Terrorists Plotting To Bomb Abuja, US, UK Warn

In its latest foreign travel advice to British nationals,the British government has warned their citizens of terrorist groups’ threat to carry out bomb attacks in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, during the year end festive period.

It stated “You should avoid places where crowds gather, including religious gatherings and places of worship, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, transport hubs and camps for displaced people,” the United Kingdom said in a statement posted on the FCO website.

Government of the United States of America (USA) made a similar move by cautioning its citizens on safe travel and movement in the nation’s capital through its ‘Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Holiday Security Reminder’.

The reminder partly read “The US Mission urges all US citizens to exercise caution in and around shopping centres, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, and other places where crowds gather in and around the Federal Capital Territory, from now through the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season. Terrorist groups have threatened to conduct bombings and attacks in this area during this period.

“The US Mission remains concerned about potential attacks in the states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa and Yobe. Travellers are urged to avoid those states through the end of the year.

“Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security”.

BREAKING: Nigerian Govt. Recovers Stolen $85m From UK

The Nigerian Government has announced on Thursday the recovery of $85m from the United Kingdom (UK).

The money is said to have been part of the stolen funds from the controversial Malabu Oil deal.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami stated this at the on-going consultative meeting on assets recovery in Abuja.

Malami decried the negative attitude of some countries that are still holding on to stolen assets, despite several treaties signed with the Federal Government to facilitate the return of loot.

Details later…

UK Accuses Nigeria Over The Operation Of Biafra Radio

The United Kingdom has blamed Nigeria for the continued operation of pirate Radio Biafra which the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)uses to preach hate against the country.

The radio station domiciled in the UK was established by the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) with Mr. Nnamdi Kanu as Director.

Kanu, also a British citizen, operated the radio on behalf of MASSOB and later took over the radio as a megaphone of IPOB.

The British government seems not happy with reports credited to Nigerian information and culture minister Lai Mohammed, who insinuated that the UK had not shut the radio station.

A terse statement released on Thursday by Mr. Joe Abuku, Press and Public Affairs Officer, British High Commission in Nigeria, said the “The UK is not aware of any representation from Nigerian government about Radio Biafra.’’

“Were we to receive any such request, we would, of course, consider it carefully on the basis of the available evidence, recognizing that freedom of speech and expression carries responsibilities.’’

The minister recently accused some people in France and United Kingdom of having links with the proscribed IPOB.

According to reports, Mohammed was quoted that “the financial headquarters” of the separatist group “is in France”.

He said this is a “fact”while faulting the UK for not doing something to stop Biafra radio from airing over there.

As the Minister pointed out, the Biafra Radio was probably not taken down by the UK authorities is that the radio is a free channel of communication available to any law-abiding person.

Very much like the internet and social media, anyone who has the license to operate a radio can always air whatever they want to.

Monisola Bakre: Is The UK Government Forcefully ‘Adopting’ A Nigerian Child @UKinNigeria @TheresaMay_M @PaulTArkwright

…Don’t Come Home Without My Son, Distressed Father Pleads

A Nigerian man, Ayo Bakre has raised an alarm over the curious illegal detention and absurd adoption of his young son in the United Kingdom.

According to Bakre, the issue started in 2012 when his wife, Shade traveled to London with their son Monisola, who was less than one year old then.

Since their departure five years ago, the story has taken bizarre turns in what ended in an unjust, if illegal ‘adoption by the UK government’ under the pretext that the mother could not take care of the child.

Now the UK government is about to deport the mother to Nigeria but without her child.

The wife and son, Shade and Monisola Bakre
The wife and son, Shade and Monisola Bakre

Ayo Bakre who has two other children with Shade (Moyosore and Morolayo), told Osun Defender that “Sade had traveled to London on holiday in 2012 with Monisola who was less than 12 months then.

While in London, Monisola got injured and was taken to an hospital for treatment but the social workers claimed the degree of the injury is non-accidental. Because of this, the mother was charged to court for attempted murder, child trafficking, etc. but she was subsequently cleared of this by the court in Bromley.

“However, the judge says she cannot release the boy to her on the ground that in the opinion of the court, she cannot take care of the boy. After a long legal battle, our son was adopted by a court decision.

