Weekly News Review 19th – 23rd September 2016

Political News

Is there Hope for PDP?

The main opposition party in Nigeria Peoples Democratic Party has been at loggerheads since after losing the 2015 general elections to the All Progressives Congress. This escalated after the removal of the National Chairman; Ali Modu Sherrif in a controversial convention that was held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Surprisingly on Tuesday the two leaders of the two factions; Markafi-led faction and Modu Sherrif faction came out to say they are both sheathing their swords and working to reconcile aggrieved members.  The tension in the party have taken unusual dimensions to the point of counter court rulings in different location and many people believe the party will not recover till 2019. Could the latest development mean that they are set to put their house in order and so resume their roles as a viable opposition?

Lawmakers Resume From Recess

The nation is in recession as we all know but our lawmakers have been on vacation in doing their legislative duties of lawmaking and now they are back. Who knows if their pay has been withheld since there is a new level of money crunch in the land? For the house members, the padding issue has resurfaced and one wonders how long it will dragged on before heads start rolling. The senate on the other hand has started by issuing recommendations on how to reverse the recession. The most striking being the sack or redeployment of some cabinet members of President Buhari and some measure of blame games too.

Victory Atlast for Yahaya Bello

After long drawn battle for the Luggard House, Kogi State when the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday in favour of Governor Yahaya Bello to continue as governor. Despite a ban on jubilation after the ruling, Kogites still went all out to cheer their leader on his way back to the Government House. Bello who was thronged by a crowd of supporters had to come down and complete his journey to the Luggard House on foot where his deputy and wife were waiting to welcome him. In an address to his people, he asked for their corporation to develop the state and move it forward. He also reached out to youths and women to bear with him while promising to empower them.

Still on the Bayelsa Guber Elections

The Appeal Court has upheld the election of Governor Seriake Dickson in the Bayelsa State elections while dismissing the case file by the All Progressives Candidate Timipre Sylvia. Justice Bada in delivering the lead judgment said the APC’s suit of corruption and gross misconduct in the election could not be proved. The Bayelsa APC had challenged the return of Seriake Dickson as governor of the state in the election of January 9, 2016. The party said his victory as due to result manipulation Independent National Electoral Commission. The APC also questioned the election that was cancelled in their stronghold preventing party agents in the collation process.

Patience Jonathan: Niger Delta Youths React

There have been news that the former First Lady Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan is being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over large sums of money that have been linked to her. The money in question has run into the tune of about $15 million. Meanwhile youths of the Niger Delta took to the streets in Port Harcourt, Rivers State to protest what they call a one-sided approach of the fight against corruption. Meanwhile some four companies which were used to launder the said amount have pleaded guilty in a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos. The former first lady has admitted ownership of the monies while still filing a violation of human rights by the financial crimes commission. The news has also created a lot of buzz on social media as more people ask where and how she acquired such huge amounts of money.

Business News

Monetary Policy Rate Still the Same

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced after its September meeting to leave the Monetary Policy Rate at 14 percent, Cash Reserve Ratio at 22.50 percent while the liquidity ratio is at 30 percent. The CBN governor maintained that cutting of policy rate will not reduce the economic challenges and that the present situation will help check inflation. He said that all the 10 members of the Policy rate committee voted to leave it the same. Meanwhile the Finance minister said this will help stimulate the economy as government plans to boost the economy without increasing debts servicing costs. Nigeria has been in recession as the National Bureau Statistics placed the official of our Gross Domestic Product shrinking by 2.06 percent.

Anambra is Giving a Tax Rebate

The government of Anambra State has suspended all minor taxes in the state. According to the governor, Willie Obiano the decision is coming after the announcement by the Federal Government that the nation is in recession. He said this is to reduce the pain and suffering that the present economy is causing for his people. The government also came up with four intervention stimulus to help boost the economy of Anambra state. They include; tax Relief Programme, Special Intervention Programme for Small, Medium and Large Scale Enterprises. The governor believes that the people of Anambra have the capacity to come out of the present economic challenges.

