Buhari Hosts Bill Gates And Dangote To Dinner

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday hosted philanthropist and Co-Founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates to a dinner at the State House in Abuja.

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, and top government officials were also at the dinner.

Although the Presidency tweeted about the dinner, which was held the same day 104 of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls were freed, it did not give details about what was discussed.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been playing significant humanitarian and philanthropic roles in Nigeria in the areas of polio eradication, maternal health and other areas.

VIDEO: President @MBuhari hosts Mr. Bill Gates and Alhaji Aliko Dangote to a dinner, tonight. pic.twitter.com/AQVkHpd2LA

— Government of Nigeria (@AsoRock) March 21, 2018

Police Pension Fund: Court Jails Civil Servant Six Years, Fines Him N22.9bn

John Yusuf, one of the six federal civil servants facing prosecution for allegedly stealing N32.8 billion of police pension fund has gotten a respectable punishment for his offence as the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, sentenced him to six years imprisonment with a fine of N22.9billion.

The court gave the ruling on Wednesday, five years after Yusuf was convicted and sentenced to an aggregate fine of N750, 000 by a Federal Capital Territory High Court presided over by Justice Abubakar Talba, a development which sparked national and international outrage.

Spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Wilson Uwujaren, revealed this in a statement dated March 21, 2018.

According to him, the ruling by the appellate court is the climax of the appeal by the anti-graft agency which, dissatisfied with the decision of the trial court in a plea bargain agreement on April 26, 2013, approached the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.

The five grounds of the appeal, bordered on the exercise of discretion of the judge in imposing sentence on the respondent who pleaded guilty to the three charges (counts 17, 18 and 19 of the charge), in which he admitted converting an aggregate sum of over N24billion of Police Pension fund into his personal use.

The appellant in its brief of argument dated and filed on September 17, 2013, formulated one issue, for determination by the Appeal Court, which is: “whether the trial judge exercised his discretion judicially and judiciously when having convicted the respondent of three counts of conversion of over N3billion contrary to section 309 of the Penal Code, His Lordship imposed two years imprisonment with an option of fine of N250,000 on each of the three counts”.

However, the respondent on June 10, 2015, raised a preliminary objection on the competence of the appeal for which they argued that the notice of appeal was filed outside the mandatory 90 days and, therefore, in contravention of section 24(2)(b) of the Court of Appeal Act, 2010 (as amended) and, therefore, urged the court to dismiss the appeal.

Uwujaren said the justices of the Court of Appeal, dismissed the preliminary objection on the grounds that; “Having considered the computation of time volunteered by both parties, the question to be answered was whether the day the judgment of the trial court was delivered was to be inclusive in the computation of the mandatory 90 days for which a notice of appeal was to be filed?

“That the day the judgment of the trial court was delivered being the 28th, January 2013, was not to be included in the computation of the 90 days.

“That since the day of the judgment is not included, the 90 days starts running from the 29th January 2013 and the 90th day will fall on a Sunday.

“That by virtue of section 15(2) of the Interpretation Act CAP 123, where the last day is a holiday, the counting shall continue until the end of the next following day which is not a holiday.

“That since the 90th day was a Sunday and by virtue of section 15(5) of Interpretation Act, a Sunday is a holiday, the next day which the notice of appeal was filed is within time, hence the appeal is competent and is therefore allowed”.

Ruling on the substantive matter, the justices of the Court of Appeal held unanimously that the three counts involving the respondent (counts 17, 18 and 19) clearly stated the amounts for which the appellant alleged that the respondent converted for his personal use.

They also held that the respondent pleaded guilty to the three counts and thereby admitted to the conversion of an aggregate sum of about N24billion to his personal use.

The justices noted further that the sentence of the trial court does not serve as deterrence to both the convict and others.

They consequently ruled that the sentence is “Hereby quashed and deserves to be reviewed as follows: on Counts 17, the respondent is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment with an addition of fine of N20billion Naira; on Counts 18, the respondent is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment with an addition of fine of 1.4billion Naira; on counts 19, the respondent is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment with an addition of fine of 1.5billion Naira”.

The sentence of imprisonment is to run consecutively, and the fine is to be cumulative.

In a related development, the EFCC spokesman revealed that the Supreme Court on March 9 dismissed the appeal by Onyia Ifeanyi, seeking to upturn his conviction and sentence to seven years imprisonment.

