Home Blog Page 610

94-Year Old Man Arrested For Sexually Assaulting 73-Year Old Woman

A 94-year-old man has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a woman of seventy-three.

The bizarre case has been put before the courts in Denver, Colorado.

The Denver Post reported that Robert Lehnert has been charged in connection with a sexual assault on an acquaintance.

Denver prosecutors said the nonagenarian is now facing two counts of sexual assault, according to the Denver District Attorney.

The charges allege that Lehnert sexually assaulted the victim in her home on January. 6.

Lehnert was arrested earlier this week and has been released from custody on a $50,000 bond.

His next court appearance is scheduled on February 5 for a formal advisement of his charges

  • Denver Post

Money Laundering: Ex-Gov Ohakim’s Son Allegedly Threatens Prosecution Witness

0

A drama, on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, stalled the cross-examination of prosecution witness, Abu Sule in the case involving a former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim, as prosecution counsel, Festus Keyamo, revealed how the accused’s son, Emeka Ohakim, had allegedly went on the trail of the prosecution witness.

Ohakim is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly making a cash payment of $2, 290,000.00( Two Million, Two Hundred and Ninety-Thousand Dollars) for a piece of land at Plot No. 1098 Cadastral Zone A04, Asokoro District, otherwise known as No. 60, Kwame Nkuruma Street, Asokoro, Abuja.

Addressing Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, Keyamo said the PW2, Sule, managing director, Tweenex Consociate H.D. Limited, phoned him about 9.00p.m. on Monday, January 25, 2016, saying that the second son of the defendant,  Emeka Ohakim, had gone to his( Sule) office at Asokoro to inquire about his home address from some individuals.

According to Keyamo, Ohakim had allegedly approached three people, whose names he gave simply as Okon (a driver), Akpabor (a driver) and Shola (an architect), for  Sule’s home address.

He said: ‘‘we don’t want to distract the court from this trial. But I thought it goes beyond the issue of counsel to counsel because it touches on the administration of justice and protection of the witness concerned.

‘‘We will apply, at this stage, that a word of caution and concern go out. If it repeats itself, we shall bring appropriate application before the court over the development.’’

However, in his response, lead counsel to the defendant, Chris Uche, SAN, expressed shock at what he described as Keyamo’s outburst, saying that the matter should have been discussed at another gathering rather than blowing it in the open.

According to him, ‘‘I have no doubt that what the prosecution has said amounts to destabilizing the defence. Keyamo had been sitting directly behind us for more than one hour before the case was called, but he didn’t raise the matter. He also saw the defendant eyeball to eyeball when he came to our seats, yet he didn’t discuss the matter. Now, it is on the Internet and it will be in the presstomorrow.’’

The defence counsel, who further urged the court to dismiss the story as unfounded, said the prosecution could file an application on the matter as he had mentioned to the court.

After listening to both counsel, Justice Adeniyi, who was visibly disturbed about the allegation, said there was no harm if the prosecution had hinted the defendant and his counsels about the incident.

‘‘I am a bit disturbed. It is a very serious allegation. We can’t deny the fact that it also touches on the defendant himself.  Alternatively, you could have asked to seek audience with me in chambers in the presence of the defence counsel and the defendant’,’’ he said.

The defence counsel further told the court that the prosecution had failed to handle the matter properly, adding that his action was not in consonance with a traditional belief that says an elder should report any act of misconduct by a child to his father.

In his reaction, Keyamo said: ‘‘I find it extremely objectionable. He has said things about my person, whereas I have never said anything about him. I will not treat an issue of threat to life in private!  There is no rule of legal practice that says such an issue should be discussed in private. It depends on my judgment.’’

Consequently, Justice Ademola adjourned the case to Wednesday, January 27, 2016 for continuation of trial.

How Dariye Diverted N204 Million To His Company, By Witness

0

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, onJanuary 26, 2016 presented more evidence against a former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye, who is being prosecuted on a 23-count charge bordering on money laundering and diversion of funds, before Justice Adebukola Banjoko, of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court, Gudu, Abuja.

Dariye, in addition to being accused of siphoning about N1.2 billion Ecological Fund meant for the state, is also alleged to have diverted about N204 million meant for the state treasury, to Ebenezer Ratnen Ventures, ERV – a company owned by him.

Led in evidence by prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, the EFCC witness, Musa Sunday, a detective with the EFCC, gave details of how money meant for the Plateau State Government account, was diverted to ERV.

Sunday told the court that in the course of investigations into several cheque slips recovered from the then Lion Bank (now Diamond Bank), it was discovered that there were several questionable inflows into the account of ERV.

Further probe into the account, according to Sunday, revealed that the source of the funds came from the Plateau State government, but for no services rendered.

Presenting the certified photocopies of various bank drafts in court to prove the fraudulent transfers, Sunday, said: “In the course of our investigations we found out that the origin of the various money credited to Ebenezer Ratnen Ventures with Diamond Bank (then Lion Bank), was from the office of the state’s Accountant General.”

Counsel to Dariye, G. S. Pwul, SAN, raised an objection to the admissibility of the photocopies of the bank drafts raised from the cheques, but his objection was overruled by Justice Banjoko, and the documents were accepted as exhibits.

Specifically, Sunday, said that the office of the state’s Accountant General issued Lion Bank cheques to All States Trust Bank, which were cleared into the account of ERV.

He further noted that investigations showed that there were no services rendered by ERV to warrant the payment of the said money, adding that investigations at the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, showed that the company was not registered.

He said, “A Lion Bank cheque of N53, 600,643.05 was traced to All States Trust Bank, and it was found to have been cleared in the account of Ebenezer Retnan Ventures, with the source being the state’s Accountant General’s account domiciled in Lion Bank.”

