PHOTONEWS: Aregbesola Visits Ooni As He Tours Ife Federal Constituency

Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun on Monday afternoon paid an homage on the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II at his palace in Ile Ife shortly before joining party faithfuls of the All Progressives Congress APC at the Ife City Hall for the kick-off of the Federal Constituencies tour of the Governor ahead of the September 22 Gubernatorial Elections in the state.

Here are photos from the visit courtesy Dolapo Julius.

 

Expert Expresses Concern Over Rate Of Male Infertility

The high rate of infertility amongst men of child bearing age is becoming a major source of concern to reproductive experts.

Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER on this issue, a Reproductive Endocrinologist at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife, Dr. Ayodele Caleb Onigbinde stated that the primary cause of male infertility is the lack of production of healthy sperm.

He stated that for the production of healthy sperm, it involves the growth and formation of the male reproductive organs during puberty.

“At least, one of the testicles must be functioning correctly, and the body must produce testosterone and other hormones to trigger and maintain sperm production.

“Sperm have to be carried into the semen. Once sperm are produced in the testicles, delicate tubes transport them until they mix with semen and are ejaculated out of the penis”.

Onigbinde also hinted that there is need for sperm to be enough in the semen.

“If the number of sperm in the semen (sperm count) is low, it decreases the odds that one of the sperm will fertilize your partner’s egg. A low sperm count is fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen or fewer than 39 million per ejaculation”.

He also added that, sperm must be functional and able to move and if the movement (motility) or function of the sperm is abnormal, the sperm may not be able to reach or penetrate the egg in a female ovum.

Other reasons for male infertility as adduced by Onigbinde include a number of health issues and medical treatments, environmental, health and lifestyle.

These according to him, include Varicocele, which is a swelling of the veins that drain the testicle and is the most common reversible cause of male infertility.

Others include infections, ejaculation issues, antibodies that attack sperm, tumors, undescended testicles, hormone imbalances, defects of tubules that transport sperm, chromosome defects, problem with sexual intercourse, celiac disease, medications, past surgeries.

Others, according to him, are industrial chemicals, heavy metal exposure, overheating the testicles (wearing of tight undergarments), illicit drug and alcoholic use, tobacco smoking, emotional stress and obesity.

Army Troop Kills 7 More Boko Haram Members

The Nigerian Army on Saturday said its troops killed seven Boko Haram insurgents in the ongoing clearance operation in separate ambushes in Borno State.

Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Operation LAFIYA DOLE, made the disclosure in a statement in Maiduguri.

Nwachukwu disclosed that the troops also arrested a suspected Boko Haram insurgents’ spy, Modu Chari, and recovered arms in multiple encounters with the fleeing terrorists on April 13.

He said that the troops killed two insurgents fleeing from military onslaught in Sambisa Forest at Kusheri-Ardodam along Magumeri in Borno, adding that the troops recovered two AK 47 rifles, three magazines and 18 rounds of 7.62 mm NATO type ammunition.

Nwachukwu revealed that troops also neutralized two insurgents in an ambush along a remote track in Mafa, recovering one AK 47 rifle, two magazines and a bicycle.

In another ambush, he said, three fleeing insurgents were killed by troops at Multe-Lawanti, South of Furfur in Damboa, Borno, and recovered one AK 47 rifle, three motorcycles, two bicycles, spanners and dresses.

The army spokesman disclosed that the troops on Friday arrested a member of the Boko Haram terrorists group, Madu Chari, while transiting along Cross Kauwa in the northern region of Borno.

He explained that the suspect was on an espionage mission when he was nabbed by troops, adding that investigations indicated that Chari was an active member of the Al Barnawi faction of the terrorists group.

“The ferocity of the ongoing Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency Operations to rid the northeast of Boko Haram hideouts and enclaves has further suffocated the terrorists group hence they resorted to suicide attacks on innocent civilians.

“It is crucial, therefore, to draw the attention of the general public to the terrorists’ callous resort to the use of diverse types of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), to attack vulnerable civilians in their bid to instil fear amongst the populace in order to remain relevant.