Uwujaren recalled that the earlier ruling was delivered on November 28, 2013, by the Federal High Court Enugu presided over by Justice M.L. Shuaibu (as he then was) for the offence of obtaining by false pretence and being in possession of documents containing false pretence.

Dissatisfied with his conviction, the appellant had lodged an appeal against it at the Enugu Division of the Court of Appeal, which affirmed the decision of the trial court.

Still not satisfied with the decision of the appellate court, the convict proceeded to the Supreme Court.

The apex court in a unanimous judgment on March 9, also affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal.

Justice Ogunbiyi: From Village Girl To Supreme Court Justice

According to the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, ‘’Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi who was born on February 27, 1948, has lived an impressive, worthy and exemplary life from childhood till date. From a primary school in Lassa village, Borno state, she left to attend Government Girls Secondary School, Dalla in Kano state; and then went ahead to read Law in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and then to the Nigerian Law School in Lagos, and thereafter called to the Bar in 1976.

‘’It is all this that culminated in her been the  first female Justice from the North Eastern Region comprising Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe, Adamawa and Taraba states and the 4th female Justice to be appointed into the Supreme Court Bench’’, General Gowon said.

The former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar also remarked; ‘’I’ve always advised that hard work don’t kill, but that only laziness leads to perdition. Justice Ogunbiyi I know for long rose to the Supreme Court bench through dint of hard work. She has not just made the north eastern women proud but the entire Nigeria women’’.

Hon Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi JSC was born on 27th February 1948, at Lassa, Borno State into the family of Baba Bata and Malama Awa Shallangwa. She attended the Lassa Primary School between 1955 and 1958 after which she went to Waka Primary School where she completed her Primary education in 1960. Between 1961 and 1965, she attended Government Girls Secondary School Dale, in Kano.

Thereafter, she worked briefly at Barclays Bank and the Northern Nigeria Marketing Board between 1966 and 1969. In October 1969, she gained admission into Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, where obtained a Diploma in Law in 1971. Between 1971 and 1972, she worked briefly as an Assistant Registrar with the High Court of Justice of North Eastern State.

She commenced her Law Degree Programme at ABU in 1972 and successfully completed same in 1975. Justice Ogunbiyi then proceeded to the Nigerian Law School in Lagos and was called to the Nigerian Bar on 3rd July 1976. She commenced her legal career with the mandatory NYSC Scheme at the Ministry of Justice Kaduna, as Pupil Counsel.

Thereafter, Justice Ogunbiyi was appointed as State Counsel at the Ministry of Justice in Borno State, in July 1977 where she rose through the ranks. In 1978, she proceeded to the University of Hull in the United Kingdom where she obtained a Master’s Degree in Criminology. She also attended continuing legal education courses at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Lagos, in 1985.

From February 1983 to November 1984, she held the position as Deputy Director of Public Prosecution (DDPP) and was promoted to the position of Director Civil Litigation (DCL) in December 1984, a position she held until 23rd January 1987 when she was appointed a Judge of the High Court of Justice of Borno State thus becoming the first female Judge from Borno State and the entire North Eastern region.

After serving for 15 years as a Judge, she was appointed to the Court of Appeal on 17th October 2002. She served in Enugu and Lagos Divisions and as Presiding Justice in lbadan, Lagos and Jos Divisions. On 13th July 2012, Hon Justice Ogunbiyi was appointed as Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria thus becoming the first female Justice from North Eastern Nigeria to be appointed to the Supreme Court and the fourth female Justice in Nigeria to be appointed to the apex Court.

Hon Justice Ogunbiyi is a jurist with a passion for the rule of law. Her 31 year judicial career is marked with several notable judgments that mark her as a quintessential and rare kind of a jurist. In resolving issues and conflicts, she combines the analytical mind of a scientist with the precision of a mathematician.

Her Judgments are well researched, painstakingly written and eloquently delivered. They remain a focal and reference point for lawyers, legal academics and law students all over the country She has given her best to the nation’s judiciary and jurisprudence through her judgments At the Supreme Court, His Lordship wrote about 200 Judgments in her capacity as a Justice of Supreme Court of Nigeria – 90 head judgments and 110  contributory judgments.

She wrote far more in her 10-year service at the Court of Appeal. She retired on 27th February 2018 on attainment of 70 years retirement age for Supreme Court Justices after 31 years of honourable and meritorious judicial service. Justice Ogunbiyi has been a member of National Association of Women Judges since its inception and its one time President.