Several of such fraudulent transactions, he said, included a cheque of N15 million payable to All States Trust Bank, credited to ERV; another cheque of N8 million dated January 17, 2001 payable to All States Trust Bank, was also credited to ERV; another Lion Bank cheque of N10 million payable to All States Trust Bank, was also credited to ERV.

According to him, a number of such transactions totalling about N204 million, involved Lion Bank cheques converted to drafts and paid into All States Trust Bank, afterwards credited to the account of ERV.

He added that a further probe into the account of ERV with the bank showed that Dariye used money from the account to purchase properties.

He said, “Our investigations showed that money from the account of Ebenezer Retnan Ventures was also moved abroad, to a bank in the UK, the fraudulent transaction subsequently becoming the basis of the request for assistance by the UK Met Police to investigate Dariye.”

He told the court that some of the evidence gathered by the EFCC in the course of the investigation was also sent to the UK Police to assist in their investigation over there.

Sunday added that: “We probed further at the state’s Accountant General’s office to know what services were rendered by Ebenezer Retnan Ventures, but they couldn’t produce or show any contract documents necessitating the payment of N204 million.”

The voluntary statements made by Dariye on June 12, 2007, June 13, 2007 and June 15, 2007 during interrogation, were also presented in court.

The statements were given to Dariye, who after pausing to go through the pages, acknowledged that they were statements made by him in the course of the investigations into the alleged crime.

Pwul said, “I have no objection to the admissibility of the statement as exhibit, as my client confirmed it to be his own statement.”

While accepting Dariye’s statement as part of exhibits to be used in prosecuting him, Justice Banjoko adjourned till February 2, 2016 for continuation of trial.

Saraki Tasks Foreign Investors On Local Content

0

Senate President,  Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki on Tuesday urged foreign firms investing in Nigeria, especially in the power sector, to ensure the compliance with the Local Content Act in their operations.

Saraki, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, stated this when  a delegation from the Power Generation and Integrated Energy Solutions (Powergies Group) visited him. He said the Senate would continue to support and encourage foreign investors coming into the country for as long as the they are ready to inject the required local content in their operations.

He said he was particularly pleased that the Powergies Group said they had identified the country as viable for investment in the area of renewable energy as this would help in meeting the power needs of Nigerians , especially those living in the rural areas.

He said: “I agree with you entirely about how we missed it when we started oil and gas sector and it took us much time before we started to talk about local content.

“I think in the area of energy, we should not make the same mistake. Am talking on behalf of my colleagues. Am fully in support and I encourage local content in the development in the energy sector and that is also looking at how we can really use solar energy as one of the means to provide energy for Nigerians,” he said.

He said the Senate is presently working on reviewing relevant legislations that would take out existing bottleneck and challenges against businesses.

Earlier, leader of the delegation and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer  (MD/CEO) of the Powergies Group, Mr. Semiu Odeyinka said the company is in the country to invest in the power sector through the development of sets of solar and hybrid generation plants.

Odeyinka said: “We intend to bring customized power solutions in electricity to areas in Nigeria where there is no access to electricity by generating 900 megawatts of electricity using solar energy.”

While urging the Senate and other relevant stakeholders to make the business environment in Nigeria investment-friendly, he promised that  the Powergies Group would build local content into all its activities in the country.

Breaking Pictures! Decomposed Bodies Found Buried In Enugu Church Foundations For Blood Money

0
Source: Online

By burying dead bodies at the foundations of a church, the pastor was seeking power, the power to make miracles and heal people in Satan’s name, but in God’s house: The Church.

Reps Say Buhari’s Budget, A Bag Of Fraud, Incomprehensible Figures, N20 Billion For Consultancy

0

By John Ameh, Abuja/Punchng.com 

The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Leo Ogor, has said the sum total of the adjusted 2016 Appropriation Act submitted to the National Assembly, is N6.3tn and not N6.07tn as indicated by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The first budget that Buhari submitted to the federal lawmakers on December 22 had a total figure of N6.08tn.

After the “corrections” that the President did to the estimates last week, the figure dropped to N6.07tn, a figure Ogor argued was still wrong.

Ogor, a lawmaker from Delta State, told the House, “This is an incomplete budget in which the figures do not tally.

“We have done our calculations of the details and we found that the budget Mr. President presented is N6.3tn, not N6.07tn.

“What happened to the balance? We need to know why there is this difference. The figure is not correct.”

Besides, Ogor argued that the budget was in breach of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, which provided that the budget details of major governmental agencies should be attached to the national budget before presentation to the National Assembly.

“The budget of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation is not here; the budget of the Central Bank of Nigeria is not here; all the major money spending government agencies are not here.

“The expenditure of these agencies runs into trillions of naira. The FRA has been totally disregarded here,” he added.

The Majority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Lagos State), however, raised a point of order in a bid to stop Ogor from progressing with his line of thoughts, but he was overruled by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.

Before he was overruled, Gbajabiamila observed that whenever the 1999 Constitution was in conflict with any other law, the former took prominence.

He stated that the requirement of the constitution was that Buhari should present the Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly, which he had already done.

Gbajabiamila added that the provisions of the FRA did not override the fact that the President had complied with the constitution.

Another PDP member from Kaduna State and Minority Whip, Mr. Yakubu Barde, raised another breach of the Debt Management Act on borrowing to fund the budget.

Barde noted that the country’s debt portfolio was huge, saying that government was borrowing N900bn (foreign) and N984bn (domestic) to fund the 2016 budget.