“Members of the public are advised to be vigilant and report suspicious persons, movements and activities to security agencies.”

(NAN)

Court Refuses To Freeze Patience Jonathan’s Bank Accounts

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday turned down an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission seeking to seize the funds in 15 bank accounts linked to former First Lady, Patience Jonathan.

The funds, which the anti-graft agency sought to confiscate, included a total of $8,435,788.84 and over N7.35bn.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun in his verdict trashed the ex parte application filed by the EFCC for the seizure of the funds, saying the funds were already subject of litigation before two other judges.

Recall that Waripamo-Owei Dudafa, then domestic aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, had told the court that the $15.5m siezed from the former First Lady was her legitimate money.

Dudafa, who appeared as Patience’s first witness had also claimed that the $15.5m seized from Patience by the EFCC was not proceeds of fraud but, “consisted of her personal inheritance and money which she held in trust for her siblings, as well as gifts from friends and well-wishers over the years.”

Dudafa said the multi-million dollars and other currencies belonging to Mrs Jonathan were cash gifts, inheritance and funds she holds in trust for others.

16 To Repeat NYSC In Nasarawa, Osun

No fewer than six members of the National Youth Service Corps that served in Nasarawa State are to repeat their service year for allegedly absconding from their various places of Primary Assignment in the state.

The Corps also extended the service of 10 of the 2,086 outgoing corps members of 2017 batch A, stream I in Osun State for committing various offences.

The Nasarawa State coordinator of the NYSC, Mrs. Zainab Isah, disclosed the decision on the occasion of the passing out parade of 2017 batch ‘A’ stream 1 corps members held on Thursday at Lafia Square.

She further revealed that the agency lost three corps members — two males and a female — during the service year under review.

According to her, “A total of 2,049 corps members passed out after a successful service year in the state. This comprise 961 males and 1,097 females. ”

The state coordinator noted that the batch ‘A’ corps members have done very well, hence they would be leaving behind an indelible footprint.

“They have executed projects that are beneficial to their host communities, interacted and enjoyed their stay in Nasarawa State,” she added.

Isah, however, appealed to the Nasarawa State Government to pay the outstanding stipends being owed the outgoing corps members.

In response, the state governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, who was represented by the secretary to the state government, Barrister Muhammed Abdullahi, assured the management of the NYSC in the state of government’s readiness to remit the outstanding stipends owed the corps members.

He said, “We assured the management of the NYSC in the state that government will remit the outstanding stipends being owed the outgoing corps members.”

In the same vein, the National Youth Service Corps in Osun State has extended the service of 10 of the 2,086 outgoing corps members of 2017 batch A, stream 1 for committing various offences.

The NYSC Coordinator in the state, Mr. Emmanuel Attah, made this known on Thursday during the passing out ceremony of corps members at the permanent orientation camp in Ede.

Attah said the corps members breached the rules guiding the service year and they would serve varying degrees of punishment.

He said the punishment would range from extension of service to re-mobilisation in accordance with the by-laws of the scheme and gravity of their offences.

The coordinator, however, implored them to be committed to a lifelong service of rebuilding Nigeria as well as making use of their skills, intellect and development to better the lives of people around them.

The state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, in his farewell address, urged the corps members to be self-reliant and not to wait for white collar jobs.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs. Grace Laoye-Tomori, also charged them to arm themselves with skills gained in the course of the service year as they step into the larger society

New Turkish Coach Tayfun Appointment Delights Heartland Players

The appointment of Turkish coach Mehmet Tayfun has been welcomed by the Heartland players and theclub’s new technical adviser and hope his arrival will bolster their survival in the Nigeria Professional Football League.

The Naze Millionaires have not had it easy and are currently 18th in the NPFL table having picked 17 points from 16 games.

The Owerri club, who recently directed their technical crew led by Ramson Madu to step aside and appointed Ezekiel Onyegbule as acting head coach, confirmed Tayfun’s appointment on Wednesday.