Tax Office Hunting Down 700,000 Firms

The Federal Inland Revenue Service is on the way to go after firms that have not been paying their taxes. This is coming as a result of the decline in oil prices and revenue which has set the nation into a major recession, the first in 20 years. The Executive Director of FIRS, Tunde Fowler said in an interview that by December they would have captured an additional 10 million people. The FIRS set a target of N4.95 trillion to be collected this year but so far from January to August it has collected about N2.3 trillion. According to him the Value Added Tax has increased by 25 percent, Corporate Tax has remained steady while Petroleum Profit Tax has decline due slump in oil prices and militant activities.

External Reserves Drop

The external reserve of Nigeria has dropped to 24.8 billion dollars. This was as at September 16, 2016. The Central Bank said the the foreign reserves reduced by 600 million from 25.4 billion dollars recorded on August 31, 2016. This is also coming from the different restrictions by the CBN on the foreign exchange rate and the shortage of dollar is really telling on the economy. Meanwhile, President Buhari inherited 30 billion dollars in reserve from the Jonathan administration. Also the CBN embarked on a floating of the dollar so that it can be determined by market forces and this further affecting the naira value.

Nigeria’s Foreign Debt at 11.26 Billion Dollars

Nigeria is debt to foreign creditors has now been placed at 11.26 billion dollars. This announcement is coming from the Debt Management Office. This figure comprise of 3.65 billion dollars being owed by the 36 states in the federation. The data shows that Lagos being the largest economy in the state with the highest debt of 1.43 billion dollars. Kaduna State follows with a debt of 225.28 billion dollars while Edo state being the third has a debt figure of 179.25 million dollars.

Entertainment News

Angelina Jolie Files for Divorce

Celebrity Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie has filed for a divorce from her husband Brad Pitt. This was confirmed by their lawyer Robert Offer. The lawyer added that the divorce is being processed for the health of the family. According to him Angelina Jolie will not be making comments saying that the privacy of the family must be maintained. They have been together since 2004 but married publicly in August 2014 and have six children; Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, and twins; Knox and Vivienne. Meanwhile social media pundits brought issues related to Jennifer Aniston whom Brad Pitt left to be with Jolie; asking if the law of karma has played out here.

Hit Movie ‘76’ Set For Screening

The much anticipated hit movie from Nollywood 76 has been premiered at 500 sitter, Isabel Bader theatre in Toronto. The cast present at the red carpet before the screening were Ramsey Nouah, Rita Dominic, Adonijah Owiriwa and Chidi Mokeme. The movie was also Nollywood’s ambassador at the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie was shot to depict the impact of the 1976 coup in Nigeria that claimed the life of our former Head of State, Murtala Muhammed. It was directed by Izu Ojukwu.

Niyola Cautions Women

EME first lady, Eniola Akinbo well known as Niyola has written to young women to stop being rude and disrespectful in an attempt to look tough. She also said that she won’t be releasing any party song all because she wants to make people happy. The message to women was written though her social media account. According to her being a lady alone is enough to assert your feminine powers. In quoting her, ‘I had an interesting conversation yesterday and I thought to share this on here. Ladies, being rude and disrespectful doesn’t make you boss or tough.’

Keira Hewatch Shares Experience About ‘Tales of Eve’

The case of Tales of Eve Keira Hewatch has said that filming the movie took her through and extraordinary journey that led to depression for her. According to her, ‘I was terrified because I become one with my character. I become the emotion, in order to give the role my best.’ Co-cast, Kachi Nnochiri who played a lead role also explained that he went through the same similar experience filled with emotions. The story on the other hand talks about the various challenges a woman goes through and each season brings a new twist to it. The movie also features veteran actress, Liz Benson.

Artist Megaloh Brings New Vibe to Lagos

It was more like homecoming for Rapper Uchenna Van Capelleveen better known as Megaloh as he brings his German-Nigerian vibes to Lagos. Uchenna who is well known in the German circle was received well Nigerians as he performed his music even though it was in a foreign language. The artist who was bred in Germany but born by a Nigerian admitted that being multiracial had the challenge of identity crisis. Through his music he has changed the negative perception about him to his own advantage. While he grew as an artist abroad he kept a close tab of the Nigerian music industry and also did ‘Oyoyo’ as an ode to Nigeria.