According to Barde, the Act is against borrowing to fund recurrent expenditure and advised the government to ensure that spending on capital projects should be increased.

On his part, the Chairman, House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Mr. Nicholas Osai, described the budget as having “failed all known litmus tests.”

For example, Osai (PDP, Delta State) faulted the inclusion of the Universal Basic Education Commission and Ministry of Transport among the agencies to benefit from statutory transfers.

Linus Okorie from Ebonyi State said the budget had “embedded corruption” of about N330bn.

Okorie observed that the Presidency alone proposed N1bn for overhead cost, while the ministries of finance, and power/housing budgeted over N20bn for consultancy services.

“These provisions are strange, especially in an era in which we preach the change mantra,” he argued.

Source : Punchng.com 

PDP Recruiting Online Guys To Destroy My Relationship With Buhari, Says Tinubu

0

By Eniola Akinkuotu/Punchng.com

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, says there is a deliberate plot by some individuals to rub his name in the mud through fictitious reports in various blogs and the social media.

He said the smear campaign was tagged, ‘Destroy the reputation of Tinubu and his relationship with Buhari’.

Tinubu said this in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Sunday Dare, on Tuesday.

He said most of those behind the act were aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party that had failed to recover from the defeat in the 2015 election.

Tinubu alleged that some of them were being probed for corruption and had decided to push him into the controversy to whip up public sympathy.

He said, “The individuals behind the plot are mostly scared PDP elements made frightened by the Buhari anti-corruption campaign. They direct this falsehood at Tinubu in the futile mission of trying to drive a wedge between the President and Tinubu to disrupt the progress being made against corruption and to destabilise the APC.

“But their PDP is already something by-gone, buried under the mass of its corruption and wrongdoing. They fight for a cause that has no cause. They are mercenaries of all the ills and defects that the people want excised from our body politic. Thus, we must do the people a public service.”

The former governor of Lagos State said he never granted any interview regarding President Muhammadu Buhari’s plan to run for re-election in 2019.

He also denied reports that he partook in the $2.1bn arms scam.

Tinubu said he had a list of the blogs that were carrying the false news and would soon expose their sponsors.

He said, “In the last six weeks, the Tinubu Media Office has monitored the stream of false, distorted media accounts written against Bola Ahmed Tinubu. We have learned that there is a concerted, wilful campaign tagged, ‘Destroy the reputation of Tinubu and his relationship with Buhari.’

“As part of this ugly plot to cultivate the worst of lies against the national leader of the APC, several blogs and online sites recruited to launch this smear campaign have manufactured stories to advance this sinister plan to taint the public mind with gross lies disguised as news reports and interviews.

“Fallacious headlines such as ‘Reasons why I collected N9m-Tinubu’ and ‘I will not return N9m-Tinubu”. “I am afraid PDP will stop Buhari in 2019 – Tinubu,’ are being paraded. Try as hard as they can the creators of these false tales and misleading headlines will fail miserably.

“Their stories cannot stand up to the slightest scrutiny. They are patently false and we condemn in the strongest terms those involved in this anti-Tinubu racket.”

Tinubu said such a smear campaign was nothing but libel and would not be taken lightly.

The APC leader said some of them had even gone as far as cloning the letter head of his media office, warning that those behind the campaign would soon be brought to justice.

He added, “While these fellows may think themselves cunning, they might have outwitted their very selves. In writing these stories, they have committed clear libel. In abusing the media office letterhead and name, their misrepresentations amount to forgery.

“They laugh now but walk on thin ice. Soon, that ice will break and they shall have nothing but the weight of their wrongdoing to blame for their predicament that will soon come.

“After identifying the bloggers and paid hatchet writers perpetrating these wrongs, the Tinubu Media Office is taking the step to alert the public to beware and be weary of hatchet writers, false prophets and paid bloggers. The Tinubu Media Office has the names and online sites recruited for this campaign and will not hesitate to make them know if they do not desist from their negative mission.”

Source : Punchng.com 

“I Remain In PDP”, Fayose Tells Aregbesola, “But Your PDP Is Dead”, Ogbeni Replies Him

0

Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, said on Tuesday that he visited Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State as part of his efforts to foster unity among Yoruba leaders and maintained that he remains a member of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. But Aregbesola told him his party was gone and gone forever.

Fayose said he was not in Osun for any political reason and pointed out he was not ready to abandon the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Governor Fayose stated that against all speculations from some
quarters that he was coming to Osogbo to ask Aregbesola help him beg President Muhammadu Buhari, he was in Osun for the unity of Yoruba race. He said the Yoruba race was greater than any political office.

“This is my first official visit to any APC state in Nigeria.
I am not in Osogbo to ask Aregbesola to help me beg as being
speculated in some quarters. We are all Yoruba, politics is like
water, it can flow anywhere.

“I was moved by the historic visit of the Ooni of Ife to the Alaafin
of Oyo and I am of the opinion that the Yoruba leaders must unite.

“The Yoruba nation must not be rubbished. Our leaders must not be rubbished irrespective of the political (party) they belong to.

“I believe in the Yoruba race, the race comes first before the office of the governor. The race is eternal while that of governor is momentary. We must watch today to be guided by tomorrow. I am here for the unity of Yoruba as it affect the Oodua, the progenitor,” Fayose said.

While reiterating his ressolve to remain in the PDP, the governor
said, “I remain in PDP to play the opposition role.

“In all of this, there must be fairness. There must be equity and the rule of law must be followed. We should remember that power as it was transient for the PDP, it can also be transient for the party in power now.

“For me, I don’t want to contest which party is dead now or which one is alive. Whether or not PDP is dead, time will tell.