“I think it is a bold move by the management of the club. Though we don’t know much about our new technical adviser, we have strong belief that things will get better for us under him,” a key member of the team told Completesportsnigeria.com.

“It’s now a fresh start for us and I know everyone will be eager to impress the new coach which will bring out the best in all of us.”

Another player who also spoke with CSN on the condition of anonymity also expressed joy on the Turk’s arrival, praising the club’s hierarchy for the move.

“I’m happy with the decision of the club. I can tell you categorically that majority of my teammates are happy too,” he told CSN.

“Heartland is a big club and we shouldn’t be fighting relegation. We will give our all under the new coach and hope everything will work out well under him.”

Tayfun has a UEFA Professional Coaching License and his arrival was made possible by the existing technical  partnership arrangement between Heartland and Turkish side Boluspur FC which was signed last year.

The 56- year-old was previously part of Boluspor’s coaching crew.

His first game in charge of Heartland will be Sunday’s Nigeria Professional Football League match day 16 clash against El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri.

Iheanacho, Ndidi For Leicester City Season Awards

Nigeria stars Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi have been nominated for five awards at their Leicester City club this season.

Iheanacho has been nominated for three awars namely Player of the Season, the Young Player of the Year and the Goal of the Season award.

The Super Eagles forward has so far scored six goals in 23 games in all competitions this season.

Ndidi also got two nominations (the Player of the Season, the Young Player of the Year).

Iheanacho and Ndidi are up against Demarai Gray, Ben Chilwell, Fousseni Diabaté, Harvey Barnes, Hamza Choudhury and Josh Knight for the the Young Player of the Year award.

Ndidi won the Young Player of the Year award last season.

The pair of Iheanacho and Ndidi were also nominated for the player of the season alongside 28 other players.

Surprisingly, Ahmed Musa who did not feature for the Foxes in the English Premier League before he departed on loan to CSKA Moscow was also listed among the nominees for the Player of the Season award.

Iheanacho’s strike against Peterborough United in the English FA Cup is one of 10 goals nominated for the Goal of the Season award at the club.

The Foxes have opened voting to their supporters for their end-of-season awards ceremony, which will be held at the King Power Stadium on May 1.

Voting has commenced with the deadline set for Friday 20 April. The winner will be announced on May 1 at the Club’s 2017/18 End of Season Dinner.

 

Ghana Owes Nigeria $160m For Gas Supply

Ghana is said to be owing a total of $160m for gas supplied to its largest power producer, Volta River Authority, from Nigeria through the West Africa Gas Pipeline.

N-Gas Limited is a company owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Chevron and Shell, and buys gas from oil companies in Nigeria and transport it to Ghana through the $1bn WAGP.

The pipeline, which is operated by the West Africa Pipeline Company Limited, was built to distribute gas from Nigeria to customers from and in  Benin, Togo and Ghana.

N-Gas has an off-take agreement with Ghana to supply 120 million standard cubic feet of gas per day to the VRA. But supply to the country had fallen short of the contractual volume in recent years.

“There is a current arrangement between the gas suppliers and the off-taker that the volume will be 60mmBtu,” the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, West Africa Gas Pipeline Company Limited, Harriet Wereko-Brobby, told our correspondent in response to questions sent via a text message.

She said the off-taker (VRA) had established a payment security arrangement for gas consumed to halt “debt accumulation going forward.”

“There is still an outstanding debt of around $160m to be paid to the supplier, N-Gas, and it is expected that about $30m will be paid shortly,” Wereko-Brobby added.

GhanaWeb recently reported that the volume of gas supplied to Ghana from Nigeria for power production had reduced by about 50 per cent.

It said the situation had been attributed to the inability of Ghana to settle its long-standing debts as stipulated in the gas supply contract, and vandalism of gas pipelines in Nigeria.

The Board Chairman, VRA, Kweku Awotwi, was quoted to have said, “We are at about half of what we have been contractually promised, which is not good enough. There are many reasons for that: the vandalism of pipelines and the fact that we have not paid our bills. We owe them about GH180m; what do you expect them to do?