“As a father, this does not go down well with me and I have told the mother not to make any attempt to return to Nigeria without bringing my child. I don’t understand this decision in anyway. We have never declared to court in any manner that we cannot take care of our son. I am saying it loud and clear regardless of the consequences that my son Monisola must be brought back home. The mother dares not come back home without bringing Monisola.

” I have appealed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a letter dated 17th of August, 2015 to help me in this unfortunate situation I found myself but I am yet to get any response. His siblings at home keep disturbing me almost on a daily basis that they want to see their brother but each time they say they want to talk to their brother, confusion always sets in.”

 

Moyosore and Morolayo Bakre and their father, Ayo Bakre
Moyosore and Morolayo Bakre and their father, Ayo Bakre

The case leaves many questions unanswered as Shade’s family has threatened to report Ade to the police for insisting that the mother must return only with Monisola, his son. This has raised the question of whether the boy was actually adopted or if any shady dealings are playing out

“I don’t care if my wife’s family reports to police because they threatened to do so when I told them their daughter dares not return home, if my son is not released. I am not about the story in UK; all I want is Monisola must be brought back or else the consequence for Shade might be too severe”, Bakre said.

UK to Invest in Nigeria’s Energy Sector

Britain has expressed its readiness to invest in pipeline infrastructure, renewable energy, gas and power of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.

British High Commissioner, Mr. Paul Arkwright, made this promise when the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, visited the Chancery of British High Commission in Abuja.

Mr. Arkwright noted that the British Government had genuine investment interest in the Downstream, Midstream and Upstream sectors, stressing that the British Department for International Trade was ready to liaise with the Federal Government to invest in the country.

The High Commissioner also urged the Federal Government and the NNPC to organize a road show in London to create awareness on the possible investment opportunities available in the Nigerian Oil and Gas sector.

Mr. Arkwright said so many British investors had funds which they were willing to invest in Nigeria, stressing, however, that the process of obtaining Nigerian visa in United Kingdom was cumbersome with three different levels of visa procurement fees as well as Nigeria’s postal order system.

NNPC’s spokesman, Mr. Ughamadu, on behalf of the Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, condoled with the British Government over the recent terror attacks in the United Kingdom.

Ughamadu, who lead the NNPC delegation, commended the High Commissioner for the Commission’s promptness in issuing visas to officials of the Corporation. He assured that NNPC would sustain the cordial relations.

NAN

UK Will Not Support Break-up of Nigeria – Envoy

The United Kingdom has denied insinuation that it is in support of any agitation for the break-up of Nigeria.

The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Thomas Arkwright, said on Friday that the British government was not supporting those calling for the secession in Nigeria.

The UK said it would always support Nigeria’s unity and ensure the progress of the country as usual.

Arkwright spoke in Ilorin, Kwara State , when a paid a courtesy visit to the state House of Assembly where he met with the Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmed and other principal officers of the house.

“In a word, no, we don’t have anything to do with anyone agitating for break-up of Nigeria.

“We’re strongly in support of the unity of Nigeria and the federal government of Nigeria. And that’s what the British government has consistently supported and we don’t have interest or support any one agitating for the break- up of Nigeria.

“For anyone to say the British governmental is involved in any way in the break-up of Nigeria is completely wrong,” he said.

He described Nigeria’s democratic situation as delicate, but commended efforts at upholding democratic tenets and keeping the flame of democracy alive.

France, an ally of defunct Biafra in 1967, had similarly denounced any further step to actualise the secession of South East from Nigeria.

The country said that such a move had been overtaken by events and no longer in support of break-up of any part of Nigeria.

France’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Denys Gauer, said his country would not in any way work with any group agitating for the dismemberment of Nigeria.

He said France was working with Nigeria and supporting it as a country.

He spoke against the backdrop of France’s previous support for Biafra during Nigeria’s civil war.

Gauer pointed out that Nigeria has evolved since the civil war.

France has been cooperating with the country to overcome its challenges, especially the fight against insurgency.

NAN

British Government to Invest in Kano

According to the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Arkwright who recently visited the Acting Governor of Kano state, Prof. Hafizu Abubakar at the Government House,the British Government has expressed its readiness to invest in Kano State to promote growth.

Arkwright who was reportedly in Kano to assess some of the programmes being executed by the Department of International Development (DFID) on education and health said the Commission is impressed with how the programmes are running. He said “The teacher training programme is very impressive and we look forward to more strengthened relationship between Kano State and the British Government.