His Lordship became a member of the Body of Benchers in Nigeria in 2009 and was made a life member on 31st March 2017. She is a member of Nigeria institute of Chartered Arbitrators. Justice Ogunbiyi is an active member of EYN Church and has held several leadership positions including Church Adviser in Maiduguri, Lagos and Abuja Churches.

She is the Chair of several faith based organisations including Missions Supporters League (MSL), Peniel Outreach Ministry, Chapel of Grace University of Maiduguri. She was on the Governing Council of Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students (NIFES) between 1984 to 1992 and 2016 till date. She is also a Life Patron of Boys Brigade of Nigeria (BEN) and a Chancellor of Ekiti Kwara Anglican Diocese from 2014 till date.

Furthermore, she also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Tolbert Specialists Hospital Abuja and Namu Model Schools, Maiduguri. Justice Ogunbiyi has received several awards and recognition including the Legal Magnates of Excellence in recognition of her contribution to the rule of law and sanity in the legal profession in 2009.

The Distinguished Trail Blazers award as the fourth female Justice of the Supreme Court. She has also been conferred with awards by the Nigeria Bar Association. She has delivered several papers at national and international conferences. Justice Ogunbiyi has been married to Dr. Bamigboye Ezekiel Ogunbiyi, a Senior Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician for 45 years.

They both have 5 biological children and 5 grandchildren. She is an avid reader and loves gardening, walking and faith related activities. ‘’Honey from the Rock’’ is Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi’s Biography which captures in great detail her humble roots, upbringing, challenges and faith, she emerged from a village settlement, Lassa in North Eastern Nigeria, but slowly and systematically, climbed the Legal and Judicial ladder till she got to the Supreme Court of Nigeria. –Culled from “Honey from the Rock,” Justice Ougnbiyi’s Biography.

How Pres. Jonathan Hacked Buhari’s Emails In 2015

The data analytics firm that worked on the Donald Trump election campaign was offered material from Israeli hackers who had accessed the private emails of two politicians who are now heads of state, witnesses have told the Guardian.

Multiple sources have described how senior directors of Cambridge Analytica – including its chief executive, Alexander Nix – gave staff instructions to handle material provided by computer hackers in election campaigns in Nigeria and St Kitts and Nevis.

They claim there were two episodes in 2015 that alarmed members of staff and led them to refuse to handle the data, which they assumed would have been obtained illegally.

SCL Elections, Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, denied taking possession of or using hacked or stolen personal information from such individuals for any purpose in either campaign.

The revelations are the latest to focus attention on Cambridge Analytica, whose activities are being investigated in the US by the special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his inquiry into possible Russian collusion in the 2016 US presidential election.

How The Story Unfolded

The firm is under pressure to explain how it came to have unauthorised access to millions of Facebook profiles. Politicians in the US and UK have accused it of giving misleading statements about its work, and the information commissioner has demanded access to the company’s databases.

In all, the Guardian and Observer has spoken to seven individuals with knowledge of Cambridge Analytica and its campaign in Nigeria in early 2015.

Hired by a Nigerian billionaire to support the re-election of Goodluck Jonathan, Cambridge Analytica was paid an estimated £2m to orchestrate a ferocious campaign against his rival, the opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari. Jonathan lost out to Buhari in the presidential race. There is no suggestion Jonathan knew of the covert operation.

Staff working on the campaign say in early 2015 they met Israeli cybersecurity contractors in Cambridge Analytica’s offices in Mayfair, London. Employees say they were told the meeting was arranged by Brittany Kaiser, a senior director at the firm.

The Guardian and Observer have been told the Israelis brought a laptop from their office in Tel Aviv and handed employees a USB stick containing what they believed were hacked personal emails.

Sources said Nix, who was suspended on Tuesday, and other senior directors told staff to search for incriminating material that could be used to damage opposition candidates, including Buhari.

“It made everyone feel really uncomfortable,” said one source. “They wanted people to load it into their email programs.”

People “freaked out”, another employee said. “They wanted to have nothing to do with it.”

One member of the campaign team told the Guardian and Observer that the material they believed had been hacked included Buhari’s medical records.

“I’m 99% sure of that. Or if they didn’t have his medical records they at least had emails that referred to what was going on.”

