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President Buhari Heads to Chad for Security Meeting

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President Buhari will depart Abuja Saturday for N’Djamena, capital of Chad Republic to participate in the Extraordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, CEN-SAD.

Created by the Treaty of Tripoli on February 4, 1998 with six founding members, Nigeria joined the current 29-member regional economic community in 2001 which seeks mainly to create a free trade area in Africa, as well as “strengthen peace, security and stability, and achieve global economic and social development of its members.”

Delegations from 22 member-nations are expected at the extraordinary meeting of CEN-SAD holding on Saturday at the Radisson Blu Hotel, N’Djamena. President Buhari and other regional leaders will join their host and current Chairperson of CEN-SAD Conference, President Idriss Deby Itno to deliberate among others on political and security issues, state of peace and ways to address multifaceted threats in CEN-SAD area especially Boko Haram and refugees; and make a declaration on the entry into force of CEN-SAD revised Treaty intended to fast track the realisation of the objectives of the body.

During the opening Session of the Conference, special Awards will be given to Heads of State and Military contingents in Mali, Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic and in the Lake Chad Basin.

President Buhari will be accompanied to the CEN-SAD meeting by Governors Kashim Shettima, Akinwunmi Ambode and Adegboyega Oyetola of Borno, Lagos and Osun States respectively.

Others include: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen Adulrahman Danbazau (rtd); Minister of Defence, Brig-Gen Mansur Dan Ali (rtd); National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen. Mohammed Monguno (rtd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede; and the Federal Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Sadiya Umar Farouq.

The President will return to the country at the end of the Conference on Saturday.

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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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