Police Investigations, the deceased was Rukayat's lover who came to spend some time with her but died in a suspicious circumstance in the house of the suspect.

Rukayat was said to have connived with her two other accomplices to carry the dead body and dumped in the bush.

Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP. Abimbola Oyeyemi explained that Rukayat on interrogation, confessed that the deceased was her man friend who came to visit her but suddenly fell ill. 

He stated further that , the suspect took him to a private hospital but the money charged by the hospital was too much for her to pay which made her to take him to an undisclosed clinic where she said the man gave up the ghost.

When asked the reason She decided to dump the corpse in the bush, she could not give any reasonable response.

The corpse had been recovered and deposited at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, OOUTH Mortuary for autopsy.

Meanwhile, the commissioner of Police CP Ahmed Iliyasu has ordered the immediate transfer of the suspects to homicide section of the State Criminal investigation and intelligent Department for further investigations.

Monday, 27 February 2017 17:55


in News

There were twin protests at the national secretariat of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday in Abuja by supporters of Senators Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi who are locked in legal tussle for the party's chairmanship.

The first group of protesters, mostly women, stormed the party's headquarters at about 11:17am chanted songs in favour of Makarfi.

Thirty minutes after, another group of protesters, mainly youths, arrived and celebrated Sheriff as chairman of the party.

Shortly after the rallies  which almost degenerated into a fatal clash, men of the Nigeria Police Force arrived and dispersed the protesters, taking over the secretariat in the process.

The major route leading to the main entrance gate was barricaded by two Police vans and tyres, while vehicular  movement on that lane was restricted.

However, our correspondent who went into the building observed that work was ongoing. The fence and main building were given a face-lift ‎while cleaners were busy cleaning the building and its surroundings.

Some of the workers who spoke with Daily Trust confirmed that Sheriff had mobilised them to give the secretariat a face-lift in order for official activities to resume, following his victory at the Appeal Court, Port Harcourt. 

However, both Senator Makarfi and Sheriff are set to slug it out at the Supreme Court following the appeal of the Port Harcourt judgement by the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee.

Daily Trust 

Monday, 27 February 2017 17:52


in News

A federal high court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has sacked the senator representing Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial district, Bassey Akpan, from the Nigerian Senate.

The court in a judgment delivered on Monday ruled that Bassey Etim ( also known as BAFIL), and not Mr. Akpan, was the authentic candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 senatorial election in the state.

The court said Mr. Akpan vied for the PDP governorship ticket in the state, and not for the party’s senate ticket.

The court ruled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should immediately issue a certificate of return to Mr. Etim, a former member of the Federal House of Representatives, and that the senate should swear him in as the senator representing the district.

The court gave Mr. Akpan 90 days to refund all the money he has received as emoluments so far from the national assembly.

Mr. Akpan, a former commissioner for finance during the administration of Godswill Akpabio, is chairman, Senate Committee on Gas.


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