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Minister Of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali Blames ‘Traditional Leaders’ For Violence In North

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The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, on Tuesday said fresh intelligence had exposed the complicity of some “highly-placed traditional rulers” in the ongoing killings of Nigerians across the northern parts of the country.

Deadly attacks blamed on “bandits” have increased in north west states of Zamfara, Sokoto, and Katsina, with hundreds killed in recent months.

In the north east, attacks by the insurgent group Boko Haram have continued, affecting mostly Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.

The widespread killings by rampaging armed bandits had prompted a surge in military and police deployment in those states, with President Muhammadu Buhari promising an escalation of security response if required.

The government on Sunday ordered the immediate stoppage of artisanal mining in Zamfara saying it had confirmed the attacks had links to illegal exploration of solid minerals in the area.

Mr Dan Ali in a Tuesday morning statement to PREMIUM TIMES said unnamed but high-profile traditional leaders had been identified as culpable in the violence, and vowed that they would not be sparred.

Mr Dan Ali said locals, especially in Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara and other parts of northern Nigeria ravaged by faceless gunmen, should “rise in unison to support all government’s efforts” aimed at addressing the crisis, especially because soldiers and other elements in the armed forces cannot combat it alone.

“It is instructive to mention here that insurgency and terrorism are global phenomena that cannot be addressed through military actions only,” Mr Dan Ali said.

“However, in spite of the concerted efforts of the Armed Forces and other security some unpatriotic persons including highly placed traditional rulers in the areas were identified as helping the bandits with intelligence to perpetuate their nefarious actions or to compromise military operations,” the minister said.

Mr Dan Ali did mention names of traditional leaders suspected to be fueling the violence, or whether any of them had been arrested.

A spokesperson for the ministry did not immediately answer requests seeking comments.

The minister also said the suspension of mining across Zamfara was amongst the key decisions the administration believed were key to returning normalcy to the region.

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‘I Will Rather Die Than Join A Filthy, Rat-Infested APC’ – FFK

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The suggestion that I have dumped
@OfficialPDPNig for @OfficialAPCNg is false and deeply insulting. Those that are peddling this fake news should bury their heads in shame. I would rather die than join a filthy, rat-infested sinking ship like the Almajiri Peoples Party (APC).

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I Was Born An Actor, Politician – Dino Melaye

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A former chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Dino Melaye, has said he was born an actor and a politician.

Melaye made the claim in an interview with journalists in Abuja during the premiere of a movie titled, ‘Lemonade, written by Joy Idoko and produced by 100% Joy Media Productions, where he featured prominently.

He also explained that he participated in acting “to send a message to Nigerians”, ameliorate problems and “get Nigeria out of the cocoon.”

While calling on the government to create laws that would promote entertainment in Nigeria, Melaye said he participated in the movie “to send a message to Nigerians, to ameliorate our problems and to get Nigeria out of the cocoon will be a very strong way to correct the ills in the society.”

He said, “I am born both as an actor and a politician. The entertainment industry is a very strong sector of our national life that should be encouraged. It is richer than oil because oil is exhaustible but these ideas rule the world as I speak to you. I believe that entertainment industry is one of the strongest weapons that we can be used to ameliorate our problems in this country.”

Idoko said, “Lemonade is a movie I shot; it is very dear to my heart because the story about Lemonade is the story that a lot of people are going through. People talk about domestic abuse, domestic violence and all that but people don’t talk about emotional and mental abuse.

“The setting was Abuja and I decided to cast with Senator Dino Melaye because we wanted to cast a real life Senator, we needed to cast a politician and I didn’t want to cast an actor as a politician.”

 

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FG Bars Onnoghen From Traveling; Seizes Passport

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The immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has been barred from travelling out of the country by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Saturday PUNCH reports that the move may be part of a fresh probe into Onnoghen’s affairs. Onnoghen was convicted for not declaring his assets by the Code of Conduct Tribunal in April.

An internal report issued by the Nigeria Immigration Service, which was read out to our correspondent by a top officer, stated that Onnoghen, his wife and daughter were attempting to travel to Accra, Ghana when they were accosted by immigration officers.

The report stated, “On November 11, 2019, retired Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, was attempting to travel to Accra, Ghana. He was in company with his wife, Nkoyo, and daughter.

“His passport, with number A50445233, was flagged because Justice Onnoghen’s name was on the watch list. The passport is currently in custody of the NIS.”

The senior officer told Saturday PUNCH that the passport seized from Onnoghen was not a diplomatic passport but the ordinary green passport.

The immigration officer told our correspondent that the directive to seize Onnoghen’s passport came from the Presidency. “Justice Onnoghen will have to meet with the Presidency to know why his passport was seized. We are only following instructions,” the officer said.

Saturday PUNCH was informed by a top judicial officer that Onnoghen’s decision to challenge his conviction by the CCT might have angered the retired Muhammadu Buhari regime.

The Appeal Court had condemned the Buhari regime for the manner in which the trial of Onnoghen was conducted. In a judgment by the three-man bench led by Justice Stephen Adah, it was unanimously ruled that the CCT’s ex parte order breached the ex-CJN’s right to a fair hearing.

While reading the lead judgment, Justice Adah stated that the proceedings of the CCT shouldn’t have been conducted “in a shady or clandestine manoeuvre” the way the ex parte order was obtained by the prosecution. However, the court said it could not upturn Onnoghen’s conviction since the trial had already taken place.

A source said, “Even though the NJC (National Judicial Council) recommended that Onnoghen should be paid his benefits in full, I can tell you that he has not been paid anything and all his allowances have stopped.

“His accounts remain frozen. It was some judges who even contributed money for him recently for medicals expenses.

“I was told that his ordeal might be connected with his decision to challenge his conviction at the Court of Appeal which the government of the day might have found embarrassing because the Court of Appeal accused them of depriving Onnoghen of a fair hearing.”

Onnoghen, who was CJN from March 1, 2017 to April 5, 2019, was suspended by Buhari in January, a few weeks to the presidential election, on allegations that he failed to declare five bank accounts in his asset declaration form at the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Buhari hinged his decision to suspend Onnoghen on an ex parte order by the CCT Chairman, Dannladi Umar.

Onnoghen’s many attempts to stop his trial were futile.

He also faced a mini-trial at the NJC where the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission presented evidence against him.

The NJC subsequently recommended his retirement with full benefits and Onnoghen immediately complied and tendered his resignation before Buhari on April 5.

However, his resignation letter was not acknowledged by the buhari regime until his conviction by the CCT on May 28.

The CCT ordered Onnoghen’s sacking and barred him from holding public office for 10 years.

It also ordered that the sums of money in different currencies found in his Standard Chartered Bank accounts, a total of N46m, be forfeited to the Buhari regime.

It was reported by an online news outlet, The Cable, that a retired CJN is entitled to cash and other perks worth N2.5bn.

As part of the package for a retired chief justice, a house will be built for him in Abuja with a nine-digit sum for furnishing — in addition to a severance gratuity that is 300 per cent of his annual basic salary of N3,363,972.50, as well as pension for life.

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