“Opposition is the major ingredient of democracy and without
opposition in a democracy, there will be dictatorship. Those promoting dictatorship in a democracy will end up in the stomach of the dictator.”

Governor Aregbesola described the visit of Governor Fayose to Osun as demonstration of maturity, saying that it takes a very matured human being to know that at the end of every public office, he will be left with humanity.

He said: “Osoko has said that he is not going to leave his party, but I want my good friend and brother to know that PDP has exhausted its stay in Nigeria, it can no longer be revived, let us look at a political party that will give hope to our people. Opposition must be for a purpose, I stand by you on the unity of Yoruba land and that our leaders not put down in the country.”

He assured Fayose that he will stand by him in his effort to galvanise the people of South-west for accelerated development.

The Governor who lamented the present economic situation of the country noted that there was an invasion on the economy of Nigeria to the extent that the country is loosing 75 percent of its income due to oil glut.

“The country is facing a very serious crises with the rate at which the crude oil price is falling. There is an invasion on the economy to the level that we are loosing 75 percent of our income which is not good.

“At this point, wise people must have an alternative to oil which part of it is your visit. We must use our culture and affinity to form a bond that can make our people live a normal life, it is a duty that we owe our people, States and Nigeria as a whole”.

Lagos Pledges To Build 10 Model Schools, Bans Parties, Social Functions In Public Schools

0

The Lagos State Government on Tuesday banned social functions and parties in public schools and warned owners of private schools across the state to comply with rules and regulations guiding their operations.

The Deputy Governor of the State, Dr. Mrs Idiat Oluranti Adebule made the disclosure while briefing the media.

“The Governor has directed that schools will no longer be used for social activities any longer. We want to implore members of the public to report any school that violates this directive and we would ensure that defaulting schools are sanctioned accordingly,  she said.

Adebule, who also oversees the Ministry of Education, said the state government was putting a searchlight on the standard of education in the private schools and warned that it will no longer be business as usual for such schools that undermine best practices.

She said as a first step, the government will engage with private school owners and proprietors to intimate them on the action plan of the present administration towards improving the standard of education.

“Much as private schools are partners in the sector, we would not fold our hands and watch the standard flopped. Some schools even operate without registering with the government. We want to urge such schools to do the right thing or government will have no choice but to do what it has to do,” she said.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, while giving a detailed presentation on the policy thrust of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration for the education sector, said the state government intends to construct the biggest digital library.

He said the government was already at the planning stage of the library, while the actual establishment of the project would commence in the next quarter of the year.

He said the state government will build 10 new model schools with state of the art facilities, while two new technical colleges will be built in the course of the year in areas where such facilities are urgently needed.

On the Ibile Tablets, Bank Olemoh said 324,000 tablets to Senior Secondary School students, adding that plans have been concluded to register all students in both public and private schools in the state under the Lagos State Student Personal Administration Number (LASPIN) project to aid proper planning.

On the free meal in schools project, he said the state government is currently perfecting its framework for the eventual take off, saying that the project is expected to on the one hand, enhance the learning capacity of the pupils and on the other, boost the economy of the state.

United States, Our Reliable Partner, Says Buhari

0

President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday that his administration will continue to welcome the support and understanding of the United States as it strives to achieve greater internal security and socio-economic progress in Nigeria.

“I remain grateful for the reception accorded me and my team when we visited the United States at the invitation of President Obama. We discussed security, corruption, infrastructure, and many other issues,” Buhari said when he received a delegation led by the United States Secretary of Commerce, Ms Penny Pritzker at the Presidential Villa, according to a statement by spokesman Femi Adesina.

Buhari applauded ongoing American collaboration with his administration on security and developmental issues.

“We thank America for sending experts to train our troops and  providing hardware for our military because we must  first stabilize the country before we can move it forward,” the President told the delegation which included  the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, and three others.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who was at the meeting, said although Nigeria currently faces serious challenges, it is also a time of great opportunities for the country.

“It’s time to diversify our economy from oil. We’ve always talked about it, but never got round to doing it. The opportunity has come now. We have all it takes to be an agricultural nation. We also have solid minerals and we must develop our infrastructure in order to aid business.”
Ms Pritzker told President Buhari that  she was in Nigeria with 10 leading American business men and women, at the prompting of President Obama.

“The purpose is to better understand the opportunities and challenges of doing business in Nigeria. Our team is very optimistic about your government’s commitment to security, good governance, fighting corruption, having reliable and regular regulatory policies.

“All these make us optimistic about working together. We are not here to sell policies, but to partner with you,” she said.

Nigerian Air Force Successfully Reconfigures Trainer Aircraft To Fight Boko Haram

Press Statement

The Nigerian Air Force, in its bid for increased self-reliance, has successfully reconfigured two demilitarised Alpha Jet in its inventory that were hitherto acquired without weapon delivery capability.

The 2 aircraft are among the 4 Alpha Jets bought from the United States in 2015 by the immediate past administration to enhance the operational capability of the NAF to combat Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.

However, the aircraft could not be deployed to the theatre of operation before now due to the inherent weapon delivery deficiency hence its limited use for training purposes.

The urgent need, in recent times, to commit more NAF platforms to OPERATION LAFIYA DOLE to enhance the success of the counter insurgency operation necessitated the Service to look inward to seek ways of achieving its drive for self reliance through research and development.

The NAF had earlier looked overseas for assistance without much success to get the aircraft reconfigured for combat roles. A number of vendors invited to Nigeria to assess the platforms had concluded that it would be difficult or almost impossible to undertake the project since the Original Equipment Manufacturer had long closed down the production line.

