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COVID-19: Police Arrest Bishop For Defying Lockdown To Protest At Chinese Embassy In Lagos

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By Chiemelie Ezeobi.

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested the General Overseer of Resurrection Praise Ministries for Africa alias Jehovah Sharp Sharp, Archbishop Samson Benjamin, for defying the lockdown order to protest at the Chinese Embassy in Lagos.

Benjamin, the police alleged, led about 100 persons to the Chinese Embassy in Victoria Island to protest the maltreatment of Nigerians in China.

According to the cleric, the Chinese were operating freely in Nigeria despite that COVID-19 started in their country but have chosen to maltreat Nigerians and other blacks in China.

It was gathered that officials of the embassy sent a video clip of the alleged invasion to the police which prompted operatives from Victoria Island Division to move to the scene to effect the arrest.

A police source who spoke on anonymity said the cleric was being detained at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, (SCIID), Yaba and may be arraigned in court on Wednesday.

In the video, the bishop denied going to the embassy with 100 persons, insisting that he was there by himself to register his displeasure over the ill-treatment of Nigerians in China.

Efforts to reach the spokesman for the state police command, DSP Bala Elkana, proved abortive as he didn’t return the message sent to him as at press time.

 

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FG Recovers N540bn via Whistle Blower Policy

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By Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) has recovered over N540 billion through the whistleblower policy, the federal government disclosed Tuesday.

The revelation was made by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the 71st General Assembly of the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) in Port Harcourt.

The minister said the EFCC Whistleblower Policy, which was introduced in 2016 by the Ministry of Finance, recovered over N527 billion, $ 53 million, and £122,890 respectively.

Mohammed, who was represented by the Director, Public Relations and Protocol, Ministry of Information and Culture, Mr. Sunny Adejoh Baba, said the EFCC similarly successfully launched a major onslaught on the high and the mighty of the society, including senior military officers and their civilian accomplices, indicted in shady deals, leading to the recovery of choice assets across the country.

He enjoined the media to align itself with the policies and programmes of the federal government, aimed at ridding the country of corruption, in order to free funds for development projects, which will uplift the standard of living of the citizenry.

“This effort should not be seen as the sole effort of Mr. President or the government alone. The media has a duty to ensure that the programmes of government, meant to uplift the lots of the citizenry, are projected as a national cause and not just as that of Mr. President or the administration,” Mohammed said.

He also said the BON General Assembly is taking place at an auspicious time in view of next year’s general election.

He appealed to the broadcasting organisations not to yield their platforms to the purveyors of hate speech and fake news.

He also called on the broadcasting outfits to promote the unity, stability and the development of the country.

“Anything short of this would amount to a criminal abdication of a sacred duty which could spell doom for our collective national life.

“We have had enough sordid examples to learn from that we ought not to allow a repeat at this critical time of our national development.

“It is therefore of utmost importance that the media and specifically, broadcast media, do not allow itself to become a purveyor of fake news and hate speeches,” the minister said.

He restated the federal government’s commitment to allowing the press to carry out its assigned watchdog roles, even as government expects the press to be guided by national interest above every other interests.

 

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Step Up Your Roles In Preventing Crime, Buhari Tells Police

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Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the police to step up their roles in the prevention of crime, so as not to involve the military in the maintenance of law and order in the country.

The president also gave Nigerians the assurance that his administration will continue to give priority attention to the welfare and operational needs of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) so as to restore its lost primacy in the internal security framework of the country.

President Buhari, who made the commitment during a chat with members of the Nigeria Police Service Commission (PSC) and the leadership of the NPF, who paid him a thank-you visit at the State House, Abuja, Monday, regretted that the inability of the police in their constitutional role as the frontline force in the prevention of crime, had led to the military’s involvement in the maintenance of law and order throughout the country.

The president had approved Rank Salary Structure Adjustment, by which the salary, allowances and pension of policemen will be increased.

According to the president, “From Taraba to Sokoto, to the South-south, people don’t feel secure until they see the military. I am pleased to make the increase in salary and allowances in the hope that it will increase the performance index of the police and strengthen Nigeria’s internal security system.”

President Buhari observed that the more efficient the police is, the more confident the government and citizens will be.

He said: “The military should be reserved for higher tasks. The police should be able to cope well with the challenges of armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom and such crimes. In every town and village, there is the presence of the police. From all these places, they should be able to forward first class intelligence to you on which to act.