When news of the London meeting filtered back to Cambridge Analytica staff working on the ground in Nigeria, it caused panic, the source said. Local security advisers told the firm’s team to leave the country immediately because if opposition supporters found out, they could turn on them.

“What is clear is that the security of their employees didn’t even seem to have occurred to them,” said one former employee. “It was a very serious situation and they had to evacuate immediately.”

An SCL Elections spokesperson said team members working on the Nigeria campaign remained in the country throughout the original campaigning period, and left in accordance with the company’s campaign plan.

Aregbesola To Don’s: Find Solutions To Nigeria’s Economic Problems

By Ismail Kolapo

Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has called on University scholars to involve in more research that would provide food and security to eradicate the economic crisis facing Nigeria.

Aregbesola charged Nigerian Universities to embark on research capable of developing agriculture for food production and produce varieties of cattle to stop moving of herdsmen from one region to another that has caused crisis in the country.

Aregbesola made the disclosure on Wednesday in Osogbo,  when members of the Governing Council of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife paid him a courtesy visit in his office.

Aregbesola said ” If hunger is eliminated from our land, then human beings will be normal.  Hunger is the true definition of poverty and poverty is the great grandfather of all crises in Nigeria.”

He lamented the failure of Nigerian universities to use research development to address the nation’s socio-economic problems.

He said further that “All the challenges we are facing in this country are due to scholarship problems. Let universities engage in research and development as well as other scholarly programmes to proffer solutions to Nigeria’s problems.”

“You have society totally unaffected. Universities must apply themselves with the society.  There are so many glaring crisis in our society which the universities must address” he said.

Aregbesola who appealed to the management of the Obafemi Awolowo University,  Ile-Ife,  State of Osun and other Nigerian universities  to come up with solutions on matters and problem facing the country, decried the alarming rate of poverty in Nigeria.

The Management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola on rapid growth of infrastructure development in the state with high investment in education sector.

The chairman of the governing council, Prof. Yemi Ogunbiyi disclosed that the seven and half years of governor Rauf Aregbesola as elevated state of Osun to new levels among states in the South West.

He appreciated Aregbesola on his high investment in education sector that would remain unbeatable after his administration.

The Chairman of the Governing Council of the Ivory Tower stated that the performance of Aregbesola towards the infrastructural development of the state encouraged members of his council to pay him a courtesy visit to commend and encourage him to do more.

He said the management of OAU is ready to support the state government to pledging that the university would fulfill its social responsibilities as part of its contributions to the socio-economic development of the state.

Court Remands 5 Men In Ile Ife Over Cultism 

By Sodiq Lawal

An Osun State Magistrate Court II sitting in Ile Ife  on  Wednesday ordered the remand of five men over their alleged involvement in cultism.

The accused were: Seun Adeleke (21), Adedoyin Abraham (24); Olanrewaju Idowu (36), Oluyemi Peters (24) and Tijani Raheem (29)

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Olamilekan Ijiyode gave the order that the accused should be remanded at the Ile Ife prison  pending when they would perfect their bail conditions.

The accused were arraigned on a two-count bordering on conspiracy to cause a breach of the peace and belonging to an unlawful and secret society known as “Aloral Buccaneers’’.

The Prosecutor, Sunday Osanyituyi, told the court that the offences were committed on March 4 at about 9.30 a.m., at Iremo area.

He alleged that the accused gathered themselves and  conspired to cause a breach of the peace and disturbed residents of the area.

According to him, the offences contravened Sections 42(a), (b) and 09 of the Criminal Law of Osun  State, 2011.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the offences preferred against them.

Magistrate Ijiyode admitted them to bail in the sum of N200, 000 with two sureties each in like sum, who must provide evidence of proof of tax payment to the Osun state  government.

The case was then adjourned till April 6, 2018 for trial.

Man In Court For Attempting To Kill Daughter For Money Ritual In Osun

By Ismail Kolapo

The Osun State Police Command has arraigned a 38-year-old man , Odesola Odedokun for allegedly attempting to kill his daughter, Mary Odedokun for money ritual.

Odedokun was docked on Wednesday March 21, 2018 along side two other accused persons on four count charges bothering on attempting murder, unlawful possession of charms and fraud allegation leveled against them.

The two other accused includes Isaac Ajao 40 and Kazeem Ibrahim 42.

