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Buratai in Battlefield, Military Launches Offensive against ISWAP, Terrorists

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Yusuf Buratai, was at the battlefield to provide direction and boost the morale of fighting soldiers as the military launched air and ground offensive against terrorists in Borno State yesterday.

However, as the military intensifies attacks against the terrorists, suspected Boko Haram insurgents have attacked Auno village in Borno town, and dislodged the civil authorities in the area.

The 120 Battalion of the newly formed Nigerian Army Special Forces Command neutralised 100 terrorists in different battlegrounds on day one of the offensive.
The Nigerian Air Force is involved in waves of bombardments, destroying in the process several terrorist gun trucks and facilities.

The battlegrounds are Goniri, Yobe State; Damasak, Kross Kauwa and Monguno among other locations in Borno State.
“The gallant troops have also been repelling attempted efforts by the terrorists to infiltrate their locations.

“Buoyed by the COAS presence and motivation, the troops in the frontline are in renewed positive fighting spirit across the theatre to stop incursions and annihilate the terrorists.

“The battle has now further shifted to the fringes of Lake Chad and other suspected Boko Haram terrorists enclave along the borders,” Army Spokesman, Brigadier-General Sani Usman, said.
Meanwhile, suspected Boko Haram insurgents have attacked Auno village in Borno town, dislodging civil authorities in the area.

The attack occurred early in the yesterday evening, precisely at about 6 p.m, throwing villagers into panic. The Borno State Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, confirmed the incident to Channels Television in a phone conversation, but maintained that the attack has been repelled.

Chukwu said the attack might have been a reprisal or a rescue mission as some insurgents were arrested in the same village and handed over to the military who later conveyed them to the 7 Division Headquarters in Maiduguri.

The police said the attack could be in revenge with the hope of rescuing their arrested accomplices.
It was not clear, if there were any casualties in the part of the civilian population or the attackers.
Auno is barely twenty kilometres to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital located at the west along the Maiduguri – Damaturu expressway, the only route linking the state to other parts of the country.

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Ogboni Fraternity Was Created To Promote Christian Values – Francis Meshioye

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Leader of the Reformed Ogboni Fraternity, Chief Francis Meshioye , has again debunked the public perception that the fraternity is a secret society.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos , Meshioye said there was nothing sinister in the activities of the fraternity .

“We are far from being a secret society; we are a registered entity that abides with the laws of the land and our objectives are to promote positive values, truth , justice and cultural heritage,” he said .

He explained that contrary to beliefs in some quarters, there was nothing secret or sinister about the fraternity , saying it was founded for the good of the society.

Meshionye further explained that the fraternity was actually founded in 1914 by a Christian , Deacon Jacobson Ogunbiyi , saying “the initial objective was to promote Christian values among the people . ”

He added that the group was later expanded to accommodate people of other faiths , hence the change in name from Ogboni Fraternity to Reformed Ogboni Fraternity.

Meshioye said a number of distinguished Nigerians , dead and living , were members of the group , emphasising that the fraternity was strictly for positive values.

He said it was note -worthy that the founding fathers of ROF were part of those who fought for the decolonisation of Nigeria , developed such establishments as the civil service , judiciary and many functional post- colonial institutions .
He listed some of them as late Sir Adetokunbo Ademola, late Chief Ladoke Akintola and late Sir Adeyemo Alakija.

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Management Of Sun Newspaper Reacts, As EFCC Storms Its Office With Armed Men

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Management of Sun Publishing Limited, publishers of Daily Sun newspaper, has reacted to the sealing of its Lagos office by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Armed policemen and officials of the EFCC had on Saturday stormed the office located at 2, Coscharis street, Kikikiri Industrial Layout, Apapa, Lagos, marking the building “EFCC, keep off”.

The EFCC had in a statement issued after the operation, attributed their actions to the recent judgement delivered against Slok Nigeria Limited by the Lagos state High Court.

But reacting in a statement sent to Igbere TV in Abuja, the Sun Publishing said its newspaper was not a party to the case of EFCC vs. Orji Kalu & 2 others, wondering why its premises should then be marked.

It, however, said that Slok and Senator Orji Kalu had filed an appeal against the High Court judgement and a hearing date given, wondering why the EFCC would not wait until the matter has been dispensed with at the Supreme Court.

