News: Boko Haram ‘Terrorists now have new uniforms,’ Army says(Photo)

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This was disclosed by army spokesperson, Colonel Sani Usman via a statement released on Tuesday, April 26, 2016.

According to the Nigerian Army, Boko Haram terrorists now have new uniforms with which they identify each other.
This was disclosed by army spokesperson, Colonel Sani Usman via a statement released on Tuesday, April 26, 2016.

It reads:

Troops of 22 Brigade Garrison and elements of 3 Battalion  that went out on long range fighting patrol yesterday, Monday 25th April 2016, to Gima village   in Ngala Local Government Area made a startling discovery; Boko Haram terrorists now have new means of identification.

The patrol came in contact   with some elements of the Boko Haram that started escaping in disarray on sighting the team. However, they were able to apprehend 2 terrorists in their new styled uniform of green colour and use of ropes on their legs and necks. This is a new development in the ongoing clearance operations of the remnants of the Boko Haram terrorists in the north east.

In addition, the patrol team recovered 1 Isuzu Canter lorry which found concealed with grasses, 5 motorcycles and 2 bags of guniea corn. Other items recovered  include 3 Dane guns, a Solar panel, 3 bows and arrows.

The arrested terrorists are currently being interrogated to further assist in the clearance operations.

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The First Wrap League Rap Battle Event in Lagos

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The First Wrap League Rap Battle Event in Lagos

it’s the biggest Rap Battle Event and it’s totally going to be Awesome To Turn up for the 1st Wrap League Rap Battle Event in Lagos.

Venue: Califunia Lounge, No. 4a Industry Avenue, Sabo, Yaba.

Date: April 30th 2016.

Time: 12pm – 6pm. 

Entry : Strictly Urban/ Hip Hop Dress Code. 

Side Attractions: Alist- Hip Hop Heads Appearance, Spoken Word, Wrap 3:16 Cypher.

After Party in the same venue starts immediately after the Event.

To be a part of the Cypher and Spoken Word performance, Rappers cutting across all type of rap lingo ( indeginous, commercial or mainstream hip hop) SEND YOUR NAMES , SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES, EMAIL AND PHONE NO TO +234 9 030 4855 81  AND YOU WILL BE CALLED UP DURING THE COURSE OF THE WEEK FOR THE AUDITION .

For more info, call – 2348131555007, 2347055037360 

IG & Twitter: @wrapleagueinfo 

N1.4bn Fraud: Court sentences ex-Kogi lawmaker to 154-year jail

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday secured the conviction of a former member of the Kogi State House of Assembly and former Caretaker Chairman, Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area of the state, Gabriel Daudu, for a N1.4 billion fraud.
Mr. Daudu, who was first arraigned in April 2010, was prosecuted by the EFCC on a 208-count charge bordering on money laundering and misappropriation of public funds.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, who tried the case at the Federal High Court in Lokoja, Kogi State, found him guilty of 77 counts and sentenced him to 154-year imprisonment.
In his ruling, the trial judge held that the prosecution proved its case beyond every reasonable doubt, and therefore sentenced Mr. Daudu to two years on each of the 77 counts to run concurrently.
Before the conviction of the politician, prosecuting counsel, Wahab Shittu, tendered various exhibits before the court and fielded 13 witnesses to prove the case against him.
In the course of the trial, Justice Ekwo indicated that the trial might have to start afresh as the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, asked Justice P.M. Ayuba of the Lokoja Division of the court to take over the case.
However, Mr. Shittu pleaded with Justice Auta to review the decision. The Chief Judge, thereafter, returned the case file to Justice Ekwo, who, Monday, found Mr. Daudu guilty of the 77 counts.
Since the sentences are running concurrently, Mr. Daudu will spend only two years in jail.