A few others who agreed to the possibility of having the aircraft reconfigured to carry munitions also submitted proposals for initial assessment fees ranging from $20,000 – $30,000 before they could come up with the actual cost of the project. Convinced that the project would work, the NAF consequently assembled a team of technicians to develop a feasible model for the project.

The model worked on ground, and has since been mounted on the Alpha Jets, and test flown successfully. This feat is a major research and development breakthrough for the NAF and the Nation as a huge foreign exchange saver given that the project only cost about N400,000.00 compared to what would be required to have it done abroad.

You are please requested to publish this information in your mass media for the awareness of the general public. Thank you for your usual support and cooperation.

Group Captain AK Famuyiwa, Director of Public Relations & Information

Why We Must Rethink Solitary Confinement In America, By Barack Obama:

0

In 2010, a 16-year-old named Kalief Browder from the Bronx was accused of stealing a backpack. He was sent to Rikers Island to await trial, where he reportedly endured unspeakable violence at the hands of inmates and guards — and spent nearly two years in solitary confinement.

In 2013, Kalief was released, having never stood trial. He completed a successful semester at Bronx Community College. But life was a constant struggle to recover from the trauma of being locked up alone for 23 hours a day. One Saturday, he committed suicide at home. He was just 22 years old.

Solitary confinement gained popularity in the United States in the early 1800s, and the rationale for its use has varied over time. Today, it’s increasingly overused on people such as Kalief, with heartbreaking results — which is why my administration is taking steps to address this problem.

There are as many as 100,000 people held in solitary confinement in U.S. prisons — including juveniles and people with mental illnesses. As many as 25,000 inmates are serving months, even years of their sentences alone in a tiny cell, with almost no human contact.

Research suggests that solitary confinement has the potential to lead to devastating, lasting psychological consequences. It has been linked to depression, alienation, withdrawal, a reduced ability to interact with others and the potential for violent behavior. Some studies indicate that it can worsen existing mental illnesses and even trigger new ones. Prisoners in solitary are more likely to commit suicide, especially juveniles and people with mental illnesses.

The United States is a nation of second chances, but the experience of solitary confinement too often undercuts that second chance. Those who do make it out often have trouble holding down jobs, reuniting with family and becoming productive members of society. Imagine having served your time and then being unable to hand change over to a customer or look your wife in the eye or hug your children.

As president, my most important job is to keep the American people safe. And since I took office, overall crime rates have decreased by more than 15 percent. In our criminal justice system, the punishment should fit the crime — and those who have served their time should leave prison ready to become productive members of society. How can we subject prisoners to unnecessary solitary confinement, knowing its effects, and then expect them to return to our communities as whole people? It doesn’t make us safer. It’s an affront to our common humanity.

That’s why last summer, I directed Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and the Justice Department to review the overuse of solitary confinement across U.S. prisons. They found that there are circumstances when solitary is a necessary tool, such as when certain prisoners must be isolated for their own protection or in order to protect staff and other inmates. In those cases, the practice should be limited, applied with constraints and used only as a measure of last resort. They have identified common-sense principles that should guide the use of solitary confinement in our criminal justice system.

The Justice Department has completed its review, and I am adopting its recommendations to reform the federal prison system. These include banning solitary confinement for juveniles and as a response to low-level infractions, expanding treatment for the mentally ill and increasing the amount of time inmates in solitary can spend outside of their cells. These steps will affect some 10,000 federal prisoners held in solitary confinement — and hopefully serve as a model for state and local corrections systems. And I will direct all relevant federal agencies to review these principles and report back to me with a plan to address their use of solitary confinement.

States that have led the way are already seeing positive results. Colorado cut the number of people in solitary confinement, and assaults against staff are the lowest they’ve been since 2006. New Mexico implemented reforms and has seen a drop in solitary confinement, with more prisoners engaging in promising rehabilitation programs. And since 2012, federal prisons have cut the use of solitary confinement by 25 percent and significantly reduced assaults on staff.

Reforming solitary confinement is just one part of a broader bipartisan push for criminal justice reform. Every year, we spend $80 billion to keep 2.2 million people incarcerated. Many criminals belong behind bars. But too many others, especially nonviolent drug offenders, are serving unnecessarily long sentences. That’s why members of Congress in both parties are pushing for change, from reforming sentencing laws to expanding reentry programs to give those who have paid their debt to society the tools they need to become productive members of their communities. And I hope they will send me legislation as soon as possible that makes our criminal justice system smarter, fairer, less expensive and more effective.

In America, we believe in redemption. We believe, in the words of Pope Francis, that “every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes.” We believe that when people make mistakes, they deserve the opportunity to remake their lives. And if we can give them the hope of a better future, and a way to get back on their feet, then we will leave our children with a country that is safer, stronger and worthy of our highest ideals.

Source : Washington post

EFCC Might Invite Sanusi Who Never Spoke Out Against Arms Money Disbursements As CBN Governor

ABUJA — As investigation into the looting of funds meant for the acquisition of arms for the Nigerian armed forces continues, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, are in a dilemma over what to do with the former Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.


Sanusi II

Sanusi, who was removed from the bank by former President Goodluck Jonathan for accusing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, of not remitting $20 billion of oil proceeds into the national treasury, later became the Emir of Kano, an influential traditional and religious post that carried more weight in the northern part of Nigeria than the CBN.

The operatives are keen on interrogating the emir on the numerous disbursement of funds to the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), who is being tried for money laundering, breach of public trust and diversion of public funds.

Findings by Vanguard, however, showed, weekend, that the operatives were in a fix on what to do in order to get the revered traditional and religious ruler to speak to them on what he knows about the huge sums of money taken away from the nation’s apex bank under the guise of security.