Sports News

Okorocha Rewards Imo Paralympics

The governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha has rewarded the gold medalists in the Paralympics who are from his state. Each received a sum of one million naira, plot of land and a brand new car. While commending them for their performance in Brazil he urged them to keep being committed to their professions. The coaches and assistant coaches also received brand new cars each. The Nigerian team won 12 medals in the games which ended on Sunday 18 September, 2016.

Super Eagles Squad Released

Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has released the final names of players slated for next month’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Zambia in Ndola. The goal keepers include; arl Ikeme, Emmanuel Daniel and Ikechukwu Ezenwa. The defenders are; Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Jamiu Alimi, Abdullahi Shehu. Others include; Leon Balogun, William Troost-Ekong, Kenneth Omeruo, Jamiu Alimi, Abdullahi Shehu, Mikel Obi will be leading a midfield that includes Ogenyi Onazi, Wilfred Ndidi, Nosa Igiebor, and Anderson Esiti; while Ahmed Musa, Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Victor Moses, Saac Success, Brown Ideye and Alex Iwobi will lead the attack. Players who have been invited are expected to start arriving Abuja on the 2nd October, 2016.

President Buhari Commends Paralympic Team

President Buhari has commended the Paralympics team for their performance at the Rio Games in Brazil. He praised for winning 12 medals at the games which made them the best performing African team in Brazil. He applauded their tenacity, determination and spirit of resilience which has brought glory to the country. He also showed his appreciation to trainers and coaches of the athletes. Many Nigerians turned out at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport to welcome the first batch of Athletes who came back on Sunday to Nigeria.

Logo for EURO 2020 Unveiled

President of UEFA Aleksander Ceferin has unveiled the logo for the 2020 UEFA tournament official launch in London. The logo is such that it shows silhouettes fans standing beside the competition’s Henri Delaunay Trophy on a green bridging which represents a link between the 13 countries. The competition will take place in 13 countries across Europe to mark the 60 anniversary of the competition; while the semi-final and final matches will take place at London’s Wembley Stadium. UEFA President has said that it will be possible to block the planned changes to the UEFA Champions League format. The European football governing body announced in August that England, Spain, Italy and Germany would be guaranteed four berths each for their clubs between 2018 and 2021.

House To Celebrate Paralympics

The House of Representatives has resolved to contribute N50, 000 each to the Paralympics team to the Rio Games for their outstanding performance. The motion was sponsored on Wednesday by a member of the House from Osun State, Representative Ayo Omidiran in Abuja. According to him the motion was due to the team’s performance and emergence as the best performing African team at the games. The team was also invited to the chambers to commend for the feat they have achieved. Nigerians welcomed them at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport and team was received by acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youths and Sports, Luka Jonathan, on behalf of the ministry.

International News

World Leaders Adopt Declaration For Refugees

World leaders on Monday in New York adopted a resolution on Refugees and Immigrants; to protect them, save lives and take responsibility for the movement of people. This was done during the ongoing 71st United Nations General Assembly holding in New York. Member states made bold statements and commitments and negotiations to start leading an international conference and the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018. After the declaration; the UN Secretary-General congratulated member states saying; “Today’s Summit represents a breakthrough in our collective efforts to address the challenges of human mobility”. The UN chief also launched a campaign to guard against xenophobic attacks which was called, “Together, Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”.

More Airstrikes In Allepo Leave Syria Without Water

The United Nations has said that nearly two million people are in desperate need of water in the city of Allepo, Syria. UNICEF said the recent airstrikes on the city has affected the plans to repair water pumping stations supply rebel-held districts of the city. This also has led to the shutting down of another water pumping station to the rest of the city, the agency said. There were fresh attacks even as the Syrian Army pushed to retake the city from the rebels. The offensive attacks started on Monday when the ceasefire move collapsed.