Nigeria health experts demand 15% budgetary allocation to healthcare

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Health experts at the launch of the “Make Naija Stronger” campaign in Lagos on Monday painted a pathetic picture of the state of healthcare in Nigeria and unanimously agreed that the country has no public health system.
The “Make Naija Strong” is an initiative of the anti-poverty organisations and other partners such as the Africa Health, Human and Social Development (Afri-Dev) to demand that the Nigerian government fulfils its promise of allocating 15 per cent of its budget to health during the Abuja Declaration 15 years ago.
On April 25, 2001 governments of African countries met in Abuja, the Nigeria capital, and agreed to increase health spending to 15 per cent of their national budgets.
According to One Campaign, an international advocacy organization fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, the programme is also intended to make government allocate adequate funding toward the actualisation of the 2014 National Health Act.
In the yet-to-be-signed 2016 budget, only a paltry 4.3 per cent of the total amount was allotted to health.
“Currently, Nigeria has no public health system,” said Rotimi Sankore, coordinator of Afri-Dev. “It does not exist. There is a skeleton and intention but it does not exist. Let’s stop deceiving ourselves, what we have now is the normalisation of death.”
Mr. Sankore then proceeded to reel out a series of statistics that places Nigeria at the lowest rung of healthcare indices in Africa and the world.
“Nigeria has the fourth highest maternal mortality ratio in Africa,” he said. “In fact, we are worse than South Sudan and Somalia. There is another way to look at the situation we are in. Nigeria is third in maternal death risk in Africa. We are only better than Sierra Leone and Chad. Almost a million children under five die every year from preventable diseases.”

Mr Sankore called on government to urgently ramp up investment in health facilities.
According to him, a situation where the per capital investment in health in Nigeria is $31 dollar compared to between $1,500 to $2,000 per capital investment in the West does not bode well for the country. He said there was a 20-year gap in life expectancy between Nigerian and the developed countries.
Similarly, the Chairman Board of Trustees of Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON), Ben Anyene, sasid healthcare delivery in the country was unplanned and without focus.
Describing the country’s public health system as “everything goes”, he said in order to roll back years of decay in the healthcare system the government needed to urgently begin the implementation of the National Health Care Act of 2014.
He said 10 million children and 600,000 women died of preventable diseases in the 10 years period it took to pass the National health care Act into law.

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Performance at the Make Naija Stronger campaign in Lagos

He lamented the absence of a declaration of health in the country’s constitution adding that the healthcare situation in the country was so dire that the World Health Organisation (WHO) rated the country 187 out of 197 countries in world health performance.
Also speaking during the launch, Chikwe Ihekweazu of Nigerian Health Watch said Nigeria should hold government to its promises.
“We are hopeful for change but as responsible citizens, we must learn how to hold our governments accountable for the promises made.
The singer, Waje, who is the One Campaign ambassador of the “Make Naija Stronger” campaign, stated that fulfilling the Abuja promise would make a difference for millions of Nigerians who die needlessly from lack of access to basic healthcare.
“It’s hard to imagine that in our beautiful country, millions of Nigerians from Lagos to Wawa, from Sokoto to Yola, die preventable deaths every year because of the poor investment in the health sector.”

Escaped Chibok girls will change Nigeria, US says

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The visiting U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Samantha Power, has expressed hope in the future of the 24 abducted Chibok girls who escaped after they were captured by the extremist Boko Haram sect.
Ms. Power, who made the remarks at the American University of Nigeria, Adamawa, expressed optimism that the girls would contribute to Nigeria’s development in future.
The U.S. Envoy particularly commended the management of the American University of Nigeria for welcoming the girls and mentoring them in their studies.
“Let me say that these girls have so much to offer Nigeria.
“Having met with some of them, I cannot even imagine what these girls are going to do and the difference they are going to make.
“They are going to be doctors and engineers and accountants. They are going to help change this country,” she said.
Ms. Power said the situation would have been worse for the girls, if after their escape, they were again being treated with suspicion, distrust or discriminated against in their communities.
She also commended the Adamawa Peace Initiative for bringing together Christians and Muslim leaders in Yola, as a way of promoting peaceful co-existence in their communities.

According to her, such interfaith cooperation will defuse tension in the communities.
Ms. Power said she and her delegation were in Nigeria to see for the U.S. government the progress so far made by Nigeria’s ongoing campaigns at combating Boko Haram.
“We started in Cameroon and we met even with Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, who are pained to come home. They desperately want to return to their communities.
“We met not only with government officials, but with religious leaders and civil society leaders and of course, students,” she added.
(NAN)

ICIJ condemns trial of French journalist, whistleblowers for leaking documents on tax avoidance