The commission, it was gathered last night, is contemplating whether to invite Sanusi or go to meet him quietly to interview him on the funds moved from the bank to the National Security Adviser, during his tenure and why such disbursement were never questioned or declined by him.

A source in the commission hinted that they were keen on getting first hand information from the emir but in a way that would not raise any eyebrow or bring the commission into trouble with any individual or group.

It was learnt that the commission’s top official had already visited Kano and would possibly try to seek an avenue to discuss with the emir quietly and return to Abuja.

Set to grill Emefiele, others

But a source said that other CBN governors, including the incumbent Godwin Emefiele, would soon be invited to explain their roles in the arms sandal, which is very embarrassing to the nation.

One of the sources said that it was a matter of time before the top bank officials would be summoned to clarify their roles in the national financial scam.

The spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached for comments in the latest development in the arms scam probe.

His telephone lines indicated that they had been switched off when our correspondent called on Sunday evening.

NGE backs FG on moves to recover  stolen public funds

The Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) has thrown its weight behind the efforts of the Federal Government to recover stolen public funds and commended the courage behind it.

While urging the  government to respect the fundamental human rights of the suspects in the process, the Guild asked the government to thoroughly investigate every corruption case and pursue same diligently and to logical conclusion.

In a  communiqué issued at the end of its  4th quarterly Standing Committee meeting, weekend, in Abuja, the guild advised judges to be circumspect in granting injunctions and be more painstaking in the adjudication of corruption cases.

The guild, in the communiqué signed by its President, Garba Deen Mohammad  and General Secretary,  Victoria Ibanga, further warned  state governments not to renege in the payment of the N18,000 minimum wage and urged them to improve on their internally generated revenue, reduce the cost of governance and ensure due process in the award of contracts.

According the communique,”the Guild is alarmed by the downward slide of the Naira which is impacting negatively on the purchasing power of Nigerians and wants the Federal Government to diversify the country’s revenue base to shore up the value of the national currency.

“The Guild also noted with concern the perennial fuel scarcity in the country and called on the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the problem.”

While reiterating its warning against any attempt to gag the press or tamper with the freedom of expression of Nigerians, the editors urged the Senate to retrace its steps with respect to the Frivolous Petitions Bill which is against the freedom of the press.

The editors, therefore, urged the National Assembly to expunge Section 24 of the Cyber Crime Act which is considered to be more obnoxious than the Frivolous Petitions Bill.

Source: vanguardngr.com

Corruption Was PDP’s Only Legacy, Says Funky Nigerian Preacher, Chris Okotie

The Founder and General Overseer of the Household of God Church, Pastor Chris Okotie, says President Muhammadu Buhari needs the support of all Nigerians as he continues to clean up the corruption perpetrated by the Peoples Democratic Party.

Okotie, who contested for the presidency on three occasions, said Buhari was the epitome of transparency and discipline, adding that his attitude had rubbed off on the armed forces which had become more effective in the fight against insurgency.

He described the 16-year rule of the PDP as the government of the corrupt, by the corrupt and for the corrupt.

He said, “More than at any time in our history, we need discipline in the armed forces. And, thank God we have an ex-general, who is an epitome of discipline and transparency, in power. I urge Nigerians to support his anti-corruption campaign which aims to rid this country of PDP’s legacy of a government of the corrupt, by the corrupt, and for the corrupt.”

Meanwhile, Okotie’s party, the Fresh Democratic Party, has denied accusing the All Progressives Congress of planning to rig the forthcoming Rivers State governorship election.

The party’s Director of Media and Communications Strategy, Ladi Ayodeji, said in a statement that it had no hand in the allegation, adding that the allegation was the handiwork of the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria.

The statement read in part, “The attention of our great party, FRESH, has been drawn to an advertorial by the Inter-Party Advisory Council of Nigeria published in a national daily on Wednesday, January 20, 2016.

“In the said publication, IPAC listed FRESH as one of its (Rivers State chapter) members accusing the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission of conspiracy to rig the forthcoming rerun in Rivers State in favour of the APC candidate.

“In the advertorial, one Chief Collins J. Ndegwe purportedly represented FRESH at an IPAC meeting in Rivers State, where our party joined other parties to condemn the alleged plot by INEC/APC to rig the APC into power in the state.

“Obviously, the IPAC, Rivers chapter, is in sympathy with the PDP governorship candidate and incumbent Governor Nyesome Wike. FRESH has no problem with that. However, it is criminal for anyone or group to drag our party into this unholy alliance.

“We would like to make it abundantly clear that Chief Ndegwe is not our member, and has never been authorised to represent FRESH in IPAC, or at any other forum for that matter.

Source: aitonline.tv

APC Turns Guns Against APC: Publicity Secretary In Lagos Erupts: “Can We Allow The Travesty In Kogi State To Stand In A Democracy?” By Joe Igbokwe

I am writing this piece as Joe Igbokwe not as APC Publicity Secretary Lagos  State. I am writing as an independent writer and a public commentator on national affairs. Please permit me to air my views before we swear in Alhaji Yahaya Bello who never won the governorship election in Kogi State.

The System may have decided in their own wisdom to swear in Mr Bello but l want history to record that l saw a travesty and an aberration coming and raised an alarm. The alarm may be ignored but history which neither personal wealth or power can circumvent will be my witness.