The Sun insisted that it is a corporate limited liability company and its shares owned by various individuals distinct from Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, saying the court judgement should therefore not bind on them.

The Newspaper, therefore, called on the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to urgently intervene in the matter and advise the EFCC appropriately on the legal consequences of its actions.

Full Statement,

“EFCC VISIT TO THE SUN OFFICE WITH ARMED POLICEMEN: OUR STAND

“Three officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with four heavily armed policemen on Saturday, December 15, 2019 at about 10.00 am arrived the corporate headquarters of The Sun Publishing Limited at 2, Coscharis Street, Kirikiri Industrial Layout, Apapa, Lagos and put up a notice for staff and the general public to keep off the premises. The EFCC officials, who came in a white Toyota bus with registration number, ABUJA BWR-644GA, wrote on The Sun’s fence, “EFCC, keep off.” They also advised our staff to collect their personal belongings from the office as they will come back to seal the premises completely.

“We do not understand the legal basis for this EFCC action. It is on record that there is a pending appeal at the Supreme Court with Suit No: SC/546/2018 wherein The Sun Publishing Limited appealed against the Judgement delivered by the Court of Appeal on the interim forfeiture order made against it by a Federal High Court in 2007 based on ex parte proceeding. The Notice of Appeal and Motion for Stay of Execution were duly served on EFCC by the bailiffs of the Court.

“It is also pertinent to state that EFCC via a letter written by Counsel to The Sun Publishing Limited, dated 22nd May, 2018 and duly received by one Caleb Peter on behalf of Rotimi Jacobs & Co. was further put on notice of the pending appeal at the Supreme Court and advised to stay action in the matter pending the hearing of the Motion for Stay of execution and the appeal.

“Again, it is instructive to state that The Sun Publishing Limited was not a party to the case of EFCC vs. Orji Uzor Kalu & 2 Others, so we do not see why the Judgment in that case should lead to attempt to seal The Sun Publishing Limited premises.

“Further more, we are aware that both Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and Slok Nig Limited have since appealed the Judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris and a hearing date given.

“We wish to reiterate that The Sun Publishing Limited is an ongoing corporate limited liability company and its shares are owned by various individuals distinct from Senator Orji Uzor Kalu. Therefore, the recent Judgment against Senator Orji Uzor Kalu should not be used to disturb the operations of the company and the proprietary rights of its innocent shareholders until the matters are dispensed with at the Supreme Court.

“In view of the foregoing, we call and appeal to the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice to urgently intervene and advise EFCC appropriately on the legal consequences of its actions.”

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FG Tells Togo, Benin, Niger To Pay Electricity Bills

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THE Federal Government of Nigeria has told the international electricity customers-Niger, Togo, and Republic of Benin-to pay up their outstanding $7million debt because “electricity is not charity”.

The chairman, West African Power Pool (WAAP), Mr. Usman Gur Mohammed, whom reporters in Abuja accused of playing the big brother with Nigeria’s electricity to the countries, disclosed that Nigeria was also strict with the international customers just as the Nigerians in debt recovery.

Mohammed, who is also the Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), recalled that on his assumption of office, the outstanding bills of the international customers were over $100million.

Stressing that Nigeria does not supply any customers electricity for free, he noted that the Federal Government disconnects the international customers just as it does to Nigerians when they owe electricity debts.

The WAAP chairman said that the Federal Government has now restricted its electricity supply to only contracted international customers.

According to him, Nigeria has insisted that the indebted international customers that were disconnected from the grid pay up their debts before they are reconnected.

His words: “It is not because I am the chairman of the West African Power Pool (WAAP) that I will be allowing international customers to cheat Nigeria.

“When I took over as MD TCN, both Benin and Togo were owing Nigeria more than $100 million. The debt now remains $7million.

“Niger is owing less than $2million. In short, we are not leaving them. We disconnect them as we disconnect customers here in Nigeria. Electricity is not charity. We cannot just allow people to consume electricity and leave us like that.

“As at now, we have restricted their supply to only their contracted ones. We are insisting they pay all their outstanding before we reconnect them and we increase the off- take.”

He corrected the impression that electricity across the border is charity, noting that it is a business from which Nigeria makes millions of dollars like any other exported commodity.

Mohammed said that Nigeria has a comparative advantage of electricity generation in Africa.

 

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