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The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists strongly condemns the upcoming trial of French journalist and ICIJ member, Edouard Perrin, and two whistleblowers by Luxembourg prosecutors over leaked documents that revealed widespread aggressive tax avoidance by some of the world’s largest companies.
Mr. Perrin, French national and former PricewaterhouseCoopers auditor Antoine Deltour, and another unnamed former PwC employee, will appear before a Luxembourg court on Tuesday for the start of what is expected to be a six-day trial over the leak of confidential files from PwC’s Luxembourg office.
The hundreds of leaked documents formed the basis of 2012 and 2013 reports by Mr. Perrin, and a 2014global investigation by ICIJ, which revealed how the tiny European duchy had effectively become a tax haven within the European Union, slashing tax bills by billions of dollars for multinational corporations through secret tax agreements.
The investigations are still cited in debates that continue to rage about corporate tax avoidance and transparency.
ICIJ director, Gerard Ryle, said Mr. Perrin’s indictment for simply doing his job as a journalist was an affront to press freedom and the charges against the others showed that Luxembourg was recklessly dismissive of the vital role whistleblowers play in ensuring transparency.
“Whistleblowers should be lauded, not condemned. Some of the biggest scandals revealed in recent times have depended entirely on brave people being willing to work with journalists to expose wrong-doing,” Mr. Ryle said.
“Perrin’s reporting triggered worldwide public outrage over the fairness of tax policies and it led to reform, most notably in the European Union. There was widespread public interest in the information that was revealed.
“For a founding member of the EU to bring charges against a journalist in relation to reporting that is clearly in the public interest shows a lack of respect for the important role journalism plays in holding the powerful accountable. For a country to also charge two alleged whistleblowers shows Luxembourg has not yet caught up with public opinion.”

Mr. Deltour was charged over the alleged leak of hundreds of secret tax rulings – known as comfort letters – that detailed confidential tax arrangements between Luxembourg and multinational corporations.
Mr. Perrin faces charges for alleged complicity in the violation of professional and business secrets and for laundering the information.
The ICIJ Luxembourg Leaks investigation was published in November and December 2014, and immediately put pressure on the then newly-elected European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who was prime minister of Luxembourg at the time many of the controversial tax agreements were made.
The investigation was cited in an official European Commission report as paving the way for a“fundamental change” in Europe’s tax rules, whereby all member states must now share details of tax agreements made with international corporations.
Luxembourg’s own finance minister described the investigation as a “game changer,” after which Luxembourg ended its fight to keep tax rulings secret and out of reach of EU investigators.
In January, EU competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, who has led recent investigations against the sort of aggressive tax avoidance and evasion schemes revealed by LuxLeaks, said she regretted Luxembourg’s decision to prosecute.
“LuxLeaks could not have happened if it was not for the whistleblower and the team of investigative journalists. The two worked very well together to change the momentum of the debate about corporate taxation in Europe,” Vestager said.
“I think everyone should thank both the whistleblower and the investigative journalists who put a lot of work into this.”

Dozens feared killed in multiple communal clashes in Cross River

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Many people are feared killed in ongoing communal clashes in Cross River State, South-south Nigeria.
Fighting is said to have broken out between four communities in Cross River Central Senatorial and Northern Senatorial districts, during the weekend.
In the Central Senatorial district, the crisis involved Ebum community in Obubra Local Government Area and Inyima in Yakurr Local Government Area of the state.
However, in the Northern Senatorial district, people from Ukpe community fought against their counterparts from Mbagede both in Ogoja Local Government Area.
Residents and the police confirmed the multiple clashes were triggered by protracted land disputes.
A local who pleaded not to be named for safety reasons told PREMIUM TIMES that Ebum community and neighbouring Inyima are locked in a protracted dispute over a parcel of land.
The conflict between Ukpe and Mbagede communities is also said to have lingered for about a decade despite attempts at settlement by traditional rulers from the affected area.
The dispute, however, got bloody at the weekend when Mbagede people uprooted yam seedlings which were planted on the disputed parcel of land by Ukpe farmers.

The action of the Mbagede people infuriated their Ukpe neighbours, who launched a reprisal attack leading to the death of many villagers from both communities.
When contacted, the Cross River State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, John Elu, confirmed the fighting.
He blamed the crises on protracted land disputes among the warring communities.
While he could not say how many people were killed in the two clashes, Mr. Elu however, maintained that a joint security operation has been deployed to restore law and order in the affected areas.