The truth here and nothing but the truth is that the late Chief Abubakar Audu/ James Abiodun Faleke won the November 21 2015 Governor election fair and square before Audu’s  death in the early hours of Sunday,November 22  2015. When the news filtered into the public space that Audu had died what the State INEC Returning Officer, Professor Emmanuel Kucha would have done is to do an urgent truthful and honest consultations, carry out a simple Arithmetic, check the number of registered voters, check the number of those with PVCs in 91 polling Units. The world was told that there are 49,000 Registered Voters in the remaining 91 polling Units and out of that 49,000 Voters only 25,000 have PVCs. But the late Audu was leading with 41,000 votes. Assuming that all the 25,000 persons with PVCs voted for PDP, Abubakar Audu would still have beaten Governor Wada silly with 16,000 votes. This professor turned sound reasoning upside down by saying the election was inconclusive and ordered for supplementary election in the remaining 91 polling units. Now what was the result ? Only about 10,000 votes were garnered in the futile exercise that wasted everybody’s precious gift of time, energy, money, strength and power.

Now a combination of ethnic politics, Primordial sentiments, and fear of the unknown led APC Kogi and APC National to do the unthinkable by pushing Alhaji Bello who lost the primaries, and may not have supported the APC candidate in the cause of the elections proper to steal the mandate won by Prince Audu and James Faleke in a keenly contested exercise fraught with excruciating pains , doubts, apprehension,anxiety, fatigue, panic and unease . What was their excuse? Faleke did not partake in the primaries. Now do Deputy Governors take part in Primaries? This is the absurdity that led to the emergence of an interloper and intruder, Alhaji Bello. After the travesty, I saw BELLO’s Family members singing and dancing the music titled ‘Na God Win’. No, No, our God is a God of justice and equity. You cannot reap where you did not sow . Another will not plant and another will harvest.

I rely like other eminent Lawyers in Nigeria who are not being economical with the truth on Section 181 (1)of the Constitution that says’ if a person duly elected as Governor dies before taking and subscribing the oath of allegiance and oath of office, or is unable for any reason whatsoever to be sworn in , the person elected with him as the deputy governor shall be sworn in as governor and he shall nominate a new deputy governor who shall be appointed by the governor with the approval of a simple majority of house of the assembly of the state’ I rely on this because the election had been won and lost before Prince Audu died. This has been proved beyond reasonable doubts by the miserable outcome of the useless supplementary election. This grave injustice and open stealing of another person’s mandate taking cover in a confusing and complicated Document called the Electoral Act. They tell me in the Human rights community that when a law structured in such a way that it will encourage injustice the law must be broken. In international jurisprudence they say It is better to set 1000 criminals free that to convict one innocent person.

The shenanigans and ethnic champions in Kogi State never bothered to think about the huge sacrifices and pains Prince Audu went through to win the election. They have not cared to remember that he went into elections with ill health and still managed to come out victorious through dint of hardwork though he died thereafter. Did any of these people bother to think about the family he left behind? What about what he expended in the cause of the elections? Did Bello transverse the length ad breathe of Kogi State canvassing for votes as did Audu and Faleke ?  Did Bello support APC during the election? What is going to happen in Kogi State on Wednesday January 27 2015 frightens me as an activist and believer in equity and social justice. It worries me to the marrows that there is deafening silence in town as if all the decent men and women who should speak out have suddenly lost their steam and voices. I am told that the truth that must be spoken never forgives silence. Evil triumph in any society when good men do nothing.

I know fully well that Supreme Court of Nigeria will do the needful when Faleke gets there in the fullness of time. Audu/ Faleke got the majority of votes in Kogi governorship election and got the mandate to preside over the affairs in that state for four years. That Faleke refused to accept the poisoned chalice as deputy governor should serve as a signal to the interlopers and intruders in Kogi that Wednesday event is not the end of the matter. Those dancing the music ‘Na God Win’ are using the name of God in vain. They will dance ‘Our God Na God of Justice’when the chips are down. James Faleke please go to sleep. You are the owner of the game when common sense returns even though common sense is not common. I rest my case.

Joe Igbokwe

Lagos

Source : Saharareporters.com

 

Angry Cameroon Guns Down Dozens Of Boko Haram Terrorists Inside Nigeria, Arrests 9, Bombs Bullet Proof Cars

0

Like wounded lions, Cameroonian soldiers crossed into the Nigerian territory on Monday and killed dozens of suspected Boko Haram terrorists, arrested nine others, in a revenge counterattack, following deadly suicide bombings in Cameroon’s far north that left at least 32 people dead and 79 injured.

The suicide attacks by the Nigeria-based militants who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in March last year, and have since modelled their barbarism after the Middle East killers, were among the deadliest in Cameroon.

Local newspaper, L’Oeil du Sahel, said the Rapid Intervention Battalion known by its French acronym of BIR opened fire in Achigachia in Cameroon and in Gakara in Nigeria, killing dozens of suspected terrorists and destroying at least three bullet proof vehicles used to wreak havoc in the region by Boko Haram.

The Cameroonian army had also stormed the Nigerian territory of Wumbi on Monday afternoon against the ruthless terrorists President Muhammadu Buhari had declared technically defeated.

Boko Haram had on Monday morning launched three or four suicide attacks at a market in Bodo and another location in the Logone and Chari department in Cameroon’s far north and there were at least 32 dead and many injured.

The latest bombings came days after another bombing in the same region left several people dead at a mosque.

With at least 32 dead, Monday’s bombing is one of the deadliest by Boko Haram in Cameroon. Reports from the Central and West African country described a nation in shock with a President who has not visited a region under siege.

President Paul Biya of Cameroon has vowed many times that the military will crush the terrorists within months but with the killings and bombings continuing, many are wondering if the 83-year old leader who has been in power for 33 years still has anything to offer to a country bent by poverty and gargantuan corruption, and now by terrorism.