Responding to Arkwright’s positive remarks and promise of future investments, acting governor, Abubakar said the state government was very grateful for the interventions in the health and education sector through the DFID, noting that “On the teacher development training programme, the state had 50 per cent of unqualified teachers and the need to train them is a must. There are currently 58,000 primary school teachers in the state and most of them don’t have basic teaching qualification.

UK at Loggerheads With EU Over Brexit “Divorce Bill”

The UK will not pay a €100bn (£85bn) “divorce bill” to leave the EU, Brexit Secretary David Davis has insisted.

He told ITV’s GMB programme the UK would pay what it was legally obliged to do “not just what the EU wants”.

It comes amid claims by the Financial Times that the financial settlement sought by the EU has risen from €60bn.

Mr Davis said the UK treated its EU “rights and obligations” seriously but it had “not seen any number”, adding the EU was playing “rough and tough”.

The EU’s chief negotiator Michael Barnier is due to publish his guidelines for the talks later.

An EU source has told the BBC that officials in Brussels will not enter into a discussion about potential figures for a final bill.

Talks over the size of the so-called “divorce bill” are likely to be one of the hardest-fought and most sensitive areas of the Brexit process.

Mr Davis said the negotiations had not started in earnest but indicated the UK would set down a marker when it came to talks over the divorce settlement.

“We are not supplicants,” he said. “They lay down what they want and we lay down what we want.”

The EU has insisted that the UK will have to accept liabilities stemming from its membership, including contributions to the EU Budget.
The EU has already listed some sort of agreement on a payment from the UK as a precondition for opening talks on a trade deal.

Previous calculations had placed the financial settlement likely to be demanded by the EU at between 50 and 60bn euros.

The Financial Times, using the same economic model with new data from around Europe, suggests that has now gone up to 100bn euros.

There are reports in Brussels that the difference might include demands from countries like France and Poland for UK contributions to farm subsidies.

The EU may also be planning to refuse to allow the UK a share of the EU’s assets including buildings and bank deposits.

The suggestion that the payment would be made in installments would not do much to soften the blow from the British perspective, he added.

The revelation comes amid growing tensions between the UK and EU following reports of a dinner in Downing Street last week, in which European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is said to have told Theresa May that Brexit could not be a success.

On Tuesday, Mrs May said Mr Juncker would discover that she could be a “bloody difficult woman”.

Many Conservative MPs argue the UK does not owe the EU anything given the size of the contributions it has made in the past.

A recent report by a House of Lords committee argued the UK was not legally obliged to pay a penny.

BBC

Good News! 5 Days Visa Policy For Nigerians Applying To Uk

Here is a new development to all Nigerians that plan to visit Uk, The British government has introduced a program that will make Nigerians secure UK visas without stress.

The British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, who broke the news, said the embassy has also reduced the maximum turnaround time for all classes of visa application to 15 days. Arkwright also added that 90% of the people who applied for students visas in UK were successful

The British government has initiated a programme in which Nigerians could secure visas to the United Kingdom the same day they applied for it or wait for 5 days before getting it.

“There are as many as 250,000 Nigerian nationals or dual Nigerian-British nationals living in the UK at the moment. Some claim the total Nigerian Diaspora in the UK is well over a million. We want Nigerians to come to the UK. They come to do business, to study, to see family and to invest in our economy. “We have introduced the same-day visa service – at a cost – for visas in Nigeria. We have also introduced a service that can mean you get a visa within 5 days, at a lower cost than the same day process. Our turnaround time for all other visas is 15 days. “The key thing, however, is that all visitors to the UK – whether they are from Nigeria or anywhere else – must respect the law and the length of time their visa says they can stay in the UK,” Arkwright said.

“We have introduced the same-day visa service – at a cost – for visas in Nigeria. We have also introduced a service that can mean you get a visa within 5 days, at a lower cost than the same day process. Our turnaround time for all other visas is 15 days. “The key thing, however, is that all visitors to the UK – whether they are from Nigeria or anywhere else – must respect the law and the length of time their visa says they can stay in the UK,” Arkwright said.

He also predicted that Nigeria’s role in the world would change significantly as, in few years; Lagos would become a major global economic center while Nigeria would emerge one of the three biggest countries in the world.