The police prosecutor Insp. Mustapha Tajudeen told the court that the accused persons and others at large committed the offense on March 7, 2018 at about 07:30hrs at Iron.

He explained that Odesola, the father of the victim and two other suspects conspired to kill one Mary Odedokun with the intention of using her for money rituals.

He further stated that the third accused person, Kazeem Ibrahim fraudulently obtained the sum of N34,000 from the Isaac Ajao with the pretense of using same money for doubling ritual.

The offences according to the Prosecutor was contrary to Sections 320, 418 and punishable under Section 419 of the Criminal Code Cap 34 Volume 11.Laws of Osun State 2002.

The three accused person pleaded not guilty to the allegations slammed against them.

Defense Counsel, Remigus Ugwu, applied for the bail of the accused in the most liberal terms.

Ugwu assured the court that reliable sureties were ready to stand for the accused persons and they would not jumb bail if granted.

In her ruling, Magistrate Fatimoh Sodamade, granted the three accused persons bail in the sum of N500,000 with one surety each in like sum.

She said, each sureties must be a grade level 15 civil servants and must be resident within the court jurisdiction and produce evidence of three year tax payments.

Sodamade further stated that the sureties must provide three passports sized photographs, attached with an affidavit of means just as their addresses be verified by the police in charge of the case.

She thereby adjourned the case till April 30 for hearing.

2018: Osun LG Parliamentarian Urges Voters To Collect PVCs

By Ismail Kolapo

The leader of the House, Irewole North Local Council Development Area (LCDA), State of Osun Parliamentarian Ademola Owoade has charged Osun citizens to ensure they get their Permanent Voter Cards.

He also urged those who have just attained the age of 18 to register and collect their voter cards.

Hon. Owoade make disclosure during the LCDA party organized to celebrate the victory of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the last Local Government election, held at St. John Primary School, Ikire.

The council lawmaker stressed that the PVC is the only thing that can give them an opportunity to choose their leader in September 22nd, gubernatorial election calling on the populace to support the new Local government parliamentary system in the state of Osun.

Hon. Owoade commended governor Rauf Aregbesola on his six point Integral Action Plan which revolves around banishing hunger, poverty and providing good health service delivery, employment creation, qualitative education noting that the programmes would be replicated in the local council area.

The Irewole North LCDA house leader, who expressed appreciation for the unalloyed support of the people of the council before, during and after the council poll, promised to use available resources to promote peace, unity and security, as well as creating employment and qualitative education in the council area.

He further said that “as a leader of the house with the support of my chairman and other co-parliamentarians, we will make Irewole North LCDA a worthy place for all its citizens, a local government that will be a shining light throughout the state.”


Amuneke, Sudan’s Al Khartoum Watani Part Ways Over Unpaid Salaries

Sudanese club Al Khartoum Watani have agreed to pay Emmanuel Amuneke compensation fee after both parties severed their ties on Tuesday.

Amuneke who confirmed his exit from the club to Completesportsnigeria.com, said he was owed two months salaries while in charge of the club he only joined in January.

“I wasn’t sacked. The director of the club called me to a meeting to explain why we have not been paid and he suggested that we take a pay cut as their major sponsors have not been supportive,” Amuneke told CSN.

“He was very sincere which I appreciate so well.

“But they (Al Khartoum Watani) agreed to pay what is being owed and of course what’s binding in the contract which was signed between both parties.

“The director was sincere and plain in his meeting with me on the dire financial conditions of the club. So there was no point staying on. I wasn’t sacked like they’re claiming here in Sudan.”

There were reports early on Wednesday from Sudan that Amuneke had been sacked due to poor results.

Under Amuneke’s short reign, Watani recorded three wins, two draws and three defeats in the Sudanese top flight.

Fans To Pay Up To N22k To Watch Poland Vs Super Eagles Friendly

Football fans expected to be at the the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw on Friday to watch the Super Eagles take on Poland will pay between $55 (about N19,800) and $63 (N22,680) for the tickets.

Other ticket prices for the game go for $56 (about N20,160), $57 (N20,520) and $58 (20,880) respectively according to viagogo.com.

According to the website there are only 33 tickets left on sale.

This will be the first meeting between both countries.

The game is Nigeria’s first in 2018 ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup where they will face Croatia, Iceland and Argentina in Group D.

Other friendlies lined up for the Super Eagles ahead of the 2018 World Cup are against Serbia, DR Congo, England and the Czech Republic.