“There is a need to amplify the question of more men of the police, especially given the condition we are in – emergency in the North-east, pervasive insecurity and abduction for ransom and banditry in many parts of the country. I congratulate you on the success you recorded against criminals taxing people and stopping them from their farms. We are expecting more from you.”

A full-time Commissioner in the Nigeria Police Service Commission, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi (rtd), who represented the chairman, Musiliu Smith, had informed the president that the Rank Salary Structure Adjustment would enhance police welfare and morale.

The Inspector General of Police (IG) Ibrahim Idris also assured the president that the police would redouble their efforts to ensure free, fair and credible elections throughout the country next year.

 

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CUPP Raises Alarm Over Rise In Boko Haram Attacks

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By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja.

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has raised the alarm over the increase in attacks by Boko Haram and Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) on military facilities in the North-east, describing it as a national embarrassment.

CUPP, in a statement Sunday by its National Spokesperson, Ikenga Ugochinyere, said that the opposition parties received with shock the news of the attack on a Nigerian military base in Meitele, Borno State by Boko Haram/ISWAP fighters and the killing over 100 soldiers.

According to him, “It is most heart-rending to realise that this attack happened same week some of our nation’s military service chiefs were frolicking at the APC political party campaign function in the Presidential Villa.”

Ugochinyere expressed shock by the ‘dishonourable silence’ of the federal government on the attacks which only became prominent on the social media after the terrorist group released very gory videos of some of these attacks.

He stated: “For President Buhari to only summon service chiefs for a briefing five days after such a calamity clearly shows the slow response time of this administration to national emergencies and lack of capacity to meet up with the fast pace of developments which affect the lives of citizens.

“We hereby call on President Buhari to salvage the last vestiges of honour left for his regime by immediately sacking the service chiefs, the Inspector General of Police, Chairman of EFCC and Comptroller General of Customs who have at one time or the other found playing politics with their offices instead of doing their jobs with every sense of neutrality.

“This action will both raise the morale of our troops in the fronts that there are consequences for commanders who fail them and also give Nigerians and the international community the confidence that heads of security agencies will be neutral during the fast-approaching general election where the president and his party are headed for defeat.

“The heads of security agencies in Nigeria are now more interested in obtaining intelligence on the meetings of opposition leaders than on the activities of the Boko Haram.

“The police and State Security Services are now more interested in hounding and intimidating opposition leaders and activists than they are in identifying and neutralising the activities of the terrorist group.

“This is a national disgrace especially with the loud mouthing of an outgoing regime which had claimed the group was degraded and technically defeated after alleged misappropriation of billions of dollars.”

 

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PDP Challenges Buhari to One-on-One Debate with Atiku

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By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to a live one-on-one debate with its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on critical sectors ahead of the 2019 presidential election.

The PDP, in a statement Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, also berated Buhari for neglecting the troops fighting in the North-east and reneging on his promise to “lead the fight from the front”, resulting in the vulnerability and “killing of our soldiers by insurgents”.

The main opposition party challenged Buhari to explain why he has been insensitive to the killing of citizens and soldiers by marauders and insurgents, particularly given allegations that he has been distracting the Armed Forces by dragging them to participate in his re-election campaign.

According to him, “Nigerians recall that at the time our troops were being attacked by insurgents, our service chiefs were attending the launch of President Buhari’s ‘Next Level’ campaign mantra, stolen from a foreign institute.”

The party noted that Buhari has been mortally afraid of facing its candidate, Atiku in a general debate organised by independent bodies.

Ologbondiyan said: “For this, the PDP grants him the liberty to choose a venue, date and time convenient to him to face our candidate before a neutral panel.

“President Buhari must face Atiku Abubakar in person, as Nigerians are not ready to accept any representation, whosoever, from him. If, as a Commander-In-Chief, Mr. President cannot face a political debate, how then can he vigorously engage international competitors?”

Ologbondiyan added that Nigerians can now see why the country has been under peril in the last three and a half years.

He stressed that Buhari should be ready to face his failures and avail Nigerians of his sectoral performance scorecards, as well as present his future blueprint, if any, “to enable the electorate to weigh him alongside our presidential candidate”.

The PDP said that Buhari came to power through false promises and propaganda, adding that now, the day of reckoning has come and he cannot run away from his failures.

“On our part, our candidate is ready to face President Buhari, one-on-one. He has his scorecard in governance and his blueprint for national rebirth; wealth creation, youth empowerment and building a prosperous nation, which has become dominant among the aspirations of Nigerians,” he said.

 

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