“Now, we are getting the gas because the VRA is pre-paying for that gas. We are putting in Letters of Credit to get the gas.”

In 2016, Nigeria saw a resurgence of militant attacks in the Niger Delta that caused the nation’s oil production to plummet to a near 30-year low and disrupted gas supply to power plants.

Commenting on the debt owed by Ghana for the supply of gas through the pipeline in May last year on the sidelines of an event in Badagry, the Managing Director, WAPCo, Mr. Walter Perez, told our correspondent, “We are delivering gas now because we have put arrangement in place for Ghana to prepay for the deliveries that they receive, and so that is working. We have every expectation that this will continue to work.”

500 Kogi Farmers Receives Training

Sunny DeLegend Services, an NGO, in collaboration with Kogi Government on Saturday trained 500 farmers on “Agriculture Beyond Food: E-commerce Training”.

The Managing Director of the NGO, Mrs Joy Amuta, told journalists in Lokoja that the training would cut across areas such as agriculture, fashion, recycling and real estate.

She added that 10,000 farmers were targeted through value chain with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) including benefits such as workshop, business plan, loan facilities, off-takers opportunity, partnership and business connection.

“Many people do not know that with agriculture you can become a millionaire, and that is the reason we are trying to educate, sensitise and train them in that aspect.

“We are also partnering with Tehilla Shelter Foundation, Heal4Africa Initiative, SMEDAN and other stakeholders to bring hope to the people and restore to them what they had lost in agriculture.

“Today, we are opening the mind of the participants that they can actually channel whatever passion they have into agriculture; you can source your income from agriculture and use it to develop your passion,” she said.

Amuta commended the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba, for making the programmme a success, saying the farmers are ready to really engage in mechanised farming.

“We will educate, sensitise, train and give them the necessary information on how they can easily access these funds.

“We urge all farmers across the state to take advantage of the programme and key into it,” she said.

She added that the organisation had mapped out 1,000 hectares of land for this wet season, but that the main challenge was land clearing. She said the commissioner has promised to facilitate it.

Oloruntoba commended the organisers for the initiative, describing it as a wonderful project and a way of empowering the people to richness.

According to Oloruntoba, there is land, water and people; and the government is supporting agriculture, but the NGOs are needed to partner with government to educate and train our people.

“So, programmes like this will create an avenue to let our people know those opportunities that are available to them and take advantage of them.

“We have also completed land mappings few days ago for 4,800 farmers with minimum of one hectare each, for proper information and accurate data to eliminate sharp practices,” he said.

Mr Clement Ilegoke, a participant, said on behalf of his colleagues that: “I think we are impressed because the loans are well explained and we are all ready to go back to the farm and make the state proud.”

New Looter’s List to be Released Shortly, Many will be Shocked-

As controversy continues to trail the release of looters’ list by the Federal Government in the last one week, there are strong indications that government is compiling fresh names of people alleged to have looted the nation’s treasury.

Our correspondents learnt that the fresh list might contain names of those who have yet to be arraigned in courts for corruption.

The list may also include names of former governors, ministers and even bankers.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had in the past said 55 persons stole N1.34tn under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. Last week, he released 29 names, who he said took money from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sabo Dasuki (retd.).

Many of the names he released were, however, those already undergoing trial for alleged corruption while the names of members of the former ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party, who had defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress were conspicuously omitted from the list.

The two lists contained names of those in the main opposition party, the PDP. The PDP had subsequently criticised the government, accusing it of being biased and diverting attention from its alleged incompetence.

But a source close to the Presidency, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told one of our correspondents in Abuja on Friday, that the government, through the Ministry of Information and Culture, would soon release another list.

He said that the next batch would be more comprehensive and would contain the names of those who either took money from the office of the former NSA or directly from the Federal Government before the 2015 elections.

He said the government was aware of the controversy that surrounded the release of the first two lists, adding that the names of some persons considered to be close to the government could be in the third list.

The source said, “Between you and me, I can authoritatively tell you that we are compiling a fresh list. We won’t release it until we are satisfied with it. We want to be thorough. People will be shocked when we release the fresh names.