“By 2050, Nigeria will be the third biggest country in the world as it will overtake the USA to join China and India as the three biggest countries. Secondly, Lagos – Africa’s fifth largest economy in 2016 – will become more important in the coming years as the African example of how to break down barriers to doing business and bring in foreign investment,” he said.

U.K. Just Went Without Coal Power for the First Time Since 1880s

The U.K. had its first full day without burning coal to make electricity since the Industrial Revolution more than a century ago, according to grid operator National Grid Plc.

The Paris climate deal brought together almost 200 nations in pledging steps to cut fossil-fuel pollution. Nigeria also signed this deal and implicitly pledged to reduce activities that cause climate change.

“Friday 21st April 2017 was the first 24-hour period since the 1880s where Great Britain went without coal-fired power stations,” the National Grid control room said in a Twitter post confirming the achievement announced earlier.

The country is getting half of its electricity from gas power plants, 30 percent from renewables and interconnectors and the remainder from nuclear plants, according to Duncan Burt, head of operate the system at National Grid.

The U.K. was an early adopter of renewable energy and has more offshore wind turbines installed than any other country, as well as fields of solar panels with as much capacity at seven nuclear reactors. The government aims to switch off all coal plants by 2025.

“It’s really down to the growing levels of renewables,” Burt said by phone. “We have solar and wind displacing traditional fossil fuels. We’ll start seeing these days more regularly, especially in June and July when it’s sunny.”

Neighboring countries have similar agendas and energy companies across the continent closing and converting coal-burners at a record pace. Europe’s use of the most polluting fossil fuel is drying up quicker than many expected.

“A decade ago, a day without coal would have been unimaginable, and in 10 years’ time our energy system will have radically transformed again,” Hannah Martin, head of energy at Greenpeace U.K., said in an email.

Action against climate change is the primary reason for the shift to cleaner energy. European Union members have to meet a target to generate 20 percent of their final energy consumption from renewable sources by the end of the decade.

European countries are furthest ahead in greening their power systems. Britain generated more power from the sun than from its coal fleet last July.

With Bloomberg

Britain to Unveil Nigerian Property Owners

The British Government, will release information about Nigerians, who own property in that country next year.

Prof. Bolaji Owosanoye, Executive Secretary, Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that negotiations on this had reached advanced stage.

Owosanoye said the measure being taken by the governments of both countries was a step up the fight against corruption.

“There’s no doubt that rogues in government oppress and impoverish their people by corruption and this must be sanctioned by collective action.

“We need to make sure that there is no safe haven for corrupt officials to run to.

“Britain has promised that by 2018, she will provide Nigeria with the information about who owns what and where; that’s very helpful.

“These include all the houses that have been bought by public officials or accounts that are held by public officials on which they are right now not paying taxes or which they cannot explain the sources.

“So if you cannot buy a house in England, you have to look for somewhere else.

“But if all countries criminalise this, then it becomes much more difficult unless you want to buy the house on Mars,” he said.

The presidential aide also explained that Nigeria and other African countries, who are victims of illicit financial flows, must challenge developed countries to block illicit financial flows from developing countries.

“Receiving states – the countries of the North – need to be proactive to block the proceeds of crime even before a request is made by victim countries.

“This is because, in many situations, it is clear that illegality is taking place.

“We think that reversing the burden of proof to improve the confiscation of criminal proceeds of crime would help, especially when we are going after the asset and not necessarily the person.

“If the person who claims to own the asset would not cooperate in giving information, then this should be a point in favour of the state,” Owosanoye said.

He contended that the burden of proof for criminal proceeds should shift to the suspects and not the government, citing the case of a former Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

“A former Managing Director of the NNPC was found with nine million dollars cash and over 70 million naira in his house in a small place he has built.

“He said the money is a gift. He was asked if he could tell the very generous angels who gave him this money.

“He’s not been able to provide that information. That sort of disposition should be used to penalise a claimant of asset who cannot justify the origin of the asset.

“The proposed “Unexplained Wealth Order in England,’’ which hopefully we were told would pass through the legal process this year, should really help to deepen the conversation in this regard.

“It (Unexplained Wealth Order) would help to quickly recover assets,” the presidential aide said.

Owosanoye said available research records showed that about 60 per cent of capital flight from Africa came from Nigeria because of the size of its economy. (NAN)