Dana Air Rewards Lagos – Accra Travellers With Free Tickets

0

Nigerian carrier, Dana Air, announced on Monday series of benefits for its customers flying on the Lagos – Accra – Lagos route, an offer tied to its frequent flyer programme, known as Dana Miles, which enables guests flying on the Accra route earn 4,500 miles extra to fly for free on their next trip.

The airline said in a statement on Monday that the rewards will continue throughout the month of February, 2016, and entails guests to fly with their partner on a round trip on the  Lagos – Accra- Lagos route to be rewarded with 4500 miles, the equivalent of a free ticket.

It said passengers travelling on the business class will stand a chance of being upgraded to silver membership, its second highest membership level for guests who are able to acquire 9,000 miles within one year on their flight with Dana Air.

According to the Chief Commercial Officer of Dana Air, Mr. Obi Mbanuzuo, the reward is just the airlines’ way of saying thank you to its loyal guests on the Accra route and to encourage them to spend this year’s valentine in Accra.

“This is our own way of appreciating our loyal guests who have embraced our unique flight services on the Accra route and to also encourage couples to enjoy their getaway this valentine in the beautiful city of Accra.

“Our guests should also expect more giveaways on our social media platforms and can also participate in our ongoing valentine contest in collaboration with Pulseng on instagram’,” he said.

Dana Air recently launched daily flight services from Lagos to Accra with an introductory online fare of N22,000 to boost leisure and business trips from Lagos to Accra.

Northern Nigerian Colonel Wants Niger Deltans Massacred, Fani-Kayode Blasts Him

0

By Femi Fani-Kayode

Col. Hassan Stan Labo rtd. is a genocidal maniac and a disgrace to the military. His suggestion on Channels TV that the people of the Niger Delta area should be “given the Odi treatment” is not only reprehensible but also utterly barbaric.

Those that counsel mass murder, wholesale slaughter and crimes against humanity as a solution to our national problems are not only sadly mistaken but also dangerously stupid. Worse still they have learnt nothing from our history. Violence only breeds more violence and the shedding of blood only calls for more blood.

It is my sincere prayer that the Buhari administration ignores this bloodthirsty and insensitive little man and that they treat his counsel with the contempt that it deserves.

Opinion written on Facebook

With Economic Woes, Nigerian Churches, Mosques, Should Pay Tax, Says Ex-Minister

0

By Eniola Akinkuotu/Punchng.com

A former Minister of State for the Interior, Chief Demola Seriki, says in the face of the dwindling price of crude oil, churches and mosques that own businesses should pay tax to the government.

Seriki, who was also a supervising Minister of Mines and Steel under the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s administration, said this during an interview with our correspondent on Monday.

The ex-minister’s call came less than a week after the Federal Government announced that N50 would be deducted from money deposited into any customer’s account as part of the efforts to boost government’s revenue in the face of the dwindling oil price.

He said religious bodies, especially churches, had built large business empires including universities but many of them were not paying tax.

The ex-minister said the wealth being made from these businesses was used in buying private jets with the government losing out.

He explained that some churches even had rented apartments in their various camps but were not paying land use charge to the government.

He said, “Places of worship such as churches and mosques should not pay tax but when they go into investment outside their main focus, they must pay tax. For example, there are some churches that are into importing and exporting and they are benefitting from the economy.

“You cannot do that without paying tax. They are not paying now. They use the name of the church to escape paying tax. This is wrong.

“Some churches have hundreds of houses in their various camps which they rent out but they don’t pay tax to the government because they are registered as religious organisations and are not paying tax. So, we must change our tax laws.”

Speaking further on the economy, Seriki said the best way to address the challenges occasioned by the falling price of crude oil was for the government to forget about relying on oil revenue to fund this year’s budget.

Seriki, who also served as supervising Minister of Water Resources, said the $38 per barrel benchmark for the 2016 budget was no longer feasible as oil price had fallen below $30 and might fall further.

He called for attention to be shifted to non-oil revenue sources such as taxes, fees, licences, fines and customs and excise duties.

He added, “I have a problem with using the oil price as a benchmark for our budget because it makes no sense and that is why we find ourselves where we are today. It should be based on the aggregate and not oil.

“We can get revenue through the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Nigerian Communications Commission, the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, the Nigeria Customs Service and other agencies.

“We make a lot of money from all these other avenues. They must all be considered in the budget.”

Source : Punchng.com

After 32 Killed, Angry Cameroon Launches Attacks Inside Nigeria Against Deadly Boko Haram

0

The Cameroonian army launched an angry attack against Nigeria-based militants on Monday, hours after suspected Boko Haram murderers blew themselves up in Cameroon’s far north, killing at least 32 people and leaving more than 79 others injured.

Local newspaper, L’Oeil du Sahel, said the Cameroonian army stormed the Nigerian territory of Wumbi on Monday afternoon in a revenge counterattack against the Nigeria-based terrorists President Muhammadu Buhari had declared technically defeated.

Boko Haram had on Monday morning launched three or four suicide attacks at a market in Bodo and another location in the Logone and Chari department in Cameroon’s far north and there were at least 32 dead and many injured.

The latest bombings come days after another bombing in the same region left several people dead at a mosque.

With at least 32 dead, Monday’s bombing is one of the deadliest by Boko Haram in Cameroon. Reports from the Central and West African country described a nation in shock with a President who has not visited a region under siege.

President Paul Biya of Cameroon has vowed many times that the military will crush the terrorists within months but with the killings and bombings continuing, many are wondering if the 83-year old leader who has been in power for 33 years still has anything to offer to a country bent by poverty and gargantuan corruption, and now by terrorism.

error: Alert: Content is protected !!