“Those who accused us of being biased will know that we know what we are doing. The first list was a fraction. When the second one came out, people were surprised. As for the next one, people will be shocked. I won’t say more than that.”

Efforts made to reach Mohammed on the issue were unsuccessful as calls made to his mobile phone indicated that it was switched off.

Our list includes former governors, ministers, bankers –Sagay

However, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), in an interview with Saturday PUNCH confirmed that the names of 55 persons that allegedly looted N1.34tn under Jonathan’s regime were not in the lists of looters released by the Federal Government.

He said he was very sure that the Federal Government would publish the names of these alleged looters. He said, “Yes, I’m sure. In fact, there is a paper containing all their names, the charges against them, how far their cases have gone, some of them have never been charged.

“That list includes former governors, ministers, bankers and so on. That is another list entirely.”

He, however, refused to mention any of the names on the list, saying, “No, I don’t want to mention any names for now. There are people on that list that the court declared that the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) had no right to prosecute for technical reasons, not for substantive reasons.”

Secondus sues Lai Mohammed, demands N1.5bn damages

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, has dragged Mohammed to court for defamation of character.

Mohammed had on Friday, last week, identified Secondus as one of those who looted the nation’s treasury in the first list.

He alleged that Secondus collected N200m from Dasuki, an allegation that was denied by Secondus, who said he was embarrassed by the minister’s claim.

He claimed through a letter from his lawyer, Mr. Emeka Etiaba (SAN ), that he did not collect money and asked the minister to retract his statement. He also asked for the payment of N1.5bn as damages and a public apology within 48 hours.

The letter told Mohammed to note that if he failed to meet their demand after 48 hours, “We shall within 72 hours from today, proceed to a court of competent jurisdiction to ventilate our client’s rights under the law and shall further seek the protection of the court against you.”

Having failed to meet the demand, Secondus on Friday, made good his threat and filed a suit at the High Court, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, asking the court to award the sum of N1.5bn to him as damages for humiliation, castigation, vilification attack on his person and integrity as a result of the publication.

According to a statement by the PDP National Chairman’s Media Office, which was signed by his spokesperson, Mr. Ike Abonyi, Secondus, in the suit numbered: /PHC/1013/2018, is also claiming that Mohammed’s publication is defamatory.

He, therefore, asked the court to direct Mohammed to retract the said publication and apologise to him in writing.

He asked the court to compel the minister to publish the retraction and apology in the Nation, This Day, The Sun, The Guardian and The PUNCH as well as on television stations like Nigerian Television Authority and Channels TV, among others, where the “defamatory” report was published.

Secondus is also asking the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from further publishing defamatory materials against him.

Joined in the suit are the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Attorney General of the Federation and the Vintage Press Limited, publishers of The Nation Newspapers.

Also included in Mohammed’s first list were a former PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisah Metuh, who is on trial for allegedly collecting N1.4bn from NSA office; Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, who is on trial for taking N2.1bn from NSA office; and a former Senior Special Adviser to President Jonathan, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei, who is on trial over N830m kept in accounts of four different companies

In the second list, the minister said based on EFCC’s investigation, N126bn, $1.5bn and £5.5m were allegedly embezzled through Dasuki’s office. He said the amounts were not part of the ongoing $2.1bn military equipment scandal.

Source: PUNCH

Military Aircraft Crashes In South Korea

A military aircraft on Thursday, crashed in South Korea’s North Gyeongsang Province.

According to local media; “The aircraft, which is believed to be a fighter jet, crashed in Chilgok county,’’.

The Republic of Korea Air Force confirmed that the crashed aircraft was the F-15K fighter, adding that it was returning to Daegu Air Base when the incident happened.

“One F-15K aircraft, which took off from Daegu air base at 1:30 p.m. [04:30 GMT] today, crashed in Chilgok county, North Gyeongsang Province, at 2:38 p.m.while returning to base,’’ it said.

The military officials, however, said they were trying to verify whether or not two pilots of the crashed jet survived.