Merkel’s CDU Party Losses In Berlin

The political party of German Chancellor, Angelina Merkel has recorded losses in the Berlin State. It was displaced from the state governing coalition with the centre-left democrats. Also the right-wing anti-migrant party alternative for Germany made a lot of gains and will enter parliament for the first time. Mrs Merkel’s popularity has waned since her decision in 2015 to allow millions of migrants into Germany. The CDU won about 17.6% of the votes; its worst ever result in Berlin, Germany.

Over 29 Injured In New York Explosion

At least 29 people have died in the explosion that rocked the Chelsea district of New York City. The cause of the terror still is unclear even though Mayor Bill de Blasio says it was intentional and there is no known link to terror. The force of the blast blew out windows and could be heard several blocks away. According to officials a second device was found after sweeping through the district. Long before the blast, security officials have been tightening security in New York following the UN General Assembly that was expected to bring in about 135 world leaders and foreign governments.

Trump Says Clinton’s Guards Should Be Removed

The Republican Presidential candidate, Donald Trump has moved for the removal of the bodyguards attached to the Democratic Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton saying, we should see what happens to her after that. This call was made while he was speaking to his supporters in Miami. This is what he had to say, “I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm. I think they should disarm immediately, what do you think, yes?,” he said.

“Take their guns away, she doesn’t want guns. Take them, let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away, okay. It will be very dangerous.” The both have been protected by the Secret Service agents but Trump’s statement has caused a lot denunciation from Clinton’s camp.

Other News

33,000 Litres Of Petroleum Products Destroyed

The Nigerian Navy has said that it has on Monday destroyed about 33,000 litres of petroleum products in Warri, Delta State. The navy said the raid of two illegal refineries in Lakpaje and Ubeje creeks where 18,000 litres and 15,000 litres of suspected stolen crude and refined AGO which were later destroyed. In the same statement by Chris Ezekobe, he revealed that the navy also repelled an attack by some sea robbers on Marine Tanker (MT) HANZE KOCHI en-route Lagos from Port Harcourt. According to him, “The attackers made spirited effort to board the vessel 50 nautical miles off Bayelsa state on September 16, 2016, at about 0250 hours but were heavily engaged and overpowered in a gun duel by naval personnel.”

Unilag Student Arrested Over Facebook Post

The police have arrested three students of University of Lagos for criticizing the university management and accusing them for incompetence. The three suspects spent a night at the Alpha Base detention centre of the University before being transferred to the police station in Lagos. The students in the post accused the university under the present Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Rahman Bello for poor management and handling of the university’s affairs.

Man Jailed For 100 Years For Drowning 3-Year Old

A man named Jose David N has been jailed for a 100 years for drowning his three year old daughter in a swimming pool in Morelia, Michoacan in Mexico last month. The man was caught several times by the CCTV camera throwing the girl into the pool as she drowned while her mum was asleep in the hotel room. The hotel officials released the footage which outraged people in Mexico. The video revealed the young girl struggling in the pool while her step-father looked on without doing anything.  At one point he throws her in while she struggles and when she is fully clothed he returns to throw her back inside the pool. The murderer was found guilty by these judges; Juan Salvador Alonso Mejia, Ana Lilia Garcia Cardona and Noe Reyes Millan.

11 Million Nigerians Out Od School

The National Agency for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education has said that 11 million Nigerian children are out of school nationwide. This was disclosed by the Executive Director, Professor Abba Abubakar Haladu while on a visit to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State. He commended the governor’s efforts to reduce illiteracy while urging him to equip the mass illiteracy agency. The governor on the other hand described illiteracy as a tool of social integration and religious tolerance and also restated his commitment to reposition the agency. Ikpeazu who was a university lecturer traced the high rate of crime to bad governance.

Terrorist Group Threatens To Bomb University Of Ibadan

A terrorist group, al-wilayat al-Islamiyya Gharb Afriqiyyah has said it would attack the University of Ibadan before October 1, 2016. This threat was issued through social media platforms like Whatsapp and email to students and staff of the university. Part of the letter reads this, “Most of you are going to die before Independence Day. You will not spend the Independence Day in peace, you and your students. Detonation will start from tomorrow till Independence Day and there is nothing you can do as we are among you. Even your little searches at the gate won’t do anything. By the time we are through with you, your government will be sorry.”

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